Thursday Reads: Down The Rabbit Hole With The Mad Hatter

Good Morning!!

Is your head spinning? Mine sure is. I feel as if we’ve gone down the rabbit hole and arrived at the mad hatter’s tea party. Will we ever be able to get back to reality? Oh wait. This is our reality now.

There is a man living in the people’s house who is a pathological liar and career criminal. This person is running the U.S. foreign policy and appointing judges who will sit on the bench for life. When he’s not watching TV or playing golf, he hires other liars and criminals to advise him and speak for him. But then when they give him advice or speak publicly for him, he contradicts them and eventually fires them and replaces them with new advisers who will then be contradicted and subsequently fired. Afterward the “president” lies about why he fired them.

Please let it end!

Yesterday was another busy day in Trump world. We learned that the “president” of the United States likely bribed the government of Ukraine in order to get them to stop cooperating with the Mueller probe. We learned that another attorney, Ty Cobb, is leaving Trump’s legal team. We also learned that Trump has hired a new attorney, Emmett Flood, who defended Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial and also worked for George W. Bush.

This while we were still absorbing the news from Tuesday that in early 2017, Trump goons illegally raided the offices of Trump’s personal physician and removed all traces of Trump records and photos and that Trump himself wrote the glowing medical assessment that the physician signed off on in 2016.

But that wasn’t the end of the breaking news for Wednesday. Last night, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on the Sean Hannity show he 1) blew up Trump’s defense in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit and apparently admitted that Trump committed felony campaign finance violations; 2) contradicted Trump’s excuses for firing James Comey; 3) Called Comey a pathological liar and a pervert who should be prosecuted; 4) Said Hillary Clinton should be in prison. And much more.

Is that a decent summary of where we stood last night?

Here’s The Washington Post’s take: Giuliani: Trump repaid attorney Cohen for Stormy Daniels settlement.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and a recent addition to President Trump’s legal team, said Wednesday night that Trump made a series of payments reimbursing his attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 settlement with an adult-film actress — despite Trump’s assertion last month that he was unaware of the payment.

“The president repaid it,’’ Giuliani told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity.

Trump “didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this with my clients,” Giuliani said. “I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.’’

Rudy admits he covered up for his own clients when they had affairs? I’m sure his clients are thrilled with that admission.

Later, Giuliani said in an interview with The Washington Post that when Cohen paid the settlement to actress Stormy Daniels, he knew he would eventually get paid back by Trump, as he was for other expenses.

Giuliani said it was his understanding that repayment from Trump came in a series of transactions after the election that he believes were completed in 2017 but could have included a reimbursement in 2018.

That sounds like a structured financial transaction, which is illegal. Ask Denny Hastert.

“The president was always going to make sure he got it back, and enough money to pay the taxes,” Giuliani said. “There probably were other things of a personal nature that Michael took care of for which the president would have always trusted him as his lawyer . . . and that was paid back out of the rest of the money, and Michael earned a fee out of it.”

Giuliani said that even though Trump reimbursed Cohen, he does not know when the president learned of the nature of the payment Cohen had made to Daniels. Giuliani said the president didn’t learn many of the details about the settlement until the past two weeks, in the wake of an FBI raid on Cohen’s office and residence.

“I don’t know if he distinguished it from other things Cohen might have done for him during the campaign,” Giuliani said, adding, “He trusted Michael, and Michael trusted him.”

Of course, as well all know, Trump is on audio/video stating that he had nothing to do with the payment to Daniels.

Last month, a reporter on Air Force One pressed Trump about the payment, asking him, “Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?”

Trump responded, “No.”

The reporter then asked, “Then why did Michael Cohen make [the payment], if there was no truth to her allegations?”

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael’s my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael.”

Another reporter asked the president, “Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?”

“No,” Trump said. “I don’t know.”

My head is still spinning, but there have been more claims by Giuliani and Trump this morning. Giuliani went of Fox and Friends first thing this morning and Trump sent out some tweets that were obviously written by someone else.

Mediaite: Fox & Friends Grills Giuliani on Stormy Daniels Payment: ‘Sounds Like the Story is Changing’

The former New York mayor and current Trump lawyer was grilled on the curvy couch over what he said about Trump reimbursing Michael Cohen, despite Trump claiming he had no idea what his hush money payments were for. Giuliani said that $130,000 was close to “pocket change” compared to how much money Trump was handling at the end of the 2016 election, and he claimed that Trump “didn’t know the details until we knew the details of it which was a couple weeks ago.”

Cohen previously said that he was never paid back for the Daniels payoff, and Ainsley Earhardt asked Giuliani about that while saying “it sounds like the story’s changing.” Giuliani said that Trump’s personal lawyer was “definitely reimbursed,” and he lamented how Cohen is being “treated like a villain” for trying to help his boss.

As Giuliani insisted that Cohen was trying to save the Trump family rather than the Trump campaign, he said that when Cohen arrived at the $130,000 figure, the attorney said to himself ‘my God, this is cheap. They come cheap. Let me get the thing signed up and signed off.” [….]

And then, Giuliani made a remark that will raise some serious questions over whether Trump’s repayment of Cohen violated campaign finance laws:

“Imagine if that came out on October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Giuliani speculated. “Cohen made it go away. He did his job”

“Don’t you think a lot of these people would pay that when they can,” Giuliani asked hypothetically. “I represented clients who paid substantially more than that.”

Think Progress: Giuliani follows up disastrous Hannity appearance with equally damaging Fox & Friends spot.

A day after contradicting Donald Trump’s and longtime Trump general counsel Michael Cohen’s claims that the president knew nothing about Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels, Rudy Giuliani contradicted himself in a Fox & Friends interview.

The former New York City Mayor and current Trump legal team member insisted that the payments were personal, not political — but moments later demonstrated that they were indeed campaign related.

On Thursday morning, Giuliani first said that the payment was to protect the Trump family from a “six year old, false allegation” that Donald Trump had had an extramarital affair.

“If we had to defend this as not being a campaign contribution, I think we could do that,” he said. “This is for personal reasons. The was the president had been hurt personally, not politically, personally so much — and the first lady — by some of the false allegations.  That one more false allegation six years old, I think [Cohen] was trying to help the family. For that he’s treated like some kind of villain.”

Giuliani added that the $130,000 payment was “to save not so much their marriage, as much as their reputation.”

But then moments later, Giuliani noted the political reason for the payment. “Imagine if that came out of October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton…” he said. “Cohen made it go away. He did his job.”

More on the Fox and Friends interview at The Washington Post: ‘We’re not suckers’: Giuliani says he won’t let Mueller ‘trap’ Trump into perjury.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, a new attorney on President Trump’s legal team, said Thursday that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seeking to “trap” the president into committing perjury with a request for an extended interview.

“What they’re really trying to do is trap him into perjury, and we’re not suckers,” Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor, said during a morning interview on “Fox & Friends.”

Giuliani, conducting a fresh round of media interviews Thursday seeking to bolster Trump’s standing, asserted that the original aim of the special counsel — to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign — is now “dead.”

“This silly deposition is about a case in which he supposedly colluded with the Russians but there’s no evidence,” Giuliani said.

During a later appearance on the Fox Business Network, Giuliani said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should “step in” and bring the investigation to a close. Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe last year, a move that continues to elicit anger from Trump.

My head is still spinning. I’ve done my best to try to summarize the current state of affairs. What do you think?

Advertisements

62 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Down The Rabbit Hole With The Mad Hatter”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Yeah and the enabling media is,like, wow, that’s so last night and covering a North Korea bragging speech including the “big deal” of the release of 3 prisoners before “the” summit. It’s insane. They’re on TV normalizing his blubber orange ass again.

  2. Jslat says:

    The circus has come to town, and the monkeys are in charge!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    MSNBC reporting that Michael Cohen’s phone was tapped for weeks before the raid.

    At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, a source said.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      And reporting that neither Trump or Cohen are willing to divulge to their attorneys what may be in the seized files.

      Why?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Right. I left that out. Obviously it’s because both Cohen and Trump are career criminals with years of scams to hide.

      • teele says:

        If their lawyers don’t know what’s in the files being reviewed by law enforcement/prosecutors, how are they supposed to defend them? And what kind of attorney accepts payment from a client who doesn’t allow them to do their job? That is just nuts.

    • bostonboomer says:

      • dakinikat says:

        BREAKING: Federal authorities wiretapped Cohen phone lines weeks before the raid. At least one call that was captured was between Cohen and the White House. Text messages captured too. This is a lot more than just his emails being surveilled for months. You have to have a lot of evidence and show that there is evidence of an ONGOING crime to get a warrant like this, especially because of attorney client privilege.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    What do I think? I think he should resign immediately. Like now. We can tolerate Pence for a few years but this stuff must end.

    We have a president who does nothing but lie.

    A president who is under investigation for collusion with a foreign adversary.
    A president who is under investigation for money laundering,
    A president who is under investigation for breaking campaign funding laws.
    A president being sued by multiple women for sexual assault and harassment.
    A president whose staff and appointees come and go like a revolving door.
    A president who continues to make money for his business and family while in office.
    A president residing over some of the most corrupt officials ever to serve in government.

    How much more does he need to do before it becomes evident that he is absolutely unfit to lead a car wash event?

    All we see are Russians falling out of every closet yet the GOP leadership does nothing,

    Incredible.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Agreed

      • quixote says:

        Disagree! With the Everest of evidence that the election was stolen, Pence has no right to slide into the usurper’s seat.

        • quixote says:

          Agree on everything else, of course

        • teele says:

          I think there is also plenty of evidence that Pence is up to his neck in the “no collusion” activities. And looking at his marriage from the outside, it would appear that Mikie has some sordid secrets in his past, too.

    • NW Luna says:

      Resign. Then be charged, convicted and imprisoned. All his assets seized and sold to rebuild Puerto Rico.

      • dakinikat says:

        and to provide shelter and food for those refuges coming over the southern border, especially the children

        • teele says:

          I’m not sure the gains from selling his assets would pay for much more than a nice dinner at Denny’s.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    This would be huge news on a normal day.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      Yup and it was gushy

    • NW Luna says:

      How does this not clash with keeping religion separate from government?

      Also telling how evangelicals are gushing all over an admitted fornicator.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t think Trump cares about that. I’m sure it will be challenged in the courts.

        • NW Luna says:

          Agree — he doesn’t care about anything but himself, and thinks he’s above the law and ethics are for the weak. I hope the courts slam him.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    I wonder if those wiretaps picked up Sean Hannity?

  8. quixote says:

    Not that big a deal on the background of everything else, I know, but I can’t look at a photo of Sarah Huckabee Sanders now without thinking, “Yup, ashes of burned facts, expertly applied.”

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Josh Marshall quotes an expert who wants to remain anonymous.

    ‘An MO For Other More Serious Crimes’

    As we already know, Michael Cohen is the prototypical fixer or bagman. In Mexico, as discussed in glorious detail in this NY Times expose on Wal-Mart’s massive corruption scandal in Mexico , a lawyer-fixer like Cohen would be known as a “gestore.” The bagman’s job is to get bribe money to people while insulating and giving deniability to the ultimate payor of the bribe. Having a dirty lawyer as a bagman provides a number of advantages.

    First, bribe money can be laundered from the “client” through the lawyer as fictitious legal services. The lawyer can issue bogus invoices to the client in amounts sufficient to cover bribe payments, a commission to the lawyer, and a gross-up for any taxes the lawyer would have to pay on the fee income (bagmen, after all, don’t want to be stuck paying taxes on amounts they pay out as bribes). Sound familiar?

    Second, by disguising the bribes as payments for legal fees, businesses can try to write them off as expenses (bribes are not deductible). This is tax evasion, of course, but it is common practice for the corrupt. Third, the lawyer-client relationship can be an impediment to law enforcement. It can be very difficult for prosecutors to pierce what appears on the surface to be a legitimate attorney-client relationship.

    So now we have Giuliani confirming that this is exactly how Trump and Cohen operated.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      From what I can gather somebody is singing like a canary to Mueller about Trump/Cohen and their criminal enterprise.

      And they must have given up quite a lot for a judge to grant a wiretapping request.

      In other news: young Barron Trump seems to be taking a” bully beating” in school. The poor kid is only 12 yrs old and because of his perverted father is being ridiculed on a daily basis by classmates.

      How much Melania will force him to endure is the question. They say her entire focus since his birth has been on her only child.

    • dakinikat says:

  10. NW Luna says:

    I think this over and over and over.

  11. bostonboomer says:

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Ms. Smokey Eye is on.

  13. RonStill4Hills says:

    Dracula Giuliani and President Joffrey both appear to be about senile.

    I have never seen Rudy appear stupid before. Mean , vindictive, sycophantic, but never stupid.

    • quixote says:

      Senior moments. Happen to the best of us. Also to the worst, apparently.

      • RonStill4Hills says:

        I am unwilling to give either of those criminals the benefit of senior moments. Can we call them “Lack of moral compass moments”? 🙂

    • bostonboomer says:

      I guess you didn’t watch Rudy’s speech at the GOP convention then. And how about the time Rudy went on TV and blew up Trump’s muslim ban? He was quoted in multiple lawsuits.

      • RonStill4Hills says:

        :-)…I should have included “raving lunatic” in my caveat. I have seen that a few times. But “stupid…”

      • quixote says:

        I never watch any of these people. I would destroy the screen and there’s better uses for money. I was being mostly unserious. Although loss of function in the frontal cortex does, if I remember right, have an effect on moral reasoning and the ability to understand consequences.

        The thing that boggles me most — not joking — is not the arrogance or immorality because they’ve always had boatloads of that. It’s the mindboggling dunderheaded obliviousness to how this is going to play to the marks. You’d think experienced conmen would retain that ability.

        • Pilgrim says:

          I too save quite a bit of money. Don’t have the cable programs. Most of the CNN and MSNBC are podcasted, and I listen to most of them. On Sunday, the networks have their shows.

        • NW Luna says:

          I don’t even have a TV.

  14. dakinikat says:

  15. bostonboomer says:

  16. bostonboomer says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      If Ryan had a problem with his pastoral services not being performed adequately, did he discuss that with Rev. Conroy? It doesn’t sound like it.

      Just more relentless lies and obfuscation.

    • dakinikat says:

    • teele says:

      From that article:
      “During the tax-cut debate, Conroy delivered a prayer that some took as siding with Democrats. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all,” Conroy prayed.”

      Soooo, abiding by Christian values, as in espousing the teachings of Jesus Christ, is considered “siding with Democrats”? Okay, then.

      • NW Luna says:

        That stood out to me, too. It’s as good as a confession that the Republicans don’t care that laws are fair and balanced.

  17. NW Luna says:

    I forgot about Ghouliani going to Ukraine.

  18. kginoregon says:

    Good Lord! Why do you think that every loyal republican who’s been interviewed by Mueller, is on TV BEGGING Donald not to talk to Mueller. They say that Mueller already knows the answers to the questions before he asks. We’ve seen the questions, so we’ve got a real good idea of what Mueller knows. Loyal republicans are also screaming “PERJURY TRAP”. Welllll, if you don’t lie, there’s no perjury. If he can’t sit for 2 hours without lying about questions he’s already seen, then is Donald capable enough to be president? If he’s EXPECTED by his friends to lie in answer to the 49 questions, then loyal republicans apparently know that he’s GUILTY! Else why would he lie and why would they be so upset? How obvious is this?

    The VOTERS who are for him also believe he’s guilty. They actually TELL US they don’t believe what he says. They just DON’T CARE that he’s a sex offender, liar, racist, con artist and probable traitor. They identify with him. What does that say about 30% of the American public?

    By “loyal republicans” I mean people who are more loyal to Donald and their own job security than to their constituents and their country.