Showing posts with label Trump despot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump despot. Show all posts

October 3, 2019

If It's True Its False, All Rules Are Suspended! Like say, The Elected King or and Dictator



I would like in a comical way to give adamfoxie's audience a simple, plain idea of what is going on.
 I know and also hope everyone is getting up on what is going on with Trump. I try to give what the press does not cover or not cover too much in their attention to print. The way things are happening in which we see on TV or hear something said by Trump and his main two other stooges; Bart, Pamapeo and then Trump. (Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed he was on the phone during President Trump’s July 25 call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, He had denied any knowledge about saying he did not have time to read the documents, but he did not need to read anything, HE was there.)Two picked by Trump and Trump picked by the American Voting College since the American people did not elect him. He lost by 3 million votes.  Do 3 million people matter? Bush lost to Al Gore by just a few votes and a Republican justice, it to him but it was just not too many since they disqualified millions of ballots in Florida. But with Trump, it was the system that gave it to hi, not the electorate.
Let's take a break while someone makes fun of what is going on. Too serious for me to joke so I'll pick someone else to do it instead. Please watch.
Adam 

July 15, 2019

Stephen King Says Trump is Scarier Than Any of His Horror Stories






      Image result for stephen king and donald trump      


 



When we’re referring to chillingly scary or even horribly terrifying subject matter, we’d like to think famed horror novelist Stephen King is a pro. That’s why it’s a bit alarming that the author would declare that Donald Trump’s presidency is scarier than anything he’s ever written. In a new video from NowThis News, the prolific storyteller did exactly that.

In the clip, the author was asked whether he thought the Donald Trump presidency was scarier than one of his novels, to which he replied, “Short answer to that is yes, I do. I do think it’s scarier.”

King then discussed the similarities of his 1979 novel The Dead Zone (which became a movie in 1983) to the current White House occupant. The sci-fi/thriller followed the rise of a “real estate con man” turned political demagogue.

“I was sort of convinced that it was possible that a politician would arise who was so outside the mainstream and so willing to say anything that he would capture the imaginations of the American people,” said King.

King explained how he never anticipated some of his storylines to become reality, for example, the story’s main character Greg Stillson was at first taken as a joke because of the unconventional political maneuvering he’d partake in at his rallies. Stillson had used bikers that supported him at his events to “make sure nobody heckled him”— a version of which basically takes place at Trump rallies today. 

King then talked about how his idea for the story came to be, that it was more of his assessment of the American public at the time rather than a prediction, that leads him to believe that the people could one day be responsible for creating a Greg Stillson type.

“I know that American voters have always had a real attraction to outsiders with the same kind of right-wing ‘America First’ policy,” King said. “And if that reminds people of Trump, I can’t be sorry because it was a character that I wrote. It was a boogeyman of mine, and I never wanted to see him actually on the American political scene, but we do seem to have a Greg Stillson as president of the United States.”


January 27, 2019

Finally and Suddenly, America Had Enough and The Political Pressure Vise Was on



By Marc Fisher ,
Ben Guarino and
Katie Zezima
Finally and suddenly, America had had enough.

The drizzle of effects of the government shutdown morphed into a downpour, a winter storm of disruption, dysfunction, and desperation that shocked stubborn politicians into action.

The 35-day shutdown was supposedly going to linger for months because President Trump’s base insisted on a wall along the border with Mexico and the Democratic base demanded that federal workers return to their jobs without condition.

Now, that debate has been kicked down the road for three weeks. Despite his vow that he would never reopen the government without money for the wall, Trump relented without the promise of a single dollar.

The startling about-face happened because the shutdown almost overnight came to seem dangerous: an economic threat, a shock to the safety of the skies, and a political punch that un­settled both parties.
In a 24-hour flurry of events that added up to a breaking point, flight attendants warned that high absenteeism among air traffic controllers who weren’t being paid posed a threat to passengers’ sense of safety. Long delays hit several major airports because of control-tower staffing shortages, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

A flight information board shows new times for flights after the FAA announced delays at LaGuardia Airport in New York on Friday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
A Transportation Security Administration agent works Friday at a checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, where delays led to long lines. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Ford and other major manufacturers warned that the shutdown was delivering a hard hit to the nation’s economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce alerted politicians that the travel and tourism industries were suffering harsh consequences. Thousands of Internal Revenue Service workers who had been ordered back to work to process tax refunds stayed home, many saying they couldn’t afford to get to their jobs without pay. 

Several polls showed a serious drop in Americans’ optimism about the economy. The president’s disapproval numbers jumped five points, to 58 percent, from three months ago, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. And some senior members of Trump’s own administration started speaking out against the shutdown in strikingly sharp language.

“Making some people stay home when they don’t want to, and making others show up without pay, it’s mind-boggling, it’s shortsighted and it’s unfair,” FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told bureau employees in a video message. “It takes a lot to get me angry, but I’m about as angry as I’ve been in a long, long time.”

President Trump announces a deal with congressional leaders to reopen the government on Friday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
The 800,000 federal workers who were either barred from working or forced to work without pay had been frustrated for weeks that their plight was being ignored or pooh-poohed by people in power.


And on Thursday, a series of comments from Trump administration officials exacerbated that feeling. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross drew widespread ridicule for suggesting that federal workers who were lining up at food banks instead should just “get a loan.”

“That was ridiculous,” said Andrew Perry, 51, whose wait Friday for a flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Miami had stretched beyond two hours. “No matter what your means are, you can’t get a loan that quickly. . . . I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.”

Late-night hosts react to Wilbur Ross’s tone-deaf comments about furloughed workers

Late-night hosts had a lot to say on Jan. 24 about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross downplaying the hardships caused by a partial government shutdown. (Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)
The scene at airports in New York, Newark, Philadelphia and other big cities, where long delays resulted from the shortage of traffic controllers, helped persuade Trump that the shutdown had to come to an end, according to White House officials.

Many travelers said Friday’s inconveniences cemented their belief that the shutdown was an unnecessary, juvenile battle that was more about a refusal to back down than about any deep rift over policy.


Stefanie Cornwall, 27, arrived for her Spirit flight out of Philadelphia International Airport 30 minutes earlier than she typically would. Cornwall, who was flying to Los Angeles to visit family, had serious concerns that the shutdown was affecting travel safety.

“It’s obviously annoying when you have to wait in line for a long time, but what’s more concerning is whether the planes are being properly checked,” she said. Although she had been talking about the shutdown with friends and family for weeks, this was the first time she felt directly affected.

“I’m affected because it’s annoying and it’s a nuisance to me, but for these federal workers, they’re not being paid, even when they’re coming in to work,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

“Do we have your attention, Congress?” the Association of Flight Attendants said in a statement early Friday that warned that air safety workers were ­“fatigued, worried and distracted. . . . Our country’s entire economy is on the line.”


Democrats and Republicans alike felt public opinion shifting. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Friday that the airport trouble “ratchets up pressure tremendously.” And Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) sensed that the effects of the shutdown “have become very real and very personal for a lot of people who aren’t getting paid, and it obviously has a lot of impacts on ATC and TSA and a lot of other pretty important functions and agencies right now.” The initials stand for air traffic controllers and the Transportation Safety Administration.



In the end, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, the public’s mounting worry about the shutdown’s economic impact moved politicians off their hard stances.

“With public sentiment, you can accomplish anything,” she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) address the media at the Capitol Building after President Trump agreed to end the partial federal government shutdown. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)
For the president, backing down from his vow not to reopen the government without a down payment of $5.7 billion on the wall he wanted to fulfill a signature 2016 campaign promise was both a convenient distraction and a dangerous retreat.


Settling the shutdown crisis provided Trump with a chance to deliver one of his trademark preemptions of bad publicity. His Rose Garden appearance instantly changed the national conversation away from the arrest Friday morning of his longtime adviser, Roger Stone, on charges that Stone lied to Congress about his role in the effort to undermine Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

On cable news channels, a ­seven-hour-long marathon of coverage of the indictment of one of Trump’s most loyal associates ended, replaced by live video of the president’s lectern. It was another assertion of the president’s ability to change the subject and monopolize the nation’s attention.

But Trump also was bitterly attacked for agreeing to end the shutdown without gaining any money for the wall.

Although public opinion weighed heavily against the shutdown all along, it had shifted in the past few days from concern for unpaid workers to insecurity about the well-being and safety even of people with no government ties.


Ben Alderman, who was heading home to Chicago from LaGuardia, said he was “dumbfounded” by Ross’s remarks and appalled by the “political games” that politicians were playing with federal workers’ lives. He said politicians appear to genuinely believe that missed wages “are not really important to people,” said Alderman, 35. “It’s divorced from reality.”

LaGuardia Airport in New York on Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that there was a temporary restriction on flights into and out of the airport because of staffing issues linked to the partial government shutdown. (Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A frequent air traveler who works in financial services, Alderman said he wasn’t frightened to fly Friday, but he was glad flights were delayed rather than pushed into the air despite high absenteeism among traffic controllers and TSA agents.

“What happened this morning is a testament to our safety,” he said. “If there aren’t enough people working, planes shouldn’t be in the air.”

Joe Keefe, an asset management executive, was booked on a flight from LaGuardia to Boston. But in the middle of his business in New York, he saw the news about the airport delays and changed his plans.


“We decided to take the train,” said Keefe, 65, of Rye, N.H. The change was the first concrete impact the shutdown had had on him, but he’d been upset about it all along. “I hope it’s a political disaster for him,” he said, referring to Trump. “The American people know where the blame lies. . . . It’s a manufactured crisis.”

Pete Nischt, 32, of Akron, Ohio, didn’t like the shutdown from the start, and now his flight from New York to Cleveland was delayed for three hours. In recent days, as he saw how people who had gone without pay for a month were suffering, he came to view the failure to pay public employees as “a breach of the social contract. Trump has been lying the whole time . . . and now we’re paying for it.”

The scope of that suffering seemed to metastasize late this week. At the IRS, at least 14,000 unpaid workers who were supposed to be in the office, preparing to process an avalanche of tax refunds, either could not be reached by their bosses or were out on “hardship” leave, in many cases because they said they could no longer afford gasoline to get to work.

Rosemary Bruscato, 50, who has worked at the IRS in Kansas City, Mo., for 10 years, said her manager placed her on leave after a two-minute conversation. It cost her $20 each week to fill the tank of her Ford Focus, and she had been paid zero dollars in 35 days.

“There was no retaliation or anything,” she said. “They were very understanding.”

Even as Congress finally moved toward funding the shuttered portions of the government, many workers struggled to meet their expenses. In many cases, it was missing that second paycheck on Friday that put them over the edge.

Lisa Oksala volunteers at the Greater DC Diaper Bank, which gave diapers, wipes and feminine hygiene products to furloughed government workers on Friday at the World Central Kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
In the District, the Greater DC Diaper Bank has given away 33,800 diapers, 50,684 feminine hygiene products and nearly 7,900 incontinence supplies to federal workers, including Deborah Myrick, a D.C. Superior Court employee who picked up diapers and formula for her two grandchildren.

“It’s frustrating,” said Myrick, who lives in Temple Hills, Md. “There’s no other way to put it. I can’t manage without a check.”

Myrick and other employees stood in a line that snaked around World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsforFeds pop-up kitchen, which offered free lunch, vegetables, fruit, pet food and diapers. Some people hung their heads, as though they did not want to be spotted, and many declined to talk about it. One man picking up diapers said he felt a deep sense of shame that, as someone who is employed, he needed to seek help.

“The whole thing is very numbing,” Cynthia Clarke, an administrative assistant with the U.S. Agency for Global Media, said as she sipped vegetable soup. “This is a man-made disaster. I know what a natural disaster looks like. I’ve been through earthquakes. This was man-made. This was unnecessary.”

Furloughed government workers line up at the World Central Kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue NW on Friday to receive diapers, wipes and feminine products. The giveaway was organized by the Greater DC Diaper Bank, the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association and the World Central Kitchen. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
Guarino reported from New York. Simone Sebastian in New York, Rebecca Tan in Philadelphia and Mark Berman, Tim Carman, Josh Dawsey, Mike DeBonis, and Danielle Paquette in Washington contributed to this report. 

Marc Fisher
Marc Fisher, a senior editor, writes about most anything. He has been The Washington Post’s enterprise editor, local columnist, and Berlin bureau chief, and he has covered politics, education, pop culture and much else in three decades on the Metro, Style, National and Foreign desks. Follow 

Ben Guarino
Ben Guarino is a reporter for The Washington Post’s Science section. Before joining The Post in 2016, he worked as a freelance science journalist, an associate editor at the Dodo and a medical reporter at the McMahon Group. He also has a background in bioengineering. Follow 

Katie Zezima
Katie Zezima is a national correspondent covering drugs, guns, gambling and vice in America. She covered the 2016 election and the Obama White House for The Washington Post. Follow 



washingtonpost.com
The Washington Post
  

December 27, 2018

Trumps' Lies Upon Lies is Disgraceful For the Legacies of Washington, Lincoln



It is hard to imagine that there is a line from George Washington to Donald Trump, that we could have so squandered the legacies of past generations.

By David Rothkopf
A corrupt and fraudulent family foundation. Hush money to mistresses to help swing an election — felony violations of campaign finance laws. Seeking and embracing the help of an enemy to win an election. Repeatedly obstructing justice to cover up those crimes.
Selling out American interests to patrons overseas. Profiting from the presidency. Helping foreign murderers cover up the murder of an American permanent resident. Attacking our allies. Destroying the international architecture that has been the foundation of our strength.
Lying to or misleading the American people on average 10 times a day. Celebrating Nazis as very fine people. Building detention camps for children on our borders. Racist policies that turn away good people from our shores. Serial misogyny. Upwards of 20 allegations of sexual harassment.
At least one accusation of rape from an underage minor. A massive, decades-long record of income tax fraudSeventeen investigations into his activities. Virtually every major organization he has run for two decades under investigation. 
An international record of celebrating despots and autocrats and kleptocrats and brutal totalitarians and enemies. Unprecedented isolation from America's friends and a repeated record of insults of them and international rejection of him as a trusted leader.
Attacking America's law enforcement institutions. Attacking America's intelligence institutions. Collaborating with fellow travelers in Congress to circumvent the laws and to undermine decades and decades of regulation. Irreversible damage was done to the environment.
A campaign to take health care away from the neediest Americans. A systematic effort to deport productive contributors to our society who have lived and worked here for decades. Hypocrisy. Vulgarity. Deceit. Mounting evidence of criminal behavior. Serial violation of his oath of office. Serial betrayal of his country.
This is our president. This is the heir to Washington and Lincoln. He stole the office with the aid of our enemies, and he has done grievous damage to this country ever since.
Sometimes I walk through Alexandria, Virginia, where I live, past the places Washington walked, and I have to admit it, it makes me physically ill. It is hard to imagine that there is a line from George Washington to Donald Trump, that we could have so squandered the legacies of past generations.

What would Washington and Lincoln say about Trump?  

Read this list of wrongs and crimes and missteps and compound it with the ignorance and the incompetence and the absence of principles and the deficiency of character of this man. Think how each and any of them might have disqualified past leaders.
Think how you wouldn't allow such a man into your home or contact with your children and then of the power and prestige he has been given, the precious gifts of heritage that have been placed in his hands.
It is easy to grow numb to this. It is possible to become distracted by rage. But remember what is at stake, we must focus on undoing this great wrong that took place in 2016 and seeking justice for the crimes that contributed to that and have unfolded since.
Imagine what Washington or Lincoln would say were they to see this. Worse still, imagine what our grandchildren and generations to come will say. This is the history we bequeath to them. Let it, in the end, be an affirmation of our institutions and our ability to repel the danger.
Let it, in the end, be worthy of the best of the legacy that came before. We're an imperfect society, but we should not elevate the worst among us as we have done with this man Trump and the corrupt crowd of enablers surrounding him.
David Rothkopf is CEO of the Rothkopf Group and host of Deep State Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @djrothkopf. This column was adapted from a Twitter thread.  

November 13, 2018

CNN Brings Suit Against Trump and Top WH House Aides For Barring Jim Acosta






CNN has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and several of his aides, seeking the immediate restoration of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta's access to the White House.
The lawsuit is a response to the White House's suspension of Acosta's press pass, known as a Secret Service "hard pass," last week. The suit alleges that Acosta and CNN's First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the ban.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning.
Both CNN and Acosta are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are six defendants: Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service director Randolph Alles, and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta's hard pass away last Wednesday.
    The six defendants are all named because of their roles in enforcing and announcing Acosta's suspension. 
    Sanders responded to the suit by saying that CNN is "grandstanding" by suing. She said the administration will "vigorously defend" itself.
    Last Wednesday, shortly after Acosta was denied entry to the White House grounds, Sanders defended the unprecedented step by claiming that he had behaved inappropriately at a presidential news conference. CNN and numerous journalism advocacy groups rejected that assertion and said his past should be reinstated.
    On Friday, CNN sent a letter to the White House formally requesting the immediate reinstatement of Acosta's pass and warning of a possible lawsuit, the network confirmed.
    In a statement on Tuesday morning, CNN said it is seeking a preliminary injunction as soon as possible so that Acosta can return to the White House right away, and a ruling from the court preventing the White House from revoking Acosta's pass in the future.
    "CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court," the statement read. "It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process."
    The White House Correspondents' Association said it "strongly supports CNN's goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place."
    CNN also asserted that other news organizations could have been targeted by the Trump administration this way, and could be in the future.
    "While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone," the network said. "If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials."
    CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker reiterated that in an internal memo to staff. "This is not a step we have taken lightly. But the White House action is unprecedented," Zucker said.
    During his presidential campaign, Trump told CNN that, if elected, he would not kick reporters out of the White House. But since moving into the White House, he has mused privately about taking away credentials, CNN reported earlier this year. He brought it up publicly on Twitter in May, tweeting "take away credentials?" as a question.
    And he said it again on Friday, two days after blacklisting Acosta. "It could be others also," he said, suggesting he may strip press passes from other reporters. Unprompted, he then named and insulted April Ryan, a CNN analyst, and veteran radio correspondent.
    Trump's threats fly in the face of decades of tradition and precedent. Republican and Democratic administrations alike have had a permissive approach toward press passes, erring on the side of greater access, even for obscure, partisan or fringe outlets.
    That is one of the reasons why First Amendment attorneys say CNN and Acosta have a strong case.
    As the prospect of a lawsuit loomed on Sunday, attorney Floyd Abrams, one of the country's most respected First Amendment lawyers, said the relevant precedent is a 1977 ruling in favor of Robert Sherrill, a muckraking journalist who was denied access to the White House in 1966.
    Eleven years later, a D.C. Court of Appeals judge ruled that the Secret Service had to establish "narrow and specific" standards for judging applicants. In practice, the key question is whether the applicant would pose a threat to the president.
    The code of federal regulations states that "in granting or denying a request for a security clearance made in response to an application for a White House press pass, officials of the Secret Service will be guided solely by the principle of whether the applicant presents a potential source of physical danger to the President and/or the family of the President so serious as to justify his or her exclusion from White House press privileges."
    There are other guidelines as well. Abrams said the case law specifies that before a press pass is denied, "you have to have notice, you have to have a chance to respond, and you have to have a written opinion by the White House as to what it's doing and why, so the courts can examine it."
    "We've had none of those things here," Abrams said.
    That's why the lawsuit is alleging a violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process.
    Acosta found out about his suspension when he walked up to the northwest gate of the White House, as usual, for a Wednesday night live shot. He was abruptly told to turn in his "hard pass," which speeds up entry and exit from the grounds.
    "I was just told to do it," the Secret Service officer said.
    Other CNN reporters and producers continue to work from the White House grounds, but not Acosta.
    "Relevant precedent says that a journalist has a First Amendment right of access to places closed to the public but open generally to the press. That includes press rooms and news conferences," Jonathan Peters, a media law professor at the University of Georgia, told CNN last week. "In those places, if access is generally inclusive of the press, then access can't be denied arbitrarily or absent compelling reasons. And the reasons that the White House gave were wholly unconvincing and uncompelling."
    The White House accused Acosta of placing his hands on an intern who was trying to take a microphone away from him during a press conference. Sanders shared a distorted video clip of the press conference as evidence. The White House's rationale has been widely mocked and dismissed by journalists across the political spectrum as an excuse to blacklist an aggressive reporter. And Trump himself has cast doubt on the rationale: He said on Friday that Acosta was "not nice to that young woman," but then he said, "I don't hold him for that because it wasn't over, you know, horrible."
    Acosta has continued to do part of his job, contacting sources and filing stories, but he has been unable to attend White House events or ask questions in person -- a basic part of any White House correspondent's role.
    Acosta is on a previously scheduled vacation this week. He declined to comment on the lawsuit.
    On CNN's side, CNN Worldwide chief counsel David Vigilante is joined by two prominent attorneys, Ted Boutrous and Theodore Olson. Both men are partners at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
    Last week, before he was retained by CNN, Boutrous tweeted that the action against Acosta "clearly violates the First Amendment." He cited the Sherrill case.
    "This sort of angry, irrational, false, arbitrary, capricious content-based discrimination regarding a White House press credential against a journalist quite clearly violates the First Amendment," he wrote.
    David McCraw, the top newsroom lawyer at The New York Times, said instances of news organizations suing a president are extremely rare.
    Past examples are The New York Times v. the U.S., the famous Supreme Court case involving the Pentagon Papers in 1971; and CNN's 1981 case against the White House and the broadcast networks, when CNN sued to be included in the White House press pool.
    The backdrop to this new suit, of course, is Trump's antipathy for CNN and other news outlets. He regularly derides reporters from CNN and the network as a whole.
    Abrams posited on "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that CNN might be reluctant to sue because the president already likes to portray the network as his enemy. Now there will be a legal case titled CNN Inc. versus President Trump.
    But, Abrams said, "this is going to happen again," meaning other reporters may be banned too.
      "Whether it's CNN suing or the next company suing, someone's going to have to bring a lawsuit," he said, "and whoever does is going to win unless there's some sort of reason."

      October 4, 2018

      Trump and The Self Made Sham- A Life Full of Lies



      If you missed this posting from the New York Times I would like you not to miss it because it should open the eyes to some who did not see behind his mind and did not understood that even with out the miles of paperwork so many knew he has been a fraud but willing to accept a fraud  so they could a man wiht a drinking problem, temperement as judge problem and abuser of women problem., a life time judge because they hate What? Sin? Commit a sin to save you from sin...nope it doesnt work that way. May be is time we get 4 or 5 bad men from the political life of this country. 🦊Adam



      “I built what I built myself.”

      This boast has long been at the core of the mythology of Donald Trump, Self-Made Billionaire. As the oft-told story goes, young Mr. Trump accepted a modest $1 million loan from his father, Fred, a moderately successful real estate developer from Queens, and — through smarts, hard work and sheer force of will — parlayed that loan into a multibillion-dollar global empire.

      It’s a classic American tale of ambition and self-determination. Not Horatio Alger, exactly, but appealing, and impressive, nonetheless.

      Except that, like so much of what Mr. Trump has been selling the American public in recent years, this origin story was a sham — a version of reality so elaborately embellished that it qualifies as fan fiction more than biography. Also, as we’ve come to expect from Mr. Trump, the creation of this myth involved a big dose of ethically sketchy, possibly even illegal activity.






      As an in-depth investigation by The Times has revealed, Mr. Trump is only self-made if you don’t count the massive financial rewards he received from his father’s business beginning as a toddler. (By age 3, little Donald was reportedly pulling in an annual income of what today would be $200,000 a year.) These benefits included not only the usual perks of hailing from a rich, well-connected family — the connections, the access to credit, the built-in safety net. For the Trumps, it also involved direct cash gifts and tens of millions in “loans” that never charged interest or had to be repaid. Fred Trump even purchased several properties and business ventures, putting ownership either fully or partly in the names of his children, who reaped the profits.

      As Donald Trump emerged as the favorite son, Fred made special deals and arrangements to increase Donald’s fortunes in particular. The Times found that, before Donald had turned 30, he had received close to $9 million from his father. Over the longer haul, he received upward of what, in today’s dollars, would be $413 million.

      Along the way, it seems that certain liberties were taken with tax laws. The Times found that concocting elaborate schemes to avoid paying taxes on their father’s estate, including greatly understating the value of the family business, became an important pastime for Fred’s children, with Donald taking an active role in the effort. According to tax experts, the activities in question show a pattern of deception, a deliberate muddying of the financial waters. Asked for comment on The Times’s findings, a lawyer for the president provided a written statement denying any wrongdoing and asserting that, in fact, Mr. Trump had little to do with the dizzying transactions involving his family’s wealth.

      Everyone can understand the impulse to polish one’s background in order to make a good impression. For Mr. Trump, whose entire life has been about branding and selling a certain type of gaudy glamour, this image-polishing has been all the more vital to his success. And he has pursued it with a shameless, at times giddy, abandon.

      Veterans of New York news media still laugh to recall how Mr. Trump would call them up, pretending to be a publicist named John Barron, or sometimes John Miller, in order to regale them with tales of Mr. Trump’s glamorous personal life — how many models he was dating, which actresses were pursuing him, which celebrities he was hanging out with. As gross and tacky and bizarre as this all seemed, it was aimed squarely at fostering the image of Donald Trump as a master of the universe who, as the cliché goes, women wanted and men wanted to be.

      This mythos was burnished and expanded by Mr. Trump’s years on “The Apprentice,” where he played the role of an all-powerful, all-knowing business god who could make or break the fortunes of those who clamored for his favor. Occasionally he could be harsh or even insulting, but it was always in the context of delivering the tough love that the contestants so needed to hear. And who was more qualified to deliver those lessons than Donald Trump? As with all reality TV, it was total bunk. But it promoted precisely the golden image that Mr. Trump — with a multimillion-dollar assist from his father — had carefully cultivated for his entire life.

      With this glimpse into the inner workings of the Trump family finances, some of the grimier, ethically suspect aspects of Mr. Trump’s mythmaking begin to emerge — and with them, many questions about all that we still do not know about the man and his business empire. Seeing as how that empire and his role in building it are so central to who Mr. Trump claims to be — the defining feature of his heroic narrative — the American public has a right to some answers. For starters, now would be an excellent time for Mr. Trump to hand over those tax returns on which he has thus far kept a death grip.

      In his 1987 memoir “The Art of the Deal,” Mr. Trump famously offered his take on the origins of his success: “I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”

      But increasingly, Mr. Trump’s willingness to bend the truth — and the rules — in the service of his myth looks less like innocent exaggeration than malicious deception, with a dollop of corruption tossed in for good measure. It’s not the golden, glittering success story he has been peddling. It’s shaping up to be something far darker. 

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      September 26, 2018

      If Rod Bernstein Goes The Russia Probe Could Be in Jeopardy. Showdown Thursday

      Rod Rosenstein, the US deputy attorney general, is set for crunch talks with Donald Trump on Thursday, amid doubts over his future in the job.
      The two already spoke on Monday to discuss reports that Mr Rosenstein had talked last year about ousting the president and secretly taping him.
      Mr Rosenstein oversees the inquiry into alleged collusion by the Trump team with Russia during the 2016 election.
      The president said Thursday's meeting would be "determining what's going on".
      "We want to have transparency, we want to have openness and I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time," he added, speaking in New York where he is attending the annual UN General Assembly. 
      White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein seen after meetingImage copyright
      Image captionChief of Staff John Kelly (left) and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (right) had a previously scheduled meeting at the White House on Monday

      What happened on Monday?

      America's second most senior law official was summoned to the White House on Monday amid a report that he had verbally resigned to the president's chief of staff in the expectation that he was going to be fired.
      But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said afterwards: "At the request of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories.
      "Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington DC."
      Monday's meeting between Chief of Staff John Kelly and Mr Rosenstein had been previously scheduled, US media later reported.

      What happens if Rosenstein leaves?

      If Mr Rosenstein did lose his job, another Department of Justice official, the solicitor general, would be in line to take over supervision of the Russia investigation.
      Mr Rosenstein assumed oversight of the inquiry after his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself when it emerged he had been in contact with Russia's ambassador to Washington while serving as a Trump campaign adviser.
      The furore around Mr Rosenstein's position comes as mid-term elections are looming on 6 November, when the president's party will try to keep control of the US Congress. 
      What did the report on Rosenstein say?
      Mr Rosenstein and Mr Trump are believed to have discussed Friday's report in the New York Times that the deputy attorney general had discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke a US constitutional clause that provides for the removal of a president if deemed unfit for office. 
      According to the newspaper, Mr Rosenstein had also suggested surreptitiously recording the president in order to expose the chaos in the White House.
      He denied the claims, and a Department of Justice spokesperson told the BBC the secret recording remark was just a joke.
      The deputy attorney general was said to have made the comments after Mr Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. 
      Without Rosenstein, Russia inquiry in doubt
      Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington
      If Rod Rosenstein goes, by resignation or firing, the future of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation would be very much in doubt. 
      Mr Rosenstein is the reason there is a special counsel investigation, and he has given Mr Mueller a wide mandate to pursue that inquiry wherever it may lead. 
      It has resulted, for instance, in the successful prosecution of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and a plea deal from Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen - both for activities tangential to the Russia probe.
      A different person in charge might have nipped those moves in the bud.
      Whoever took over if Mr Rosenstein departed - at the moment, Solicitor General Noel Francisco - could decide to curtail the scope of the investigation or push for a speedy resolution. 
      At the very least, Mr Francisco would assume the oversight duties knowing full well the president is watching very closely and has no hesitation going on the attack - even against members of his own administration - if he feels in any way slighted or wronged.
      As Mr Rosenstein will surely attest, it is an unenviable position. 

      From left: Mr Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Mr McCabeImage copyright

      Image captionFrom left: Mr Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Mr McCabe

      What's the reaction?

      Mr Trump said over the weekend he had not made up his mind whether to fire the deputy attorney general in the wake of the New York Times report.
      "We will make a determination," the Republican president told Fox News in the radio interview, which aired on Monday. "It's certainly a very sad story.
      "I haven't gotten all the facts, but certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place - If anything took place." 
      Sean Hannity, a Fox News host and friend of Mr Trump, has urged him to not fire Mr Rosenstein, warning he would fall into a trap laid by his political enemies.
      Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to the special counsel's Russia investigation as a political witch hunt.
      Andrew McCabe, the former acting director of the FBI who was fired by Mr Trump in March, said on Monday that he was "deeply concerned" about rumours of Mr Rosenstein's departure as it would put the Russia investigation "at risk".

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