Presidential Harassment Edition
APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
FiveThirtyEight Poll: 41.8% — down from 42% last week
Rasmussen Poll: 50% — up from 49% last week
Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines about the POTUS, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our outdated political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our Commander-in-Chief.
So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:
Some Cheese with that Whine?
The week of our Trump — Mar. 2, 2019: This was quite a bad week for President Trump.
How crappy was it?
It caused President “Whiny Little Bitch” to spend his weekend crying and complaining about how unfairly he’s being treated during a two-hours monologue before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Off-script and obviously hopped up on something, Trump questioned how the U.S. Department of Justice and its Southern District of New York could have the audacity to investigate his litany of alleged crimes.
He even coined a new term for it — “Presidential Harassment.” He then turned and dry-humped the flag. However, all the flag-humping in the world could not prepare him for this hellish week, which seemed to get worse by the day.
Beginning on March 4, members of the House Judiciary Committee served document requests on 81 government agencies, entities and individuals as part of a new investigation into possible obstruction of justice.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the committee wants to “determine whether Trump may have obstructed justice by ousting perceived enemies at the Justice Department, such as ex-FBI Director James Comey, and abused presidential power by possibly offering pardons or tampering with witnesses.”
Targeted in the sweeping request were both Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, WikiLeaks, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, the Trump Organization, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
Two days later, former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen provided copies of checks made out to him from the president in exchange for the silencing of mistresses involved in Trump’s extramarital affairs. Cohen was convicted of campaign finance violations for his role in the scheme and is set to report to prison in May to serve his 3-year sentence.
This week he returned to Congress for a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Committee where he brought copies of his congressional testimony from 2017, which he said had been edited by fellow Trump attorney Jay Sekulow. Cohen said the false statements, which helped place him behind bars, were part of a coordinated effort by the president to deceive Congress about the Trump Organization’s pursuit of the Trump Tower Moscow project during his run for the White House.
Most of the edits, Cohen said, focused on the length of time that the planned project in Russia was pursued by Trump and how he was to specifically deceive members of Congress. The alleged edits took place when Cohen was still under a joint defense agreement with the president’s legal team. The evidence was immediately discredited by Sekulow and Trump, who both called their former colleague a liar.
The next day, Cohen sued the Trump Organization, saying the group should pay his $1.9 million in legal fees he must incur as part of his criminal sentence for work done “at the behest of the Trump Organization.” Under an indemnification agreement Cohen allegedly signed with the group in July 2017, the company agreed to pay all his legal fees and costs in connection with cases related to the company.
Cohen said despite requests for payment, the Trump Organization has not paid him since May 2018, generally around the time he agreed to cooperate with the Office of the Special Counsel.
That same day, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for tax and bank fraud. Before announcing Manafort’s sentence, federal judge T.S. Ellis reminded the court that Manafort’s crimes were not related to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The media had speculated that Manafort, a Republican Party political operative and also an operative for the former Russia-backed president of Ukraine, might be sentenced to as much as 20 years after being convicted last August on eight felony counts. He faces a second sentencing hearing next week in Washington on two counts of conspiracy.
Trump addressed the sentencing of his old campaign manager during a press conference on the White House South Lawn prior to his trip to survey damage done by tornados that hit Alabama earlier this week. The president said he believed Manafort’s relatively light sentence confirmed “there was no collusion” with Russia and added he felt very badly for Manafort.
More Blowback from Failed Summit with North Korea
If having all of his old friends and associates turning on him or facing prison time didn’t depress Donnie, the alleged actions of his former playmate, “Little Rocketman,” had to be downright devastating.
Although the lying mouth of dictator Kim Jong-un may have said “no” while he was with Trump in Vietnam for their summit talks, the prying eyes of U.S./South Korean intelligence said: “yes, yes, yes,” to the possibility that NoKo is restarting its Intercontinental ballistic missiles program. A week after pulling his patented “sometimes you got to walk” negotiation tactic, it appears his strategy may have backfired.
On Mar. 5, South Korean intelligence officials reported new activity at a site North Korea pledged to dismantle. At that time, Yonhap News Agency reported workers could be seen replacing a roof and installing a new door at the Tongchang-ri nuclear launch site.
Last year, North Korean officials — namely its leader, Kim — promised there would be total denuclearization by the Hermit Kingdom. Trump hailed the 2018 summit in Singapore a victory and told Americans that his relationship with the North Korean dictator was magical and that a letter between the two had caused him to fall in love.
In another rude awakening, NPR ran pictures yesterday taken on Feb. 22 by DigitalGlobe that appeared to show rail cars and trucks parked near a second site known as “Sanumdong.”
Some ICBMs and satellite-launching rockets have been assembled at this second facility. Some experts believe the activity at both sites indicates North Korea is in the process of building a rocket, the exact opposite of what it allegedly promised to Trump during both the meeting in Singapore and at the latest summit in Vietnam.
Trump told reporters the reports about North Korea were “a little disappointing.” However, he said his relationship with Kim remained “good” despite abandoning negotiations last week in Hanoi.
Trump abruptly ended the summit last week after he said North Korea wanted all U.S. sanctions on the country lifted before it would denuclearize. Reports from North Korea differed with those presented by Trump.
Be Best — The Tour
With so much activity going on at the presidential mansion, you can’t blame any member of the Trump family for wanting to get away for a little bit.
First Lady Melania Trump seized upon the turbulent times to embark on a tour to promote her signature White House accomplishment — “Be Best.”
Beginning in Oklahoma on March 4, Lady Melania toured three states in two days for her campaign that promotes well-being for children and aims to reduce online bullying and opioid abuse.
After first dodging questions about her husband’s alleged order to have Cohen lie to her about his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, Mrs. Trump flew out of Washington, D.C., headed for Tulsa, Okla., where she visited the Dove School of Discovery. The charter elementary school focuses on character development while emphasizing “kindness, character, strong values and positivity.”
The Dove students are “sculpting our next generation by creating a foundation of youth with strong character,” the FLOTUS said in a prepared statement. “I know they will go on to do great things.”
Later that day, Mrs. Trump flew to Seattle for a stop in Redmond, Wa., and Microsoft Corp. to take a look at its childhood initiative. The tech giant is designing applications to teach children online safety techniques and to aid children with disabilities.
Mrs. Trump spent the next day in Las Vegas where she spoke during a town hall meeting about the opioid crisis.
The trip was the first solo overnight junket for the FLOTUS.