Archive | Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Hope Hicks’s loyalty will be tested by Mueller

Longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks has been named interim White House communications director

One of President Donald Trump’s most loyal insiders is the next target in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sights. Hope Hicks, who worked for Trump’s campaign before becoming White House communications director, will be grilled by Mueller’s team as early as next week, a source told Newsweek — and the questions will center on possibly fabricated statements she helped produce about the campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives during the 2016 election. Continue Reading →

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A version of events

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This just sounds like plausible deniability to me, where they take the truth and make it sound benign. I’m not buying Schiller’s version:

WASHINGTON — After a business meeting before the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013, a Russian participant offered to “send five women” to Donald Trump’s hotel room in Moscow, his longtime bodyguard told Congress this week, according to three sources who were present for the interview.

Two of the sources said the bodyguard, Keith Schiller, viewed the offer as a joke, and immediately responded, “We don’t do that type of stuff.”

Uh huh. That’s not what we hear, Keith!

The two sources said Schiller’s comments came in the context of him adamantly disputing the allegations made in the Trump dossier, written by a former British intelligence operative, which describes Trump having an encounter with prostitutes at the hotel during the pageant. Schiller described his reaction to that story as being, “Oh my God, that’s bull—-,” two sources said.

The conversation with the Russian about the five women took place after a morning meeting about the pageant in Moscow broke up, two sources said.

That night, two sources said, Schiller said he discussed the conversation with Trump as Trump was walking back to his hotel room, and Schiller said the two men laughed about it as Trump went to bed alone. Schiller testified that he stood outside Trump’s hotel room for a time and then went to bed.

One source noted that Schiller testified he eventually left Trump’s hotel room door and could not say for sure what happened during the remainder of the night.

Step by step, Mueller gets closer to Trump

Treasury Sec Mnuchin says Trump will see tax increase under tax plan

So when is Trump going to try to fire Mueller? After all, he’s interviewing Trump’s aides now:

Washington (CNN)White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has been interviewed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

The interview brings the special counsel investigation into President Donald Trump’s inner circle in the White House. Miller is the highest-level aide still working at the White House known to have talked to investigators.

Miller’s role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey was among the topics discussed during the interview as part of the probe into possible obstruction of justice, according to one of the sources.

Special counsel investigators have also shown interest in talking to attendees of a March 2016 meeting where foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos said that he could arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin through his connections. Miller was also at the meeting, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

From Josh Marshall:

With the news that Robert Mueller has a copy of the original letter on James Comey’s firing written by Trump aide Stephen Miller and Trump himself, we need to return to the great mystery of that lost hour on the tarmac on Air Force One.

What am I talking about? Well, with a touch of dramatic flair I’m talking about this odd and increasingly odd over time mystery about what was happening the night President Trump came back from his Bedminster villa after a weekend of stewing about James Comey and then fired Comey 36 hours later.

At the time, it just seemed like another Trump era weirdness. Air Force One landed. Jared got off the plane, put Ivanka and the kids in an SUV and then got back on the plane. And then Trump and a group of his closest aides were apparently arguing on the plane for about an hour while the traveling press cooled its heels and wondered what was going on. They never got an explanation. But after about an hour a rather disheveled President Trump got off the plane and went back to the White House. Who was there on the plane with Trump? Stephen Miller.

Go read the rest.

Oops! GOP frantic to dump Roy Moore after sex scandal

RNS COMMANDMENT JUDGE

Because of this:

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.

I don’t think this story makes a real difference. I mean, it’s Alabama. All he’s got to do is say he begged Jesus for forgiveness, and the same evangelicals will support him. But prominent Republican hypocrites like Mitch McConnell (who didn’t care at all about Trump) are frantic. After all, they’re badly spooked by Tuesday’s election results, and several Republican senators have said if the stories are true (even if a 14-year-old thought she was giving consent, it’s still a crime), Moore needs to drop out.

The problem is, it’s too late to get Moore off the ballot. Even if Republicans manage to put together a write-in campaign for Luther Strange, who Moore defeated in the GOP primary, odds are it will only split the vote and give the win to Democrat Doug Jones.

Hahaha! Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

P.S.:

Just remember: We can’t let our guard down

Just look at Sheldon Whitehouse’s face as he interviews Trump’s nominee for top environment advisor. He laughs to keep from crying! Kathleen Hartnett White is not a scientist; she’s really more of a cheerleader:

“I’m not a scientist, but in my personal capacity, I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy,” Hartnett White, Trump’s nominee to lead the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, told senators Wednesday at her confirmation hearing. “I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role.”

She did acknowledge that there was probably some human contribution, “the extent to which I think is very uncertain.” That contradicts leading scientific assessments on the matter, which have pinned climate change largely on human greenhouse gas emissions.

Yes, we had a lot of electoral wins Tuesday night. But we don’t have control. Trump is filling government with sycophants and lobbyists — keep your eyes on that ever-present danger.

Jonathan Chait: GOP tax plan is political suicide

Paul Ryan: please allow Mueller to bring the investigation to the end

Jonathan Chait:

It is a testament to the power of self-delusion that Republicans have convinced themselves that their political self-interest demands that they pass a deeply unpopular tax-cut plan. The House has designed a proposal that not only violates Senate budget rules but seems virtually designed to seed an endless supply of attack ads against congressional Republicans.

A Washington Post poll provides a good starting point for measuring public opinion at the outset of the tax debate. Only one-third of Americans support the plan, against half opposing it. Sixty percent of the public believe it favors the rich. To the extent that people learn more, support is likely to fall even lower.

The bill contains three categories of political poison. First, it cuts taxes on rich people and corporations, a wildly unpopular goal. Americans want to raise taxes on corporations and people with high incomes. Republicans would do the opposite.

[…] The plan reads as if it was reverse-engineered from 30-second political attack ads. And while it seems very unlikely that Republicans actually designed their proposal by asking Democratic ad-makers for a list of the most sympathetic people in America — veterans, orphans, the disabled, people suffering rare diseases — the effect will be the same.

Republicans could have written a tax-cut plan that hurt nobody. Or they could have written a sweeping tax reform that could stand for years. Incredibly, they have done neither. They have taken on all the political downside of tax reform — but because their plan can’t pass the Senate, they will get none of the upside.

Is it going to be another #MuellerMonday?

Republicans in Congress demanded the resignation of spectacular Muller

NBC reports Mueller has enough to bring charges against Mike Flynn and his son:

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Mueller is applying renewed pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

Sounds like the investigation is ongoing, but rumors are strong that an arrest is imminent. Mueller may bring charges soon to increase pressure on Flynn to turn on Trump.

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