Isn’t that nice

Chris Christie is definitely not a Hollywood Chris

New Jersey and Ohio are both invested in the hedge fund controlling American Media Inc. — the same company that was helping Trump with the National Enquirer. How … convenient!

Taxpayers in New Jersey and Ohio have a large financial stake in the owner of the media company that allegedly helped the Trump campaign bury negative stories, according to documents reviewed by Capital & Main and MapLight.

Under Republican governors, the two states committed at least $625 million of pension cash into Chatham Asset Management, a high-risk hedge fund that has taken control of the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., which is at the center of the federal investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The hedge fund is run by Anthony Melchiorre, a GOP donor who reportedly met with the president and AMI CEO David Pecker at the White House soon after Trump took office. Melchiorre and his wife have donated more than $100,000 to Republican candidates and party committees since 2010.

Nice country you got here

It’s a shame if something happens to it! Yeah, that’s what you want in a “leader”;

High-crime area

Joe Scarborough said yesterday there was “such a culture of corruption there. Somebody yesterday said that (Chris) Collins had to feel picked on when you had Wilbur Ross, in their words, doing insider trading at a pace the guy thought he only had two weeks to live” and reminded viewers “the fish rots from the head.”

“I think Joe hit the nail on the head when he called it a culture of corruption,” Matt Miller said.

“Democrats have the ability now to make this case that there is this culture that starts at the top with Donald Trump and starts with his family members and kind of pervasive throughout his administration and also the Treasury secretary on government planes, under inspector general investigations and now moving it over to a member of congress.

“The problem for other members of Congress — this is not to say every Republican member of Congress is corrupt, of course not. But everyone is allowing this to go unchecked. No one in a leadership position, no one on the Hill is saying we need to stop it and investigate it and shine some sunlight.

“That becomes a political vulnerability for all of them. I think one of the interesting subplots of this Chris Collins thing, he is the second person to literally have committed a crime on the White House grounds. They made that call while he was standing on the White House grounds. It’s the same place where Mike Flynn, in his White House office, sat down with the FBI and lied to the FBI.

“You could make the case that the White House compound now has the highest crime rate, really, of any neighborhood in Washington.”

I think we’re headed for another crash

And this doesn’t reassure me:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration moved on Wednesday to shrink a government agency tasked with identifying looming financial risks, notifying around 40 staff members they would be laid off, according to a person familiar with the changes.

The employees at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) were formally told on Wednesday they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency that was created in the wake of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, the source said.

The overhaul forms part of a broader push by the Trump administration to reduce government bureaucracy by slashing government jobs and cutting regulations.

Staff at the OFR, an independent bureau within the U.S. Treasury that analyzes market trends to spot financial risks, were told in January that jobs would be eliminated as the administration sought to cut the OFR’s budget by 25 percent to around $76 million, the person said.

He has no real incentive to avoid this. It will stick it to incoming Democrats (just as Bush did) and he’s on record, saying a crash would give him the opportunity to buy properties cheap.

Oh dear

Trump concerned about son in Mueller probe, sources tell CNN

Via Newsweek, the idea that Don. Jr. might be indicted is on Trump’s mind these days:

President Donald Trump’s top concern in regards to the special counsel’s investigation must be his eldest son’s previous testimony before Congress, which could lead to an indictment of Donald Trump Jr., according to ABC News’s chief legal analyst Dan Abrams on Monday.

Abrams said the president had to continue the narrative that he had no advance knowledge of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, otherwise, his son could be exposed for lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“He has to stick to that part because if he says he knew about the meeting, that almost certainly means Donald Jr. lied in front of Congress, and I think that that would almost certainly mean that Donald Jr. would get indicted,” Abrams said. “And that’s I think gotta be his number one concern. We can talk about all these questions of campaign finance law and possible defrauding of the United States. The number one concern of his right now has to be that statement to Congress from Don Jr. that Donald Trump didn’t know about the meeting.”

Mr. Wizard strikes again


“Unmitigated crap,” one scientist called it:

Two years ago, an actual headline from CBS in Sacramento was, “Donald Trump Tells California ‘There Is No Drought’ As Drought Continues.”

And now, on Sunday evening, Trump’s denial of reality in California continued, as he attempted to blame the ever-worsening wildfires in the state on everything but climate change.

“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” the President tweeted. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!”

The tweet came just hours after the Trump administration declared the California wildfires a major disaster.

Experts, however, immediately mocked Trump’s explanation — and his refusal to acknowledge that climate change is a major driver in worsening wildfires.

Obstruction of justice

I hope Mueller indicts him before they talk, but no such luck:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office wants to ask President Donald Trump about obstruction of justice, sources close to the White House tell ABC News. According to sources, the president learned within the last day that the special counsel will limit the scope of questioning and would like to ask questions both orally and written for the President to respond to.

According to sources familiar with the President’s reaction Wednesday morning, that was the genesis for his early morning tweet storm. Trump took to twitter in one of his strongest attacks against the federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying: “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

Negotiations over a potential presidential interview have gone on for months, through several different iterations of the Trump legal team. Current lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told ABC News a week ago that his team had submitted a response to Mueller asking to limit the scope of an interview with Trump especially as it relates to obstruction of justice.

“We have a list of questions that are fairly narrowed but we are waiting on the special counsel’s response,” Giuliani told ABC last week. Speaking to reporters after an appearance in New Hampshire today, Giuliani said he had received a response from the special counsel’s office without getting into details. “They took about 10 days and yesterday we got a letter back for them. Now we’re in the process of responding to their proposal,” Giuliani said.

Of course he knew, Part 79

I just don’t understand how Trump thought he’d get away with everything. It’s a lot different being a head of state than it is being a crooked NYC real estate developer:

Muller indictments ‘will be a bombshell’

Every once in a while, morning news includes actual information, the kind I like.

Yesterday, Morning Joe featured Rep. Eric Swalwell and former federal prosecutors Daniel Murphy and John Martin.

“So do you think that members of Congress have been obstructing justice in the russia investigation?” Scarborough asked Swalwell.

“They’re stopping justice in the Russia investigation,” Swalwell said.

“We saw that when we would bring people in like Michael Cohen and ask direct questions about the Trump Tower meeting and Don Jr. would refuse to answer. You know you have subpoena power and you don’t have to take the refusal, but each time we would say, ‘Make Donald Trump Jr. answer, but they would say, ‘No, we’re here under a voluntary scheme,’ which is what they set up. They protected them at every single stop. Since they ended their investigation we learned about Cambridge Analytica, about Roger Stone’s extensive contacts and we’re learning more and more about Michael Cohen. These guys are going to learn the hard way in November, I’m afraid.”

Scarborough asked Murphy, “Is it not fair to say that after Mueller’s last round of indictments a couple of Fridays ago where the United States government actually identified Russians that were trying to undermine American democracy, that at this point if you are trying to stop Mueller’s investigation, you’re not just a dupe for Donald Trump, you’re a dupe for Vladimir Putin and you are getting in the way of an investigation that’s trying to get to the bottom of how the Russians tried to undermine American democracy?”

“That indictment set forth how the Russians went forward, at least in one way to infiltrate our election,” Murphy said.

“What Bob Mueller has not done at any point — and I think this is intentional, he has not included any evidence of American involvement in any of what we call collusion. Collusion is shorthand for conspiracy to defraud.”

Scarborough asked why.

“For a couple of reasons. One is what we talked about with Michael Cohen. He doesn’t want to let the public or other witnesses know what evidence he has. Two, I think he wants to wait and make a very complete decision as to whether and what extent Americans were involved. So he’s going to keep it all confidential because there may be people that aren’t charged that should not go — be named in public or there may be people who will be charged. But he’s basically gathering all of the evidence and doing what a professional prosecutor would do,” Murphy said.

“And then he is going to make a final decision as to who is going to be charged and with what, and he’s not going to leak anything and he’s not going to let anything out there. But I do think he’s going to indict people. I think when that indictment drops it is going to be a bombshell.”

“I think Dan is right,” Martin said. “I think Mueller is not going to do anything until he has the complete picture.”

Trump threatens to hold his breath and turn blue