Category Archives: PUTIN

On Trump, Progressives confused by irony and facts

The NYT published an article asserting 40 “facts” indicting Trump. In truth, each of those “facts” was false or pure opinion based upon intractable bias.

The New York Times published an article by one of its opinion columnists, David Leonhardt, that purports to indict Trump in a mere 40 sentences, each asserting a supposedly devastating “fact” showing Trump to be a criminal, a fascist, or a fool. Reviewing these 40 sentences, I found that most are premised on erroneous facts, with the remainder relying on underlying assumptions that deserve to be challenged. A fisking is in order.

“He has pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 American presidential election.”

Follow this link and you’ll discover that it refers to the fact that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to finish a legitimate corruption investigation that then-Vice President Biden had stopped through the use of strong-arm tactics. We know that’s what Biden did because he boasted about it, loud and proud. Of course, reopening the investigation means Ukraine will resume asking questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in that country — which is no doubt the reason that Biden stopped the investigation in the first place.

As one would expect from alleged “news” reports of late, this is absolutely, completely 100% poppycock. John Solomon explains what actually happened — and it had nothing to do with Trump begging for Ukraine to throw the election (emphasis mine):

But there is a missing part of the story that the American public needs in order to assess what really happened: Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department.

Giuliani didn’t initiate it. A senior U.S. diplomat contacted him in July and asked for permission to connect Yermak with him.

Then, Giuliani met in early August with Yermak on neutral ground — in Spain — before reporting back to State everything that occurred at the meeting.

[snip]

Why would Ukraine want to talk to Giuliani, and why would the State Department be involved in facilitating it?

According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.

The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.

Then the Ukrainians hired a former U.S. attorney — not Giuliani — to hand-deliver the evidence of wrongdoing to the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, but the federal prosecutors never responded.

In other words, the Ukrainians have long been concerned about Americans engaged in illegal conduct in their country, but when they tried to raise those concerns, Deep State operatives rebuffed their efforts.

As for more specific information about what Trump’s allegedly “treasonous” phone call said . . . we don’t have any. Instead, the more credulous among us have been tricked again by one of those Lefty games of telephone. You know what I mean. We saw it with the latest Kavanaugh attack, which is that an alleged reporter heard something from someone who heard it from someone else who heard it from. The same is true with regard to the Ukraine telephone call, for it turns out that the Deep State whistleblower didn’t hear the call himself (herself?) and was not acting in his professional capacity when s/he relayed hearsay information to other Deep State officials:

It turns out the complaint is nothing more than a rumor reported by someone in the intelligence community. Buried in a lengthy CNN article about the complaint is the following paragraph:

The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Granted, this is yet another anonymous source giving more context on what another anonymous source told a different outlet, but it still calls the entire story into question.

In other words, this whole Ukraine thing has nothing to do with Trump having done anything wrong and everything to do with Biden abusing his power to protect his family. Biden gets points for family loyalty, but demerits for corruption.

“He urged a foreign country to intervene in the 2016 presidential election.”

Back in the days when Hollywood made anti-communist movies, one of the tropes was that communists have no sense of humor. The whole point of both the 1939 movie Ninotchka and its 1955 musical remake Silk Stockings was to show that believing in socialism is a singularly joyless activity and that only embracing capitalism can bring humor and laughter back to ones life. Indeed the whole campaign for the original movie was built around the gift of laughter:

Ninotchka garbo laughs

What Americans understood when socialism was still a dirty word is that being a Leftist is a very serious business. You’re remaking the world, after all. This photo of a hysterical, enraged, and deeply frightened Greta Thunberg is the modern incarnation of humorless, angry socialism:

The adults who did this to an Asberger’s child — meaning that she has high anxiety and often erroneous fixations — should be prosecuted for child abuse . . . but that’s for another post.

Moreover, when you’re in the midst of a revolution, you always have to keep an eye out for fellow revolutionaries, who might be more zealous than you or, worse, who might openly question your own zeal. In Soviet Russia, that last led to an actual death sentence. In today’s America, it means social media death. In our brave new revolutionary world, there is no place for humor.

I’m not writing this to bemoan the lack of comedy in late night TV, which is now devoted to joyless attacks on Trump, or the fact that comedy is dead on college campuses, where blank-eyed, angry students kill visiting comedians with strident cries of “That’s not funny. I’m offended.” I’ll leave that for other writers. What I want to talk about, because it will show up in other rebuttals to Leonhardt’s indictments, is that Progressives can’t take a joke.

Leonhardt’s umbrage is directed to the fact that Trump stated at a rally (to much laughter from the crowd), “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The crowd was in on the joke, which is the fact that Hillary’s uber-illegal decision to forfeit the State Department’s secured email system for an unsecured system in her bathroom meant Russia already had the emails — and so did China and any of a number of bad actors in the world. The joke was that the national security horse had not only long since left the barn, it was grazing in a field somewhere outside of Moscow.

In other words, Trump wasn’t inviting a foreign country to steal America’s secrets. He was using humor to show that Hillary Clinton, by intentionally violating America’s national security laws, had long before handed those secrets over to other countries.

“He divulged classified information to foreign officials.”

Much as Progressives don’t like it, Trump is America’s president. And as president, commander in chief, and head of the executive branch of government, including national security, it is he who has the ultimate say about whether something is classified or not, and when to declassify something.  His power is plenary and he got it when the American people elected him.

Moreover, it appears that Leonhardt isn’t in the habit of reading his own newspaper, because the story to which he links is the recent report that Trump’s big mouth resulted in a spy having to be exfiltrated from Russia. Except that, as even the Times later had to acknowledge, it was the media’s collective big mouth that exposed the spy during the Obama administration. Moreover, the CIA made the decision to withdraw the spy in 2016, again during the Obama administration. As for the other alleged security breaches in the linked article, let me say again: The president gets to make the call about what is and is not classified; not the New York Times.

“He publicly undermined American intelligence agents while standing next to a hostile foreign autocrat.”

Again, this is an example of the fact that being a Leftist means never understanding a joke. It also represents another chapter in the never-ending book entitled I Don’t Care What Mueller Said Or The Evidence Shows — I Still Think Trump Colluded With Russia. Thus, the article to which Leonhardt links, although it was written long after the Mueller report and after Mueller’s Sergeant Schultz-style testimony (“I know nothing. Nothing!”), is premised on the debunked theory that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election. The article also ignores entirely the fact that Hillary paid for all of the baseless and salacious claims that came out of Russia meaning that she, not Trump, conspired with a foreign agency to try to win the election.

So let’s go back to the claim that Trump “publicly undermined American intelligence agents.” One of Trump’s chief negotiating skills is to create an amicable environment within which to negotiate. He doesn’t insult the person unless, of course, the person insults him first, in which case Trump is a no-holds barred fighter. What he’ll fight like a demon over is the substantive matter at issue.

In this case, reporters were demanding that Trump call Putin a spy to his face. Doing so would have made a viable negotiation impossible. Putin would have been publicly offended and could not possibly engage in meaningful discussions with Trump. In other words, the media, intentionally or not, was doing its best to sabotage talks before they began.

Trump did the only thing possible under the circumstances — he made a joke, and it was a good one too, considering that we’ve learned in the last two years that high-level operatives in the intelligence community actively worked within American politics to destroy a candidate and, when that candidate still won the election, engaged in a coup attempt to get him out of office. All things considered, Trump’s little joke that “They [intelligence agencies] said they think it’s Russia [but] I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia,” was a perfect way both to defuse his relationship with Putin before talks began and to lob a humorous grenade in the direction of those who, for the first time in American history, tried to thrown an election.

“He hired a national security adviser who [sic] he knew had secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist.”

Considering that Leonhardt works for a newspaper, you’d think he could do better than to use a newspaper article from early 2017 to attack Michael Flynn. In the two years since then, we’ve learned a lot about the intelligence agencies’ successful attempt to take out Flynn and about Robert Mueller’s despicable tactic of destroying someone economically and going after his family in order to get him to plead guilty to the process crime of lying to the FBI.

Worse, in the years since the linked article was written, we’ve learned that there probably wasn’t a process crime at all because the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn contemporaneously agreed that he wasn’t intentionally lying. There’s also the little “fruit of the poisonous tree” problem, given that the entire basis for questioning Flynn for a Logan Act violation was a blatant attempt to create a process crime without any good faith belief that an underlying crime had been committed.

And what about the merits of the claim that Flynn “secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist”? Well, not quite, according to The Hill. In November 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed defending Erdogan, who had survived a coup attempt, in which Flynn claimed that the American-based coup-plotter, an Imam named Fethullah Gulen, was a “shady Islamic mullah.” That article gave intelligence agencies, who were already gunning for Flynn because he’d challenged Obama’s Iran Deal and because he’d clashed with intel types on myriad occasions, an opening.

I’ll say right off the bat that I think it showed bad judgment and bad taste for Flynn to defend Erdogan, who is (in my opinion) a bad actor. Nevertheless, it appears that Flynn didn’t realize that Bijan Rafiekian, who co-founded Flynn Intel Group (“FIG”), had the group working with Turkey. Instead, what Flynn knew was that a Dutch-based company called Inovo BV got paid $530,000 to do PR work to boost Turkey’s image. It was Inovo that had ties to the Turkish government. In March 2017, FIG did a retroactive registration as foreign agents on Turkey’s behalf. By December 2017, Flynn claimed that was a false filing and that he knew about Turkey all along. Well, maybe….

The problem with my wholeheartedly believing that Flynn’s December 2017 statement is true is that, by December 2017, Mueller had Flynn in a vice and was hell bent on destroying him. Flynn was trying to salvage his life savings, avoid jail, and protect his son from Mueller’s army. Things may be quite different in a few weeks if Judge Sullivan grants the discovery motion that Flynn’s new attorney, Sidney Powell, filed. In it, she alleges that the alphabet agencies railroaded Flynn and that they’re hiding the documents that prove it — including exculpatory documents that they were required by law to produce to Flynn and his counsel.

Frankly, of all the charges Leonhardt levies against Trump, this is probably the most serious, not in terms of Trump being treasonous, but just in terms of bad judgment — but I remember, as others may not, that Trump was treated like such a pariah, he had a hard time finding people willing to work with him in the beginning. He was in a “beggars can’t be choosers” position, and, at least on paper. And as I said, it’s entirely possible that Flynn is simply another victim of the Deep State who will be gloriously exonerated in the near future.

“He encourages foreign leaders to enrich him and his family by staying at his hotels.”

This is the “emoluments clause” argument that Democrats cannot let go. However, the emoluments clause was never meant to address a situation in which a foreign government tries to curry favor with the president by staying in a hotel from which president’s family, after taxes and costs, will earn a small amount of money.

Let’s start with the source, which is the Constitution. At Art. II, Section 1, it states as follows:

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

It scarcely needs to be said that Trump’s businesses, to the extent they provide him with money, do not constitute payments from either the federal government or the individual states. Incidentally, Trump, unlike any other president before him, donates every penny of his salary as president to charity or government agencies.

the real question, then, is whether hotel stays fall into the next part of the emoluments clause, the part that bars any person — including the president — “without the Consent of the Congress” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (Const. Art. I, Section 9.) Both history and constitutional analysis reveal that Indirect income from foreign nationals using Trump hotels does not fall into that category, since any monies are so diffuse they can only be incidental to Trump’s overall wealth.

But wait, there’s more, which I’ll quote from National Review article on the subject:

Trump’s opponents claim that every time, say, a foreign diplomat books a room in a Trump hotel or pays for a meal in a Trump restaurant, the Constitution is violated. They seek to force the president to sell off all his holdings and demand disclosure of his tax returns to track foreign payments.

Before assuming office, President Trump disposed of his publicly traded and liquid investments. He put his illiquid assets (e.g., hotels, golf courses, and commercial properties) into a trust. He further resigned from all official positions with the Trump Organization and turned over management of the businesses to his adult sons. None of this is enough for his enemies.

[snip]

the term “emolument” is not in our modern vocabularies. In his first inaugural address, George Washington used the term as synonymous with government salary when he refused “any share of the personal emoluments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the Executive Department.”

In Hoyt v. United States (1850), the U.S. Supreme Court defined emolument as “embracing every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” Accordingly, President Trump argues that “emolument” must be understood as a prohibited benefit arising from the services a federal officer provides to a foreign power, either on account of his office (making a decision favorable to a foreign government for pay) or as an employee/agent of the foreign power. He further argues that the foreign-emoluments clause does not prohibit his companies from engaging in market transactions on the same terms as any other citizen or private business.

Early presidential practice supports the president’s interpretation. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe all owned massive plantations and sold agricultural commodities in Europe. Undoubtedly, some of their customers were foreign governments, but no political opponent ever raised the specter that they were violating the foreign-emoluments clause.

‘Nuff said, I think.

“He genuflects to murderous dictators.”

First, politics makes for some ugly bedfellows. For example, I loath the Saudis because they are violent, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian, but they’ve also been our stalwart allies throughout the Cold War and after. (Also, I currently have hope that Prince Mohamed bin Salman will be an effective reformer and I appreciate that Saudi Arabia and Israel are discovering that life is better when they cooperate than when they don’t.)

Second, because I know Leonhardt’s statement refers to Kim Jong-un, the New York Times is effectively saying that the only way to deal with him is what’s been done before: insult him and then, when he rattles his saber, give him money. That, after all, is what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did — and every time, the North Korean saber grew bigger until a nuclear bomb practically landed in Trump’s lap. Trump is using a different tactic, which is to try and bring the Swiss-educated dictator back into the fold by offering him wealth, respect, and personal security instead of national poverty, world isolation, and the constant fear of being assassinated in the dog-eat-dog world of a total tyranny.

Third, people who live in Progressive houses shouldn’t throw stones. Exhibit A is Obama making nice with Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a man whom Obama described someone with whom he’d forged “bonds of trust.” Indeed, looking back, you really can’t blame Flynn for working with Erdogan given Obama’s liking for the man.

Exhibit B is Obama’s reverential bow before the Saudi King. Right now, the Progressives are gunning for the Saudis because they see the Saudis as a barrier to reinstatement of Obama’s Iran deal. Back in the day, though, Obama became the first American president ever to bow before a foreign monarch. It wasn’t a good look.

Exhibit C is Obama’s chumminess with Raul Castro, brother of Fidel. Cuba’s communist government is a dictatorship that has murdered, imprisoned, impoverished, and starved its people for over 60 years. I think we can call the Castro brothers murderous dictators — and yet, here we have a picture in which Obama looks like a puppet with the murderous Raul literally pulling his strings:

Exhibit D is Obama with Hugo Chavez, the man who, through socialism, started the rape of Venezuela. Under his and Maduro’s leadership, Venezuela went from one of the richest countries in Latin America, to one of the poorest, with people dying of starvation and disease — when they weren’t being murdered in the streets by their own government. It is a tragedy beyond comprehending, but Obama still managed a friendly smile and a handshake for this murderous dictator:

“He has alienated America’s closest allies.”

This is a matter of opinion. By “America’s closest allies,” I assume Leonhardt is referring to European leaders. But European leaders have not been acting like allies. They won’t pony up money for their own defense, they undermine American efforts to restrain Iran, and they provide succor for Islamists who murder Americans and Israelis. They liked Obama, who reflected their values, but they were routinely hostile to the country he led (never mind all the money from America that kept their soft socialism afloat for decades after WWII). With Trump in office, they’re no longer make any pretense of hiding their disdain for both our country and its duly elected president.

So no, Trump hasn’t alienated anyone. He’s simply revealed that European leaders resent America, no doubt because America had to rescue Europe twice and keep it afloat for the entirety of the Cold War. It made Europeans feel weak, so they responded, like trapped rats, by turning vicious. Trump’s presidency merely exposed what was there all along.

But what about other alliances? Do others like Trump? In a word, yes.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump get along extremely well.

Trump also gets along extremely well with India’s popular Prime Minister Modi, something the media has been at pains to hide. Just the other day, the media went out of its way to ignore a rally for Modi in Houston that attracted 50,000 people who greeted Trump with resounding cheers. I happen to like this earlier picture of the two leaders:

Trump also gets along extremely well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu. Much as the media doesn’t like Israel, the reality is that Israel has been America’s friend through thick and thin for 60 years now. It is one of America’s most stable allies and, when it comes to technology, both military and civilian (oh, and medical), it is one of our most important allies.

When Trump visited Saudi Arabia, the respect accorded him was so great that, not only did his wife and daughter not cover themselves Saudi-style, but his daughter, Ivanka, had important meetings with high ranking Saudi officials:

Now that’s respect. I bet you all can think of other leaders I haven’t thought of.

“He lied to the American people about his company’s business dealings in Russia.”

Like the emoluments clause and the Russia conspiracy, this is one that the Democrats just won’t let die a natural, decent death. Putting aside Hillary’s profitable dealings with Russia (often at America’s expense), there was nothing nefarious in Trump’s business dealings with Russia before he went into politics.

A comprehensive IBT article details the Trump business interests in Russia. The main takeaways are that, during the Soviet era, Trump said it wasn’t profitable to do business in Russia; in 2008 Donald Trump Jr. puffed about Russian money; in 2015, before throwing his hat in the ring, Trump talked about building a Trump Tower in Moscow; and in 2013, Trump held the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow.

Trump’s conduct was neither illegal or nefarious. The Democrats just gave it an evil gloss when paired with the imaginary Russia collusion accusation. Stripped of the heavy breathing, we get a hotelier who saw Russia as a good emerging market after the Soviet Union fell. End of story.

“He tells new lies virtually every week — about the economy, voter fraud, even the weather.”

The above statement offers a cognitive bias that’s impossible to overcome. Those who like Trump understand that he employs puffery, boasting, and New York style humor to make his points. Those who hate Trump are incapable of appreciating these things. As Salena Zito so perfectly said, “When he makes claims like this [i.e., using statistics from sources other than those that the Progressives prefer], the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

In other words, although Leonhardt dresses this statement up as “fact,” it is actually an opinion — and one with which I disagree.

“He spends hours on end watching television and days on end staying at resorts.”

So what? Obama was a famously lazy president. Trump is a ferociously energetic president, who went to work within hours of his inauguration. He hardly sleeps and he churns out material constantly. So what if he watches TV? So what if he hangs out at his resort? Weren’t were told during the Obama presidency that it was racist to point out Obama’s endless rounds of golf? I guess it’s not racist to do so if the golfer is the wrong color (i.e., white).

There’s also the strong possibility that, when Leonhardt makes this claim, he’s still getting confused by the gorilla channel joke that so many in the media took seriously.

“He often declines to read briefing books or perform other basic functions of a president’s job.”

Again, this is opinion. I think it’s fairly obvious that Trump is an auditory learner, preferring to have people provide oral, rather than written, briefings. Regardless of how he’s getting the information, he’s achieved a great deal more than Obama ever did in terms of making the economy grow, lowering unemployment across all demographics, slimming the welfare roles, reinvigorating the military, and keeping his campaign promises, such as building the wall, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, cutting back on over-regulation, and so forth.

At the end of the day, the well-read Obama had a sluggish economy, record unemployment, unenforceable agreements on climate and with Iran, a weakened military, and a self-destructing Affordable Care Act.

In other words, it appears that Trump is doing just fine — and then some — when it comes knowing what’s going on and performing his “basic functions.”

“He has aides, as well as members of his own party in Congress, who mock him behind his back as unfit for office.”

The GOP loathes Trump. He’s a disrupter. Of course, they’re going to go after him.

Conservative voters understand that there’s a schism on the Republican side of the aisle, with Republicans divided unequally into a huge bollus of pro-Trumpers and a dwindling, constantly humiliated little cadre of NeverTrumpers facing off. Significantly, the NeverTrumper’s dwindling numbers are composed primarily of Washington insiders, since they had a good little sinecure whining about Progressive initiatives and Trump, by actually addressing the things about which they whined, is upsetting their apple cart. After all, if you’ve built your brand being the perpetual opposition, you lose money when there’s nothing left to oppose.

For this reason, it’s instructive to true conservatives to see that the NeverTrumpers are backing Democrat candidates even as Trump enacts the most conservative agenda since Reagan, or even before. In other words, Trump’s supporters fully understand that Trump is weeding out Big Government types, faux-conservatives, and do-nothings, and they greatly appreciate that he is doing this, both through his actions and merely by being Trump.

“He has repeatedly denigrated a deceased United States senator who was a war hero.”

McCain was a rat-weasel. The Left hated him right up until he got into a fight with Trump (with McCain throwing the first verbal punch). Then, suddenly, McCain became a saint-like figure who is worthy of such reverence that the rough-and-tumble of American politics no longer has meaning.

Read my paragraph immediately above about Trump haters and you’ll understand why conservatives appreciate that Trump took no guff from McCain. One can be a POW who survived horrible treatment, with all honor due for that fact, and still be a horrible human being with bad values and no decency.

“He insulted a Gold Star family — the survivors of American troops killed in action.”

Again, Trump is a counter-puncher and a dirty fighter. The Gold Star family insulted Trump, so he insulted them back.

For years, Republican politicians politely took it on the chin when they were savaged in the crudest, most vile terms. Funnily enough, that did not make Democrats respect them more.

No wonder, then, that conservatives and Republicans (who are not always the same group) thirsted for someone who would fight back. Trump does. He never throws the first punch, but he always finishes the fight good and hard.

“He described a former first lady, not long after she died, as “nasty.”

See my point above about Trump being a counter-puncher. Barbara Bush was a nasty woman. She was proud, strong, funny, loving, and . . . extraordinarily mean and vicious. When she attacked Trump, he never forgot and he called her out.

I don’t believe in de mortuis nil nisi bonum if the dead person was on record being vile to achieve political ends.

“He described white supremacists as ‘some very fine people.'”

The Democrats cannot let go of this hoax. It is an absolute certainty that Trump described as “some very fine people” only those people who showed up because they were disturbed about statues being torn down, something that has a very banana republic feel to it. Trump made absolutely clear only a couple of minutes later that he condemned absolutely the white supremacists who showed up as well:

very fine people hoax

If Trump weren’t a public figure, he would be able to sue every media outlet in America for defamation and win.

“He told four women of color, all citizens and members of Congress, to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.’

First, although the tweet was taken as going to “the squad” of four new Democrat congresswoman, in fact Trump simply refers to “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen. I’ve always understood it to refer, primarily, to Ilhan Omar, who in fact comes from a broken country yet constantly denigrates America and, secondarily, to Rashida Tlaib, who may be from Michigan, but acts as if she comes from — and represents — an imaginary country called Palestine and also constantly denigrates America.

As for the other two in the squad — and, mind you, Trump does not refer to either “the squad,” AOC, or Pressley directly, or even the number four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plays up her Puerto Rican roots over her American upbringing and constantly denigrates America, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley is a hanger-on-er, whom nobody remembers most of the time.

Another problem with Leonhardt’s “fact” is that, whether Trump was talking to one, two, three, or four Progressive congress woman, he didn’t tell them to exile themselves from America. The fact is that Trump said that, if their political ideas are as great as they claim, the Progressive congresswoman should use them to fix their broken countries (Somalia and the imaginary Palestine). Then, having proved that their theories work, they can bring them back to America.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Trump’s tweets:

Fact: Trump didn’t say what Leonhardt accuses him of having said.

“He made a joke about Pocahontas during a ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans.”

The Native Americans at that ceremony were not offended, merely confused. Had they not been confused, they still wouldn’t have been offended because the joke wasn’t about Pocahontas.

That is, Trump wasn’t insulting that fascinating and important historic figure. Instead, he was throwing in a cutting remark about a white woman who falsely claimed to be a Native American so she could take Ivy League jobs that were reserved for genuine minorities. Now that’s offensive.

“He launched his political career by falsely claiming that the first black president was not really American.”

Again, Leonhardt completely misstates (or maybe deliberately lies about) what Trump said. Contemporaneous reporting reveals that Trump took note of the fact that Obama’s birth certificate had become a cause célèbre because some people claimed that Obama was born in Kenya. Indeed, you can see where they might think that, because Obama’s literary agency stated that in an author’s bio in the 1990s, and it’s inconceivable that Obama didn’t provide the info, or at least know or approve of the bio as written:

With the debate raging across the country, Trump didn’t take sides. Instead, he insisted that Obama produce the birth certificate to quiet the debate, something that Obama, rather peculiarly, refused to do:

“I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate,” Trump shouted to the show’s five co-hosts. “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”

Indeed, contrary to Leonhardt’s assertion, when it came to the question of Obama’s natal country, Trump held that he came from America (emphasis mine):

Trump, who was on the show to discuss his own potential presidential run in 2012, said he felt Obama was probably born in the U.S.

But the follicle-challenged “Apprentice” host argued the president has been reluctant to definitively prove his detractors wrong.

“I really believe there’s a birth certificate,” Trump said. “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would. I think it’s a terrible pale [sic] that’s hanging over him.”

So Leonhardt’s “fact” is a lie.

“He launched his presidential campaign by describing Mexicans as “rapists.”

Once again, Leonhardt’s facts and actual facts diverge. What Trump said is that illegal immigration means that the raff and scaff who inhabit every country — in this case, with the country being Mexico — were crossing the borders. He also implied that Mexico wasn’t sad to see its worst citizens leave so that it could hang on to the good ones:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

It’s apparent that he’s saying that too many illegal immigrants are from the criminal class (think MS13 or Maryland rapists), while he acknowledges that other illegal immigrants are not criminals. That is most decidedly not the same as saying that all Mexicans are rapists.

As always, it’s hard to tell whether the collective Progressive media is so stupid it believes this crude misinterpretation or just too vicious to let a manifest falsehood go.

“He has described women, variously, as “a dog,” “a pig” and “horseface,” as well as “bleeding badly from a facelift” and having “blood coming out of her wherever.”

Yeah, these appellations were tacky. On the other hand, did I mention the thing about counter-punching and being the first conservative ever to hit back at the endless stream of lies and insults emanating from a Democrat-run media machine? If you insult Trump, he’ll come back at you twice as hard.

“He has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by multiple women.”

Yes, he was accused — and every one of those accusers was a Democrat party operative or Hillary fanatic. Bias and context matter. I can accuse Leonhardt of being a big fat doody face, but that’s kind of meaningless once you learn that I’ve never actually met him although I dislike his politics.

All of these accusers vanished back into the woodwork immediately after the election, suggesting that their charges were both false and opportunistic. They were also a trial run for the attacks on Kavanaugh.

“He enthusiastically campaigned for a Senate candidate who was accused of molesting multiple teenage girls.”

Are you noticing a pattern here of Democrat women smearing Republican politicians with charges of sexual wrongdoing? This charge too appeared when Moore, who had been in politics for years, was threatening Democrat power and disappeared the instant he lost the election. There is no serious proof at all that Moore behaved criminally or inappropriately.

What happened in Alabama with Roy Moore was that Progressives (and some NeverTrumpers) used sleazy, unsubstantiated accusations to tar a political opponent. There were no videos, no confessions, no blue dresses. Instead, there were just old, stale charges from arguably quite unreliable sources. Rather than convincing me that Moore did something truly bad, my takeaway was that Moore was making the wrong people very nervous.

I think it’s also relevant that when the #MeToo movement finally went wild in Hollywood, it was stalwart Democrat men, not conservatives, who proved to have been bad actors.

“He waved around his arms, while giving a speech, to ridicule a physically disabled person.”

No, no, and no again. I won’t debunk this myself, but will instead direct you to another solid debunking.

Incidentally, it was Obama who made an explicitly derogatory remark about people with handicaps, for he once said his bowling was so bad he looked like someone in the Special Olympics. Ouch!

“He has encouraged his supporters to commit violence against his political opponents.”

Agreed. It was appalling when the president said “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl.”

Oh, wait. That wasn’t Trump; that was Obama.

But it really was bad when Trump said of his political opponents, “They can come for a ride, but they gotta sit in the back.”

Oh, my! Wrong again. That was also Obama.

Still, Trump was really out of line when he talked about kicking people’s asses.

Boy, is my face red. That was Obama too.

Here’s what Trump has done and still does: Trump the counter-puncher counsels his supporters to counter-punch. If they hit you, don’t cower, he says. Hit back. He’s not big on turning the other cheek. Insult deserves insult and punch deserves punch.

I raised my kids the same way. I told them that they should never ever throw the first punch but, if someone punched them, they had the right to finish the fight. When the hyenas circle, the only way to survive is to show you’re alive and have fight in you.

“He has called for his opponents and critics to be investigated and jailed.”

Yeah, Trump has called for some of his opponents and critics to be investigated and, if found guilty, to be jailed, and was right to have done so. As report after report has come down in the last few months, it’s apparent that the Obama government operatives behaved badly during his administration (Hillary’s national security violations, Lois Lerner’s illegal use of the IRS as a partisan tool, Eric Holder’s illegal Fast and Furious operation, Biden’s potential use of financial extortion against Ukraine, to name just a few). Moreover, once Trump became the Republican candidate and after he was elected, first the Obama administration and then administration holdovers violated one law after another in a coup attempt against a duly elected president of the United States.

Trump is not engaging in a Lavrentiy “show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” Beria style witch hunt. Rather, he is saying that, to the extent there are laws on the books, and Democrats from Hillary on down blatantly and repeatedly violated those laws, they need to be brought to justice.

As I said, Trump is right to do this. If there’s one law for the Democrats and another law for everyone else in America (i.e., Democrats don’t even get indicted, while every Tom, Jane, and Joe Shmo ends up in jail), the rule of law in America is over. Instead, we are headed into true banana republic territory.

“He uses a phrase popular with dictators — “the enemy of the people” — to describe journalists.”

If we had real journalists, this might be offensive. But since we have a mainstream media that functions as a branch of the Democrat party. Rather than reporting facts, the media routinely works to destroy Republicans in ways that include revealing wartime secrets, trying to overthrow elections, and, lately, reporting every bit of gossip and garbage as if it’s real news — all in stark contrast to the groveling obeisance shown Obama.

Under these circumstances, Trump’s not far off the mark. The people elected Donald Trump and the media, by trying through unethical means to undo that election, are an enemy of the people.

“He attempts to undermine any independent source of information that he does not like, including judges, scientists, journalists, election officials, the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Congressional Budget Office and the National Weather Service.”

The media and other Democrats can give it but they can’t take it. Trump has never used his presidential powers unethically to attack his political opponents and, yes, enemies. However, he does something that horrifies Democrats: He routinely, and loudly, calls out the bad actors. He calls out the partisan hacks. He calls out the dishonest brokers. He calls out the corrupt Deep Staters. He calls out those who falsify scientific records to achieve political ends.

Again, Americans have watched, appalled, as the administrative state has become a permanent self-serving entity, the members of which have nothing but disdain for Americans. Instead, these members of the perpetual bureaucratic class imagine some vast international brotherhood of bureaucrats and politicians, all controlling the little people for the little people’s own good and for the brotherhood’s enrichment. For me and people like me, it’s refreshing to see Trump calling them out and speaking the truth about their behavior.

Again, not a single one of these people Leonhardt names has been denied due process when/if their wrongdoing finally caught up with them. None have been tortured. Their families have not been “disappeared.” They haven’t languished in jail or been executed. Instead, Trump merely pointed to the things they did and said and then explained to the American people why these things were problems.

To which I say Bravo!

“He has tried to harass the chairman of the Federal Reserve into lowering interest rates.”

Don’t you love this language? Trump didn’t actually harass the chairmen of the Federal Reserve. Instead, “he tried to harass.” In other words, once again, Trump spoke. Ye, gads! The gall of the man.

“He said that a judge could not be objective because of his Mexican heritage.”

Yeah, I’m not going to go too far here to defend Trump, other than to say that what he did is a typical litigation tactic.

My bias is that I loathe judges, especially Democrat ones — and I’ve loathed them since I was a Democrat. With few exceptions, I learned when I worked as a litigator in San Francisco that Democrat judges tend to rule based upon their belly buttons, rather than the law. Back then, I didn’t realize it was a Democrat thing. I just knew I hated certain judges.

When I crossed the Rubicon and became a conservative, I went back and checked the bios on the rotten judges, at which time I learned that every last one was a Democrat. As for the few good judges, I am not exaggerating when I say that every last one was a Republican.

“He obstructed justice by trying to influence an investigation into his presidential campaign.”

When Mueller and his team, despite spending tens of millions of dollars and destroying several people both professionally and financially, could not find any evidence whatsoever that Trump worked with the Russians to win the White House, they threw a little poison pill in the report to give Democrats something to hold onto: Trump, they said, was kind of obnoxious during the investigation. They said this even though he gave them full access to everyone involved other than himself and handed over millions of pages of documents.

Mueller couldn’t deny how forthcoming Trump and his people were. Nevertheless, complained Mueller, Trump said mean things; discussed with his attorney whether he could end the investigation, after which he did nothing; and generally was not enthusiastic about being investigated by the same group of people whom he knew had created and published the false stories that led to the investigation in the first place. Other than rabid anti-Trumpers, of whom Leonhardt is one, people were not impressed.

“He violated federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money to cover up two apparent extramarital affairs.”

No, he did not violate federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money. It would have been a violation of federal law had Cohen used campaign funds to silence the women. However, he did not. Cohen used Trump’s own money, so there was no violation. Also, Trump consistently denies knowing about the payment at the time it was made, although he said he has since reimbursed Cohen for the money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Sordid? Yes. But the American people didn’t elect a saint. They elected a shaker, a mover, and a fighter.

“He made his fortune partly through wide-scale financial fraud.”

The headline of the linked story tells it all (emphasis mine): “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father” In other words, we have no proof; we’re just guessing.

“He has refused to release his tax returns.”

So what? Last I looked, there was nothing in the Constitution or the federal statutes requiring someone to release his tax returns to prove his fitness for the presidency. Admittedly, there was no such thing as a tax return in 1783, but Congress could have amended the Constitution at any time after taxes became the bane of American life.

Producing tax returns has become a “thing” amongst presidential candidates in large part, I suspect, because they’re career politicians who’ve earned straight government salaries for decades. Producing tax returns is a reasonable way to prove that they weren’t augmenting their salaries with graft. Then, Hillary hit upon the idea of setting up a separate foundation for the graft, so her returns looked clean, thereby making ridiculous the whole exercise.

I applaud Trump for keeping a zone of privacy about himself. The last thing he needs is financially illiterate journalists and politicians leafing through his private financial information and drawing risible conclusions.

“He falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping him.”

You can truthfully claim that Obama did not “wiretap” Trump if you’re a simplistic literalist and, by using the term wiretapping, you mean this:

However, if you understand that Trump meant that the Obama administration spied on him, Leonardt is the one who is lying. It’s all coming out now that, through fallacious applications to the FISA court, Obama’s security apparatus was able to obtain FISA warrants that were void from the get-go. Armed with those ill-gotten FISA warrants, Obama’s Deep Staters listened in on Trump and everyone connected to him.

If that doesn’t outrage you, you may have lost contact entirely with notions about free and fair elections, about the rule of law, about ethical law enforcement agencies, and about the clean and honest transfer of power in a republican democracy.

“He claimed that federal law-enforcement agents and prosecutors regularly fabricated evidence, thereby damaging the credibility of criminal investigations across the country.”

See the above. When it comes to actually supporting true law enforcement, nobody does it better than Trump. It was the Obama administration who, using Trayvon Martin and Ferguson as springboards, denigrated police across America and sparked a hot war between police and the people they try to keep safe. Trump calls out the bad actors with specificity, and throws his wholehearted support behind the myriad reputable, hard-working law-enforcement agents and prosecutors across America.

“He has ordered children to be physically separated from their parents.”

How heartless.  If only this wasn’t an Obama administration policy as well; if only illegal aliens crashing the border were not kidnapping children to claim as their own in order to get into the country; and if only men and children could be housed safely in a single detention facility.

This is one of those situations where there are tough choices that have to be made with the safety of the child in mind.  Crying about how heartless it is to separate the children is nothing but pure demagoguery that makes wonderful NYT press, but that actually endangers illegal alien children.

“He has suggested that America is no different from or better than Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

This falls into the category of “How dare Trump repeat our talking points.” If you follow Leonhardt’s link, you’ll see that, when O’Reilly said Putin is a killer, Trump responded that America has killed. By making this statement, he perfectly parroted Progressive talking points about America being a warmongering destablizer around the world, a killer of black men within America, and an exploiter of brown people from its inception.

I also suspect that Trump was trolling Obama, the king of drone attacks that frequently targeted resulted in collateral civilian deaths.

“He has called America a ‘hellhole.’”

If you follow all the links to the LA Times to CBS, what you will find is a 2015 article where Trump did indeed refer to the America being created by Obama a “hell hole” and that Trump said he was thinking of running for the Presidency to “make America great again.”  A significant majority of the electoral college firmly agreed over a year later.

I also think Trump was again trolling the Democrats. If you’ve paid any attention to the Democrat presidential candidates this time around, you’ll see that they describe America in dystopian terms as an impoverished, violent, racist . . . hellhole. Trump long ago accepted the Democrats’ characterization of our once great nation and promised to reverse that damage.

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Benjamin Wittes and witless logic about Trump

The Benjamin Wittes “I believe” tweetstorm about Trump, intended to expose conservative “Doublethink,” instead exposed Leftist irrationality and ignorance.

The anti-Trump blogosphere, both Leftists and #NeverTrumpers, is excited about an endless series of tweets from Benjamin Wittes all intended, in a sarcastic way, to challenge Trump and his supporters. Before I go further, some background on Wittes: He is a Brookings Institution Senior Fellow who graduated from Oberlin and is currently co-director of Harvard Law School’s Brookings Project on Law and Security. In other words, he’s been marinated in Leftism since he hit college (and, given that he went to a non-Orthodox Jewish school in New York City, probably for his entire life).

Okay. Now back to those tweets. It’s apparent from reviewing the tweets that what Wittes is trying to do is show that conservatives have entered the Orwellian world of “doublethink”:

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

In fact, what Wittes has managed to do is show that Leftists are incapable of even “singlethink” — that is, the ability to look at two related pieces of information and recognize that they can easily and logically exist simultaneously in the same universe. For example, I can simultaneously believe that cows produce milk to feed their young and that humans consume and benefit from milk. As you can see, these two apparently disparate thoughts — cows milk is cow food but it’s also human food — manage to exist in the same universe without creating a logical black hole that destroys all rational thought.

With that in mind, how about we take a look at the Wittes tweet thread (which I’ve rendered in plain text):

I believe the president. I have always believed him.
‘I believe the president’: GOP stands by Trump on sexual assault allegation
Republicans are dismissing E. Jean Carroll’s accusation and still sticking with Trump.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/25/trump-accuse-gop-1382385

Yeah, I stand by President Trump too on this one. I’m not going to analyze it here, though, because Wittes raises the subject again, below, and that’s where I address more fully the sordid sexual allegations Lefties like to raise against Trump.

I believed him when he said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. And I believe him now when he says his travel ban has nothing to do with religious discrimination.

In other words, Wittes is saying it’s impossible simultaneously to believe that Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America while not discriminating against Muslims; i.e., it’s doublethink! Except that to anyone who pays attention to facts, there’s nothing “doublethinky” at all about the fact that there is a segment of Islam that is cheerfully dedicated to Western destruction.

As it is, Wittes seems to have sat out the last few decades, when extremist members of the Islamic faith:

  • took over Iran in 1970 and declared war on America;
  • bombed a U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans;
  • bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, killing 6 Americans;
  • bombed American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, killing 224 people;
  • bombed the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 Americans;
  • attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, killing 2,996 people, the vast majority of whom were Americans;
  • attacked Fort Hood in 2009, killing 13 Americans;
  • attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012, killing 4 people, among whom was an American ambassador; bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a recruiting station in Chattanooga in 2015, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a Christmas party in San Bernardino in 2015, killing 14 Americans;
  • attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, killing 49 Americans; and
  • ran over bicyclists in New York in 2017, killing 8 people.

And all of the above are just the bigger attacks aimed directly at Americans since the Iranian Revolution.

In the same time period, some of the better known Islamist attacks around the world targeted London, Manchester, Nice, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Berlin, Madrid…. And of course there was ISIS, which decimated the Christian Yazidis by slaughtering the men and sexually enslaving the women, before turning Islamic wrath on any of the “wrong” types of Muslims unluckily enough to be caught in its path. Those beheadings, crucifixions, and tortures were all internecine Islamic brutality.

Really, when you come right down to it, there’s a pretty long list of Islamist attacks around the world. Religion of Peace, a website dedicated to tracking Islam-inspired murder, notes that, since 9/11, there have been 35,222 Islamic attacks around the world. That’s not the number of dead; that’s the number of attacks. In May 2019 alone, Islamists killed over 800 people in 169 different attacks over 27 countries.

With that in mind, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that, when Muslims seek leave to come to America, a wise government will scrutinize them carefully to make sure that they the particular Muslims at issue don’t belong to that subset of Muslims (roughly 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims) who believe it is your religious responsibility to slaughter as many “unbelievers” as possible — and to say that without hating Muslims en masse. Indeed, word just broke today that the U.S. warned Mexico that ISIS members were heading to our southern border, hoping to slip in with all the other illegal aliens Democrats so adore, in order to launch mass murder attacks in America. (Thankfully, they seem to have been caught.)

Moreover, it’s perfectly reasonable, when trying to figure out how best to protect Americans from terrorism to rely upon Obama administration data identifying countries that generate the greatest number of terrorist attacks around the world. It’s not Trump’s fault, nor is it “anti-Muslim” sentiment, that the countries the Obama administration identified as the greatest terrorist supporters were Muslim countries. That’s just reality.

In other words, there’s nothing illogical about seeking to protect Americans from murderous Islamic extremists — a subset of Islam that manifestly exists — without hating all Muslims.

I believed him when he said Mexico is sending us its rapists and criminals, and I believed him when he said he loves Hispanics. [Linking to this post of his.]

Is it possible to respect and admire the Hispanic people and culture without respecting and admiring rapists and criminals? Wittes doesn’t think so. He’s trying to say that Trump was maligning Hispanics as a whole when he said that a disproportionate number of Mexican criminals were heading north to America. Of course, if Trump was not maligning Hispanics as a whole, but was merely noting accurately that too many hardcore criminals are using a porous border to their advantage, then the two statements can simultaneously exist perfectly well in a logical universe.

First, let’s acknowledge that there are rapists and other criminals in Mexico. In January 2018, the Mexican government admitted to its highest murder rate in history, driven by vast criminal activity:

Soaring levels of drug-related violence made 2017 Mexico’s most murderous year on record, according to government statistics released Sunday.

There were 25,339 homicides in Mexico last year, a 23% jump from 2016 and the highest number since at least 1997, the year the government began tracking the data. Overall, murders in Mexico had been declining in recent years, reaching a low of 15,520 in 2014. But officials say a surge in drug-related crime reversed that trend.

Mexican rape statistics are pretty stinky too:

Officials estimate that each year there are 120,000 rapes, one every 4 minutes, making Mexico number one in the world for sexual violence incidents. (México es el primer lugar en violencia sexual: ONU) (Over 14,000 Women Are Raped in Mexico Every Year: Report)

Most of these rapes go unreported.  Of those that are reported, very few are brought to justice.  For example, in 2009, 14,829 rape cases were filed.  Of those, only 3,462 were prosecuted, which led to only 2,795 sentences. (Amnistía Internacional (AI) en 2012)(LA VIOLENCIA SEXUAL EN MÉXICO INICIA EN CASA Y EN SU MAYORÍA QUEDA IMPUNE)

Do you want those rapists and murderers to invite themselves into America? I don’t. I want a border policy that requires people to prove, as best as possible, that they’re non-criminal, well-intentioned human beings before heading into my country.

We also know that the rapists that make Mexico the most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence have been taking advantage of women and children who enter America illegally. Already in 2014, before Trump lambasted the rapists coming to America, HuffPo (!) reported on the scope of the problem:

According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.

What this means is that, when Trump announced that he wanted to stop the flow of criminal illegal aliens, he was also protecting those Hispanic women and girls who are being raped along the way. That sounds like someone who likes Hispanics and wishes them well, rather than the opposite.

By the way, Mexico may not have been deliberately sending us the baddies, but it certainly wasn’t trying to stop them. Already in 2005, the Mexican government was provided instruction manuals for those entering the U.S. illegally. Mexico claimed it was to save lives, but Mexico could have saved lives by (a) stopping people at its border and (b) cleaning up its utterly corrupt government rather than letting the U.S. serve as a source of revenue and a way to lessen population pressure within Mexico.

And there’s one more thing to keep in mind about hating Mexican criminals while loving Hispanics: Those illegal alien rapists and murderers don’t go to Beverly Hills, Marin County, the Hamptons, or D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood (where Obama lives) to find prey. They prey on people in their own communities; namely, fellow Hispanics. If you love Hispanics, you can show that love by protecting them from the drug dealers, rapists, robbers, and murderers who see in America a new source victims for their crimes. There’s no doublethink involved in holding both those thoughts simultaneously.

I believe that Trump Tower makes the best taco bowls.

I don’t like taco bowls, so this one is entirely subjective. If Wittes likes Trump Tower’s taco bowls, that’s very nice.

I believe that Donald Trump will drain the swamp and that his election has delivered us from the corruption of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

I believe that too. With William Barr and his Inspector Generals examining the administrative state’s efforts to subvert the 2016 election, I think there’s a chance that we will return to an era of honest, or at least less partisan, government in D.C. This healthy trend will be helped by the fact that Trump is cutting regulations, shrinking administrative agencies, and attempting to move agency operations from the D.C. swamp out into those regions of America that the agencies are actually supposed to serve.

As for the corruption of Bill and Hillary, all I can say is that, if you want to see collusion with Russia and just look at the Clintons. Look at the Steele dossier, look at the sale of America’s uranium to Russia, and look at the vast amounts of money that flowed from Russia to Hillary via Bill’s speaking engagements. While I don’t think Trump will ever seriously prosecute either of those grifters, I have to believe America is safer without the Clintons willingly selling off American interests to hostile foreign countries in order to enrich themselves and advance their grip on political power.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason for him to disclose his tax returns.

No one should ever have to disclose his or her tax returns. If politicians want to do it voluntarily, fine. If not, fine. Trump’s tax returns are irrelevant to his promises as a candidate and his practices as a president. See? I can hold that logical thought just fine.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason to divest himself of any of his financial holdings.

If you were good with the Clinton Foundation that existed to sell America’s interests to enrich the Clinton clan (and I’m betting Wittes didn’t complain too much or at all), I don’t ever want to hear another word from you about a politician’s financial holdings. In any event, it’s a modern concern. It’s worth remembering that past presidents, men of true greatness such as Washington, would have laughed themselves silly over this idea.

By the way, please remind me how Harry Reid, after decades in government service, became hugely wealthy. And Biden. How’d Biden get so rich? And how did his unsavory son get so rich? In other words, if you’re really worried about financial corruption, clean your own house before casting stones at a man who has been a happy and unabashed billionaire for decades with money made in the real world, rather than through politics.

I believed him when he protested that he wasn’t trying to get a security clearance for his daughter and son-in-law. And I believe him now when says he needs his family installed by his side in the West Wing.

I believe that Jared Kushner’s deserves a security clearance.

If you were okay with Ben Rhodes’ security clearance, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you were okay about Michelle’s mother moving into the White House, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you didn’t mind Hillary’s recently deceased brother economically raping Haiti, I don’t want to hear from you. If you sat silently while Biden used the VP’s office to enrich his son, you need to stop talking.

So far, aside from snarky complaints about his buttoned down look, the Left doesn’t have much to hang on Jared Kushner. Although I have to say that I’m worried that, before Trump became the great conservative hope, both Kushner and Ivanka were garden-variety elitist Democrats. I hope seeing the bared fangs of the Democrats attacking them has educated Kushner and Ivanka about who their real enemies are.

I believe that only rank partisanship and media bias explain the skepticism about Trump’s finances running rampant in the press.

I’m glad Wittes believes that. I believe it too.

I believe E. Jean Carroll is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I also believe she is not Trump’s type.

I believe Temple Taggart McDowell is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Rachel Crooks is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Natasha Stoynoff is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Mindy McGillivray is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe that all of the other women who have accused the President of sexual assault are also cheap tramps who were asking for it.
In any event, I also believe that the President was merely engaged in “locker room talk” when he boasted of grabbing women by the pussy.

I believe that when you’re a star, they let you do it.

Wittes is clearly incredulous that people could believe that Trump did not rape someone. He believes this despite the fact that Republicans have seen false rape allegations leveled against multiple conservatives who are deemed terrible dangerous to the Leftist cause, conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. These allegations always crumbled in the face of objective facts and credible testimony.

Contrariwise, Democrats never seemed particularly bothered by more substantive claims against prominent Democrats such as Teddy Kennedy or Bill Clinton. Indeed, they’re also remarkably unconcerned about Joe Biden’s disturbing habit of pawing little girls. Democrats will talk about — and usually excuse — his handsiness with adult women (“That’s just Joe being Joe”), but they’re remarkably silent about his weird, creepy behavior around children.

As for me, I’m disgusted that, even in jest, Wittes would say that E. Jean Carroll is a “tramp who was asking for it.” Trump hasn’t said that nor have his supporters. What they have said is that Carroll’s affect is so peculiar it appears she has substance abuse or mental illness problems.

There are a few other reasons to question Carroll’s assertions: She’s a Democrat donor. She has a book to sell. She bizarrely refuses to press charges against Trump because it would insult real rape victims on our borders. Her narrative is hard to believe, for Bergdorf was a busy store with locked fitting rooms that sales clerks had to open for customers, which is hardly the setting for a sexual assault. She thinks rape is sexy. Oh, and she seems to have lifted her narrative right out of an old Law & Order plot.

I’ll add that I suspect that Carroll was promiscuous as a young woman and that her current hostility to men may be a way of distancing herself from the bad feelings she gets looking back upon her own actions. “It wasn’t me; it was them, the men, the rapists, the bullies….” Indeed, if one assumes solely for the sake of argument that Trump did actually have a brief hook-up with her (something I strongly doubt), I wouldn’t put it past Carroll to reframe it as rape so that she wouldn’t see herself as being cheap or for her to reframe it as rape to sell a book and tarnish a Republican.

So yes, in the logical world, one can absolutely believe that a mentally fragile woman has copied a narrative she saw on a TV show in order to sell a book to Leftists, all of whom will believe anything about President Trump, no matter how hackneyed the playbook or surreal the allegations.

As for Carroll’s not being Trump’s type, I’m sure that’s true. I’m going to bet that Trump likes his women willing. If she wasn’t willing, she wasn’t his type.

How about those other allegations?

Other sexual assault charges against Trump came from women who were hardcore Hillary supporters and whose allegations were not only insubstantial, but also vanished quickly. For example, those close to the aptly named Rachel Crooks say that her interaction with Trump more than a decade ago was brief and that her current accusations bear no relationship to her story at the time. In other words, she was either lying then or she’s lying now. Common sense tells us that the latter is more likely.

Interestingly, Wittes doesn’t even mention Jessica Leeds, who asserted that Trump was all over her “like an octopus.” Her statement is either a quotation from a Velvet Underground song (widely known when Leeds was young) or, possibly, a quotation from a well-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit in England. One more thing: Leeds has the same phone number as the Clinton Foundation. Really. What are the odds of that? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that Wittes left her off his list.

And that tired old “grab ’em by the pussy” shtick? Some of us actually watched the entire video giving rise to the claim that Trump grabbed women inappropriately. Watching the video instead of taking the media’s word for the video’s contents reveals that Trump was engaging in hypothetical locker room talk. It was crude, but the only thing he actually admitted to doing was making a move on a woman and immediately backing off when she rejected him. When it came to his grabbing women statement, he did not frame it in the first person but put it out as a hypothetical. I’ve always suspect that, had he said more, he would have added, “At least, that’s what Bill Clinton (or Bill Cosby) told me….”

Finally, I’ll bring up Stormy Daniels here, although Wittes doesn’t. What’s seldom mentioned is that Daniels later admitted she never actually had sex with Trump — meaning Trump paid her off just to make her go away, not because he had anything to hide. Keep in mind that Daniels’ lawyer during the interval when the media couldn’t get enough of her was Michael Avenatti, who’s proven to be a psychopathic criminal who defrauded handicapped people and tried to blackmail Nike.

Mostly, Daniels strikes me as a simultaneously pathetic and sinister figure — a woman who used her body to make a living and, when her body stopped being appealing, a woman who turned to extortion to make money. Creepy and sad.

I believed the President when he said he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare and I believed him when he said it was the Democrats’ fault that he didn’t repeal or replace Obamacare.

President Trump would have repealed Obamacare but for two types of legislators: Democrats and John McCain. So yeah, I believe the President about both his intention and the reason he failed. There is nothing inherently contradictory in those two statements.

I believe the President that he’s a great deal maker, and I look forward to his negotiating new trade deals on my behalf.

I believe that tariffs will bring China to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Mexico to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring the European Union to knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Canada to its knees.

I believe that China is trying to protect its businesses from the tariffs by subsidizing them, something that it can only do for so long. After all, behind the hype is the fact that China needs us more than we need China. As CNBC reported:

“So far, the U.S. has slapped duties on $250 billion in Chinese products, while Beijing has put tariffs on $110 billion in American goods. Trump has threatened to impose separate tariffs on more than $300 billion in currently untaxed Chinese goods, and reiterated that threat in the interview Monday morning.”

That tells you in which direction trade is flowing and who holds the cards — and it ain’t China.

I believe that, in order to prevent Trump’s threatened tariffs, Mexico sent 15,000 troops to its border to help control what even Democrats are now calling a crisis. Pence nailed it when he said, “The truth is, in the last 10 days, Mexico has done more to secure our southern border than Democrats in Congress have done in the last 10 years….”

I believe that past administrations sold out the American worker especially to China, as well as to other countries or economic groups (Canada, Mexico, the EU, etc.) that imposed heavy tariffs on American goods and, worse, used government subsidies to make their goods more attractive to consumers. Arguably, this kind of unfair trade will even out in the long run, since the countries and economic unions engaging in this activity cannot maintain subsidies forever. But the long run can be one or two generations and millions of American lives destroyed.

I therefore believe that Trump’s tough negotiating tactics are forcing the long run to happen now. He’s telling them, “I see your unfair trade practices and I’ll raise you so much more in unfair trade practices that you’ll break soon, not in decades. Then we’ll go back to free trade and everyone will be happy.”

I believe both that separating children from their parents is good policy that will deter desperate people from fleeing Central America and coming to the United States and that the policy of separating children from their parents is President Obama’s fault.

I believe in a big, beautiful. transparent wall.

I believe in steel slats.

I believe that around 30 percent of these allegedly “desperate people” aren’t that worried about the children they drag along with them because those poor, misused, trafficked children aren’t theirs.

I believe that the policy of separating children is indeed Obama’s fault, although to be fair to Obama, it was a prior administration that made it impossible for the government to deal expediently with families:

President Barack Obama separated parents from their children at the border.

Obama prosecuted mothers for coming to the United States illegally. He fast tracked deportations. And yes, he housed unaccompanied children in tent cities.

For much of the country — and President Donald Trump — the prevailing belief is that Obama was the president who went easier on immigrants.

Neither Obama nor Democrats created Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, which calls for every illegal border crosser to be prosecuted and leads to their children being detained in separate facilities before being shipped to a shelter and eventually a sponsor family.

But Obama’s policy helped create the road map of enforcement that Trump has been following — and building on.

[snip]

No numbers on children separated from their parents under Obama is available because the Obama administration didn’t keep them, according to Trump DHS officials.

Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under Obama, who defended that administration’s use of family detention in court, acknowledged that some fathers were separated from children.

Most fathers and children were released together, often times with an ankle bracelet. Fresco said there were cases where the administration held fathers who were carrying drugs or caught with other contraband who had to be separated from their children.

“ICE could not devise a safe way where men and children could be in detention together in one facility,” Fresco said. “It was deemed too much of a security risk.”

One of the most controversial measures that Obama took was to resurrect the almost-abandoned practice of detaining mothers and children to deter future illegal immigration.

The government had one lightly used 100-bed facility in central Pennsylvania and added three larger facilities in Texas and New Mexico holding thousands.

The New Mexico facility would later close and Obama would face legal challenges that stopped him from detaining mothers and children indefinitely.

[snip]

Obama took other controversial steps as well, including fighting to block efforts to require unaccompanied children to have legal representation and barring detained mothers with their children from being released on bond.

I believe that if you didn’t care when Obama did it but suddenly care now that your new position is phony. You don’t care about immigrants. You care only about is scoring political points.

Finally, I believe that you’ve come down firmly on the side of rejiggering America’s population balance through illegal means in order to create a permanent Democrat Party power base. Kamala Harris, who’s not the brightest bulb on the block, gave the game away in this tweet:

(By the way, is it just me, or does Kamala’s voice remind you of Fran Drescher’s voice, if Drescher were the ex-wife who made your life a living hell with her nagging, prevaricating, and hectoring?)

One more thing . . . about that wall? I believe that you’re either really stupid or pretending to be stupid when you fail to understand that Trump’s reference to slats or invisibility means that he imagines a wall through which light can be seen, as opposed to a solid wall that impairs all visibility. Those are not inconsistent statements; they’re just typical Trump puffery, akin to a manufacturer boasting that it makes “the best facial tissues” or “the lightest weight face cream.”

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Vladimir Putin.

Yeah, about that solicitude to Putin:

President Obama was running for re-election in March 2012, when a live microphone picked up his whispered conversation with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama told Medvedev it was important for incoming President Vladimir Putin to “give me space” on missile defense and other difficult issues and that after the 2012 presidential election he would have “more flexibility.” Medvedev said he would “transmit” the message to Putin.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev at a gathering in Seoul, South Korea.

“Yeah, I understand,” said Medvedev, who was about to replaced by Putin as Russian president. “I understand your message about space. Space for you–”

“This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.”

“I understand,” Medvedev said. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Did Witness complain about Obama then? Or did he complain when Obama said this?

Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.

And speaking of al Qaeda, did Wittes say anything bad about Obama when Obama essentially handed Syria over to Putin? That certainly made Putin a happy camper.

As for Trump’s solicitude for Putin. While Trump is careful not to alienate a man with whom he has to do business, whether he likes doing so or not, this is the type of solicitude Trump had displayed as of last year:

  • The Trump Administration has implemented a wide array of sanctions and other punitive actions against Russia for their destabilizing actions and provocations against the U.S. and its allies.
    • In response to Russian interference in the 2016 election and other malfeasance, the Trump Administration has sanctioned Russian oligarchs and intelligence entities.
    • Throughout 2017 and 2018, the U.S. sanctioned numerous Russian actors for violating non-proliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran and Syria, and supporting North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.
    • The Trump Administration has issued sanctions against more than one hundred Russian actors and firms for Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine and its ongoing occupation of Crimea.
    • In March 2017, in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon in the United Kingdom, the Trump Administration ordered multiple Russian consulates in the United States closed and expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers.
  • Due to sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration, the Russian economy and Russian geo-economic projects have been severely constrained.
    • In 2018, as Russian investors reacted to new sanctions, the Russian Ruble made its biggest fall in over three years, and, as of July 2018, is down nearly nine percent against the dollar.
    • As a part of its sanctions against Russia, the United States has prevented numerous companies from partnering with Russian offshore oil projects, denying these projects access to capital and key resources.
    • The Trump Administration has also opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s largest geo-economic project, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Russia.
  • In the wake of Russian provocations, President Trump has exercised U.S. military power and worked to bolster U.S. allies in Europe.
    • In 2017, President Trump approved the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine addressing the country’s vulnerability to Russian-backed separatists in its eastern provinces.
    • Under the Trump Administration, Russian mercenaries and other pro-Syrian regime forces attacking U.S. troops in Syria were killed.
    • The U.S. has increased troops and its military capability in Eastern Europe and dramatically increased training and drills with its NATO partners.
    • In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense increased its spending as part of the European Deterrence Initiative by $1.4 billion dollars.
    • Due to pressure from President Trump, U.S.’ NATO allies have increased defense expenditures by five percent.

Moreover, none of the above even mentions the fact that America’s increased oil production has been disastrous for the Russian economy.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Kim Jong Un.

Trump is being incredibly canny about his relationship with Kim Jong-un. He looked back at decades of America’s dealing with North Korea and saw a pattern: America told North Korea “be careful or we’ll destroy you.” North Korea responded by amping up its nuclear power. America, instead of responding with the promised military force, instead said, “We’ll pay you to stop being naughty.” North Korea took the money to help prop up its regime and lay dormant until the next time it needed money.

This was a dreadful, completely dead-end pattern that saw North Korea creep ever closer to being a full nuclear power, using American protection money to meet that goal.

Trump tried a different tactic: Trump told Kim Jong-un that North Korea had two choices: Develop nuclear power and be an outcast nation that America would inevitably destroy, with Kim being the first person to be killed, or give up nuclear power and tyranny to become as free and prosperous a nation as South Korea. The verdict is still out on how far Kim Jong-un will go, but he hasn’t done anything naughty of late, there are no more nuclear tests, we haven’t paid them millions in protection money, and Trump gave Kim an ultimatum with that offered a good, face-saving way out. Just as we see with the Clintons, corrupt, evil people don’t always get the punishment they deserve. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply to remove them from power.

To summarize, the old America/North Korea paradigm was, “We’ll destroy you. No, wait. We won’t. We’ll pay you off.” The new paradigm is “We’ll destroy you, Kim Jong-un personally, or welcome you and your nation into the fold if you repent and change your ways.”

The old paradigm consistently failed. I’ve never forgotten that it was Hillary Clinton who liked to go around repeating a quotation attributed variously to Einstein, Mark Twain, and Chinese sages: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That’s what we were doing. The new paradigm, on the other hand, might well work.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Regep Tayip Erdogan.

Was Wittes also complaining back when Obama buddied up to Erdogan (emphasis mine):

[Fareed Zakaria] But have you been able to forge similar [good] relationships with foreign leaders? Because one of the criticisms people make about your style of diplomacy is that it’s very cool, it’s aloof, that you don’t pal around with these guys.

[Obama]I wasn’t in other Administrations, so I didn’t see the interactions between U.S. Presidents and various world leaders. But the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.

I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests. And that’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done.

Incidentally, it’s been on Trump’s watch that Erdogan’s party just suffered a stunning election defeat in Istanbul. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe people around the world are seeing that they can vote to change the paradigm.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Mohammed Bin Salman.

I believe that too. The Muslim world has a huge schism: Shiite versus Sunni Islam. Iran, which has been in a constant state of deadly war against us for 40 years represents the Shiite influence around the world. Saudi Arabia is the center of Sunni Islam, especially because it controls Mecca. Both are nasty places. Both subordinate women, kill gays, kill Christians, and kill Jews.

Sometimes, though, in the world of geopolitics, you end up making common cause with nations that aren’t very nice. As the old saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That’s why Israel, which Iran has threatened to destroy, has good working relationships with Saudi Arabia. And that’s why we have to have a good working relationship with Saudi Arabia.

More than that, Mohammed bin Salman is a reformer. He’s still a Saudi, which helps explain why he may have been behind the bungled assassination of the completely awful, anti-American, pro-radical Islami Kashoggi dude. I’m not giving him a pass for the killing, but it was a very Middle Eastern way of dealing with someone viewed as an existential threat.

But again, MBS is a reformer. I wrote about him a year and a half ago:

If Prince Mohammed bin Salman can avoid assassination (and I devoutly hope he can), he is a true reformer. He is trying to upgrade women’s status, he is purging the most corrupt members of the royal family and, most importantly, he is behind the outreach to Israel. There have been rumors that a member of the House of Saud made a secret trip to Israel and, assuming that rumor is true, Prince Salman is the best bet.

If you’re interested in more details about Salman’s reforms, you can read more of what I wrote here.

Also, for a little perspective, don’t forget that Obama gave nasty Iran pallets of cash and permission to go nuclear, even though Iran never backed off from its cruel practices within its borders or its avowed war on America (a war that has played out through terrorist attacks as well as the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq).

I believe that it makes a great deal of sense to tweet belligerently about Iran and also tweet one’s doubts and hestitancy about military action.

Once again, Wittes and I find ourselves in agreement. Trump’s strategy is brilliant. I did a short version in a tweet:

I wrote about Trump’s smart strategy at greater length here:

Trump cultivates a different, albeit equally unpredictable and dangerous, image: He’s the attack dog, constantly barking ferociously, anxious to charge his enemies and rip out their jugulars. The only thing holding him back is the leash that his more mature advisers are able to tug on, just barely, in order to restrain his killer, otherwise-unmanageable instincts.

[snip]

With the events of the past 24 hours, Trump just sent a clear message to the Mullahs: “If it were entirely up to me, the mad dog, any time you cross me in any way, you will die. This time, you got lucky because my advisers were just barely able to hold on to my leash; next time, I guarantee you, you won’t be so lucky.” If that is indeed the message Trump sent and the Mullahs received, it’s a good disincentive for calculating killers who, like so many of the men on death row, are happy meting out death to others but are incredible cowards when they are called to face the Grim Reaper.

[snip]

Meanwhile, Scott Adams saw an even more brilliant spin to Trump’s conduct over the last 24 hours. (You can hear what he has to say here.) My potted summary is that (a) the U.S. was probing Iran’s defenses and a single drone, no matter how expensive, was a small price to pay for that information; (b) Trump forced the Mullahs to imagine their own deaths (which is kind of the same point I was making); and (c) by saying that the deaths of 150 civilians was what dissuaded Trump from acting this time, Trump sent the message to ordinary Iranians that he cares more about their lives than their own rulers do. Combine that with the crushing economic pressure Trump has placed on Iran since he jettisoned Obama’s awful agreement, and you’ve got the Mullahs thinking very carefully about what to do next.

You can read more of what I wrote here.

Wittes wrapped up his tweet storm by sarcastically stating the opposite of everything he believes about Russiagate. It’s hard even to know where to begin addressing his statements, because so much of what he says is inane, disproven, irrelevant, or (I believe) about to be disproven big time. I’ll just throw out a few Russiagate points to emphasize how Wittes fails to prove that Republicans and conservatives live in a world of Orwellian Doublethink. Instead, it is Wittes who lives in a world in which Leftism has deprived him of even the ability to engage in the most basic, functional “singlethink.”

I believe that the whole Russia connection story is “fake news” designed to cover up an embarrassing electoral loss on the part of the Democrats.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Carter Page’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Paul Manafort’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about George Papadopoulos’s dealings with a cutout for the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Russia’s setting up a secret line of communication to the Trump administration through Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and brother of a cabinet secretary.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Jared Kushner’s meeting with a sanctioned Russian bank while working for his father-in-law’s transition. I believe that kind of thing happens all the time in all transitions.

I also believe there was nothing unusual about having a member of a Hungarian extremist party working in your White House while he was resolving a pending gun charge for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane. I think his wife should be press secretary for a federal agency.

I believe there was no collusion.

I believe there was no obstruction.

I believe Robert Mueller has conflicts of interests because he used to be a member of the president’s golf club.

I also believe he absolutely cleared the president of any whiff of a suggestion of wrongdoing.

I also believe you can’t trust a word of his report because he ran a WITCH HUNT!

I believe Jim Comey is a treasonous liar.

I believe John Brennan is a treasonous liar.

I believe Jim Clapper is a treasonous liar.

I also believe Don McGahn is a liar—and a bad lawyer.

I believe real lawyers don’t take notes.

I believe Jeff Sessions left the president on an island.

I believe in insurance policies.

And yes, I believe that Barack Hussein Obama wire tapped Trump Tower.

I believe Devin Nunes was merely conducting an impartial investigation when he came across information the President needed to know about and that he therefore raced over to the White House to inform him of his discovery.

I believe any patriot would have done the same.

And I believe that stopping briefly before going in and before coming out of the White House to tell the press all about it is perfectly consistent with complaining about leaks.

I believe it makes all the sense in the world to rush over to the White House to inform the President of material you learned from the White House.

I believe that leaks are the real story.

I believe the president has fully cooperated with investigators.

I also believe in investigating the investigators.

Regarding the Mueller report, there’s no doubt that he staffed his team with hardcore Democrats. They worked for Dems, donated to Dems, partied with Dems, and wept when Hillary lost. I don’t know about you, but that strikes me as indicative of bias.

There’s also no doubt that, try as they might, that Dem affiliated team was unable to find any evidence tying Trump or his family to Russian efforts to affect the outcome. There’s also no doubt that the report missed a few Russia-relevant points. Thus, (a) the report did not challenge then-President Obama’s peculiar disinclination to block known Russian interference in the 2016 election and (b) the report sidestepped entirely that Hillary commissioned and paid for the Steele Dossier, which was predicated almost entirely information that Hillary’s agent avidly sought out from . . . Russia!

And of course, we know that, although Mueller couldn’t find evidence that Trump or his team colluded with Russia, there was good evidence that Hillary and the Dems colluded, and that people in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and NSA violated protocol and laws to spy on Trump. It was this failure to bring down Trump on collusion that led Mueller to try to imply that Trump was guilty of criminal obstruction. (I’ve detailed here how Mueller perverted the statutory language to try to weasel his way into this one.)

Moreover, at a very basic level, it’s ethically improper and morally wrong for a prosecutor to smear someone for wrongdoing when the prosecutor admits he doesn’t even know if there’s enough evidence for a basic wrongdoing case. In America, people are not required to prove their innocence to the public. Instead, if the prosecutor believes he has the goods on someone, the prosecutor is required, using due process, to prove that person’s guilt.

On a more interesting level, remember that Trump knew all along that he was innocent of colluding with Russian and understood that he was being investigated and harassed by the same people who engaged in illegal spying. Seen in this light, it’s pretty hard to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice when he fired a corrupt FBI head (who lied to Trump’s face) and fulminated about the abuse he’s receiving, even as he produced millions of documents and hundreds of witnesses.

Regarding the Trump Tower eavesdropping, there’s no longer any question that, through mass unmasking and FISA applications that were predicated upon the Steele dossier (a document even the FBI admitted was not credible and was entirely unsourced), the Obama administration was listening in on Trump Tower.

There’s no question that Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for only a few months, was a sleazy lobbyist who, like his fellow sleazy lobbyists, the Democrat-supporting Podesta brothers, didn’t properly registered his dealings with Ukraine. He also cheated on his taxes. He also didn’t do anything with Russia.

Jim Clapper is indeed a liar. He’s been caught in several blatant lies. These are documented here and here, for example. Brennan lied too, both during the Obama administration and during Russiagate.

In any event, the known facts about Russiagate are what they are. What I’m looking forward to is hearing from Barr and the Inspector Generals. I happen to believe that we’ll have more than enough evidence to show that the Obama administration spied on an opposing political party’s presidential campaign. What’s going to come out in the future is the dirty details about what people did, what they knew, and when they knew it. For me, the next year is going to be all popcorn all the time.

Finallyl, when it comes to Witess’s last two tweets, I agree with him wholeheartedly:

I believe that no president has ever been treated more unfairly than Trump has.

And yet, I still believe that Donald J. Trump will Make America Great Again.
Don’t you?

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