Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Last Call For Trump Cards, Con't

Here in Kentucky a high school valedictorian made national news when he quoted the president and got massive applause.  Then he revealed to the audience that the president who actually said those words was Barack Obama.

Bell County high school student and valedictorian Ben Bowling wanted to share some words of wisdom with his graduating class, but there was a twist that no one saw coming.

"This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google," Bowling said in his speech. "'Don't just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.' - Donald J. Trump."

The crowd burst into applause.

"Just kidding," Bowling said. "That was Barack Obama."

The 18-year-old valedictorian said the crowd quickly went silent.

"The crowd erupted in applause and before they could even finish clapping I said I was kidding and the applause quickly died," Bowling said.

Bowling, who graduated on Saturday morning, told Courier Journal that he "didn't mean anything bad by it" and thought the moment was lighthearted and funny.

“I just thought it was a really good quote,” Bowling said. “Most people wouldn’t like it if I used it, so I thought I’d use Donald Trump’s name. It is southeastern Kentucky after all.

Young Ben here is going to go far, I think.  And yes, he's headed for UK pre-med.  Good luck, kid.

Orange Flag On The Play

Trump's war against black athletes continues as he threw a tantrum last night over the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after the majority of the team declined his offer to visit the White House.

President Trump on Monday abruptly rescinded an invitation to host the Eagles at the White House, citing the “smaller delegation” that was planning to attend and again stoking a national debate by insisting that players “proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart.”

The celebration was canceled fewer than 24 hours before the team was scheduled to visit. 
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” Trump said in a statement released late Monday. “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.

“These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony — one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.” 
The Eagles were scheduled to be honored by Trump at 3 p.m. on the South Lawn. Fewer than 10 players planned to attend, a team source told the Inquirer and Daily News. Eagles representatives were in Washington on Monday preparing logistics. Owner Jeffrey Lurie planned to make the visit, the source said.

Trump instead will hold a rally for how great Trump is or something, because this was always about Trump and how everyone will worship him or else, and never about the Eagles, the NFL, or even really about black players in the league (other than they have Trump pegged as the racist asshole he is and aren't afraid of him.)  Remember, none of the Eagles took a knee during the season.  This is all about Trump picking up his ball and going home when it became clear that the Super Bowl champs weren't about to kiss his ring.

Mayor Jim Kenney praised the Eagles for how they represented the city in the Super Bowl and their activism off the field and attacked Trump’s decision. 
“These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community. They represent the diversity of our nation — a nation in which we are free to express our opinions,” Kenney said in a statement. “Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.”

Democrats in Congress said they would instead invite the Eagles to the U.S. Capitol.

Jim Kenney already making a better mayor for Philly than Michael Nutter, that's for sure. Anybody who straight up calls Trump a fragile egomaniac in public is okay in my book.  Meanwhile, the White House is accusing the Eagles of "abandoning their fans" because of course everyone loves Trump and only monsters wouldn't, or something.

It's always about him.

It's Mueller Time, Con't

We now know what brought on the sudden burst of Trump being dead sure he can pardon everyone in sight, including himself, for federal crimes related to the Mueller probe (or for anything else, apparently) as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now recommending former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort go to jail for attempted witness tampering ahead of Manafort's trial for tax fraud and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors on Monday accused President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of attempting to tamper with witnesses in his federal tax and money laundering case.

In court documents, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that violated the terms of Mr. Manafort’s release while he awaits trial. They asked a federal judge to revise those terms or send him to jail until trial.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Manafort tried to contact witnesses by phone, through an intermediary and through an encrypted messaging program. One witness told the F.B.I. that Mr. Manafort was trying to “suborn perjury,” prosecutors said. Two witnesses provided the texts to the F.B.I., which also searched Mr. Manafort’s cloud-based Apple account, according to court records.

A lawyer for Mr. Manafort did not respond to a message seeking comment. Neither the witnesses nor the intermediaries were named.

Mr. Manafort served as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman only briefly, but the relationship continues to haunt the Trump administration. Mr. Manafort is accused of violating federal lobbying, tax and money laundering laws as part of a complicated scheme in which he lobbied for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine and hid proceeds in foreign bank accounts.

The witnesses at issue in Monday’s court filing relate to allegations that Mr. Manafort secretly retained a group of former European officials to act as lobbyists on issues related to Ukraine. Mr. Manafort paid them 2 million euros in 2012 and 2013, according to court documents.

Manafort is pretty stupid.  Mueller naturally gave Manafort enough rope to hang himself with, and Manafort tied the noose for himself as his own associates gladly ratted him out to Mueller and handed over the text messages.

Prosecutors say that was part of a secret lobbying campaign in the United States. Mr. Manafort argues the lobbying was focused on the European Union — a key point in his defense.

In court documents, prosecutors accused Mr. Manafort of trying to reach members of a public relations firm who could get word to the Europeans and help shape their story. “They should say their lobbying and public relations work was exclusively in Europe,” one of the public relations officials told the F.B.I. according to court documents.

Prosecutors provided the judge a summary of contacts that they said were made from February to April, while Mr. Manafort was under house arrest on a $10 million bond.

We should talk,” Mr. Manafort wrote in a WhatsApp message on Feb. 26 to one of the people at the public relations firm. “I have made clear that they worked in Europe.” 
When that witness avoided him or hung up, prosecutors said, Mr. Manafort worked through an unidentified intermediary.

“Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the U.S., and the purpose of the program was E.U.,” the intermediary wrote in a Feb. 28 WhatsApp message, according to court documents.

Then in April, the same intermediary sent a message to another person. “My friend P is looking for ways to connect to you to pass you several messages. Can we arrange that,” the text read, according to court documents

If Mueller somehow didn't have Manafort over a 55-gallon drum before, well, Manafort may not have a friend in the world now other than the Special Counsel and he knows it.

It’s long been believed that Mueller is approaching the Russia probe like the prosecution of a crime family, pressuring underlings to flip on the boss. Multiple former Trump associates have folded, taking plea deals and agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors. But even as prosecutors hit Manafort with more charges, flipped his longtime business associate Rick Gates, and struck a deal with his former son-in-law, he’s held strong.

There are all kind of theories about why Manafort hasn’t taken a deal. Perhaps, as his lawyer claims, he’s innocent and is confident that he’ll be acquitted. He might actually think he can get the case dismissed on the grounds that it’s outside the scope of Mueller’s probe. Or perhaps in his many shady business dealings he got mixed up with figures who are scarier than Trump.

There’s one more compelling possibility: Manafort believes that if he’s loyal to the president, he’ll return the favor. Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, reportedly broached the idea of a pardon with Manafort’s lawyer before he was indicted in October.

If that’s what’s kept Manafort from flipping all this time, recent events may have him questioning that decision. Manafort has yet to be charged with witness tampering, but federal prosecutors want a judge to revise the terms of his release; that means there’s a good chance he’ll wind up in jail before his trial. While there’s speculation that Trump’s cavalier pardoning in recent weeks was meant to send a message to associates caught up in the Russia probe, he can’t pardon them just yet, as it would create a major legal and political storm.

Plus, Trump’s been sending other signals to Manafort that don’t require much reading between the lines. The White House has been downplaying Manafort’s relationship with Trump since before he was indicted, and over the weekend the president randomly announced that he barely knew the man who ran his campaign in the summer of 2016 – and if he was up to no good, the FBI should have warned him.

"Randomly" my Aunt Angela.  Trump knew this was coming and made it clear that Manafort is dead to him for his failures.  He knows how much Manafort can damage him and that pardoning him won't help because one the cases Manafort is facing is a state trial in Virginia as well as a federal trial in DC, and Trump can't touch the state charges at all, hence the sudden shift to Trump pardoning himself.

Manafort is in a boatload of trouble and his only way out now may be to finally flip on Trump.  If he does, and the added pressure of ending up in jail before his trial even begins certainly makes that a possibility, then Trump is done.

And everyone knows it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails