AMERICAblog News2016 elections – AMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:22:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 George Papadopoulos has a story to tell about Donald Trump, Russia and Hillary’s emails http://americablog.com/2017/10/papadopoulos-story-tell.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/papadopoulos-story-tell.html#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 22:37:31 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143918 While it’s all well and good that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted yesterday, the big news was the FBI’s plea deal for Trump campaign senior foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos, you’ll recall, in spite of Donald Trump’s claims today that he was a nobody, was in fact one of Trump’s top five foreign policy aides early on in the presidential campaign. Trump even included Papadopoulos in a list of top aides he gave to the Washington Post editorial board. At the time, Trump called Papadopoulos “an excellent guy.”

So, it’s well established that Papadopoulos had influence in the Trump campaign, as evidenced by his seat at the Trump foreign policy table during the campaign — he’s the third man from the left, facing the camera — Trump heads the table to the right.

What we’re trying to figure out now is what Papadopoulos did with the information given to him by a “professor,” who seemed to be acting as an intermediary for Russian intelligence (if not Russian intelligence himself), and who told Papadopoulos nearly 18 months ago that Moscow had “thousands” of stolen emails associated with Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos was told about these emails before the email scandal was known publicly.

Keep in mind that Papadopoulos was wooed by this “professor” only days after Donald Trump publicly acknowledged Papadopoulos’ role in the campaign in March 2016. Within days, the professor introduced Papadopoulos to a woman claiming to be Vladimir Putin’s relative. And one month later, the man told Papadopoulos that he’d heard in Moscow that Russian intelligence had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — namely, “thousands” of stolen emails.

Papadopoulos didn’t write the Russian intermediary off as a nut — something he initially claimed to the FBI. Instead, he reported back to his Trump campaign supervisor, believed to be now- Trump Department of Agriculture nominee Sam Clovis, about the ongoing meetings, and the Russians’ interest in eventually having Putin meet Trump. The intermediary professor even introduced Papadopoulos to the Russian ambassador to London. Trump’s supervisor Clovis told Papadopoulos he was doing “great work” with the Russians — so clearly the Trump campaign didn’t write off the Russian either.\

We don’t know, for example, what exactly Papadopoulos told his bosses, and which bosses were informed. Were they told that the Russians claimed to have thousands of Hillary’s emails? It’s difficult to believe that Papadopoulos kept this information to himself, especially after the story became nationwide news. So who did he tell on the campaign: Clovis, Sessions (who was heading up the foreign policy team), Don Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Trump himself?

And if he did tell anyone, why didn’t they call the FBI?

We do know that whatever Papadopoulos did with the explosive information he received from the Russians, it was worth lying to the FBI about. Now, why would he do that? Why would he lie about simply having contacts with a professor who knew some Russians? That’s not illegal. Nor is it illegal for the professor to introduce you to Putin’s relative, or even to tell you a rumor that Moscow had Hillary’s stolen emails. None of that is illegal, so why would you lie to the FBI about any of it?

It’s possible that Papadopoulos is simply an idiot, got scared, and tried to hide anything and everything from the FBI. But, it’s hard to believe that Papadopoulos is an idiot. And most honest Americans know what happens when you lie to the FBI — you go to jail. So it suggests that Papadopoulos felt he had something to hide.

It’s also possible that Papadopoulos, ever the loyal Trumper, was afraid that anything he said might incriminate Team Trump, even if Papadopoulos’ own actions weren’t illegal. For example, Jeff Sessions has repeatedly claimed under oath that he was unfamiliar with anyone on the campaign having contacts with Russians. If Papadopoulos briefed Sessions, by email, or in that larger meeting with Trump, about his Russian liaisons, then Sessions may have perjured himself (again). So that’s one possibility for why Papadopoulos lied.

It would also be embarrassing to the Trump campaign if word got out that they were informed by Russian intermediaries, even before the public knew, that the Russians had hacked Hillary’s people — and Team Trump didn’t bother contacting the FBI.

An even more nefarious possibility is that the Russians offered the Trump campaign the stolen emails, and the Trump campaign was interested. That perhaps this was the hot anti-Hillary information that the Russians dangled before Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort in their meeting with Putin’s agents at Trump Tower in June of 2016. And, it’s possible that Donald Trump Sr. knew that this was what the Russians were offering, when Trump wrote Don Jr’s statement lying about what transpired at the meeting. And it’s possible that these were the emails Trump Sr had on his mind when he publicly called on Russia to find and release Hillary’s emails. (Though, in fact, these were different emails, Trump Sr isn’t know for nuance — he could have easily confused the two.) If all of that is true, then the Trump Campaign was intimately involved in the hack against Democrats during the 2016 election, and that’s something worth hiding (if you’re a criminal).

Papadopoulos felt it necessary to lie to the FBI last January, and Trump felt it necessary to lie about Papadopoulos today. That’s more than enough to suggest that we have yet to hear the full truth. Here’s our latest podcast on yesterday’s indictments and Papadopoulos’ plea:

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Indicted: What you need to know about today’s Russia-related FBI indictments http://americablog.com/2017/10/indicted-need-know-todays-russia-related-fbi-indictments.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/indicted-need-know-todays-russia-related-fbi-indictments.html#comments Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:02:48 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143916 Two members of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, have been indicted by FBI special counsel Mueller; and a third member of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has reached a deal where he is cooperating with prosecutors.

And Papadopoulos, who many had never heard of, is the real bombshell here. Papadopoulos ties Team Trump to Russia and Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails. It’s a huge story, and Cliff Schecter and I break it down for you. I think this is our best, and most important, podcast yet. You can listen via the box below, just click the orange arrow.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (www.UnPresidentedPodcast.com) and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a patron here on Patreon.

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Was Schumer right to agree with Kushner that the Russians didn’t cause Hillary’s loss? http://americablog.com/2017/07/schumer-right-agree-kushner-russians-didnt-cause-hillarys-loss.html http://americablog.com/2017/07/schumer-right-agree-kushner-russians-didnt-cause-hillarys-loss.html#comments Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:00:48 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143464 Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, both agreed on Monday that the Russians didn’t cost Hillary Clinton the election.

Now, Kushner was saying this to protect Donald Trump’s fragile ego — Trump lives in terror of the notion that his presidency is illegitimate.

But why would Schumer say such a thing?

Because Schumer is thinking about the future, and the need for Democrats to come up with a coherent message and forward-looking proposals that go beyond being anti-Trump.

In this video blog, I discuss Kushner’s and Schumer’s comments, and more generally, the need for Democrats to come up with a positive message for 2018.

If you like the video, please share it on social media, “like” it on Facebook and YouTube, and all the rest.  And subscribe to my YouTube channel — I’ll be doing a lot of these videos from now on. Thanks!

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Trump calls Russia’s interference in our election “a hoax” http://americablog.com/2017/06/trump-questions-whether-russia-interfered-election.html http://americablog.com/2017/06/trump-questions-whether-russia-interfered-election.html#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:20:53 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=142968 Donald Trump today, yet again this morning, questioned whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

While it’s been an established fact for a while now, Trump has vacillated on the issue for months.

Here’s what Trump said this morning on Twitter:

When asked this week whether Trump believes Russia interfered, White House spokesman Sean Spicer claimed, incredibly, that he hadn’t spoken to Trump about it.

A second White House spokesman claimed that Trump already answered the question this past January. And he did. Trump then proceeded to change his story every time he got asked about it.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen did a great write-up of everything Trump has said about Russian interference:

June 15, 2016: Trump campaign says DNC hacked itself.

September 8, 2016: On Russian TV, Trump “dismissed claims Russia hacked the DNC.”

September 27, 2016: “I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, but it could also be lots of other people, it also could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”

October 10, 2016: “But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia.”

December 11, 2016: “I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.”

December 15, 2016: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”

January 3, 2017: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

January 4, 2017: “Somebody hacked the DNC.”

January 5, 2017: Trump says DNC was “supposedly hacked by Russia.”

January 11, 2017: Trump finally says he thinks it was Russia. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

April 30, 2017: Trump is back to questioning whether Russia actually did it. “Knowing something about hacking, if you don’t catch a hacker, OK, in the act, it’s very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I’ll go along with Russia. Could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups.”

May 11, 2017: “If Russia hacked.”

If Russia hacked, if Russia did anything having to do with our election I want to know about it,” Trump said. When Hold said US intelligence has said Russia is responsible, Trump said: “I’ll tell you this — if Russia or anybody else is trying to interfere with our elections I think it’s a horrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it and I want to make sure it will never ever happen.”

And now, this morning, Trump is still saying “if” again.

Trump then followed this with a pair of tweets calling claims of Russian involvement in the election “a hoax.”

In fact, we now now that Russia tried to hack the election system in 21 states. And they tried to alter voter data. That’s huge. That’s our worst fear, that the Russians tried to literally cheat the election by changing voter data. And we now know they did tried to do just that.

But what’s even more important, they’ve tried to interfere in the UK, Italian and French elections, and US officials believe the Russians will try to interfere in future US elections as well. So it’s hugely important, and hugely dangerous, that Trump is still denying that Russia even did anything. You can’t have the US prepare for a future Russian election attack if the president is claiming it never happened.

Russia attacked our democracy, and plans to do it again, and our president couldn’t care less.

And Trump wonders why he’s being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

 

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NYT: Trump campaign had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence http://americablog.com/2017/02/nyt-trump-campaign-repeated-contacts-russian-intelligence.html http://americablog.com/2017/02/nyt-trump-campaign-repeated-contacts-russian-intelligence.html#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 03:21:46 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=141346 The New York Times reports that members of Donald Trump’s campaign, and other Trump associates, had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence during the presidential campaign.

These intercepted phone calls came to light around the same time US officials began to become concerned about Russia’s attempt to hack their way into the American election.

If this were Hillary Clinton, her presidency would already be over.

Use this link to contact your members of Congress and demand an independent bipartisan commission to investigate all of this.

We have Donald Trump just last week suggesting that US service members and presidents are “killers” as bad anything Vladimir Putin has done.

We have Trump campaign staff going to Moscow and criticizing American democracy while praising Russia, and losing their job as a result.

We have Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort being forced to step down following increasing revelations about his ties to Moscow-backed autocrats in Ukraine.

We have Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who led a standing ovation for Vladimir Putin a year ago, fired last night for his secret conversations with top Russian officials during the transition finally becoming too big a scandal for Trump to handle.

And now we have the revelation that Trump campaign staff, and other Trump colleagues, were having repeated contacts with Russian intelligence during the election.

We are seriously at the point of wondering whether our president has committed treason. Whether he is a knowing agent of a foreign power, and for all intents and purposes a foreign “enemy” of the United States. There is no other way to frame this.

Hillary Clinton would have been facing impeachment charges at this point.

I just don’t even know what to say, this is so bad. And the implications are so far-reaching. The good news, if you can call it that, is that a growing number of Republicans in Congress are calling for an investigation of more and more parts of the Russia story, including the Michael Flynn imbroglio. And this NYT story is only going to add to those concerns.

At this point, at the very least, we must have an independent bipartisan commission set up to investigate Russia’s penetration of our government, and whether our president is a traitor.

Use this link to contact your members of Congress and demand an independent bipartisan commission to investigate all of this.

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When Trump says “fake news” he’s schilling for Russia http://americablog.com/2017/02/trump-says-fake-news-hes-schilling-russia.html http://americablog.com/2017/02/trump-says-fake-news-hes-schilling-russia.html#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2017 17:55:15 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=141100 Donald Trump went off again this week about “fake news.”

He did it, inappropriately always, during a Black History Month commemoration.

What you might not have realized is that every time Trump rants about “fake news,” he’s doing the bidding of the Russians.

Here’s my short take:

 

 

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Did Trump lie to Mich. recount court about voter fraud? If so, could be perjury. http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-lie-mich-recount-court-voter-fraud-perjury.html http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-lie-mich-recount-court-voter-fraud-perjury.html#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:29:37 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140856 CNN’s Jim Acosta raised a fascinating question today. If Donald Trump is now alleging that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election, then why did Trump’s lawyer argue in court, on Trump’s behalf, that there was no significant fraud in the election? See document below.

If Trump is right, and there is massive fraud, and Trump’s lawyers knowingly lied in official court documents, they could face professional and even legal sanctions — possibly even perjury charges, according to some lawyers.

And if Trump’s lawyers were telling the truth in court, and there was no massive voter fraud in 2016, then Donald Trump lied last night, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer lied (again) today, when they averred that up to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

So which is it? Did Donald Trump’s lawyers knowingly lie to a judge in court, or is Trump lying to the American people now?

Here’s CNN’s Jim Acosta with more:

Here’s the Trump campaign’s court document:

Trump-court-michigan

And here’s more on what Trump said last night, and Spicer said today.

And here’s more on what happens when lawyers lie in court:

“You cannot advise a client to commit a crime. You cannot ask or help a client to submit forms to an agency or the court which you know contain lies. You cannot participate in anything that causes the court to be deceived. Knowingly doing so subjects the client and attorney to criminal prosecution,” she points out.

Lying in court is also a violation of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

We need some answers from Trump, because this is now getting legal.

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Trump inaugurated while under investigation by 5 US agencies (video) http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-inaugurated-investigation-5-us-agencies-video.html http://americablog.com/2017/01/trump-inaugurated-investigation-5-us-agencies-video.html#comments Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:53:26 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140752 Happy inauguration day, everyone. Yeah, not so happy.

There actually is some good news in the middle of the madness. The NYT has confirmed that several federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, Treasury and the Director of National Intelligence are investigating Trump’s staff for possible illicit ties to Russia.

The Times reports that the investigation is based on “intercepted communications and financial transactions” involving those around Trump and the Russians.

As part of the growing AMERICAblog response to the Trump presidency, I’m working on a new Russia project with Democrats.com, doing a series of quick video updates about the growing scandal over Russia’s interference in our election, and growing evidence of Trump’s collusion with them.

This is my first video, discussing Inauguration Day and this news that several US and foreign intelligence agencies have been investigating Trump and his staff for most of 2016!

Hope you enjoy, and please share this video liberally. It will help me do more of them :) below is the video, and then below that is my commentary on this issue.


Do more than watch: http://investigate-russia.com/ via act.tv

First off, how the heck are we only hearing about this now? This investigation started last spring. No one told us. The FBI had no problem giving us a daily blow-by-blow of the investigation of Hillary’s email server. But the investigation of possible wrongdoing, and even treason, surrounding Trump’s staff? Crickets.

Now, can Trump just come into off and kill the investigations? Yes, at least the ones coming from the executive branch – meaning, the federal agencies. But Trump can’t stop Congress from investigating (though, obviously, there are serious concerns about whether a Republican congress will conduct a fair investigation of Trump’s suspected wrongdoing).

But, if Trump tries to kill the investigations, all bets are off. That would be interpreted as an admission of guilt, and many (me included) would take it as an admission of treason. I think you’d see a groundswell of support for both Trump’s impeachment and criminal prosecution.

So while I don’t see things getting better for a while, these are treacherous waters Trump is entering. And we’ll be be waiting.

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What if we asked the Electoral College to choose Mike Pence over Donald Trump? http://americablog.com/2016/12/electoral-college-chose-mike-pence-trump.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/electoral-college-chose-mike-pence-trump.html#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:03:33 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140471 A reader emailed me yesterday with a fascinating suggestion: What if we asked the Electoral College (EC) to select Mike Pence instead of Donald Trump as president?

While I certainly prefer Clinton to Pence, I worry about the repercussions of the EC picking the other party to be president. Trump won. Granted, his election was unfair — FBI Director Comey and Russian intelligence rigged it so that Hillary couldn’t win. But, I still worry about what would happen if the EC chose the Democratic candidate instead of the Republican one.

Now, it’s the EC’s right to choose whomever is best suited for the job. And, admittedly, it would be ironic for Republicans to claim that it’s fair for the EC to pick Trump over Hillary, even though Hillary has nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but it wouldn’t be fair for the EC college to fulfill the rest of its mission, stopping unworthy candidates from assuming the presidency.

Still, I worry about popular unrest should Trump not be seated. So what about the EC picking Pence instead of Trump? This proposal has the advantage of picking not only someone who was on the ticket, but also someone of the same party as the man who won the electoral vote. It would be harder for the Republicans to complain if the EC chose someone of their own party, someone they like. This would help to create a divide between die-hard Trump supporters, and the rest of the Republican party that never really liked Trump anyway.

I get that Mike Pence is awful. And in some ways, Pence is even worse than Donald Trump. Mike Pence is a religious right extremist. He also has significant Washington experience, which means, unlike Trump, Pence might actually be able to get something done. But Pence has one thing going for him: He’s not crazy. Mike Pence isn’t irrational and he isn’t unpredictable. Mike Pence poses a danger to nearly every issue Democrats care about, but he doesn’t pose a danger to our democracy — at least not in the way Trump does –Pence won’t be handing our country over to a foreign enemy, and he’s much less likely to get us into World War III. And that’s something.

Republican electors unwilling to vote for a Democrat, might just support a slightly more sane Republican.

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McConnell rebukes Trump on Russia, endorses hacking investigation http://americablog.com/2016/12/mcconnel-rebukes-trump-russia-endorses-hacking-investigation.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/mcconnel-rebukes-trump-russia-endorses-hacking-investigation.html#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 20:22:21 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140453 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today broke with Donald Trump, and called for a Senate investigation into Russian interference in the election.

McConnell went out of his way to explicitly defend the CIA, and its agents.

This is seen by many as a direct rebuke of Trump from the top Republican in the Senate. Trump has repeatedly demeaned the CIA, including this morning when Trump suggested that the CIA was part of a partisan conspiracy to undermine his presidency.

Republicans have apparently had enough.

This is an interesting development. I’ve been saying for a while that the key to taking Trump down is the GOP Congress. Republicans in Congress don’t like Trump. And they were willing to throw Trump overboard when his polls were slumping to such a degree that it hurt their re-election chances. All Democrats have to do, and it’s not a small task, is hurt Trump in the polls to the degree that it again worries Republicans about their survival. Then they’ll drop Crazy Trump like a Russian spud.

And that already seems to be happening, with McConnell now joining McCain, Rubio and Graham in expressing concern about Russia hacking the election; and endorsing the Senate’s own investigation.

It’s also interesting that McConnell implicitly rebuked Trump by praising the CIA. Clearly Trump’s accusation that the CIA is a den of traitors bothered someone with influence on the Republican party. Trump, who has no political or Washington experience, is walking into a buzzsaw. It takes a lot of experience to make Washington work for you. Trump doesn’t have it. The people he’s attacking do.

There’s another point as well. The Republicans aren’t traitors. They love their country. I was a Republican, a long time ago. And last thing Republicans would tolerate is the Russians gaining a foothold in our government. Far too many Republicans are far too big of patriots to let that happen. And while some, like McConnell, were willing to look the other way for a while — McConnell was briefed on the Russia problem months ago, and poo-pooed it — others have clearly scared McConnell into acting.

Russia may be strong with Team Trump, but it’s not strong with Team America. We need to keep hitting Trump on his weird and troubling allegiance to Russia’s national interest, because today clearly shows that it’s the GOP’s soft spot.

Now, McConnell and the GOP will surely scrub this investigation for anything too damaging to Trump, but it’s a step in the right direction. And that makes this a good day.

America 1, Trump 0.

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Trump accuses CIA of partisan conspiracy to stop his presidency http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-accuses-cia-partisan-conspiracy-stop-presidency.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-accuses-cia-partisan-conspiracy-stop-presidency.html#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:05:31 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140439 Donald Trump today accused the CIA of being part of a partisan conspiracy to stop his presidency.

That’s treason.

And it’s nuts.

It’s the equivalent of the CIA trying to overthrow our own government. If Trump really believes this, then a lot of folks at the CIA are looking at jail time.

This is the farthest out Trump has gone in his ongoing repudiation of America’s intelligence community. Just a few days ago, when the CIA reported that the Russians had interfered in the elected in order to get Trump elected, Trump responded by claiming falsely that the CIA was responsible for pushing us into war in Iraq.

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said in a statement late Friday. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again.'”

In fact, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld (at the Pentagon) were responsible. It was Rummy who centralized intelligence at the Pentagon so he, like Trump today, could ensure the intelligence came out the way he wanted it to.

Here are Trump’s tweets from this morning:

trump-cia

Trump explicitly calls the CIA analysis on Russia a “conspiracy theory,” and he suggests that the timing of the CIA is further proof that the CIA is lying.

First off, the timing is easily explained. It takes time to gather the evidence and reach a conclusion, and I suspect the intelligence agencies, and President Obama himself, felt they would be undermining the election, and Trump’s candidacy, by announcing this kind of bombshell right before the election.

Unlike James Comey’s FBI, it seems the CIA, and our sitting President, have scruples.

And it’s not just Trump. “Coincidentally,” Trump’s former foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, who was always too cozy with Russia, is in Moscow today. Page just told an audience that the US government may have been behind the DNC hack, and set Russia up to take the blame. Per a NYT reporter in Moscow:

by-default-2016-12-12-at-12-19-15-pm

There is a much larger problem here. Donald Trump is a Russian apologist, who continues to surround himself with top staff who are Russian apologists, and who is now actively undermining America’s top intelligence experts because they’re telling himself something he doesn’t want to hear.

At the same time, Trump is outright refusing to attend his daily intelligence briefings because they’re boring, and more likely, because he was briefed on Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election and didn’t want to hear it. So the briefings ended, and Trump handed them, and the guts of the presidency, to his religious right VP Mike Pence.

And this weekend we hear that Trump plans to hand the State Department over to a certifiable “friend of Putin.”

Where does it end? And when does it end? Has Donald Trump, in five short weeks, managed to turn the Republican party in to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kremlin? It sounds outlandish, but things have already gone too far. During the campaign, we worried about Trump’s bizarre alignment with Russian foreign policy goals over American best interests. But we figured he wasn’t going to win, so no harm no foul. But now Trump is our incoming president. And he’s about as close to a TV villain as you can get.

Fortunately, a few Republicans — though only a few — are voicing concern about Trump’s apparent and inexplicable allegiance to Russia. McCain has spoken out, as has Graham and Rubio. But Jesus, where are the rest?

cia wall of stars

The”Book of Honor” lists the names of 54 CIA employees who died while serving their country. The names of the remaining 33 employees must remain secret, even in death; each of these officers is remembered in the book by a star.

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Make Twitter Great Again — ban Donald Trump http://americablog.com/2016/12/make-twitter-great-again-ban-donald-trump.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/make-twitter-great-again-ban-donald-trump.html#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:13:24 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140405 Donald Trump is a menace to social media.

Please sign the petition below (or here) and tell Twitter
to permanently ban Donald Trump from its service.

http://MakeTwitterGreatAgain.org (this link takes you to this page).

Trump puts the “bully” in bully pulpit. Trump regularly uses his nearly 17 million Twitter followers to attack and insult people, places and things (289 by the New York Times’ count, and that’s only since Trump declared his candidacy in mid-2015).

What’s worse, Trump has a tendency to  “punch down”: Trump likes to attack a little guy, knowing full well the little guy will quickly get overwhelmed by the imminent onslaught of Trumps millions of minions.

United Steelworkers 1999 president Chuck Jones learned the hard about Trump’s cyberbullying yesterday when he criticized Trump’s Carrier deal on CNN.

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Within 20 minutes, Trump was on Twitter attacking Jones.

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Half an hour later, the phone calls started rolling in. “You better keep your eye on your kids,” they warned Jones. And “we know what car you drive.”

This is hardly the Trump campaign’s first run-in with Tweeting gone bad. Trump’s pick for National Security Advisers, Michael Flynn, and his eponymous son, recently tweeted fake conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, involving child sex slaves. Just such a theory sent an armed North Carolina man into a pizza parlor in Washington, DC this week.

Trump’s latest Twitter bullying led Robert Reich told CNN: “Let me just say with all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president-elect of the United States, you are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned and vindictive. Stop this.”

But Trump won’t stop this. He’s given no indication of any self-control. And in fact, he seems to relish in his Twitter tirades.

The only thing that can stop Donald Trump is Twitter itself.

While the notion of banning Trump from Twitter may at first sound extreme, Twitter’s own rules put Trump on thin ice:

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
– if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
– if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
– if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.

Let’s walk through Twitter’s rules and Trump’s actions:

1. Violent threats and harassment.

And while Trump himself has not directly threatened violence on Twitter, he has threatened it offline at his rallies. So his followers know what Trump lies. And, I’d argue that Trump knows, or should know, the possible consequences of tweeting attacks on private citizens — especially after what happened with the Comet pizza parlor fiasco, where there could have been a bloodbath. Trump’s behavior is at the very least reckless.

2. Hateful conduct.

Attacking women:

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Racism:

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Promoting fake news:

Trump is also prolific at creating and sharing “fake news.” As you know, fake-news has become a huge problem this year. So much so, the Pope this week called fake news a sin. From the fake news that led to a near mass murder at the Comet restaurant, to the fake news created and shared by the Russian government to help get Trump elected, fake news is a real problem that social media must address.

Donald Trump is one of the world’s biggest purveyors of fake news. In addition to Trump’s racist fake news tweets above about Muslims on 9/11 and President Obama’s birth certificate, there are also tweets spreading fake news about autism and global warming and the election itself:

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By banning Donald Trump, Twitter can strike a major blow against fake news and bullying.

It’s time to put a stop to Donald Trump’s cyber-bully pulpit. Tell Twitter to ban Trump, and make Twitter great again.

Sign the petition below:

To: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
From: [Your Name]

Donald Trump is a menace to social media. It’s time for Twitter to permanently ban Trump from the service.

Donald Trump has repeatedly violated Twitter’s own rules prohibiting harassment and hateful conduct. By banning Donald Trump, Twitter can not only strike a major blow against bullying, but also against the increasing threat posed by “fake news,” of which Trump is a huge purveyor.

Please put an end to Donald Trump’s cyber-bully pulpit. Ban Donald Trump, and make Twitter great again.

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Tell Donald Trump to take his damn intelligence briefing http://americablog.com/2016/12/donald-trump-take-damn-intelligence-briefing.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/donald-trump-take-damn-intelligence-briefing.html#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:39:50 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140394 TIME magazine just revealed that Donald Trump is still refusing to attend his highly-classified daily intelligence briefings that every President-elects receives in order to prepare him to be ready to defend the country on day one.

Please sign the petition below — or on this page — and join us in demanding that Donald Trump attend these vitally-important briefings.

The President-elect receives the same daily spy briefing that the President himself receives. It’s called the President’s Daily Brief (or PDB), and according to the Washington Post, “is designed to provide a summary of key security developments and insights from all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as an update on covert programs being run overseas by the CIA.”

Donald Trump, unlike his predecessors, is refusing to regularly attend the briefings. Trump doesn’t trust the experts, so he doesn’t want to hear from them. For example, Trump told TIME magazine that he still doesn’t think Russia interfered in the US election. Trump thinks the entire US intelligence community was rooting for Hillary Clinton, and that’s why they concluded that Russia was attempting to hack and hijack our democracy.

Enough is enough. It was one thing when Trump was playing these country-bumpkin games while running for president, but now he is going to be president. America can’t afford Donald Trump’s intellectual ennui and conspiratorial distrust of people who know a lot more about foreign policy than he does. We expect our president to be ready on day one to defend America. And Donald Trump isn’t ready, and won’t be ready, if he continues to refuse even the most basic efforts to educate him about the threats America faces.

Donald Trump needs to understand that the presidency isn’t a licensing deal where he can lend his name, then walk away with the cash. It is a full-time commitment. We need a president who takes the job seriously, and Donald Trump does not.

Please sign the petition below demanding that Donald Trump take his daily intelligence briefing and be ready to defend America on day one.

Mr. Trump, the presidency is not a licensing deal; it is a full-time commitment. We need a president who takes the job seriously, and so far you are not. You must start taking your daily intelligence briefing so that you will be ready to defend America on day one.

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Trump’s $50bn Japan investment may not be new; funded by Saudis, who Trump swore off of http://americablog.com/2016/12/trumps-50bn-japan-investment-may-not-new-funded-evil-saudis.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/trumps-50bn-japan-investment-may-not-new-funded-evil-saudis.html#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:53:11 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140385 I was watching CNN tonight, and saw Richard Quest talk about how we all have to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, in terms of believing his claim that he personally got a Japanese telecom giant, SoftBank, to promise to invest $50 billion into the US.

And I asked, why should we take Trump at his word? Donald Trump’s entire presidential campaign was one grandiose lie after another. Why in Lord’s name should we take the man at his word, when his word is so often the opposite of the truth?

So I started doing a little digging. And right away what do I find? The deal may not be new at all.

1. Much of the money may have already been earmarked for the US — so it’s not a new deal at all. (Trump claimed SoftBank wasn’t going to invest the money unless he won — in fact, the article says otherwise).

by-default-2016-12-06-at-7-44-59-pm2. Nearly half the money in the fund comes from Saudi Arabia. You remember them. They’re the country that Trump excoriated during the campaign. Trump demanded that Hillary Clinton return Clinton Foundation donations from Saudi Arabia — donations meant to save the lives of people with AIDS — because Saudi Arabia is terrible on gay rights and women’s right.

But now, just a few months later, Donald Trump is happy to take money from Saudi Arabia. So, Saudi money for big business, a-okay. Saudi money to save people with AIDS, not so much.

There’s much more from the Washington Post:

It was not immediately clear how much of the investment was new, or how much would come directly from SoftBank itself. Son told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the money would come from a $100 billion joint investment fund announced in October by SoftBank and the Saudi Arabian government to invest in the global technology sector.

SoftBank has said it would provide at least $25 billion for the fund in the next five years, while Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund pledged to invest up to $45 billion in the same time period. The additional $30 billion would come from outside investors. During a trip to India last week, Son said he was close to securing the remaining funds.

Although Trump claimed credit for the investment, Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, argued that much of the $50 billion may have already been destined for U.S. technology companies.

“I think it’s making hay out of something that was there already,” said Entner. “In all likelihood, this comes out of the $100 billion fund. Considering the extremely large part that the U.S. has in the high-tech economy, [Son] would have probably invested something in the neighborhood anyway.”

So, pardon me for not sharing Richard Quest’s ebullience at taking Donald Trump at his word. Trump has proven time and again exactly how much his word is worth.

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Gen. Flynn’s Alt-Right-conspiracy peddling son now has a Trump transition email http://americablog.com/2016/12/gen-flynns-alt-right-conspiracy-peddling-son-now-trump-transition-email.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/gen-flynns-alt-right-conspiracy-peddling-son-now-trump-transition-email.html#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:01:37 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140375 Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s choice to be incoming White House National Security Adviser, has a son also named Michael who appears to now be working on the Trump transition. Up until now, Flynn Jr. has been working as his dad’s chief of staff. So Flynn Jr.’s judgment goes to the judgement of Flynn Sr.

CNN reports that younger Flynn now has a .gov email address, which is only given to people working with the Trump transition. The younger Flynn’s involvement with the Trump transition is troubling, since Flynn’s son peddles “Alt Right” conspiracy theories, and retweets Alt Right leaders.

The Alt Right, you may recall, is a racist far-right extremist movement that has been recently empowered by the Trump campaign and now election-victory.

Flynn’s son let loose in an overnight Twitter storm that, by and of itself, calls into question his fitness for public service.

In the tweets, younger Flynn defends a debunked conspiracy theory, called Pizzagate, that claims Hillary Clinton is part of a child sex ring, centered around a local DC pizza restaurant called Comet Ping Pong. The elder Flynn tweeted right before the election about a second child-sex conspiracy theory involving the Clintons. Some of the first conspiracy theory’s adherents, and many people in the public and the media, took elder-Flynn’s tweets to be support for the Comet conspiracy as well.

Yes, it’s complicated. Such is the world when the incoming National Security Adviser embraces far-right conspiracy theories.

Fast forward to yesterday. It’s Sunday afternoon in Washington, DC and a man walks into the Comet restaurant brandishing an assault rifle, which he then pointed at an employee, who ran. Then the man shot his rifle, and the people in the restaurant scattered. Police were called, the neighborhood was shut down, and after nearly an hour the man gave himself up.

Why was he on the verge of a potential massacre? He heard that the restaurant was part of a pedophilia ring involving Hillary Clinton, and decided to do his own “investigation.”

Enter Flynn Jr. Last night, Gen. Flynn’s son went off on a Twitter tear, defending his father (even younger Flynn thought his father had tweeted in support of Pizzagate), defending the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and suggesting that the Comet gunman was some kind of false flag operation (i.e., a fake). Flynn Jr. says the gunman was an actor.

And as if that weren’t enough to cast serious doubt on Flynn Jr.’s appropriateness for a job in the Trump regime, younger-Flynn then starts retweeting Alt Right leader Mike Cernovich. (Flynn has also previously retweeted employees of Alex Jones’ conspiracy empire Infowars).

One more point. Flynn Jr. knows that his dad is going to be Trump’s National Security Adviser. This is a time when a son is usually on his best behavior. And the younger Flynn’s best behavior is defending conspiracy theories that appear to have nearly led to a mass casualty shooting, endorsing a second conspiracy theory about the Comet gunman, and retweeting leaders of a racist, anti-Semitic movement. Imagine how Flynn’s son acts when the spotlight isn’t on him.

It’s questionable at this point whether Gen. Flynn should be allowed within ten miles of the Oval Office, let alone his son.

Here are Junior’s tweets from last night:

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This is unrelated to Pizzagate, but rather is Flynn Jr. retweeting InfoWars, a lead far-right conspiracy site popular with Team Trump:

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Gen. Flynn’s son suggests DC Comet gunman was a hoax http://americablog.com/2016/12/gen-flynns-son-suggests-dc-comet-gunman-hoax.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/gen-flynns-son-suggests-dc-comet-gunman-hoax.html#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:08:45 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140360 The son of incoming Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who serves as Flynn’s chief of staff, went on an extended Twitter rant last night in which he seemed to suggest that a showdown yesterday in a DC restaurant, in which a far-right-inspired gunman held police at bay for nearly an hour, was a hoax.

In an angry series of Tweets, that included retweeting leaders of the racist, white supremacist “Alt Right” movement, Michael G. Flynn ripped into the media — CNN’s Jake Tapper in particular — claiming that the Comet gunman was an actor, and that the media is soft on pedophilia.

Flynn also suggested that the fake conspiracy theory that motivated the gunman, that Hillary Clinton and top aides were involved in a pedophile ring based in the Comet restaurant and pizza parlor in DC, was true until proven wrong.

Flynn’s Twitter rampage may have been motivated in part by early reports that his father, Trump’s top foreign policy aide, had tweeted about the Clinton pedophilia scandal one week before the election. In fact, it now appears that Gen. Flynn’s tweets may have been about a second fake Clinton pedophilia scandal.

In the weeks before the gunman burst into Comet last night, the restaurant has been inundated by death threats, and had to contact the FBI and local police. A simple Google search shows that some adherents to the Comet conspiracy believe that Gen. Flynn retweeted the second fake pedophilia conspiracy in solidarity with what they call the “Pizzagate” conspiracy involving the Comet. So even if Flynn didn’t tweet about the same Clinton pedophilia conspiracy, some of Flynn’s followers thought he did.

You really need to seen Flynn, Jr’s tweets in order to appreciate how over-the-top they  are. Keep in mind that this is the chief of staff to the incoming National Security Adviser — one of his most trusted aides.

Here are the tweets. Note that Mike Cernovich, who Flynn Jr. retweets several times, is an Alt-Right leader.

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This is unrelated to Pizzagate, but rather is Flynn Jr. retweeting InfoWars, a lead far-right conspiracy site popular with Team Trump:
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Trump isn’t a republican, he’s an oligarch http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-isnt-republican-hes-oligarch.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-isnt-republican-hes-oligarch.html#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2016 14:00:50 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140345 The Republican party has a problem that goes far beyond Donald Trump’s lack of intellectual curiosity. The GOP thought they elected a Republican president. In fact they elected an oligarch whose only allegiance is to himself.

Trump is still six weeks away from becoming president, and there’s already growing concern and outrage over the intermingling of Trump’s family business and the presidency.

And the whole thing just got a lot worse with the announcement that Trump’s son Eric is heading to Taiwan on business, not 24 hours after Trump broke nearly 40 years of US-China policy by calling the Taiwanese leader and then publicly tweeting about having spoken to the “President of Taiwan.”

Trump sucks up to Taiwan one day before we find out Trump’s son is heading to Taiwan to seal a hotel deal.

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But this isn’t the first time President-elect Trump appeared to cross the line into oligarchy. Trump, who famously refused to release his tax returns during the campaign, has already been playing fast and loose with the line between his presidency and his business empire.

Trump and India

Just one week after the election, Trump met in New York with his Indian business partners. The Indians also met with Trump’s children Ivanka and Eric. Trump has already said that his children will be taking over his company while he’s president. Yet they’re all attending meetings together with foreign business partners. A clear intermingling of Trump Inc. and the White House.

Trump and Argentina

Then there’s Argentina. Here’s ThinkProgress on how Donald Trump handled his call with the Argentine president:

It wasn’t until November 14 that Trump carved out time for the South American leader. They spoke for 15 minutes. Prominent Argentine journalist Jorge Lanata reported that this call included a request from Trump that Macri help him secure the necessary permits to build a long-awaited downtown Buenos Aires Trump tower. Talking Points Memo was the first U.S. outlet to pick up the accusation, which both Macri and Trump swiftly denied.

Yet Reuters later confirmed that Ivanka Trump — who is a key player in the family business — was also on the call. The very next day, the investment group building the $100 million Trump-branded tower in Buenos Aires announced that they were moving full speed ahead, and that they “just barely need to take care of a few administrative details.”

Once again, Trump and Ivanka tag-teaming the White House and the business.

Trump and the UK

Then there was President-elect Trump urging British politicians to make a policy move that would help his help his two Scottish golf courses.

Trump and Japan

Or the time President-elect Trump met with the Japanese prime minister and brought his daughter Ivanka to the meeting.

America elected an oligarch, not a Republican

America, you didn’t elect a Republican, you elected an oligarch. Trump’s GOP bona fides were already suspect. After all, as recently as two years ago, Trump said he was a Democrat.

Now, Republican thought-leaders like the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and thoughtless grassroots leaders like Sarah Palin, have criticized Trump’s Carrier deal. Palin called it crony capitalism and socialism, whereby the government picks winners and losers.

Adding to the damage, Mike Pence said on the Sunday shows that Trump might just attack American businesses every day of his presidency.

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And that’s how you should be viewing Trump’s crooked business deals. Not simply that Trump is trying to enrich himself, but rather that Trump thinks he as president now has, and should have, sway over every business in America. And in the same way Trump thinks he can tell Carrier, and now a second Indiana business, whether or not its best for them to move jobs abroad, Trump sees it as his presidential duty to ensure that Trump Inc. profits from his tenure in the White House. In Trump’s mind, he as president will be  intervening in private business decisions to the betterment of America.

Keep in mind that just last week, Trump’s economic adviser told Republicans in Congress that Ronald Reagan is for all intents and purposes dead. They’re now the party of Trump, not Reagan. That’s a pretty huge violation of GOP orthodoxy. But Trump doesn’t care, because Trump isn’t a Republican.

PEOTUS Trump is acting brazenly corrupt

As if offing Reagan, and endorsing “crony capitalism,” weren’t enough to give the GOP an aneurysm, the brazen way in which Trump is willing to flaunt the intermingling of his presidency and his business ought to give Republicans serious pause.

In America, we don’t use the presidency to line our pockets. Trump liked to claim that the Clintons did, but they really didn’t. They made their money once they left. But Trump seems to have believed his own campaign speeches. In Trump’s mind, the Clintons used the presidency to make a killing, so why shouldn’t he?

But what’s particularly bad — as if that weren’t bad enough — is that Trump sees no reason to hide the appearance of corruption. If people find out 24 hours after Trump oddly embraces Taiwan that his son is flying to Taiwan to ink a hotel deal, then so be it. Trump doesn’t care.

And Republicans ought to care. They ought to care that Trump is already turning his presidency into a personal ATM. And they ought to care about the brazen manner in which Trump is doing it. He’s going to get caught. At some point, Democrats are going to take back the House, the Senate, and/or the presidency; or Trump’s corruption will be so over the top that Republicans, or the FBI, will have no choice but to investigate. And a lot of people are going to go to end up in jail.

And none of that will help Republicans win elections in the future. At some point, the GOP establishment in Washington will figure out that Donald Trump endangers their future. And that’s the moment when Trump’s house of cards will come crashing down.

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Trump supporters: Tens of millions of Democratic votes in cities don’t count http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-supporters-tens-millions-democratic-votes-cities-dont-count.html http://americablog.com/2016/12/trump-supporters-tens-millions-democratic-votes-cities-dont-count.html#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:18:22 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140328 In an effort to deflect attention from Donald Trump’s abysmal showing in the popular vote — Trump is now 1.9% behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote, giving Clinton a 2.5 million vote lead — Trump supporters are now talking about how much “better” Trump did when you look at a map of counties across the US.

And in fact, when you look at the county map, it appears that Trump just slayed Clinton.

 

 

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Here’s an enlargement of that county map that Trump supporters are sharing:

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At first blush, that’s a heck of a red map. But then, when you think about it, the map doesn’t make sense. How could the map be so red when Hillary Clinton beat Trump resoundingly in the popular vote?

The answer: Counties don’t have equal populations. (There’s also a separate problem that the map is wrong, it’s not a map of the counties that went to each candidate.) According to 2015 census estimates, the smallest county in America is Kalawao County, Hawaii, with a population of 89 people. The largest is Los Angeles County, California, with a population of ten million (10,170,292). LA has 100,000-times more people.

Trump supporters would have you believe that the 89 people in Hawaii have an equal aggregate vote as the 10 million people in LA. (Obviously all people in a county do not vote, but the numbers are still useful for comparison sake.)

The goal is to not only minimize Hillary’s unprecedented victory in the popular vote — no winning presidential candidate in American history has lost the popular vote by as much as Trump has — but to minimize Democratic voters overall. The suggestion is that if you’re from New York or California, or perhaps Chicago too, you don’t count. You’re not worthy. You’re not a real American. Sarah Palin started a lot of this talk back in 2008, but the Republicans have been dividing up the country between real and non-real Americans for decades. Most people forget, but before 9/11, the GOP hated New York City too. (And forget about San Francisco.)

And now that a plurality of Americans have voted AGAINST Donald Trump, and for Hillary Clinton, the Republicans are beside themselves — Donald Trump is beside himself — in an effort to legitimize a victory that isn’t.

It drives Donald Trump crazy that he lost the popular vote by historic proportions. Don’t ever let him forget it.

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Trump just told every company in America to move jobs abroad http://americablog.com/2016/11/trump-just-told-every-company-america-move-jobs-abroad.html http://americablog.com/2016/11/trump-just-told-every-company-america-move-jobs-abroad.html#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:26:53 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140320 Hey corporate America, if you want some quick tax breaks, announce that you’re moving some jobs abroad.

Some quid pro quo just happened with Carrier, a company that claims to be keeping 1,000 jobs here in the US after Trump allegedly “negotiated” a deal with them.

Putting aside for a moment that Trump is a documented liar, so who knows whether the Carrier deal has any substance at all, Carrier must have gotten something in exchange for claiming that it will keep 1,000 jobs in America.

And that means every other American company now has an incentive to move jobs abroad, in the hopes that Donald Trump will give them something in return for publicly claiming they’re keeping the jobs here.

That creates an awful economic incentive that threatens to do the exact opposite of what Trump promised, keep jobs at home.

How long until Ivanka threatens daddy for a tax break, or else?

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Trump considering Gen. Petraeus, who leaked classified info to mistress, for Sec. State http://americablog.com/2016/11/trump-considering-gen-petraeus-leaked-classified-info-mistress-sec-state.html http://americablog.com/2016/11/trump-considering-gen-petraeus-leaked-classified-info-mistress-sec-state.html#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2016 19:50:00 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=140315 Donald Trump is in the process of betraying nearly every single promise he made as a presidential candidate, while adding new ones to the list such as eradicating Medicare.

The latest? Trump is considering multiple former generals for his cabinet and top advisers, all of whom have sketchy records protecting classified information.

You’ll remember that Trump regularly egged his crowds on with cheers of “lock her up,” simply because Hillary Clinton had an email server.

But Trump had no problem appointing as his National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, who allegedly in one case, and actually in another, violated Defense Department rules governing the protection of classified information.

And now comes General Petraeus, who knowingly gave classified information to his mistress, who was writing a book about him. You can argue that Hillary was sloppy, or even negligent (not sure I agree on that point, but let’s say so for argument sake), but that’s a far cry from intentionally slipping classified information to your biographer mistress:

On June 30, 2011, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the next Director of the CIA by the U.S. Senate 94–0. Petraeus relinquished command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on July 18, 2011, and retired from the U.S. Army on August 31, 2011. On November 9, 2012, General Petraeus resigned from his position as Director of the CIA, citing his extramarital affair which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation. In January 2015, officials reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell (with whom he was having an affair), while serving as the director of the CIA. Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

And now, after Michael Flynn called for Hillary to be “locked up,” and Trump himself repeatedly said that Hillary’s email server was prima facie evidence that she was unfit to step foot in the White House, we have Trump appointing one man to the White House and considering the second for the State Department.

As Trump’s senior staff told the Japanese prime minister recently: Don’t believe anything Donald Trump says publicly, ever. He’s a liar. And his word means nothing.

I think the second lesson here is that Trump doesn’t really believe in anything, other than making money and stroking his own ego, so Trump changes his mind repeatedly because most things simply don’t matter to him. This is why Trump reached out to Mitt Romney, met with Romney, and supposedly considered Romney for Secretary of State, only days later to have Trump’s chief campaign strategist, Kellyanne Conway, launch a public campaign against Romney on Twitter.

Trump either lied about reaching out to Romney, or just as likely, Fickle Donald changed his mind on a whim yet again.

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