Wednesday, June 20, 2018

THE UGLY AMERICAN

Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric is as hateful as ever

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/racist-demagogue
[Trump] "Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!"

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773044
Trump's white supremacist immigration onslaught

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/trump-gives-rambling-speech-about-immigration-to-small-business-owners.html
Trump Explains That “You Have to Take the Children Away” in Unhinged Speech to Small-Business Owners

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/19/trump-border-children-inflammatory-rhetoric-655479
Trump leans on inflammatory rhetoric .  . .

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/06/19/the-malevolence-and-incompetence-of-the-family-separation-policy/
The Malevolence and Incompetence of the Family Separation Policy
 
More: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/trump-immigrants-infest/563159/

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/trump-blames-media-helping-child-smugglers

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/19/trump-administration-lying-about-separation-policy/
“Our analysis finds the doublespeak coming from President Trump and top administration officials on this issue is breathtaking, not only because of the sheer audacity of these claims but also because they keep being repeated without evidence.”

How Trump is being played by his own people

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773464
Trump has been closely monitoring the coverage but has been suspicious of it, telling associates he believes that the media cherry-picks the most dramatic images and stories to portray his administration in a negative light, according to one senior administration official. The images in the media contrast with more positive photos that Trump’s aides have shown the president depicting detained children smiling, playing video games and exercising outside, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. . . .

Stephen Miller looks to me like one of those characters in alien movies who peels back his human skin to reveal a lizard face underneath

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/trumps-top-racist-troll-in-full-effect.html
McKay Coppins at the Atlantic wrote a long profile of Trump's odious major domo . . .

And this guy: https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/corey-lewandowski-mocks-separating-10-year
Corey Lewandowski Mocks Separating A 10 Year Old With Down Syndrome From Her Parents

If you aren't troubled by the phrase "White House Bible study group," look at what they've been teaching

https://thinkprogress.org/white-house-bible-study-group-trump-child-separation-policy-24de236c4824/

Ivanka Trump, supposedly the "children's advocate" in this administration, has been silent on family separation

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/19/17479142/family-separation-border-where-is-ivanka-trump

The caged detention centers that one Trump apologist called "like summer camp" are being built by . . . the same private prison corporations who have dumped millions into Trump's campaign and into other Trump businesses

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773384

Some of these families might not EVER be reunited

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/former-ice-head-trump-admins-family-separations-could-be-permanent

Governors pull National Guard troops over the issue

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/governors-pull-national-guard-immigration-child-separation-border-policy

Trump fumes at GOPers that they won't fully fund The Wall™ -- and threatens a govt shutdown over the issue

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/19/trump-border-wall-funding-immigration-653530?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/trump-rants-to-house-gop-in-closed-door-immigration-meeting.html

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773350
 
More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-rants-and-roars-at-house-gop-meeting-with-no-clear-immigration-plan
Trump spent 45 minutes ranting to House Republicans on everything from taxes to his pending lawsuits Tuesday evening, according to members in the meeting, while offering barely any info about whether he’d support the specifics of a pair of bills that closely follow the president’s own policy goals on immigration. But instead of specifically endorsing that compromise or spending much time laying out his directives on what he needs to end his self-created crisis of family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump delivered a rambling and, according to some members, barely coherent tirade . . .

Blame the Dems!

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/19/trump-republicans-immigration-border-655489
House GOP: Trump's immigration plea may fall short  

Midterm elections are driven by turnout -- what does Trump think will energize and turn out his supporters?

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/06/19/trump-is-putting-white-supremacy-on-the-ballot-this-november/

https://www.salon.com/2018/06/19/conservatives-anti-immigration-fervor-is-political-they-think-keeping-america-white-will-save-them/

More: https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/6/19/17478970/trump-family-separation-immigration-policy-racism
The research on race that helps explain Trump’s use of family separation at the border

Just a few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron was Trump's huggy buddy. Now all those WH photos have been pulled down and replaced with . . . 

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/white-house-desecration-photos-macron

DOJ IG: No, our report does not "exonerate" Trump over Russia ties

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/justice-department-inspector-general-report-doesnt-vindicate-trump-russia-probe

Roger Stone and Michael Caputo: the Russian we met who was offering dirt on Hillary Clinton was all a set-up by the FBI. Entrapment!

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/19/17479060/roger-stone-russian-meeting-mueller

[NB: Because the FBI in May 2016 knew there was going to be a pattern of outreach by the Trump campaign to Russians that would eventually be investigated. Brilliant!]

Ironic, eh?

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/19/17479430/brad-parscale-fire-jeff-sessions
Trump’s campaign manager says Trump should fire Jeff Sessions and end Mueller investigation

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-lawyer-rudy-giuliani-to-trump-2020-campaign-manager-brad-parscale-keep-quiet
Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale: ‘Keep Quiet’

What were Giuliani's ties to the NY FBI? How did he know about their investigation of Hillary Clinton?
More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/justice-department-inspector-general-report-no-comprehensive-review-new-york-anti-clinton-bias
DOJ IG: Report Did Not Review All Agents At NY FBI Office For Anti-Clinton Bias

Michael Cohen has a new lawyer with ties to the US Attorney office. Does this indicate a willingness to cooperate?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/michael-cohen-hires-guy-petrillo-lawyer-criminal-probe

Maybe! https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/report-michael-cohen-willing-spill-beans

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/michael-cohen-is-getting-anxious.html
Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has signaled to friends that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President if that's what they are looking for, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors. . .  [read on]

Extortion?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/cohen-trump-legal-fees
Cohen Wants Trump To Pay His Legal Fees Because Of His Loyalty To POTUS

Does Rod Rosenstein have a target on his back?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773404

If this report concludes anything but "no," there will be hell to pay

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/19/fbi-watchdog-republicans-respond-653544
DOJ reviewing whether anti-Trump bias infected Russia probe launch

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/peter-strzok-escorted-from-fbi-building
[Peter Strzok] The FBI agent who has become a target of President Trump and his allies for the anti-Trump texts he sent while working on the Russia probe was escorted from the bureau’s “building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings,” his attorney said in a statement to reporters Tuesday.

"In cash"

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/19/russians-paid-109m-in-cash-for-trump-properties/
Russians Paid $109M in Cash for Trump Properties 

In other news . . .

How long will it take to recover this country's international reputation?

https://thinkprogress.org/u-s-leaves-the-u-n-human-rights-council-2bf690606819/
The U.S. has officially quit the UN Human Rights Council

The GOP wants to run this fall on destroying the social safety net

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/19/congress-budget-medicare-medicaid-cuts-633730 

The Cesspool

https://thinkprogress.org/ethics-questions-surround-zinkes-ties-to-a-halliburton-real-estate-deal-in-montana-62ef5b2505d5/
Ethics questions surround Zinke’s ties to a Halliburton real estate deal in Montana

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/meanwhile-wilbur-ross-may-be-bigger-crook
Wilbur Ross May Be A Bigger Crook Than Even Pruitt

More: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2018/06/18/following-forbes-report-wilbur-ross-confirms-filing-false-statement/#555474b71d0e

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/19/ross-shorted-stock-in-face-of-negative-coverage/
Ross Shorted Stock in Face of Negative Coverage 

It's getting worse

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/20/trump-tells-even-more-lies/
“President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency.”
 
Captain Queeg on deck

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/isolated-and-paranoid-trump-the-bushies-are-out-to-get-me
An Increasingly Isolated And Paranoid Trump: ‘The Bushies Are Out To Get Me’


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

THE OUTER LIMITS

Trump wants to go back to his comic book days, and create a new military branch, a "Space Force." Problem is, the military doesn't see the need

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/18/trump-space-traffic-debris-630189

https://www.salon.com/2018/06/18/military-brass-arent-sold-on-trumps-space-force/

It's pretty clear that there were people in the FBI who opposed Trump, and some who opposed Clinton. For some reason Trump only cares about the first. But we now know that there was an aggressive and coordinated revolt against Clinton in the FBI's NY field office -- likely with Giuliani's knowledge and involvement -- that was of an entirely different magnitude


[NB: This is looking more and more like one of those cases of, Bitch and moan about the other guys doing something that your side is actually doing. . . . worse]

Roger Stone and Michael Caputo both say they forgot about the meeting with a Russian promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. How convenient that they both had exactly the same lapse of memory. . . . about a subject that has been a constant topic of discussion and controversy for more than a year

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/why-roger-stone-caputo-coming-clean-may-2016-russia-meeting

Paul Manafort: the key to collusion? (thanks to DK for the link)

https://www.justsecurity.org/57863/paul-manafort-evidence-collusion/

The case is building

https://www.thedailybeast.com/erik-prince-i-cooperated-with-mueller
Erik Prince: I ‘Cooperated’ With Mueller

Giuliani DEMANDS an IMMEDIATE halt to the Mueller investigation. He delivers an ULTIMATUM to Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein and says they have ONE DAY to act (or be fired?). And he says Peter Strzok should be in jail. Now he says, just bluffing!

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/giuliani-bluff-mueller_us_5b287805e4b0f0b9e9a43c20
“That’s what I’m supposed to do” 

Trump's family-breakup immigration policy is a loser for the Repubs . . .

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/18/big-majority-oppose-trumps-separation-policy/
Big Majority Oppose Trump’s Separation Policy 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/18/republicans-splitting-families-midterms-border-652369
‘The Republicans’ new Katrina’: GOP fears backlash to splitting families

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/public-outrage-over-trumps-child
Public Outrage Over Trump's Child Separation Continues To Grow

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/18/trump-plans-immigration-crackdown-before-midterms/
Trump Plans Immigration Crackdown Before Midterms 

. . . but they have no plan for dealing with it

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1772956
Trump administration has no plan to reunite stolen children with their parents

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1773037
White House dodges press for hours, then lies brazenly and repeatedly about child separation policy 

Here's a nice bit of legislative jiu-jitsu

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/wh-rejects-bill-to-end-family-separations-we-dont-want-to-just-tinker-with-it
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday maintained that Congress should tie an effort to end migrant family separation to a host of controversial and complex immigration issues, rather than simply ending the process immediately. “We want to fix the entire system, we don’t want to just tinker with it,” she said . . .

Meanwhile: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/18/17467624/immigration-bill-congress-2018

[NB: So, nifty -- you oppose a standalone bill on family separation because you say you want to take a more comprehensive approach . . .  but then your comprehensive bills don't address family separation.]

Blaming the Dems is ridiculous -- and it's not working

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1772990
Trump urges Democrats to end his own policy by passing legislation through GOP-controlled Congress

More: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/18/17474816/trump-blames-congressional-democrats-family-separation-us-mexico-border

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-falsely-blames-dems-for-his-own-migrant-family-separation-policy

DHS Sect'y Nielsen's very, very bad 24 hours

https://thinkprogress.org/dhs-secretary-says-family-separation-isnt-child-abuse-because-the-children-have-access-to-tvs-f1ca94056d92/
DHS secretary says family separation isn’t child abuse because the children have access to TVs

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-press-conference
DHS Secretary Nielsen just finished her press conference on the family separation policy. It was aggressive, dishonest and included a turbulent exchange with reporters. Here are a few snippets of video I found noteworthy . .  .

Here's all you need to know: the loathsome Stephen Miller is behind the policy




When is a cage not a cage?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1772845
Fox News hosts defend caging children, say they merely 'built walls out of chain-link fences'

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/border-patrol-very-uncomfortable-with-word-cages
Border Patrol ‘Very Uncomfortable’ With Word ‘Cages,’ But Admits It’s Accurate

Oh, okay then

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/392922-laura-ingraham-describes-child-detention-centers-as-essentially-summer-camps
Laura Ingraham: Migrant child detention centers 'essentially summer camps'

In other news . . .
The Supreme Court had a chance to limit aggressive partisan gerrymandering, but didn't . . .  for now

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/supreme-court-partisan-gerrymandering

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/gill-v-whitford-supreme-court-punts-on-constitutional-challenge-to-partisan-gerrymandering.html

Even Trump's gimmicky, minimalist "cut" of $15 billion can't get through Congress. Maybe he can blame the Dems

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/392909-trump-plan-to-claw-back-15-billion-in-spending-in-peril

Trump hates Angela Merkel, and he was furious about that photo she tweeted out. Now he sees a chance to get even

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/why-trumps-lies-about-german-crime-are-so-important
Why Trump’s lies about German crime are so important

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-germany-crime-immigration-tweet-26c98fd73bec-aa2e864535c7-68f26e14f5ad-a6670be9abff-50b9dd8c2b92/
Trump tells ridiculous lie about German crime . . . The president likely got the idea for his tweet from his favorite show, "Fox & Friends."

More: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/trump-tweets-about-angela-merkels-political-crisis-in-germany-but-gets-migrant-crime-facts-wrong.html
It Sure Looks Like Donald Trump Is Trying to Take Down Angela Merkel

John Bolton: are his days already numbered?

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/06/john-bolton-mike-pompeo-north-korea-summit

Chief of Staff John Kelly is fed up

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/has-white-house-chief-of-staff-john-kelly-given-up.html
Once hailed as the (sole) “adult in the room” in the Trump White House saving the president from his most destructive instincts, Kelly’s public role has conspicuously diminished of late. Politico reports, “Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months” and that “he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another.” . . .

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/19/kelly-no-longer-cares-if-trump-is-impeached/
“While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-kelly-clash-nielsen
The already deteriorating relationship between President Donald Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly is being torn asunder as the two clash over Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen . . .

The Blue Wave may be growing again

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/18/democrats-hold-7-point-lead-in-race-for-congress/


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, June 18, 2018

PBD IS BACK!


Sorry for the long, unexplained absence. I was stuck in China without a good VPN, and couldn’t access most of the web sites I needed to put this newsletter together. I couldn’t even access Gmail to write to you all and explain what was happening.  
Thanks to everyone who wrote to check that I was okay. I’m okay! 

Anyway, I am back now. Did I miss anything? 

Ha, ha. Here’s a little catch-up about what’s been going on  

The Trump Foundation, as we knew, was a den of unbelievable corruption

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/14/17465038/trump-foundation-lawsuit-new-york-attorney-general 
“Repeated and willful self-dealing”  

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/trump-foundation-lawsuit-and-criminal
I'll tell you how it looks and it looks bad. . . .  

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-foundation-accused-widespread-illegal-activities  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/06/14/the-trump-foundation-was-one-big-scam-according-to-the-new-york-attorney-general-what-a-shock/

https://thinkprogress.org/buried-in-the-new-lawsuit-against-the-trump-foundation-is-a-road-map-to-something-much-bigger-66e006ffa4f9/
Buried in the new Trump Foundation lawsuit is a road map to something much bigger

Trump admits lying in the Trump Tower statement that he dictated, but says that’s okay because he was only lying to the “phony” New York Times.

No, he was lying TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE  

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/trump-admits-writing-phony-statement-his
In a flurry of wild and off the wall statements to the press this morning, Trump tried to gaslight the press about the infampus Air Force One statement and never denied writing his son's lying response to the NY Times when it was discovered Junior, Manafort and Jared met with Russians at Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. In a gaggle he opined that he felt bad about Manafort and Michael Cohen. Kristen Welker asked, "Mr. president, about Don jr., did you dictate the statement about Don jr?" Trump replied, "Let's not talk about it." Actually, he did want to talk about it. "But can you tell us?" Trump continued, "You know what that is? It's irrelevant. It's a statement to "The New York Times." the phony, failing New York Times." He shushed Welker's follow-up. "Just wait a minute, wait a minute." Welker said, "To clear it up." "That's not a statement to a high tribunal of judges, understand? That's a statement to the phony "New York Times." In fact, frankly, he shouldn't even speak to "the New York Times because they only write phony stories anyway, although yesterday they wrote a nice story -- ," Trump said.  

More: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-lied-in-statement-about-russian-meeting-224345b768e3/

Paul Manafort goes to jail – and one prosecutor predicts he may never get out. Even given Trump’s thinly veiled promises to pardon him, how long can he hold out?  

https://www.salon.com/2018/06/15/if-paul-manafort-doesnt-cooperate-he_partner
Paul Manafort “may never ever see the outside of a jail cell,” a former Watergate prosecutor says  

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/trump-ig-report-mueller-investigation-648989 
Hours after the president thundered from the White House North Lawn about a Mueller probe that “has been totally discredited,” the special counsel’s team chalked up another win when a federal judge ordered Paul Manafort be sent to jail over accusations of witness tampering ahead of the former Trump campaign chairman’s upcoming criminal trial. Despite Trump’s complaints, Mueller remains very much on the clock. . . . 

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/15/17468524/manafort-trump-mueller-russia-jail
Does Mueller think Paul Manafort is the key to collusion?

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/why-did-trump-keep-talking-to-manafort.html
Why did Trump keep talking to Manafort?  

More: https://www.vox.com/2018/6/15/17468684/trump-manafort-jail-mueller 
Trump: “Very unfair” that Manafort was sent to jail after alleged witness tampering  

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/06/16/swamp-diary-mueller-manafort-deep-state-218827 
Trump Bellows at Deep State as Mueller Puts Manafort in Manacles  

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-manafort-distance-witness-tampering-prison-89eb1b1d5df6/
Just hours before a federal judge on Friday morning ordered Paul Manafort to report to prison for witness tampering, President Trump attempted to distance himself from his former campaign chairman. . . .  “Like, Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign,” Trump continued. . . . Trump’s comments on Friday were far from the first time he’s tried to distance himself from Manafort, who Trump would have you believe played nothing more than a minor role for a short period of time.  But Manafort led Trump’s presidential campaign throughout a crucial stretch of 2016 that surrounded the Republican National Convention. And Trump repeatedly praised Manafort’s work during the campaign, lauding him for doing “an amazing job” and being “a total professional” and “fantastic.” 

Michael Cohen hints that he may flip too -– but it’s not clear if that’s serious or just an attempt to get Trump to pay his legal fees (because that wouldn’t be a conflict of interest AT ALL)  

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/michael-cohen-shredded-documents-feds-650382 
Feds reassemble shredded docs, access encrypted messages from Michael Cohen raids

Big story: Roger Stone DID meet with a Russian offering dirt on Hillary – and the meeting was arranged by a Trump campaign official. Hmmm. . . . perhaps you’ve noticed a pattern here!  

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/17/17472098/roger-stone-russia-mueller-trump-caputo 
Stone and Caputo claim that they then both “forgot” about the meeting, per the Post — neither mentioned it during sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, and Stone has previously claimed that he never talked “to anybody who was identifiably Russian” in the relevant period. Caputo says he was only reminded that it happened when special counsel Robert Mueller’s team asked him about it in a grand jury interview last month. . . . Indeed, it reads a whole lot like a deliberate and coordinated roll-out by Stone and Caputo, who both speak extensively on the record to the Post. They appear to have concluded that the meeting, secret until now, was bound to be leaked soon — and they’re trying to spin it as best they can.  

More: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/roger-stone-met-with-russian-who-promised-clinton-dirt.html

Guess where Wikileaks got the DNC emails and documents?  

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/17/u-s-intelligence-had-suspect-in-wikileaks-link-to-kremlin/  

As the actual guilt of Trump and the people around him becomes more and more undeniable, he and Giuliani ramp up efforts to interfere with the investigation and try to bring it to a close.

Let me highlight this: the person BEING INVESTIGATED is trying to control and limit the investigation

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/14/giuliani-mueller-russia-probe-suspended-647022
President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said Thursday evening that special counsel Robert Mueller's probe should be suspended and Friday is the last chance for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "redeem themselves." . . . "Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people to investigate these people like Strzok," Giuliani continued. "Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week."  

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/giuliani-mueller-probe-suspended-tomorrow

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/16/team-trump-prepares-to-battle-mueller
“President Trump’s lawyers and special counsel Robert Mueller are hurtling toward a showdown . . .”  

The worst use of the phrase “clean up” in history  

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/rudy-giuliani-says-trump-may-use 
In one of his most forceful attacks on the special counsel yet, Rudy Giuliani on Friday claimed the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light Paul Manafort being sent to jail.“ When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons,” the former New York mayor told the Daily News. . . .  

Yet another excuse for why Trump won’t testify before Mueller  

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/trump-no-interview-mueller-rudy-giuliani-648963

The DOJ Inspector General report makes quite clear that the biggest mistake the FBI made was releasing the Hillary Clinton story, which clearly cost her the election. It is also true that two out of thousands of employees sent some truly stupid text messages back and forth to each other. Guess which is the big headline in Trumpland?

In fact, the report demolishes several Trump claims and talking points

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-responds-doj-ig-report-destroys-comey-minions
Trump: IG Report ‘Destroys Comey And His Minions’ Who Started ‘Witch Hunt’

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-responds-ig-report
Trump: IG Proves Mueller Probe ‘Totally Discredited,’ Comey Acts Were ‘Criminal’

https://thinkprogress.org/team-trump-claims-ig-report-exonerates-him-2f5517e20c4d/
Trump, Giuliani make ludicrous claims about FBI inspector general report

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/14/17465360/peter-strzok-text-inspector-general-stop 
Peter Strzok’s text was wildly inappropriate. It also doesn’t damn the entire Russia investigation.  

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/15/17467706/trump-inspector-general-fox-news
Trump told 4 lies about the inspector general report in one short Fox News hit  

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/trump-provocative-quotes-interview-649353  
Trump falsely claimed the report “totally exonerates” him . . .

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/inspector-general-report-mccabe-recusal-okay-clinton-cases
IG Report Knocks Down GOP Talking Point On McCabe

https://thinkprogress.org/inspector-general-report-clinton-emails-disappointment-for-trump-4bd402bd8ebf/
The much-hyped IG report about the Clinton email investigation backfires on Trump

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/trumps-arguments-about-two-fbi-agents-suggest-ample-evidence-of-russian-collusion.html 
President Trump and his attorneys used to demand a high standard for proving collusion. Words alone, they argued, weren’t enough. Trump and his aides might have met secretly with Russians, solicited campaign help, received campaign help, and done favors for Russia. But without proof that all these words and deeds were connected, they insisted, there was no basis for investigation. We can now junk that argument, because Trump and his lawyers have shown they don’t believe it. They believe that corrupt words are sufficient to investigate, terminate, and jail a public official. That’s the standard they’re applying to FBI employees involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation. . . . 

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/06/14/the-most-important-finding-in-the-ig-report-on-the-clinton-email-investigation
The Most Important Finding in the IG Report on the Clinton Email Investigation

Yes, there WAS a cabal of FBI agents conspiring to bring down a presidential nominee: Hillary Clinton

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/nunes-says-good-fbi-agents-leaked-info 
Nunes Says 'Good' FBI Agents Leaked Info On Weiner Laptop  

More: https://crooksandliars.com/2018/06/rep-schiff-calls-ig-investigate-devin 
[Chuck] Todd said, "For what it's worth, September 26th of 2016 is when this laptop was discovered. And he says late September. So that doesn't, I don't think, meet the definition of a whistle-blower. Essentially it was, he immediately found out and told Devin Nunes. He said, 'We in the Intelligence Committee.' Were you informed of this whistle-blowing?" Rep. Schiff replied, "No, this is the first that we've heard about it. And it is deeply disturbing because if this was shared by New York field agents with Devin Nunes, was it also shared with Rudy Giuliani?"  

Rudy Giuliani had been on Fox News two days prior to these revelations with Martha McCallum and claimed damaging information on HRC was forthcoming. Rep. Schiff continued, "Or did Devin Nunes do something which we have seen subsequently, which is coordinate with the Trump team? Was this information shared by the committee with Rudy Giuliani or shared directly with them? We don't know the answer but we hope the Inspector General will find out." 

As longtime readers know, I liked and respected James Comey. That's over now

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/18/what-about-comeys-emails/
“I am not sure there is a word in the English language to describe how I felt when I read that Comey had occasionally used his personal Gmail account to conduct official business. I’d felt the same sense of outrage and helplessness when I heard members of the press lament the outsized attention Clinton’s emails got during the campaign.”

Trump’s juvenile impatience almost ruined the North Korea summit 

https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/14/trump-nearly-upended-summit-with-north-korea/ 
“After arriving in Singapore on Sunday, an antsy and bored Trump urged his aides to demand that the meeting with Kim be pushed up by a day — to Monday — and had to be talked out of altering the long-planned and carefully negotiated summit date on the fly.” Said Trump: “We’re here now. Why can’t we just do it?”  

Speaking of juvenile: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-frustration-north-korea-deal-reception
Trump Frustrated That He’s Not Earning Enough Praise For North Korea Deal

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-north-korean-nukes-tweet-military-exercises-lies-43c2710f8108
Trump accidentally admits everything he’s been saying about North Korea’s nukes is a lie

By the way, it was a mistake to let Trump visit a real dictator. Don’t give him ideas!  

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/15/17467644/trump-kim-summit-fox-news 
Trump loves how North Koreans treat Kim Jong Un: “I want my people to do the same”  

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/trump-thought-north-korea-state-tv-was-even-better-than-fox.html 
At one point, after watching North Korean television, which is entirely state-run, the president talked about how positive the female North Korean news anchor was toward Kim, according to two people familiar with his remarks. He joked that even the administration-friendly Fox News was not as lavish in its praise as the state TV anchor, one of the people added, and that maybe she should get a job on U.S. television, instead.  

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/trump-dictators-authoritarians-strongmen-649635  

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/taking-trump-seriously-on-autocracy-and-lies/562940/

Ugh: https://thinkprogress.org/fox-news-rubio-clarify-kim-jong-un-trump-f49a8ef169bc/ 
Fox News now says criticizing Kim Jong Un amounts to criticizing Trump

As more and more people express real outrage about Trump’s family separation policy, he and his team go overboard in trying to blame the Democrats for it – which is laughably absurd. But even worse are the pseudo-Christians and hypocrites who claim BIBLICAL justification for it. Now, how "Christian" is that?

Colonel Sanders: https://www.vox.com/2018/6/14/17465662/sarah-sanders-family-separation-bible-sessions

Jeff Sessions: https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/15/sessions-says-bible-justifies-separating-children/https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/15/sessions-says-bible-justifies-separating-children/ 

[NB: I think this tells us that even Christian supporters of Trump are uncomfortable with such a blatantly anti-family policy. This ridiculous line of defense is clearly directed toward them.]  

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1772469 
Faith leaders are not on board with Trump policy of stealing children and calling it biblical

In other news . . . 

Ex-Cambridge Analytica staffers working for Trump 2020 campaign

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-2020-campaign-former-cambridge-analytica-employees

Another slew of WH departures coming –- and the Communications office in particular looks like a chaotic mess 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/marc-short-resigning-649112 
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told his colleagues Friday that he’s resigning . . .  Chief of staff John Kelly has spoken to the deputy director of the National Economic Council, Shahira Knight, about potentially taking over Short’s job, said one former administration official. Knight is also slated to leave the White House in the coming weeks . . A departure by Short also would happen as the White House pushes fewer policies on Capitol Hill ahead of the midterms.  

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/11/white-house-steven-cheung-leaving-636589 
White House aide Steven Cheung leaves communications staff  

More: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/17/trump-white-house-communications-650394 
Slow-moving White House communications shakeup sinks morale

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sanders-shah-leave-white-house
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Denies Report That She’s Eyeing The Exits

[NB: Well, that settles it then. If she says it, it MUST be true.]

John Oliver Exposes Trump’s Lies About His Border Child Separation Policy

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