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the reign of president trump covfefe
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't have the article right at hand, but somewhere quoted hannity as saying the only thing he ever talked to cohen about in any sort of legal way was real estate matters.

oh found it in nytimes:
Quote:
In a follow-up tweet, Mr. Hannity added, “I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”

After offering those initial statements on Mr. Cohen, Mr. Hannity returned to Twitter late Monday afternoon to provide more detail, saying that his “de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen” had been “almost exclusively about real estate.”


real estate deals of course never involve a third party, just you and your lawyer.

oh, and speaking of confidentiality: Judge Rejects Trump’s Request to Review Seized Cohen Materials

he and hannity can cry on each other's shoulders....or more likely, rage-tweet in tandem.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
don't have the article right at hand, but somewhere quoted hannity as saying the only thing he ever talked to cohen about in any sort of legal way was real estate matters.

oh found it in nytimes:
Quote:
In a follow-up tweet, Mr. Hannity added, “I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”

After offering those initial statements on Mr. Cohen, Mr. Hannity returned to Twitter late Monday afternoon to provide more detail, saying that his “de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen” had been “almost exclusively about real estate.”


real estate deals of course never involve a third party, just you and your lawyer.

He's throwing in the claim that he may have handed Cohen some petty cash to make it privileged information.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/trump-worlds-collide-as-cohen-meets-stormy-daniels-in-n-y-court
Quote:
Hannity on Air: ‘Michael Never Represented Me’ (4:01 p.m.)

Sean Hannity, who was poised to do a radio show when his name emerged in the court, said on air that he had asked Cohen for his perspective on some legal questions involving attorney-client privilege, but never talked to Cohen about any case involving a third party.

“I never paid legal fees to Michael,” Hannity said. “Michael never represented me in any matter.” He later added: I “may have” handed Cohen “ten bucks” and asked for attorney-client privilege. (Steven Dennis)


That's not how it works:

Quote:
DOES THAT MEAN ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH A LAWYER ARE PROTECTED?

No, the privilege only covers communications relating to legal advice, said Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at Duke University School of Law.

It does not protect a person’s discussion of business, personal, or financial matters with a lawyer if they are unrelated to a legal representation.

Emphasis added.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-privilege-factbox/factbox-how-does-u-s-attorney-client-privilege-rule-apply-to-fbi-raid-on-trumps-lawyer-idUSKBN1HN32R
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The about-face on Nikki Haley yesterday gave me reason to comb through a few bookmarks and try to assemble a rough timeline of Trump's spongy spinelessness on Russian sanctions.

After the GOP convention in July 2016: Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine
Quote:
he Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.
Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.
Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military.

[...]

Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened. By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language.
On the sideline, Denman tried to persuade the Trump staffers not to change the language, but failed. “I was troubled when they put aside my amendment and then watered it down,” Denman told me. “I said, ‘What is your problem with a country that wants to remain free?’ It seems like a simple thing.”
Finally, Trump staffers wrote an amendment to Denman’s amendment that stripped out the platform’s call for “providing lethal defensive weapons” and replaced it with softer language calling for “appropriate assistance.”
That amendment was voted on and passed. When the Republican Party releases its platform Monday, the official Republican party position on arms for Ukraine will be at odds with almost all the party’s national security leaders.
“This is another example of Trump being out of step with GOP leadership and the mainstream in a way that shows he would be dangerous for America and the world,” said Rachel Hoff, another platform committee member who was in the room.

[...]

Trump’s view of Russia has always been friendlier than most Republicans. He’s said he would “get along very well” with Vladimir Putin and called it a “great honor” when Putin praised him. Trump has done a lot of business in Russia and has been traveling there since 1987. Last August, he said of Ukraine joining NATO, “I wouldn’t care.” He traveled there in September, and he told Ukrainians their war is “really a problem that affects Europe a lot more than it affects us.”


Later that month: The other remarkable, pro-Russia thing that Donald Trump just said
Quote:
Donald Trump is very bad at making the case that he's not Russia's favored candidate in the 2016 U.S. election.
It's not just the fact that he publicly called for Russia to hack into and obtain the emails Hillary Clinton deleted from her private email server. No, Trump actually said something else at his bizarre, fact-challenged news conference Wednesday that could bring a smile to Russian President Vladimir Putin's face.
Here's the exchange, via a transcript:
Quote:
QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?
TRUMP: We'll be looking at that. Yeah, we'll be looking
.
To Trump, "We'll be looking at that" is his go-to, throwaway answer when he's asked about something he hasn't thought about, as our own Philip Bump so ably catalogued earlier this month. He does this a lot.
But recognizing Crimea as Russian territory is not something that basically anybody inside the American foreign policy mainstream is "looking at." And were Trump to actually consider it, you can bet it would make Russia very happy indeed.

[...]

And not only that, but a top Trump foreign policy adviser has previously said, in an interview with Bloomberg, that Russian business interests have expressed excitement to him about the prospect of a President Trump easing sanctions:
Quote:
A globe-trotting American investment banker who's built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia's escalating involvement in the Ukraine. When Donald Trump named him last week as one of his foreign-policy advisers, Page says his email inbox filled up with positive notes from Russian contacts. “So many people who I know and have worked with have been so adversely affected by the sanctions policy,” Page said in a two-hour interview last week. “There's a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation.”

As I wrote earlier Wednesday, Democrats may be a bit ahead of the intelligence community in their level of confidence that Russia is actively working to elect Trump as president, but there is plenty of circumstantial evidence lending credence to that idea.
And if Trump wants to shake off that allegation, comments like today's won't help.


Late December 2016: Trump praises Putin over US sanctions – a move that puts him at odds with GOP
Quote:
After the Obama administration’s tough new sanctions against Russia put the president-elect in a vulnerable political position at home, in his own party and abroad, Donald Trump chose to respond in familiar fashion – with praise for Vladimir Putin.
The president-elect has repeatedly spoken approvingly of Putin and called for closer relations with Russia. On Friday, he used Twitter to applaud Putin’s restrained response to the expulsion by the US of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds.
Trump's Tweet wrote:
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!

The tweet, like many from Trump that seem calculated to shock and offend, caused a predictable media furore. However, it probably will have done nothing to alleviate the difficult political position in which Trump now finds himself.
The president-elect has been consistently skeptical about the US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama’s new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom.


January 2017: Trump's offer to Russia: an end to sanctions for nuclear arms cut - London Times
Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Moscow, he told The Times of London.


Revealed in June 2017:
Trump White House Made Secret Efforts to Remove Russia Sanctions
Quote:
President Donald Trump’s administration moved quickly to try and lift economic sanctions on Russia and other punishments former President Barack Obama had put in place as soon as it took office in January, according to multiple sources who have spoken with Yahoo News.

“There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions,” according to Dan Fried, who retired in February as Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the State Department.

Fried told veteran investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, a former national investigative correspondent for NBC News and Newsweek alumnus, that in the early weeks of the administration he got several “panicky” calls from U.S. officials. They asked: “Please, my God, can’t you stop this?”

The sanctions in question included those imposed by Obama for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and others inflicted late last year to punish Moscow for its suspected efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The plans Trump’s administration considered early on included returning diplomatic compounds seized from Russia in late 2016—recent reports say Trump is currently working to put this plan into action.


July-October 2017: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/timeline-trumps-delays-russia-sanctions/story?id=50733408
Quote:
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump reluctantly approved new sanctions against Russia on August 2 after Congress sent him a bill with strong bipartisan backing, but the administration still hasn't implemented them.
President Donald Trump was essentially forced to sign the legislation over the summer after his administration lobbied for changes to the bill.
While Congress has felt compelled to punish Russia beyond the sanctions President Barack Obama imposed at the end of his term, Trump -- who has called for warmer relations with Russia as a candidate and president -- opposed sanctions that the White House believed would only hurt cooperation with President Vladimir Putin's government.

[...]

What became the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, was passed in the House on July 25 by 419-3 and two days later in the Senate by 98-2.
Trump had one week to sign the law, veto it, or do nothing and let it become law on its own.
On Aug. 2, with no public ceremony, Trump signed the bill -- but released two blistering statements with his signature, calling the legislation "significantly flawed" and saying it included "a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions."

[...]

For weeks, however, the Trump administration did not fulfill its obligations.
The law gave the Trump administration staggered deadlines to begin implementation -- the first being Oct. 1 for the Russian portion. By then, the administration was supposed to have authorized particular agencies to identify Russian defense and intelligence entities under the new sanctions that the U.S. would sanction individuals and companies for doing business with.
Shortly before the deadline, that authorization was given, but for weeks the list of Russians was missing.

[...]

Finally, after public and private prodding by Republican members of Congress, including Corker and McCain, the administration sent to Congress its list and guidance Thursday night.
[...]
The list, obtained by ABC News, includes 39 entities ranging from aircraft and helicopter manufacturers to engineering firms, a shipyard to Russia’s spy services, the FSB and the SVR. But releasing it does not mean these sanctions have been fully implemented. While there is no asset freeze for the members of the list, individuals and businesses that are engaged in "significant transactions" with them will be subject to sanctions starting Jan. 29, 2018.


November 2017: Trump on Russia sanctions: 'Having Russia in a friendly posture' is an asset
Quote:
President Trump on Sunday said Russia has been "heavily" sanctioned and he would rather have the country "in a friendly posture."
[...]
Trump said Saturday he won't argue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he didn't meddle in the U.S. presidential race.
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," Trump said Saturday.
He later clarified the comments, saying, "I believe in our intel agencies."


December 2017: Latest US sanctions against Russia a work in progress
Quote:
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump reluctantly approved new sanctions against Russia on August 2 after Congress sent him a bill with strong bipartisan backing, but the administration still hasn't implemented them.


January 29 2018: Trump administration holds off on new Russia sanctions, despite law
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration said on Monday it would not immediately impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite a new law designed to punish Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, insisting the measure was already hitting Russian companies.
“Today, we have informed Congress that this legislation and its implementation are deterring Russian defense sales,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “Since the enactment of the ... legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”
[...]
Under the measure, the administration faced a deadline on Monday to impose sanctions on anyone determined to conduct significant business with Russian defense and intelligence sectors, already sanctioned for their alleged role in the election.


March 15 2018: Trump administration finally announces Russia sanctions over election meddling
Quote:
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration announced Thursday it is enacting new sanctions on Russia, including individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller, in a sweeping new effort to punish Moscow for its attempts to interfere in the 2016 US election.
In enacting the sanctions, the administration is finally meeting a congressional mandate to impose measures punishing Moscow for its cyber intrusion. The delay had led to questions over President Donald Trump's willingness to punish Moscow. The new measures, however delayed, amount to the most stringent punishment yet by Trump for Russia's election interference.
In announcing the measures, the administration also disclosed a Russian attempt to penetrate the US energy grid, and said the new sanctions would punish actors for their participation in other major cyberattacks.


Yesterday: Trump puts the brakes on new Russian sanctions, reversing Haley’s announcement

(I know this timeline is significantly incomplete, feel free to add events with sources to flesh it out)

Each one of these individually would be a significant public fuck-up (we've discussed several of them as they happened), but taken together there's an apparent pattern of spongy spinelessness in the face of taking any action against Russia. Even when Trump reluctantly and petulantly assents to impose sanctions, the delay is significant. Every day the sanctions in question aren't implemented is another day Russia's ruling mobsters can rake in billions more with minimal resistance.


So we're left wondering just WTF is going on with President Donald. He's very publicly praised Putin on numerous occasions and repeatedly dragged his feet on any kind of economic sanctions against a known bad actor. I doubt it's merely about a "pee tape," and we've seen Trump turn on (I guess you could call them) "friends and colleagues" with whiplash rapidity as soon as they become a significant enough embarrassment. So that seems to argue against mere personal admiration being the root of it.
My money's on money; either Trump's personal fortune is already extremely leveraged to Russian oligarchs, or he wants access to them so that it can be in the future.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'd guess, both. don jr. acknowledged years ago that the trump organization had significant money coming in from russia (after their repeated bankruptcies made them radioactive to US lenders), and it's also been known for years that one of trump's dreams is trump tower moscow, for which he would need considerable help from russia, not just for financing but for approval on the project every step of the way. but even both of those - does he really think he is just going to go back to being a billionaire real estate dealer after being president?

given that, though, i wonder how much of an empty vessel he is for other people's goals - e.g., did trump take manafort's position on ukraine because trump had no idea, and was willing to go along with whatever strong ideas someone else had? (especially if they were sold as "this would help us be friends with putin"). and if that's the case - how culpable do you hold a president for what could be argued is taking bad advice? every president relies on his advisers to some extent; most recognize that they can't be expert on everything, so must accumulate experts on some areas. of course, this is trump's big failing - his only criteria for hiring "experts" seems to be how much they praise him and whether they look good on TV; he seems to be completely clueless on the value of having someone with actual experience and knowledge. but i have a feeling that the end result of the mueller investigation will be that trump, personally, did not collude with the russians, but that his inner circle and campaign staff were riddled with people who did. trump will undoubtedly be on the hook for obstruction of justice. we'll have to hope that's enough....but historians studying US-Russia relations are going to have a field day with this administration.


money, by the way, or at least how he got it, is why i think he's in such a panic over the cohen raid. he and cohen have been doing business since 2006; cohen undoubtedly knows all the dirty (and illegal) little secrets of The Donald's business practices. and those should have him in deep doo-doo....where he should have ended up years ago.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peepee tape
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would it not be the funniest thing ever if among those recordings seized from cohen's office was a copy of said tape?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
would it not be the funniest thing ever if among those recordings seized from cohen's office was a copy of said tape?


It'll likely look like this



so not interesting
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Congressman's Profanity Laced Tirade in a Safeway Grocery Store

Quote:
One of the President's congressional defenders has privately decided he hates Trump and wants to unload.

"If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker," said the congressman as we roamed the aisles of a Safeway grocery store together. I haven't been in a Safeway since my family moved home from Dubai in 1990. The congressman did not want to be seen with me on Capitol Hill. He needed to get some stuff anyway and decided he'd let me walk with him through the cereal and dairy selections at the Safeway near my hotel. He is not happy with President Trump. He was never a die hard Trump supporter. He supported him in the general and never expected him to win. But he did. So the congressman, whose district Trump won, has been a regular supporter on Fox News and elsewhere defending the President. He is happy to be quoted, so long as I don't name him. He says he just needs to vent. I suggest what we're doing is one of the reason's Trump won -- a congressman says nice things in public and bad things in private.

"Everybody does this sh*t," he says. It's his turn.
We have known each other for years and have been promising to connect this week while I'm passing through DC. So this is it. I'm passing along his comments, not endorsing them.

"I read you writing about this, about wanting to say nice things when you can and criticize when you need to. He may be an idiot, but he's still the President and leader of my party and he is capable of doing some things right," he says before conceding it's usually other people doing the right things in the President's name. "But dammit he's taking us all down with him. We are well and truly f**ked in November. Kevin [McCarthy] is already circling like a green fly circling sh*t trying to take Paul's [Ryan] job because nobody thinks he's sticking around for Nancy [Pelosi]. She's going to f**k up the cafeteria again too. [Lord's name in vain], at least I'll probably lose too and won't have to put up with that sh*t." He won't lose. His district is very Republican.

What's the problem, though? Well, get ready…

"It's like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump. He can't help himself. He's just a f**king idiot who thinks he's winning when people are b*tching about him. He really does see the world as ratings and attention. I hate Forrest Gump. I listen to your podcast and heard you hate it too. What an overrated piece of sh*t movie. Can you believe it beat the Shawshank Redemption?"

We deviated to Stephen Speilberg for a moment and I had to remind him Robert Zemeckis, not Speilberg, directed it. Then I had to point out his taste in coffee sucks and suggested better. Moving right along…

"Judiciary is stacked with a bunch of people who can win re-election so long as they don't piss off Trump voters in the primary. But if we get to summer and most of the primaries are over, they just might pull the trigger if the President fires Mueller. The sh*t will hit the fan if that happens and I'd vote to impeach him myself. Most of us would, I think. Hell, all the Democrats would and you only need a majority in the House. If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker. Take him out with us and let Mike [Pence] take over. At least then we could sleep well at night," he said before going off on a tangent about how the situations with Russia and China scare him. Then, "You know having Mike as President would really piss off all the right people, too. They think they hate Trump. Mike is competent," at which point he sighs and laments that there were, in his mind, more than a dozen competent choices in 2016.

So the implication is they wouldn't vote for impeachment if they might be opposed in primaries, I asked. He confirmed he does not think the votes are there to impeach the President if any of the Judiciary Committee members are facing primary opponents. But get through that and, if Mueller is fired, he thinks so and thinks a majority of the House would vote to impeach President Trump.

"I say a lot of shit on TV defending him, even over this. But honestly, I wish the motherf*cker would just go away. We're going to lose the House, lose the Senate, and lose a bunch of states because of him. All his supporters will blame us for what we have or have not done, but he hasn't led. He wakes up in the morning, sh*ts all over Twitter, sh*ts all over us, sh*ts all over his staff, then hits golf balls. F*ck him. Of course, I can't say that in public or I'd get run out of town."

The congressman's base loves the President. And we're done. He feels better having let it all out. It was a funny conversation with a few additional remarks about the President's personal life I dare not print.

And yes, I agree, it is bad form to say all this in private while publicly praising the President. Welcome to Donald Trump's Washington. Everybody does this sh*t here.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i keep wondering how much support trump would really have in the senate should it come to impeachment, when he keeps insulting current and respected former members.

but i wish he had expanded on the really important stuff. how exactly did pelosi f**k up the cafeteria?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
but i wish he had expanded on the really important stuff. how exactly did pelosi f**k up the cafeteria?

There was a strong bipartisan consensus on that one.
Better but pricier food, and compostable utensils.

https://www.politico.com/story/2008/01/pelosi-pushes-gourmet-menu-007888

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/24/nation/la-na-styrofoam-20110325
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh right....can't have the constituents think you are blowing taxpayer $$ on goor-met food. or taking jobs away from landfill operators.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rudy Giuliani Among 3 New Lawyers Joining Trump's Legal Team

Quote:
"I'm doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller," Giuliani said.


Ah, negotiating an investigation away. That's normal! Perfectly normal.

Isn't Giuliani something of a person-of-interest in some of these investigations?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as i recall, he was pretty involved in the campaign, so maybe.

and in totally-not-surprising news: trump treated cohen like he does everyone else: shit.
Quote:
For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.

“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s informal and longest-serving political adviser, who, along with Mr. Cohen, was one of five people originally surrounding the president when he was considering a presidential campaign before 2016.

Now, for the first time, the traffic may be going Mr. Cohen’s way. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers have become resigned to the strong possibility that Mr. Cohen, who has a wife and two children and faces the prospect of devastating legal fees, if not criminal charges, could end up cooperating with federal officials who are investigating him for activity that could relate, at least in part, to work he did for Mr. Trump.


what goes around does so often come around, donald. i hope you get to learn that again and again and again.
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