Daily Recap — June 15

Note to readers: My take on the IG report was published separately. You can find it on the homepage of this site, or my TTC brethren can find it posted there.

Let’s get to all the rest of the news.


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MANAFORT BACK IN THE CLINK

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Amidst all the headlines about North Korea, King Bob has been conducting his very own type of #MaximumPressure campaign. But unlike Trump’s, which is designed to save the world from nuclear war, King Bob seeks to pressure a man into bringing down a sitting POTUS. 

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was jailed today after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked his house arrest over allegations of witness tampering in King Bob’s probe.

The 69-year old Manafort now loses the relative freedom he enjoyed while preparing for two criminal trials, and he faces the possibility, if tried and convicted, of spending the rest of his life in prison. Still, Manafort has shown no sign of caving. 

Manafort witnessed several key episodes under investigation by King Bob’s team. But he has not shown a willingness to help investigators whatsoever, instead vigorously maintaining his innocence and attacking the legitimacy of the obviously biased team that’s squeezing him. Prosecutors are playing hardball of their own, having given no indication they are pursuing a plea deal and posturing in a way so as to make Manafort believe they’ve amassed overwhelming evidence and witnesses against him.


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PDT criticized Jackson’s decision, though he did downplay his relationship with Manafort by reminding everyone that he worked for many other prominent Republicans (including Reagan and Dole) and worked for the Trump campaign for only “49 days or something? A very short period of time.” 

PDT also tweeted with sarcasm that he “didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob” and asked: “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!” He also referred to Manafort’s pre-trial detention as a “tough sentence.” 


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In issuing her ruling, Jackson said she had “struggled with the decision” to jail Manafort while he awaits trial and considered alternatives.

But she couldn’t “turn a blind eye” to his conduct or ensure he would abide by her orders if he remained on house arrest.

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” she said.

Jackson’s ruling came in response to an indictment handed up last week charging Manafort, and longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik, with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, adding to the multiple felony counts he already faced.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to the latest indictment today. Kilimnik did not appear in court or respond to anyone questions from the #FakeNewsCrew, but Mueller’s team wants everyone to know that Kilimnik has ties to OMG Russian intelligence agencies, a claim he has denied. Given Mueller’s track record on Russian indictments thus far, I’d definitely want more evidence.

Prosecutors say Manafort and Kilimnik tried to get two witnesses to say that lobbying work on behalf of Ukraine and carried out by clandestinely paid former politicians occurred only in Europe and not the U.S., which would put Manafort in the clear. The alleged witnesses said they knew was the claim was false.

The distinction matters because unregistered foreign lobbying in the U.S. is a crime, while lobbying solely in Europe would be outside King Bob’s jurisdiction.


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Manafort’s attorneys have accused prosecutors of cooking up a sinister plot out of otherwise innocuous contacts. They filed a memo written by one of the witnesses for Manafort that his attorneys say shows the work of the group, known as the Hapsburg group, was European-focused.

In response, prosecutors filed additional documents showing extensive lobbying contacts by the group in the U.S., which they said showed “the falsity of his representation.” One document was a 2013 memo from Manafort to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. It described how Manafort had designed a program that used the Hapsburg members to lobby U.S. lawmakers and influence American public opinion including meetings on Capitol Hill.

Today, Manafort lawyer Richard Westling said his client had largely complied with Jackson’s orders. And he argued that Manafort could not have known the men he contacted were witnesses.

Westling did not propose adding any conditions to Manafort’s house arrest, only asking that the judge clarify whom he was or wasn’t allowed to contact. He also asked the judge to consider the burden it would place on Manafort to prepare for two criminal trials from jail.


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BIG PICTURE:
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Do you even really need to hear it from me?
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Look, Paul Manafort may very well indeed be guilty of foreign lobbying violations. He very well may have set things up to avoid paying exorbitant tax rates on the money he made. Truth be told, I hate all foreign lobbying. If you’re an American, you have no business representing a foreign country in DC, period.
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That being said, half of Washington could be indicted for Manafort’s crime. Unfortunately, there are a lot of foreign lobbyists and a lot of them skirt the rules in various ways. It doesn’t make it right, but it does illustrate how much of a witch hunt this truly is.
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Seriously? This is an investigation into ties with Russia and Mueller is going after 12-year old FARA violations? Is this what happens in America now? They find a man to target and then look for whatever crime that could possibly bring him down?
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No one, I repeat — NO ONE on the campaign, including Manafort, has been charged with a crime related to Russia or Russian collusion in any way. Not a single person with a single charge. Yet here we are, sending another person to jail simply because they’re in Trump’s inner circle.
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This has to end. 
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BUT THE RESISTANCE WASN’T DONE

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The IG report found a lot of collusion between the media and the deep state (as if they’re separate entities), mostly quid pro quo arrangements trading gifts for access. The collusion it didn’t cover was of the type we witnessed yesterday and have been witnessing steadily since PDT took office: creating news to distract from revelations of their corruption.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that every time a big story hits that makes the Dims, the deep state or the media themselves look bad, a #BigFat dose of fake news propaganda appears out of nowhere to suck away headlines. Yesterday was no different. It has all the trappings of a good ole fashion political hit job. 

And #BelieveMe, the Donald noticed right away:

“The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case! Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle,” he tweeted immediately after the suit was announced. 


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Despite all that being true, New York AG Barbara Underwood has decided to strive for #Resistance stardom nonetheless and try to bring the organization down.

Her fundamental argument is that PDT seems to have operated the Donald J. Trump Foundation as just another corporate entity — one endowed with the ability to provide tax advantages to Trump — which would be illegal since the foundation’s funds were there to provide a benefit to the public.

Underwood alleges that Trump and his adult children illegally used their foundation for personal, business and political expenses instead of the charitable purposes it was supposedly supporting. If true, such actions would violate the public trust — as well as several laws.


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BIG PICTURE:

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Let’s just get straight to the point here.

Underwood and her team of Angry Democrats are going through the Trump Foundation finances with a fine-tooth comb in order to dredge up any possible violation of laws they can find.

For instance, if PDT used any Foundation funds for personal expenses whatsoever, even if the money was reimbursed immediately by Trump himself, they’re going to try and nail him to the wall for it.

The TRUTH is that the Trump Foundation donated more money than it took in, and most of its coffers were filled by PDT himself. Additionally, they operated on 0% overhead, which meant all the funds went directly to charities, many of which were devoted to helping the families of fallen warriors. 

Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation spent a fraction of its revenue on charity while funding lavish trips on private jets for the Clintons and their bedfellows, many of which taking place WHILE CLINTON WAS SECRETARY OF STATE. Over half of the private meetings taken by Hillary while Secretary of State WERE WITH CLINTON FOUNDATION DONORS.

The Trump Foundation looks like charity from Jesus Himself compared to the festering sewer that is the Clinton Foundation, yet guess which one is investigated.

I’m so sick of this garbage. 

One good thing about it, though: Karma came to the previous NeverTrumper AG (Schneiderman). You best believe cosmic justice is headed for this old hag as well.

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TRUMP FOLLOWS THROUGH

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Then again, doesn’t he always?

PDT made good on his promise (or threat, if you prefer) to levy about $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods coming through our border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting tariffs on 818 product categories valued at $34 billion on July 6, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said. The U.S. will initially impose an additional 25% tariff on those 818 Chinese imports, which gives us the $34 billion figure. However duties on an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese goods will need to undergo public review. If approved, that would bring the total to $50 billion.


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The list was slimmed down from a version unveiled in April, dropping Chinese flat-panel television sets, medical breathing devices and oxygen generators and air conditioning parts.

The tariffs will still target autos, including those imported by General Motors and Volvo, owned by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, and electric cars.

And the additional 284 product lines for which tariffs have been placed, valued at $16 billion, will target semiconductors, a broad range of electronics and plastics that benefit from China’s industrial subsidy programs, including the “Made in China 2025” plan, aimed at making China more competitive in key technologies such as robotics and semiconductors.

Tariffs on these products will go into effect after a public comment period. However, companies will be able to apply for exclusions for Chinese imports they cannot source elsewhere.


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China, of course, was not amused.

In a quick response to U.S. tariffs, Beijing announced its own duties on American products, including the politically sensitive areas of agriculture products and automobiles.

The Chinese State Council’s commission on tariffs and customs said in an online statement that a 25% tariff will take effect July 6 on $34 billion of U.S. goods. The list includes soybeans, electric vehicles, a range of hybrid electric vehicles, and a variety of seafood and pork, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Similarly, the State Council’s announcement said China’s overall proposal covers 659 U.S. goods worth $50 billion.

A list of 114 U.S. goods subject to tariffs at a later date include crude oil, diesel and magnetic resonance imaging kits.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said earlier Friday that Beijing would immediately introduce tariffs on the “same scale” and strength as the U.S.

A hidden part of this story that the legacy media doesn’t seem to be catching is the ministry also said results from previous trade negotiations were now nullified. That could have far-reaching meaning, seeing as how trade negotiations have been intertwined with other items such as North Korean sanctions.

China has played an enormous role in the Maximum Pressure campaign launched by PDT against the Kim regime. Does this nullification of previous trade negotiations mean their stance against Rocket Man is changing? That’s a very important question that needs answers immediately.

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BIG PICTURE:

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I’ve been through this a lot so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Yes, we could experience higher prices on various items. Not back-breaking high, but enough to notice. The plan is to absorb short-term pain for long-term gain, mainly in the form of new trade deals that benefit the American worker rather than the Chinese government (what a concept!). 

It’s a game of chicken, but we have the leverage to win it. We just need a leader with a steel stomach who will see it through until the end despite all the drama queens yelling in his ear.

And whaddayaknow, we just happen to have him!

Thank God. 

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IMMIGRATION UPDATE

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Well, PDT created a lot of confusion today when he told reporters on the White House lawn that he “certainly wouldn’t sign” the more moderate of the two bills currently being pushed on the House floor. The statement was puzzling because PDT had currently been working “hand in glove” with Paul Rino on the new legislation, which he’d supported up to that point. 

Turns out it was just a big woopsie. 

Hours after completely tanking the debate by seemingly pulling his support for the compromise via the press, the White House went into clean-up mode, as they’re often tasked to do, releasing a statement that the president actually did in fact support the plan. Just for good measure, they said he also supports the more conservative bill that is expected to get a vote in the House next week as well.

“Yes, we fully support both the Goodlatte bill and the leadership bill. The President misunderstood the question this morning on Fox News,” a White House official said. “He was commenting on the discharge petition/dreamers bill — not the new package. He would 100% sign either Goodlatte or the other bill.”

Ok well, that settles that. 

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So now let’s talk about what’s in this thing. Surprisingly, the RINO bill isn’t that bad. Well, not bad for RINOs anyway. 

 

The RINO bill was explicitly designed to adhere to the “four pillars” that PDT mandated in January be a part of any immigration deal: money for #TheWall; elimination of the idiotic diversity visa lottery; curbing chain migration; and a way for 1.8 million Dacamanians to gain legal status within the country. It also solves the issue of families being separated at the border, so Dims can stop pretending to be heartbroken. 

Yes, I’m aware that many are upset about the amnesty for a couple million illegals. I’m not dancing in the rain about it either. But we knew the Dacamanians were going to be a bargaining chip in any deal that was cut, as PDT has made it clear they would be involved in any legislation moving forward. 

However…

If…and that’s a massive IF…we were able to cut chain migration, end the diversity lottery and get a fully funded #Wall, the deal will go down much smoother for the Trump base. In fact, as I’ve explained before, the math would actually favor us in the long term, as chain migration account for far more immigrants than those currently eligible for DACA protection. 


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BIG PICTURE:

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Paul Rino’s bill isn’t nearly as bad as I suspected (though I admittedly haven’t seen all the details).

Unfortunately, Dims will never, ever give PDT a wall before the midterms. They’ll likely fight him on it forever, but it will take a special kind of miracle to get them to wheel and deal right now.

The truth is they don’t want to fix immigration. They want to use it as an issue with which to bash Republicans over the head over the next few years. 

Rino and Turtle may bring over some red state Dims who can’t afford to piss off Trump voters too much before November, but I would be absolutely shocked if either of these bills garnered 60 votes.

I’ve been wrong in the past, though. I hope this is another instance. 

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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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1 thought on “Daily Recap — June 15

  1. Kathryn Suzanne Sower June 16, 2018 — 3:45 am

    Trey, unfortunately my BP threatens to be more than an annoyance, so I will keep it short, I fully support President Trump & endorse his efforts 110%. The rest of the issues, I will scan, but for today—- I need to keep breathing “the scent Pollyanna juice.” I know you gave your best on this recap.i will catch you on a recap next week.

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