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Trump Presidency

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Whacked from within

Bolton's brutal memoir about his 17 months in the White House portrays President Trump as an easy mark for dictators and others who know how easily he falls for flattery.

  • Why it matters: There has never been — and may never be — another book like this. Trump's national security adviser took hyper-detailed, real-time notes, and is sharing them with the world just nine months after leaving.
The Justice Department last night asked a federal judge for an emergency temporary restraining order against publication of "The Room Where It Happened," scheduled for next Tuesday.

  • But it's too late: Axios and other news organizations already have copies, and reviews and extensive excerpts were posted yesterday.
  • Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last night that Bolton "is a liar": "[E]verybody in the White House hated John Bolton."
The most damaging revelations concern the president's efforts to cozy up to Chinese President Xi Jinping— revealed during an election season when Trump wants to portray himself as tough on China and Biden as a patsy.

  • Bolton said Trump gave Xi the green light to build concentration camps in Xinjiang, and "stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat" to his own re-election.
  • Biden said last night: "[M]y message to China's leaders, or anyone else who President Trump might invite to interfere: ... Stay out of our elections."
In one memorable scene, Bolton — a Fox News regular before joining the administration — is auditioning for the job and Trump says: "This is so great. John sounds just like he does on television. I could just keep listening. I love it." (p. 15)

  • Bolton describes a pattern of conversations by Trump that "looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life."
  • After one Trump statement, Bolton adds dismissively: "another fantasy." (p. 349)
  • Bolton says Trump didn't know that the U.K. was a nuclear power, wondered if Finland was part of Russia, and referred to reporters as "scumbags" who "should be executed."
On the same day that accounts of the book's contents spilled out, the N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni popped a story in which numerous current and former aides portrayed Trump as "acting trapped and defensive."

  • The story also has aides wondering if he was self-sabotaging, and alarmed by his bizarre behavior.
  • "[H]e has not seemed excited about the possibility of governing for four more years," people close to him told the Times. "One official ... claimed policy staff members were told just this week to come up with initiatives for 2021."
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
The sink doesn’t get what my deal is, but obviously she doesn’t understand because she’s never been used.”


TRIBE Member
The orange clown is yapping in Tulsa. Capacity under 20K. The place is less than half full, packed together - no masks. They’ve already taken down the overflow stage outside.

...but he just lifted and took a sip of water from a glass - with one hand. Two sips. Fuck me. 7500 people went absolutely bonkers.

I decided to tune in and I’m glad so did. It’s next level shit. ...and I’m not fucking around here. No fake news CNN or FOX. Straight goods from OANN. Lol!
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TRIBE Member
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Trump's Tulsa fiasco

His campaign claimed President Trump was "obviously kidding" when, during last night's return to the campaign trail, he took a crowd-pleasing swipe at the benefits of COVID-19 testing.

  • But a pandemic doesn't make a great punchline.
Why it matters: Joe Biden pounced, kicking off a head-to-head general election campaign after the three-month basement hiatus.

  • Watch for the Biden campaign to push that line into ads.
In claiming that he has "done a phenomenal job" with the virus, Trump told a smaller-than-expected crowd in Tulsa at a "Great American Comeback" rally, after 109 days of shutdown:

  • "[T]esting is a double-edged sword. ... Here's the bad part. When you do testing to that extent, you're gonna find more people, you're gonna find more cases. So I said to my people: 'Slow the testing down, please.'"
  • The comment reflected Trump's obsession with top-line metrics like the Dow, but failed to acknowledge that widespread testing — enjoyed inside the White House — is the key to a robust reopening.
Biden tweeted: "Speed up the testing."

  • The Biden campaign followed up with a "Statement on Donald Trump Admitting He Ordered the Slowing of COVID-19 Testing," calling his remark "an outrageous moment that will be remembered long after tonight’s debacle."
  • Trump spoke fornearly two hours, including a nine-minute spoof of coverage from his West Point commencement address last weekend that showed him getting a hand navigating a ramp, and using two hands to hoist a glass of water.
    • Trump mocked the coverage as suggesting he might have Parkinson's.
    • Trump pointed at the cameras in the back ("these fakers") and theatrically threw up his hands: "I'll let you know if there's something wrong, OK?"
  • The written parts of Trump's speech laid out his team's intended contrast with Biden — casting the former vice president as a 40-year creature of the Washington establishment who has failed to solve any of the problems he complains about.
    • But those lines were drowned out by Trump's unscripted grievances against his critics and the mainstream media.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Dems claim prank on 1 million RSVPs

Trump advisers told Axios they're bracing for presidential recriminations over the lackluster crowd — by the Tulsa Fire Department's count, 6,200 in an arena that holds 19,000.

  • News coverage of the rally, planned as a Trumpstock cultural phenomenon, focused on the crowd, which didn't provide the throngs the campaign had planned for an overflow area.
  • A massive "Mobile Stage" had been built for separate remarks by President Trump and Vice President Pence on their way in.
  • Those drop-bys were scrapped.
The campaign tweeted that over 1 million tickets had been requested.

  • This morning's front pages are sure to aggravate Trump ... N.Y. Times: "Trump's Plan For a Big Rally Sputters Badly" ... WashPost: "Hot words, empty seats" ... L.A. Times: "Trump's return to stump underwhelms."
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted:

  • "Radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally. They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering."
  • Reporters on the scene said they saw no such interference.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted back at Parscale: "Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations."

  • CNN reported last week: "Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old grandmother living in Fort Dodge, Iowa, appears to have helped lead the charge on TikTok ... when she posted a video encouraging people to go to Trump's website, register to attend the event — and then not show up."
Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director, said in a statement that the Tulsa rally "attracted over 4 million unique viewers across all of the campaign’s digital media channels."

  • "The live-streamed pre-rally shows drew an audience of more than 2.5 million unique viewers by themselves. These numbers don’t even include television viewers" for the rally, carried in full by Fox News and C-SPAN.
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
In an Oval Office interview on Friday afternoon, President Trump told me that he held off on imposing Treasury sanctions against Chinese officials involved with the Xinjiang mass detention camps because doing so would have interfered with his trade deal with Beijing.

Driving the news: Asked why he hadn't yet enacted Treasury sanctions against Chinese Communist Party officials or entities tied to the camps where the Chinese government detains Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, Trump replied, "Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal. And I made a great deal, $250 billion potentially worth of purchases. And by the way, they're buying a lot, you probably have seen."

  • Trump continued: "And when you're in the middle of a negotiation and then all of a sudden you start throwing additional sanctions on — we've done a lot. I put tariffs on China, which are far worse than any sanction you can think of."
The big picture: China hawks in the Trump administration have privately expressed frustration that the president hasn't used the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction Chinese officials for what many consider one of the worst human rights atrocities of this era.

Between the lines: But that new law is Congress' attempt to pressure Trump to enact sanctions. Trump already had all the authority he needed to sanction China for the camps. Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act in 2016 — a law designed to counter human rights violations like those being committed in Xinjiang, where witnesses say the Chinese government imprisons, brainwashes, and tortures ethnic and religious minorities.

  • China hawks in Congress, such as Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, have repeatedly urged the Trump administration to sanction Chinese officials connected to the Xinjiang mass detention camps.
But in Friday's interview with Axios, Trump said: "When you say the Magnitsky Act, just so you know, nobody's mentioned it specifically to me with regard to China."

  • "If somebody asked me, I would take a look at it," he continued. "But nobody's asked me. I have not been spoken to about the Magnitsky Act. So if somebody asks me about it, I'd study it. But at this moment, they have not asked me about it."
  • In his book, John Bolton writes that Trump gave President Xi a green light to continue with the Xinjiang camps — an allegation Trump denies.
The other side: While the Treasury Department hasn't taken action with Magnitsky sanctions — which would allow the U.S. government to take harsh measures such as seizing the U.S. dollar assets of targeted Chinese officials — other departments of the Trump administration have taken concrete steps to penalize China for the human rights crisis in Xinjiang.

  • Since September 2019, the Commerce Department and the State Department have imposed export restrictions on a total of 21 Chinese government entities and 16 Chinese companies deemed complicit in the abuses in Xinjiang.
  • And the State Department has imposed visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials deemed responsible for the abuse of Uighurs. Additionally, the U.S. has taken minor steps to stop the import of goods produced by Uighur forced labor.
  • A senior administration said he believes the U.S. government is the only government in the world that has imposed actual costs on China for the Xinjiang situation.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Navarro says on Fox Trump cancelled the trade deal with China, then Trump says no, then Navarro says this comments were taken out of context. Then Trump tweets it's all good... Never ends. Just more shit. Markets turn turbulent. A complete ass fucking clown show.
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