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Trumpdates: Trump Melts Down in Meeting with Pelosi (Game, Set, Match)

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 16, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 16, 2019 |


7:20: Game.



6:00: Sigh.

5:05: Pelosi, Hoyer, and Schumer met with Trump to ask him about his plan to deal with ISIS now after the situation in Syria has gone to hell. He had a meltdown.

5:00: Wow.

4:17: I honestly can’t tell if this is fake or real, but Trish Regan is a real Fox Business News anchor, and this is exactly the kind of letter that Fox News viewers might appreciate, and sad as it is, exactly the kind of letter you’d expect Donald Trump to write (note, however, that it was written on October 9th, so it clearly did not work).

“Don’t be a tough guy.”

(Update: It’s real.)

3:00: The House has voted 354-60 to condemn Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. Who were the other 60? (Dollars to donuts, one was Tulsi Gabbard).

Meanwhile, and “I say this with great respect,” how hard can this man go fuck himself?

2:35: Choke on a corndog stick, Moscow Mitch.

1:40: No shit it was Trump’s idea. Would anyone else think of something that ghoulish and idiotic?

No big deal! Just the President of the United States completely selling out to the Russians/Turkey.

1:35: According to the NYTimes, Fiona Hill — Trump’s former advisor on Russa, told the House impeachment inquiry that Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the EE, is “a potential national security risk because he was so unprepared for his job.” That sounds about right.

Also, THE SERVER DOESN’T EXIST. It’s a goddamn 4Chan theory. There is no server to see. It’s all in your head, man. It’s all in your head.

12:25: Support for impeachment grows a tick.

Trump is a fucking moron.

Blah blah fuckity blah, Lindsey Graham.

That raised eyebrow will not stop the death of one single Kurd, Mitch McConnell. You coward.

11:32: ???

11:00: Trump is a heartless idiot. Full stop.

Wednesday, 10:15 a.m.: This is not related to the impeachment inquiry or to Turkey/Syria, but my God, it once again illustrates how insane it is that we have a reality-show host as the President of the United States. Recall that last month, the wife of a diplomat driving on the wrong side of the road in England struck and killed a teenager. She then fled the country, citing diplomatic immunity. The parents of that teenager, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, have tried to get Anne Sacoolas, the American diplomat’s wife, to return to the UK and face justice for the death of their son. In fact, they traveled to the United States in order to drum up support to send Sacoolas back to the UK.

So, here’s what happened: President Trump invited the grieving parents to the White House. The parents accepted the invitation, believing that they would an opportunity to convince Trump to urge Sacoolas to return. What happened, instead, is that Trump tried to “surprise” them. He told the parents that Sacoolas was in the next room, and wanted to meet with them. He was going to open the side door, and there were photographers around to capture the moment, because in Trump’s mind, he thinks this will be a good PR moment, one where the grieving parents of a dead teenager will come face to face with the woman who killed him and … what? They all hug?

Anyway, the parents — for obvious reasons — refused to meet with Sacoolas. From Reuters:

Dunn’s parents said Trump had been responsive at their meeting but the planned encounter with Sacoolas had come as a bombshell.

“He said he was sorry about Harry and then he sprung the surprise that Mrs Sacoolas was in another room in the building and whether we want to meet her there and then,” Tim Dunn said.

“We said no because as we’ve been saying from the start we want to meet Mrs Sacoolas but we want to do it in the UK so the police can interview her. We didn’t want to be sort of railroaded, not into a circus as such, but a meeting we weren’t prepared for.”

Good lord.

9:10: Like many of you, I am currently watching the Democratic debates, which we will cover in full tomorrow morning. All due respect, but hearing about midwestern voters and kitchen table values and the umpteenth debate about Medicare for All vs. Obamacare in the 7th out of 20 debates or whatever all seems to pale in comparison to stakes involved in the impeachment inquiry. I did accidentally click on the “Anderson Cooper” trending topic on Twitter earlier, however, which revealed a ton of conservatives complaining that Cooper is showing his bias by suggesting that Trump “falsely accused” Hunter Biden, which is insane.

In any respect, more on the Dem debates in the a.m. For now, the Times is reporting that the White House has opened up its own internal review of how the Zelensky call was handled. Why would they need to open a review on a “perfect, beautiful” phone call? The point of contention seems to be about why the transcript of the phone call was placed in the classified system, which is to say: The White House is looking for another scapegoat, and at the moment, it looks like they’re trying to pin this on deputy White House counsel John A. Eisenberg, which is kind of like the Roy family trying to scapegoat Greg. We’re gonna need a blood sacrifice there, Trump.

Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, Pence has also refused to turn over documents to the House, saying that he will refuse to cooperate unless the House officially votes on impeachment. Pelosi is not taking the bait, and she’s absolutely right not to. The Democrats need to investigate everyone they can without involving Republicans, and only after they have exhausted all other avenues do they need to officially vote on impeachment in order to get documents and testimony from Pence/Pompeo, etc.

5:15: I can’t begin to make sense of this, except to note that a Turkish gold trader by the name of Reza Zarrab laundered billions of dollars to evade Iran sanctions. He was Giuliani’s client. Trump pressed Rex Tillerson to drop the charges against Zarrab on the Turkish President’s behalf. Make of that what you will.

4:45: Giuliani was supposed to turn over documents today, per a subpoena. He did not. Meanwhile, his advisors are suggesting he hire a criminal lawyer, advice that he is so far refusing.

He’s also losing lawyers left and right.


12:45: Did Trump just end a tweet by calling upon us to “Impeach the Pres.” Huh?


We all knew it was only a matter of time before John Bolton got involved with the impeachment scandal. In fact, on the very first day that news of the whistleblower broke, we applauded the idea that Bolton could be the whistleblower behind what would ultimately launch the inquiry. He’s not, but it sure seems like the former national security adviser, fired by Donald Trump last month, might be wreaking havoc.

According to Trump’s former advisor on Russia, Fiona Hill — who testified in front of the House impeachment inquiry yesterday — Bolton pushed back against the dealings in Ukraine of Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland. From the NYTimes:

Mr. Bolton told [Fiona Hill] to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about a rogue effort by Mr. Sondland, Mr. Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, according to the people familiar with the testimony.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Mr. Bolton, a Yale-trained lawyer, told Ms. Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to two people at the deposition. (Another person in the room initially said Mr. Bolton referred to Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mulvaney, but two others said he cited Mr. Sondland.)

It was not the first time Mr. Bolton expressed grave concerns to Ms. Hill about the campaign being run by Mr. Giuliani. “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” Ms. Hill quoted Mr. Bolton as saying during an earlier conversation.

According to Hill, Trump also put Sondland — the ambassador to the EU — in charge of the relationship with Ukraine, even though it is not in the EU.

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast is reporting that Trump, himself, has long suspected Bolton of being behind many of the leaks inside the White House.

In the course of casual conversations with advisers and friends, President Trump has privately raised suspicions that a spiteful John Bolton, his notoriously hawkish former national security adviser, could be one of the sources behind the flood of leaks against him, three people familiar with the comments said. At one point, one of those sources recalled, Trump guessed that Bolton was behind one of the anonymous accounts that listed the former national security adviser as one of the top officials most disturbed by the Ukraine-related efforts of Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who remains at the center of activities that spurred the impeachment inquiry.

“[Trump] was clearly implying [it, saying] something to the effect of, ‘Oh, gee, I wonder who the source on that could be,’” this source said, referring to the president’s speculation. Bolton, for his part, told The Daily Beast last month that allegations that he was a leaker in Trump’s midst are “flatly incorrect.”

Rudy, meanwhile, is taking issue with being called a “hand grenade” by Bolton.

Reminder: John Bolton is a horrible human being. He is notoriously hawkish and was in fact the architect behind the Iraq War. Basically, he came into the Administration with one goal in mind: To start a war with Iran. Even Trump pushed back against Bolton’s more hawkish tendencies. That said, he is a Yale-trained lawyer, and while he is a goddamn war criminal, he at least understands that it’s not OK to use a foreign power to interfere in our elections.

According to The Business Insider, the FBI has also been “rattled” by Trump’s “brazenness.”

“You walk down the halls and there was this sense of dread, and everyone’s kind of thinking, did the president really do this?” the agent said.

The agent was one of four current and former officials Insider spoke with about the matter. In addition to feeling undermined by the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the Russia probe’s origins, sources also said FBI officials were frustrated with how the Justice Department handled a criminal referral related to a whistleblower’s allegations against Trump, saying it added to a sense that the bureau was being “neutered.”

As Democrats continue to expand their impeachment inquiry, morale inside the White House is low, while Mick Mulvaney and the White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone — who is developing the impeachment strategy — are at odds. I’m sure the disaster in Syria is not helping matters.

Meanwhile, the backdrop to much of this is the bitter, divisive divorce that Rudy Giuliani is going through, if you’re interested in that drama. The important takeaway, however, is that Giuliani’s soon-to-be-ex-wife thinks that Rudy is hiding money from her, and while Rudy says that he’s been working for Trump pro bono, he’s getting paid a lot for representing the two men who were arrested last week, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

And speaking of Hunter Biden, just to bring this whole mess full circle, he recently resigned from the board of that Chinese company, and he gave an interview this morning admitting that he wouldn’t have gotten the gig on the gas company in Ukraine if his last name were not Biden, but saying that he didn’t do anything unethical.

Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son, acknowledged in an interview to be broadcast on Tuesday that he probably would not have been named to the board of a foreign company if his last name weren’t Biden, but he rejected suggestions by President Trump that he and his father had engaged in wrongdoing.

“Did I make a mistake? Maybe in the grand scheme of things,” Mr. Biden said in an interview with ABC News, which published excerpts from it on Tuesday morning. “But did I make a mistake based on some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”

“I don’t think there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” Mr. Biden told Amy Robach of ABC.

That’s fair. At least he owns up to his privilege and nepotism, unlike the Trump kids. In any respect, there’s another Democratic debate tonight, and I am sure that Hunter Biden’s name will come up more than a few times.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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