For the second day in a row a desperate Donald Trump made a repugnant and reprehensible comment on Twitter, this time attacking House Judiciary Chairman Adam Schiff. His tweet yesterday complained that Schiff had mis-quoted him and ended with a threatening question, “Arrest for Treason?”
In just this past week, Trump expressed nostalgia for days when whistleblowers were killed as spies, forwarded a tweet suggesting impeachment will bring civil war, and suggested a high-ranking member of Congress be arrested (for a capital crime) because he had the gall to investigate King Trump. His rhetoric is getting increasingly violent and extreme, and it won’t shock me if it leads to violence by his cult of supporters. We should expect it to get worse as the screws of justice grind tighter.
Yesterday also produced a lot of important news. Here’s what you need to know:
1) Attorney General William Barr has been asking various governments, including most recently Italy, to investigate whether Russia actually attacked our election in 2016. In other words, Barr is seeking outside help to discredit the conclusions of our own Intel Community so the Trump administration can then argue that, if Russia didn’t hack our elections, sanctions on Russia and Russian oligarchs should be lifted.
2) Rudy Giuliani’s activity in the Ukraine included not only seeking help from the Ukrainian government to get dirt on the Biden family, but Rudy also sought Ukrainian help in looking into key aspects of the genesis of the Mueller investigation. Trump also sought to push the Ukrainian president to make a peace deal with Russia–which would eliminate the need for the sanctions on Russia imposed after they invaded Ukraine.
As Rachel Maddow highlighted last night, it’s becoming clear that the number one foreign policy goal of the Trump regime has been to try to eliminate sanctions on Russia. It was a topic of discussion between Russia and many different Trump surrogates (some of whom are headed to jail) and it remains the single most important priority of Trump and his team. WHY?
It’s easy to wonder whether Russia does indeed possess a pee-pee tape of Trump from one of his early visits to Moscow. Or perhaps they have some other similar Kompromat on Trump that would be disastrously embarrassing to him if released publicly. But Trump has no shame, and there is another possibility.
It’s quite clear from the reporting and from the many books written about Trump that he is not nearly as wealthy as he claims. He certainly appears to own a number of valuable real estate assets, and he certainly own businesses that seem to generate revenue–though many of them clearly don’t earn a net profit. But many have speculated that Trump is not really a billionaire, citing the fact that he went bankrupt, and that he bankrupted a casino more than once. For a while, nobody would even lend money to him. We still have no idea how much debt he holds, and it’s possible that his debts are almost as big as his assets, if not bigger.
Based on everything we know, Trump’s self-esteem is tied to his wealth, he is always trying to accumulate more, and he desperately wants to be thought of as a big-time billionaire. We also know that Trump loves dictators, authoritarians, and oligarchs. So it’s easy to wonder if Trump made a side deal with Russia. He will get the sanctions lifted–freeing up tens or hundreds of billions of dollars for the oligarchs and Putin–in exchange for a kickback. ‘You give me two billion dollars when I leave office, and I’ll get the sanctions lifted.’ Or, ‘You cut me in on a huge Siberian pipeline deal and I’ll get the sanctions lifted.’ Or the like. Nothing is beneath him, and given that self-centered greed occupies the core of his personality, it’s possible that Trump’s unAmerican embrace of Russia has to do with personal enrichment. What else would explain his determination to help a most dangerous hostile adversary? Something to keep in mind as the Ukraine scandal unravels and we learn more about the crooked dealings of Trump and his circle of corrupt enablers.
Two other important news items:
3) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was apparently on the call with Trump and the president of Ukraine, yet later told interviewers he didn’t know what Trump said on the call. In other words, he lied to the press and public about his knowledge of the Trump conversation.
4) Upstate New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins resigned from the House yesterday in advance of a guilty plea for his indictment on insider trading charges. The disgraced politician was an early Trump supporter and vehemently denied the initial charges, calling them fraudulent and fake news. Turns out, he’s a crook.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”