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Trump Now Talking Presidential Pardons as He Targets, Tries to Block Special Counsel Robert Mueller

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Obama Attorney General Holder Warns Trump

President Donald Trump is now inquiring about the scope of his power to pardon people, including himself, and he is targeting Robert Mueller, attempting to discredit the special prosecutor and constrain his investigation.

“Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe,” according to the Washington Post. “A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.”

The Post cautioned that Trump isn’t actively looking to pardon himself.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ ” a close adviser said.

And Mueller is under the microscope, with the Trump team wanting to limit his powers. That follows Trump’s direct threat during his Wednesday New York Times interview, in which he cautioned Mueller to not look into the Trump family’s business finances. (Mueller is looking into the Trump family’s business finances.)

“Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort,” the Post adds.

The Trump team is looking for ways to discredit one of this nation’s most respected law enforcement officers, former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“Trump’s lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel’s work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.”

Maddow gives a breakdown:

Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder weighed in overnight:

One of America’s least credible politicians, Newt Gingrich, a strong Trump ally and the attack dog the Trump team trots out when they are in crisis mode, went after Mueller overnight, serivng up an inane argument:

Apparently, this latest rage from the President all comes down to money. His money. His businesses. His financial dealings with Russia, or Russians. Which seems now to be why he has always refused to release his tax returns. But what he didn’t know is Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the authority to investigate Trump’s tax returns and all his finances, and doesn’t even need to notify Trump.

“The president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances, advisers said,” th Washington Post continues, noting that “Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face.”

“His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign coordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.”

Trump’s private attorney, who has his own possible financial improprieties, told the Post they are looking to constrict the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

“The scope is going to have to stay within his mandate. If there’s drifting, we’re going to object,” Jay Sekulow said.

And he then tried to turn the tables on Mueller.

“The fact is that the president is concerned about conflicts that exist within the special counsel’s office and any changes in the scope of the investigation.”

Many legal experts are now concerned Trump will fire Mueller. That would lead to a constitutional crisis.

Fomer U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara:

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in also:

 

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr 

 

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RFK Jr. and Trump Explored Endorsement Deal in Exchange for Administration Post: Report

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., seen by some as a spoiler whose candidacy could help Donald Trump, held talks with the ex-president after the assassination attempt, reportedly discussing an endorsement in exchange for a position in a second Trump administration.

Late Saturday evening on July 13, hours after a 20-year old man shot at Trump, apparently causing a bloody ear while killing a Trump supporter and wounding two others at a Pennsylvania rally, Trump and Kennedy spoke by phone. During that call, The Washington Post reports, the two presidential candidates agreed to meet the following week in Milwaukee, on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Audio and video of that Saturday night call was “leaked” by Kennedy’s own son, prompting the anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist to publicly apologize to Trump, as NCRM reported last week.

In that video, Donald Trump could be heard telling Kennedy, “I would love you to do stuff and I think it’d be so good for your and so big for you. And we’re gonna win. We’re way ahead of the guy.” It was not clear in what context Trump meant “do stuff,” although he could have possibly meant endorse Trump, or hand Kennedy a post in his administration.

READ MORE: Where Kamala Harris Stands on Securing Dem Endorsements and Cash After Biden Announcement

The two candidates’ discussions on Monday, “included possible jobs that Kennedy could be given in a second Trump administration, either at the Cabinet level or posts that do not require Senate confirmation. The discussion also included the prospect of Kennedy leaving the race and endorsing Trump, the people said,” The Post reported.

“The discussions surprised Trump and his aides. But there were concerns among some Trump advisers that Kennedy — a fervent critic of vaccines — would not be appropriate in such a job and that such an agreement could be problematic, the people said. Two of these people did not rule out the campaign eventually wanting Kennedy in the fold or potentially giving him a job in the administration if Trump wins.”

They also “did not result in an agreement amid concerns in Trump’s orbit about the complications of promising a job in exchange for a political endorsement, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.”

“Whoa,” remarked Democratic strategist Lis Smith, responding to The Post’s reporting. Kennedy “offered to endorse Trump in exchange for a job…the Trump people declined b/c RFK Jr was pushing too explicitly for a quid pro quo.”

Kennedy, who is an environmental law attorney, has focused on his anti-vaxx activism in recent years. The Post reports the discussion between Kennedy and Trump included him possibly “overseeing a portfolio of health and medical issues.”

“All I will say to you is I am willing to talk to anybody from either political party who wants to talk about children’s health and how to end the chronic disease epidemic,” Kennedy also told The Post in an interview. “I have a lot of respect for President Trump for reaching out to me. Nobody from the DNC, high or low, has ever reached out to me in 18 months. Instead they have allocated millions to try to disrupt my campaign.”

READ MORE: Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

 

 

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Where Kamala Harris Stands on Securing Dem Endorsements and Cash After Biden Announcement

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Vice President Kamala Harris, now the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidate, said Sunday she will work to “earn and win” the nomination after President Joe Biden’s historic decision to pull out of his re-election race. In under twenty-four hours she has managed to secure the almost unanimous endorsement of House and Senate Democrats, Democratic governors, and a cash haul reportedly of over $75 million.

In the weeks after Biden’s damaging debate performance, critics demanded he prove he had the mental and physical capacity at 81 to continue the race and win the election. But even after numerous speeches and interviews, the goalposts changed, and critics pointed to his poll numbers. On Sunday afternoon in a letter he announced he would not continue his campaign. Shortly thereafter, he endorsed Vice President Harris.

Some Democrats had pushed for an open convention, with many rank and file members engaging in a kind of “fantasy football,” matchups promoting their favorite candidates for the top of the ticket and their running mates.

Fox News late Monday morning reported, “Democrats thrown into chaos as they face tight deadline to replace Biden,” but there has been little chaos.

READ MORE: Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

All of the major potential candidates who might have opposed Harris have now declared they would not run against her, making her path to the nomination, while not certain, extremely likely. Delegates will still have to choose.

Most of those major top-of-the-ticket potential candidates who have now endorsed Harris are believed to be under consideration to be her vice presidential running mate (links to endorsements): Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Governor Wes Moore of Maryland, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Late Monday morning Gov. Whitmer declined to be considered for the vice presidential slot, according to Crain’s Detroit reporter David Eggert.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, considered one of the top potential contenders for the nomination but not a potential running mate, quickly announced he would not oppose Harris and endorsed her: “Tough. Fearless. Tenacious. With our democracy at stake and our future on the line, no one is better to prosecute the case against Donald Trump’s dark vision and guide our country in a healthier direction than America’s Vice President.”

Harris also earned the endorsement of Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois, also considered one of the top candidates who might want the nomination.

READ MORE: ‘Wake Up People’: Trump ‘Elevating Criminals’ as MAGA Wants to ‘Wreck America’ Says Expert

Colorado Governor Jared Polis appeared to endorse Harris in a self-deprecating social media post.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (I-WV), 76, endorsed Harris on Monday, after reports suggested he had called former acting DNC chair Donna Brazile to learn the process for entering the nomination race. ABC News reported Brazile told Manchin, “I had to remind him that to put his name in nomination he has to sign a form that he’s a Democrat.”

Writer and former Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer has been tracking the Harris endorsements since Sunday. Late Monday morning she writes they include: President Joe Biden, Former Secretary of State and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, and former U.S. Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, along with current Cabinet Secretaries Pete Buttigieg, Miguel Cardona, Jennifer Granholm, and Gina Raimondo.

And, “at least 33 of 47 Democratic senators,” “at least 159 of 212 House Democratic members,” “at least 18 of the 26 Democratic state and territorial governors,” “all 57 state and territory party chairs,” “all DNC delegates for Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and South Carolina,” “SEIU, American Federation of Teachers, and too many other organizations to list here.”

“I don’t think folks appreciate what we’re seeing from the Ds right now,” observes political scientist and strategist Rachel Bitcofer. “Newsom, Whitmer, Shapiro- every top tier Democrat- has put personal ambitions aside to come out and help the party coalesce around Kamala Harris.”

Political commentator Bob Cesca adds, “And they’re putting their ambitions aside for what could end up being 8 more years.”

CNN’s Haley Talbot, known for her spreadsheets, early Monday afternoon reports former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama have yet to endorse Harris. She adds the “holdout” list includes seven Democratic and one independent U.S. Senators, just 18 Democratic U.S. Representatives, and four Democratic governors.

But key among the Democratic holdouts are Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Political commentator and writer Keith Boykin at 10:05 AM Monday, citing data from ActBlue says, “Democrats have now raised $75 million since Vice President Kamala Harris announced her campaign for president yesterday.” Clymer commented, “Vice President Kamala Harris may very well raise $100M in a 24-hour period. Flat-out bonkers sum.”

ActBlue declared Sunday, “the biggest fundraising day of the 2024 cycle.”

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

 

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Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

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The attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris, now the leading candidate to become the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential nominee after President Joe Biden’s historic decision to exit his race for re-election, have begun, as one expert on authoritarianism and fascism points to former top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s remarks Sunday as an example of the racism and propaganda voters can expect to see.

“Pay attention to propaganda narratives that will consolidate in next days. Propagandists know you should build on existing prejudices when introducing a new hate object or theme,” writes Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and scholar on fascism and authoritarian leaders.

“Here Conway invokes racist stereotypes already familiar to many in MAGA,” she adds, pointing to remarks Conway made (video below) just hours after President Biden’s announcement Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: ‘Wake Up People’: Trump ‘Elevating Criminals’ as MAGA Wants to ‘Wreck America’ Says Expert

“She had disastrous staff turnover as vice president,” Conway told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I check it on the daily. Her public schedule, gentlemen, rarely has anything on it or one or two things on it. She does not speak well. She does not work hard, and she should not be the standard bearer for the party.”

Conway was the first woman campaign manager to land a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in the White House, and later served as Senior Counselor to the President. Her record includes coining the terms “alternative facts,” and the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre.” Statista looked at presidential turnover from President Ronald Reagan to Trump and found Trump’s record is higher than any president in modern history, including at the cabinet level.

“Kellyanne Conway is parroting the racist stereotypes,” responded Adam Cohen, Vice Chair, Lawyers for Good Government, “[that] Black people are stupid and lazy.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

“Of course, she will vociferously deny it,” he added. “But too late-we already know exactly who Conway is.”

“After all, she spent years promoting Trump.”

Ben-Ghiat on Sunday night also responded to a New York Times headline, “Some Black Voters Say They Wonder if a Black Woman Can Win.” She warned: “It’s starting.”

George Conway (Kellyanne’s ex-husband) last week created an anti-Trump political action committee, the Anti-Psychopath PAC. He commented on her Fox News remarks late Sunday night: “Not everyone can express themselves as eloquently and with such exquisite turns of phrase as Donald J. Trump.”

Watch Conway’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

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