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COMMENTARY

Here Are 7 Bombshells From the NYT’s Devastating Report of Trump’s ‘War’ on the Investigations Into Him

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For more than two years, the public has known of serious allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia as it carried out an allegedly criminal operation to influence the 2016 American election. And for much of that time, Trump himself had unrelentingly attacked those raising questions about the matter and any investigators who dare probe the issue.

And as the investigations around Trump have multiplied, the president has likewise expanded his attacks.

In a new in-depth report Tuesday on Trump’s efforts to intimidate and defame the investigators, The New York Times documented many new and revealing details of this campaign. While some of the information has been made public before, its narrative account gives new life to both familiar and previously unknown facts that may one day provide the basis for an obstruction of justice charge against the president.

Here are 7 key claims from the report:

1. Trump pressured Whitaker to install a crony to oversee the SDNY investigation.

The Times reported that after installing Matthew Whitaker as the acting Attorney General,  Trump asked him to put a political appointee, Geoffrey Berman, in charge of the investigation into him and his campaign at the Southern District of New York. Whitaker refused,  according to the report, because Berman was already recused from the case, infuriating Trump.

2. Attorneys for the president dangled pardons to both Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.

The Times reported:

One of Mr. Trump’s lawyers also reached out that summer to the attorneys for two of his former aides — Paul J. Manafort and Mr. Flynn — to discuss possible pardons. The discussions raised questions about whether the president was willing to offer pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the Mueller investigation.

Reports have previously indicated that Trump’s attorney may have floated the possibility of a pardon to his former aides. But it is particularly significant and yet curiously ignored, given that many experts believe using the possibility of a pardon to silence a witness could potentially be seen as obstruction of justice.

3. Even though Michael Flynn resigned voluntarily, Trump pushed the falsehood that he asked for Flynn’s resignation.

In a somewhat confusing passage, the Times indicated that after Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, resigned in light of the revelation that he lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, the president decided to falsely claim that he asked for Flynn’s resignation. Trump’s supposed termination of Flynn has been widely reported as fact, but, according to the report, it appears to be false.

4. White House lawyers warned about Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s spreading of misinformation.

Spicer did damage control for the White House after Flynn left, which included spreading the apparent lie about his resignation. And according to the report, White House lawyers were concerned about Spicer’s spreading of misinformation, including the false claim that an investigation had exonerated Flynn from any legal wrongdoing. (Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.) The lawyers reportedly compiled Spicer’s false statements in a memo.

5. Trump claims Rod Rosenstein told him the Michael Cohen investigation had nothing to do with him.

According to the report, when Cohen’s properties were raided as a part of the investigation that ultimately led to his conviction on multiple counts, Trump told his advisers that the deputy attorney general had assured him the case had nothing to do with him. Since it has been revealed that prosecutors believe the president directed Cohen to carry out a campaign finance crime and that he lied to Congress about the Trump Organization’s dealings with Russia, Trump now reportedly believes Rosenstein may have deliberately misled him.

6. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and other Trump allies decided in July 2017 to actively undermine Mueller.

Many of Trump’s most fervent political allies in Congress have consistently tried to run interference for the president as investigations encircle him, often trying to paint the FBI as the bad guys. The Times reported that this effort began as an explicit plan by Gaetz.

“He called Representative Jim Jordan, a conservative Republican from Ohio, and told him the party needed ‘to go play offense,’ Mr. Gaetz recalled in an interview,” the report said. “The two men believed that Republican leaders, who publicly praised the appointment of Mr. Mueller, had been beaten into a defensive crouch by the unending chaos and were leaving Democrats unchecked to ‘pistol whip’ the president with constant accusations about his campaign and Russia.

7. Trump has gone after Mueller and the Russia investigation more than 1,100 times in public.

While any American paying attention to the news will know that Trump has repeatedly attacked Mueller and his investigation, the Times documented in rigorous detail the scale of the extent of the effort. It also showed clearly that, on average, these attacks have been increasing over time.

RELATED: REVEALED: TRUMP ASKED HIS ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TO APPOINT A LOYALIST TO OVERSEE MAJOR SDNY INVESTIGATIONS

 

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr and a CC license

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COMMENTARY

Fox News Host’s Inaccurate Reporting Leads to False Right-Wing Speculation Breyer Was Forced Out

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Barely minutes before 12:00 noon on Wednesday NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was going to announce he is retiring, at the end of the term.

Hours later Fox News host Shannon Bream breathlessly tweeted, “Multiple sources tell me Justice Breyer was not planning to announce his retirement today. They describe him as ‘upset’ with how this has played out. We still await any official notice from his office and/or the #SCOTUS public information office.”

That was 2:41 PM.

Her tweet was inaccurate – based on her own reporting, about a half-hour later.

At 3:14 PM Bream “clarified” her reporting, making clear that Justice Breyer “firmly decided” to retire on his own, and was merely “surprised” that a top-notch veteran Supreme Court reporter broke the news:

Her first tweet has received thousands of retweets and likes and led to false speculation among many right-wingers (adding to the already false claims from the far right) that President Joe Biden forced Justice Breyer out the door – something impossible (unless you do over a billion dollars in business with a bank where the son of a Supreme Court Justice works.)

Too late, the damage is done. Ordinarily many reporters will delete tweets that are inaccurate or wrong, then post the reason why, and a correction. Bream did not.

Related: Fox News Host Asks How We Can Tell ‘Bad Guys’ If We Can’t See ‘Tone Of Their Skin’?

Over at the right-wing National Review, senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke posted an article titled: “Did the Democratic Party Preempt Justice Breyer’s Announcement to Force His Hand?”

Its only content: Bream’s inaccurate tweet and the words, “It certainly seems possible.”

Here are more results of Bream’s inaccurate reporting:

Chief political correspondent, Washington Examiner and Fox News contributor Byron York:

Another Washington Times columnist and a SiriusXMPatriot personality:

Former senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):

Blogger at right wing website Hot Air:

Radio talk show host:

 

 

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COMMENTARY

Watch: Trump Says He Will Be the ’47th President’ – Is He Skirting Federal Campaign Finance Law?

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In video posted Wednesday to Instagram Donald Trump appears to say he will be the “47th President,” which would indicate once again he has decided to run again.

That video (below) was also reported by the New York Post, which notes, “Trump hasn’t publicly said if he is planning to run for the White House again — but he has repeatedly teased a second campaign and has been holding rallies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”

The right wing PJ Media adds, “this might have been the ultimate Freudian slip,” and says it suggests a re-election campaign.

Trump has not officially announced he will run for several reasons, as Rolling Stone explained last October:

Trump very much seems like he is running for president in 2024, which according to campaign finance law should prohibit him from coordinating with super PACs like MAGAA, or his leadership PAC Save America, which together brought in north of $80 million in the first half of this year. Trump is able to coordinate with those PACs, though — and use their money to finance his travel, his campaign-style rallies, his God knows what else — because he hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy. The former president is then, in essence, running what appears to be a shadow campaign designed to skirt campaign finance regulations while holding the still-distant race for the Republican nomination hostage.

“As long as Trump doesn’t explicitly announce he’s running for president,” Rolling Stone added, “he can essentially raise as much money as he wants from whomever he wants, and spend it unfettered by the restrictions or transparency requirements imposed upon actual candidates.”

Watch:

 

 

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COMMENTARY

Whoopi Goldberg Destroys Bill Maher’s Anti-Mask Rant: ‘How Dare You Be So Flippant?’

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Whoopi Goldberg blasted HBO’s Bill Maher after the increasingly right-moving comedian declared he doesn’t want to live in pro-vaccine Americans’ “masked paranoid world” anymore.

On Monday’s “The View” Goldberg called Maher’s remarks “not really funny to people who have lost their kids” or “family members or dear friends to this,” she said, apparently meaning to COVID. (She obviously misspoke, saying the “vaccine.”)

Maher on his HBO show on Friday had said, “I don’t want to live in your paranoid world anymore, your masked paranoid world anymore, you know, you go out it’s silly now. You know you have your mask, you have to have a card, you have the booster, they scan your head like you’re a cashier and I’m a bunch of bananas. I’m not bananas you are.”

Goldberg continued, saying, “listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this, this is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families, and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody. Because if you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and your confidence needs, you don’t want to then stay out of the public man. This is not, nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting the people who are still at risk. who cannot get vaccinated. People who can’t get – little kids under the age of five. Yeah, well people with health conditions How dare you be so flippant, man?

Watch:

 

 

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