Hope Hicks Abandons Donald Trump

Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director, was one of Trump’s most trusted advisors, like “family.”  But she got herself into big trouble during congressional testimony the other day when she admitted that she told “white lies” for Trump.  She also refused to say whether a long list of Trump’s family members and close associates also asked her to lie.  In other words, they asked her to lie for them, and she lied for them, but didn’t want to admit it to Congress:

After Hicks provided that answer, [Congressman] Rooney said [Congressman] Swalwell “went through the phone book,” asking Hicks whether a “litany of 50” people, including “the entire Trump family,” had ever asked Hicks to lie. The list of names, both Rooney and Swalwell said, included Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Michael Cohen and others. Swalwell also asked Hicks whether she heard Mr. Trump ask others to lie for him.

Hicks gave a “blanket” response by declining to answer in each instance, Rooney said . . .

Beyond this latest screw up, Hicks has been in hot water for some time now.  She interviewed with Mueller for two days in December 2017.  Then in January 2018, Trump’s former legal team spokesman Mark Corallo said he thought Hicks was trying to figure out how to obstruct justice by making sure records regarding a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian intelligence agents would be destroyed and “never found” by investigators:

Mr. Corallo is planning to tell Mr. Mueller about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, according to the three people. Mr. Corallo planned to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting . . . “will never get out.” That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice, the people said.

And the comments were not privileged because no lawyers were present during the conversation:

Mr. Corallo . . . told colleagues he was alarmed not only by what Ms. Hicks had said — either she was being naïve or was suggesting that the emails could be withheld from investigators — but also that she had said it in front of the president without a lawyer on the phone and that the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.

After the alarming conversation, Corallo then reported the incident to Steve Bannon:

Corallo, who previously served under Attorney General John Ashcroft, reportedly got off the phone, advised Trump to continue the discussion with lawyers present, took notes about the call, and told then-chief strategist Steve Bannon what had happened.

Bannon completely lost his shit in response and blew up at Hicks, which Triggered Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Fire and Fury, pp. 261-263:

. . . In time, he had come to see the twenty-eight-year-old as nothing more than a hapless presidential enabler and poor-fish Jarvanka flunky – and he believe she had deeply implicated herself in the entire disaster by participating in the Air Force One meeting. The next day, with more inquiries coming from reporters, he confronted Hicks inside the cabinet room, accusing her of doing Jared and Ivanka’s dirty work. The face-off quickly escalated into an existential confrontation between the two sides of the White House – two sides on a total war footing.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” shouted a livid Bannon at Hicks, demanding to know who she worked for, the White House or Jared and Ivanka. “You don’t know how much trouble you are in,” he screamed, telling her that if she didn’t get a lawyer he would call her father and tell him he had better get her one. “You are dumb as a stone!” Moving from the cabinet room across the open area into the President’s earshot, “a loud, scary, clearly threatening” Bannon, in the Jarvanka telling, yelled, “I am going to fuck with your little group!” with a baffled President wanting to know, “What’s going on?”

[. . .]

For Bannon, this was just more Jarvanka desperation – they were the ones, not him, saddled with Comey-Mueller. They were the ones panicking and out of control.

For the rest of his time in the White House, Bannon would not speak to Hicks again.

Bannon saw the writing on the wall and apparently tried to scare some sense into Hicks.  So why would Hicks want to destroy records that could show that Team Trump was coordinating and conspiring with the Russian government to derail Hillary Clinton?  It might have something to do with a major criminal investigation that has already netted a number of indictments and criminal guilty pleas:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.

President Trump seems to be unable to get away from the original sin of his presidency: his cooperation, coordination, and conspiracy with the Russian government to make hacked Hillary Clinton and DNC emails public and to do it in a way that did maximum political damage to Clinton while providing Trump with maximum political assistance.


Wave of Republican Retirements Grows

We’ve heard recent news that there is a “wave” of Republicans retiring from Congress and refusing to run for reelection in 2018.  In fact, some are calling it a record number of retirements, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a hundred years.  The conventional wisdom is that there is a Democrat “wave” coming in the mid terms and the Republicans would rather go back to the private sector (or wherever) rather than battle it out.

But buried in this news story is the fact that, in addition to low level congress critters, high level and extremely powerful committee chairs (and even the Speaker of the House!!!) are also announcing their retirement at an extraordinary pace.  The committee chairs usually come from safe districts, are very well funded, and stand a very strong chance of winning reelection even in a tough political climate.  So why are 9 of the most powerful politicians in the U.S., including the the person third in line to be president, also retiring and walking away?

It could be the “wave” everyone is talking about.  Or it could be that these more powerful Republicans, who see a lot more information than the low level congress critters, know that there is big trouble brewing for the Republican party in terms of the Mueller investigation.  Could it be that a slew of indictments against the President’s team are coming down such that they will destroy Republican chances of reelection and fundamentally destroy Trump’s presidency?  Could it be that for congressmen like Nunes and Gowdy, two retiring chairmen who were also members of Trump’s political campaign and/or “transition team,” also see that they may personally have some exposure if Trump’s team goes down?

We don’t know, but there is a strong possibility that these retirements are due to something far more interesting than an upcoming “tough election.”

Tulsi Gabbard’s Love For Mass Murder


The dictator of Syria, Bashar al Assad, is a very evil man. He’s gassed civilians, murdered thousands upon thousands, and has allowed Russia to indiscriminately bomb and murder civilians. And now, Amnesty International has compiled evidence that al Assad runs an extermination camp, where he has murdered 13,000 people in government custody. While regime change or how to handle ISIS can be debated, what can’t be debated is that al Assad is one of the biggest murderers and genocidal whack jobs in history.

But that’s exactly what Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard admires and appreciates. She  repeatedly complained about former President Obama’s refusal to support the Russian murderers who indiscriminately murder women and children in Syria.

She recently traveled to Syria and secretly met with al Assad. Apparently she is ok with validating and legitimizing a man who runs an extermination camp.

Gabbard herself is an unethical turd of a human. As now she is in trouble with the House of Representative for violating  ethics rules. She did not submit the required disclosure forms that explained who paid for her trip and who she met while she was in Syria (besides the genocidal dictator).

Gabbard is no hero. She is a sycophant for Russian bombing of civilians, and appreciates a blood thirsty dictator who exterminates people by the thousands. She is a true disgrace.