A presidency without borders
What did Donald Trump say that caused the eyes of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open in surprise?
"It's not like you have China on your border," Trump told Modi during his first meeting. India's border with China is over 2,000 miles. They have fought wars for that.
The anecdote appears in "A very stable genius: the evidence of Donald J. Trump of America" by Washington Post journalists Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig. The Post published Wednesday fragments, The Guardian, NPR and others describing Trump as erratic, narcissistic and, as a former senior advisor, "dangerously uninformed."
According to the book, a question from Trump surprised then Chief of Staff John Kelly when they were about to tour Pearl Harbor: "Hi, John, what is all this about?" The president understood that it was a battle site, but he did not. I don't understand the fundamental story of the Japanese attack in 1941 that led the United States to World War II.
The book also describes how the law hindered much of what Trump wanted. He tried to get the help of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to get rid of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, complaining: "It is so unfair that US companies cannot pay bribes to do business abroad." Trump was frustrated "because he restricted his industry colleagues or the executives of his own company from paying foreign governments in distant lands," the authors wrote.
Trump was frequently abusive and made degrading comments to his second National Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen. It bothered him that at 5 feet 4 inches, she wasn't physically intimidating. "She is so short," he said.
In angry calls late at night, he demanded that he carry out ideas for border control he heard on the television of Fox News host Lou Dobbs. He would have to explain "We can't do it," usually because Dobbs's ideas were against the law.
Signed, stamped, delivered: Accusation
In a dramatic procession throughout the US Capitol. The leaders of the House of Democratic Representatives marched formal articles of political trial against Trump to the Senate on Wednesday night, reports Tom Brune of Newsday.
The ceremonial pomp and the protocol of the legislators transferred the procedures of the Democratic Chamber of President Nancy Pelosi to the Senate of Republican majority. "This president will be responsible," Pelosi said while signing the documents.
Earlier, Pelosi appointed, and the House voted along partisan lines to approve, a team of seven members of political trial managers to present the case. They will be led by the president of Intelligence, Adam Schiff, and the president of the Judiciary, Jerry Nadler.
Trump complained again that it was all a "hoax." The Senate will be transformed into a court of political judgment at noon on Thursday. Opening arguments are expected on Tuesday. For more information, see Laura Figueroa Hernández's Newsday story.
Janison: when contrition is an act
It seems to be a creed among Trump associates who were wrong in the law: even if you said you were sorry, you never have to keep feeling it.
Dan Janison of Newsday recalls how former national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted to the court two years ago that he lied to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Still awaiting sentencing, which was scheduled for January 28, he demanded this week to withdraw his guilty plea after prosecutors recommended jail.
In October 2018, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor in the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a conversation with a professor who told him that the Russians had dirt with Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days. Since then, he has claimed that he had been framed.
On February 20, former Trump adviser Roger Stone will be sentenced for his conviction for hindering investigators. He has let it be known that he seeks presidential forgiveness and blamed the conspiracies. He also had to apologize to the judge who harassed his website.
Trump's former attorney-repairman, Michael Cohen, who turned against Trump, is trying to reduce his sentence by cooperating with the authorities. Prosecutors said: "Cohen never made a significant effort to engage in serious cooperation, but instead participated in a prolonged public relations campaign, in which he tried to present himself as a victim and hero."
Parnas: Trump, Giuliani knew
In an interview with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas said Trump and Giuliani knew what he was doing in support of efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to yield to Trump's demands.
"President Trump knew exactly what was going on," said Parnas, who faces charges for violating campaign finance laws. "I was aware of all my movements. Why would Zelensky's inner circle meet with me?? Who I am? They were told to meet with me. And that is the secret they are trying to keep. He was on the ground doing his job. "
Parnas said Giuliani ordered him to tell Zelensky's main assistant before Zelensky's inauguration that "relations would sour, that we would stop giving them any help"If they did not announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The next day, Vice President Mike Pence canceled his trip to the inauguration.
Giuliani's answer? "Who cares," he sent a text message to a Washington Post journalist. "Create it at your own risk."He did not specify what he was suggesting was false.
Were Rudy's boys spies?
The documents delivered by Parnas to the investigators of the House's accusation raise the question of whether he and Giuliani had the former US ambassador under surveillance. UU. In Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, while conspiring to get rid of her.
Communications to Parnas of Robert Hyde, a Trump donor from Connecticut, suggested that he had Yovanovitch under surveillance and was tracking his movements.
Yovanovitch's lawyer called for investigations, and House Democrats said they would analyze further. The State Department did not comment. But Parnas's lawyer denied that his client was working with Hyde to spy on Yovanovitch and added: "We believe Mr. Hyde's activities are a reflection of his dubious mental state." Hyde issued negatives with vulgar comments.
Hyde was dragged by the police for a psychiatric evaluation after an incident last May at Trump's Doral complex near Miami. He was subject to a restraining order in Washington obtained by a Republican consultant who said he was harassing her and her family, according to The Intercept.
Hyde is also seeking a Republican nomination for Congress and has published photos of himself with a series of Trump global figures, including President, Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Corey Lewandowski. Connecticut Republican leaders have distanced themselves from Hyde since he tweeted a crude sexual comment last month after Senator Kamala Harris (California Democrat) resigned from the 2020 presidential race.
In the interview with Maddow, Parnas described Hyde as a beard fly that was hanging out at the Trump hotel in Washington and was not taken seriously.
Sexism, lies and audio tapes.
Perhaps a handshake between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could have calmed the dispute over whether he told her privately in 2018 that a woman could not be elected president. But when Warren approached him in the moments after Tuesday night's debate and Sanders offered Warren's hand, she didn't take it.
The microphones were not in the air, but CNN found backup audio and released it on Wednesday night. It seemed even worse than it seemed.
"I think you called me a liar on national television," Warren can be heard saying. "What?" Sanders replied. "I think you called me a liar on national television," he repeated.
"You know, let's not do it now. If you want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion," Sanders said, to which Warren replied: "Anytime."
"You called me a liar," Sanders continued. "You told me, okay, let's not do it now."
The argument has caused a bitter dispute between the supporters of each candidate and the desperation of the progressives that both like. Sanders supporters filled Twitter with snake emojis to refer to Warren.
What else is going on?
- Democratic leaders of the Senate He said they will fight against a plan reported by Trump to divert $ 7.2 billion more in Pentagon funds to his border wall.
- Trump tried to describe the state of relations with North Korea in terms of an old-school player: "a very beautiful game of chess or poker, or I can't use the word correctors, because it is much bigger than any runner game that I have seen, "he said during a ceremony for his partial trade agreement with China.
- Giuliani wanted the concert, but the Americans will see a lawyer with a different style leading Trump's defense in the Senate political trial. White House lawyer Pat Cipollone is modest and Trump calls him "the loud and silent guy," writes The Associated Press.
- Michael Bloomberg campaign sent a torrent of jokes and strange tweets during the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, for which he did not qualify. The publications included his face in a meatball and the statement: "Mike can telepathically communicate with the dolphins."
- Republican representatives of Long Island. Peter King and Lee Zeldin were appointed honorary state presidents for Trump's 2020 campaign in New York, reports Newsigue & # 39; s Figueroa. While both are successful locally, expect the state to remain blue.