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 on: Yesterday at 11:51:02 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by aDjUsToR
Trump isn't racist. It's weird how braindead the loony left are on this issue.

 on: Yesterday at 11:46:29 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by aDjUsToR
What did you do with yourself while Bazza O was on the throne?  😁

 on: Yesterday at 10:23:17 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

I think it's really good that the Republicans control both Congress and the Senate, yet because of their infighting and a narcissistic, moronic, fascist president, they are all-but paralysed and cannot even pass any of the big-ticket items of legislation.

China will be laughing as they become the world's new superpower to replace the stupid Americans.

Yep....Donald Trump is the best thing ever to happen to the world....he is trashing America.

 on: Yesterday at 10:20:19 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the Los Angeles Times....

With Trump and Congress increasingly at odds,
hopes for Republican legislative agenda fade

By LISA MASCARO | 3:40PM PDT - Thursday, August 17, 2017

In February, when President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shook hands during a White House ceremony, they had high hopes for their legislative agenda. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.
In February, when President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shook hands during a White House ceremony,
they had high hopes for their legislative agenda. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.

REPUBLICANS in Congress have tried to stick with President Trump in hopes that despite politically damaging outbursts from the White House, his pen would ultimately be able to sign their legislative agenda into law.

But in the aftermath of Trump's controversial response to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that promise seems ever more distant.

Congressional Republicans are now coming to grips with the reality that they are increasingly on their own, unable to rely on the president to helm their party, but without having powerful enough congressional leaders to bring bickering factions together.

That has dimmed prospects of passing big-ticket items such as tax reform, an infrastructure package or a new healthcare law.

At best, when lawmakers return to work next month, they hope to agree to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year on September 30th and not provoke a financial crisis with a prolonged standoff over raising the limit on federal debt, which the government will hit sometime in early October.

"The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Senator Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee) told reporters on Thursday after a meeting at the Chattanooga Rotary Club.

“I do think there need to be some radical changes," Corker said. “We need for him to be successful.”

The latest Trump outbursts solidified the gloomy assessment from many Republicans.

“It codified it: This administration has no hope of accomplishing any major policy goals,” said longtime Republican strategist Rick Tyler, a former top advisor to Newt Gingrich and to Senator Ted Cruz's presidential bid.

“We don't have to wonder about it. It's like driving your car past empty — the motor's going to stop, and it's not going to go forward anymore,” Tyler said. “These are the laws of physics, and legislation's very much the same."

Trump has emerged less a partner to the Republican majority in Congress than an unpredictable bystander, welcoming lawmakers to lunch one day, bashing them on Twitter the next.

Several senators got the latest taste of that on Thursday, when Trump swiftly turned on them after they critiqued his response to the neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump attacked both Senators Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) and Jeff Flake (Republican-Arizona) on Twitter during Thursday morning — assigning a derisive nickname, “Flake Jeff Flake”, to the Arizonan and praising one of the candidates lining up to run against him, Kelli Ward, a former state senator who last month predicted that John McCain, the state's senior senator who is being treated for cancer, would die soon and said that she should be appointed to replace him.

The praise for Ward marked an extremely rare presidential intervention into a primary against an incumbent of his own party — a move almost certain to increase tensions.

Graham's response was swift.

“You are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country,” Graham tweeted, referring to the congratulatory messages Trump received from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

“For the sake of our Nation — as our President — please fix this. History is watching us all.”

Rank-and-file Republicans, and other party leaders, are less likely to be as sharply critical. Many remain hopeful Trump — or his legislative team members, who are close to Vice President Mike Pence — can still help push parts of their agenda to passage.

But the payoff Republicans counted on when they backed Trump for president — large-scale legislative victories with GOP control of the House, Senate and the White House — has not happened.

Trump has blamed Congress. He said the collapse last month of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act was the fault of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) and other Senate Republicans. He lashed out several times at McCain for his no vote.

But Republican lawmakers and their staffs say the president's own performance was lacking. Trump's shifting views on the legislation and his unwillingness or inability to convince lawmakers — and the public — to rally around a preferred option was as much, if not more, to blame, they say.

A similar dynamic is unfolding on a tax overhaul bill. Republicans in the House and Senate are struggling to draft legislation that can meet the demands of both conservative and centrist Republicans. Trump has said taxes are a top priority, but has made no effort so far to sell the public on a proposal.

On Wednesday, he was supposed to tout his infrastructure plans, but instead, blotted out any discussion of that topic by his defense of the marchers in Charlottesville, who, he said, included many “very fine people”.

On Thursday, the White House said that plans to form a White House advisory council on infrastructure were being shelved.

Presidents and congressional leaders always have some tensions. But the current rift is extreme. To make things harder for Republicans, McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin) have not shown they are able to muscle through their priorities as effectively as the Democratic leaders, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, did during the opening period of the Obama administration.

Trump's 30% approval rating isn't helping either. It leaves the president without the political capital he needs to move Congress to action.

“When the country's on board, the Congress moves. That's the way it works. It's not a mystery,” said Tyler.

Despite their unhappiness, however, the Republican Congress is unlikely to take the sort of action against Trump that Democrats and outside groups on the left are demanding, such as a resolution to censure the president for his statements.

“There's an imperative right now in the country to make clear Trump is not speaking for the country when he defended Nazis and supremacists,” said Jesse Ferguson, a former top aide to Democrat Hillary Clinton. “The only way to do that is to have the co-equal branch of government say it.”

But even with Trump's sagging approval nationwide, the president remains popular in many states and congressional districts that elected Republicans to Congress. Lawmakers remain reluctant to put themselves crosswise with voters many will need in next year's mid-term elections.

Moreover, Republicans in Congress know that for better or worse, their political fates are hitched to Trump's popularity, which stems in part from his disruptive and racially tinged tone. That hitch was fixed in place last year when GOP lawmakers rallied around Trump as their nominee for president.

Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee and GOP leadership in Congress who opposed Trump for president, said that dynamic isn't likely to go away.

“As long as Trump remains popular with their primary voters,” he said, “I don't see things changing.”

• Lisa Mascaro covers Congress in Washington, D.C. for the Los Angeles Times. She writes about U.S. policy, economics and political culture. A Los Angeles-area native, she has reported across Southern California, edited, traveled the States and worked in Texas. While the Washington correspondent for the Las Vegas Sun, she contributed as the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. An economics and political science graduate of UC Santa Barbara, she also studied in Budapest, Hungary.


 on: Yesterday at 10:20:04 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the Los Angeles Times....

As he coddles neo-Nazis, Trump's political isolation increases

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Thursday, August 17, 2017

PRESIDENT TRUMP retreated to one of his private golf courses on Wednesday night amid the uproar over his sympathetic words for neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Trump needs his safe spaces, now more than ever, because he is becoming increasingly more isolated, politically and personally.

In a news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, the fake president taunted the “fake news” reporters and doubled down on his contention that anti-fascist demonstrators were as complicit as the fascists themselves for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend that left one young woman dead and many more injured. Reportedly, Trump has no regrets about the things he said. Apparently, he is very pleased with himself for delivering a belligerent defense of all the “very fine people” among the openly anti-Semitic, racist demonstrators. That perception was reinforced by his hyper-nationalist political advisor, Stephen K. Bannon, who enthusiastically declared the news conference “a defining moment” for Trump’s presidency.

And, indeed, it was a defining moment. It made crystal clear the truth that Donald Trump cannot shake his warm feelings for “blood and soil” racists who see him as their ally. White nationalist leader Richard Spencer is absolutely on target with his contention that, though Trump may not be ideologically in lock step with the movement, the president has a “psychic connection” with the alt-right.

So, Trump has the support of Spencer, Bannon and a bunch of pudgy, pugilistic, socially awkward men in polo shirts carrying torches and Confederate flags and raising their arms in Nazi salutes. Elsewhere, though, his support is shrinking. His poll numbers hit a new low this week — 34%, according to Gallup. Given that a quarter of Americans consistently prove their looniness by subscribing to preposterous conspiracy theories like birtherism and Pizzagate, that poll number indicates Trump is getting ever closer to being the president only of fools and fascists.

On Wednesday, Trump rushed to dissolve two highly-touted business advisory councils before all the CEOs on those panels quit. Business leaders had been bolting for the exits like an audience in a burning circus tent after Trump failed to make a distinction between the Nazi sympathizers who invaded Charlottesville and the people who showed up to protest their vile philosophy. On Tuesday, Trump slammed the departing CEOs as “grandstanders” and said he could easily replace them, but, by Wednesday, the president must have realized no prominent businessman in his right mind now wants to ruin his reputation by colluding with him.

In another dramatic move, five top military leaders — the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard — made strong statements condemning racism and Nazism. The Army chief of staff, General Mark A. Milley, sent out a tweet that said, “The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism or hatred in our ranks. It's against our values and everything we've stood for since 1775.” Such pointed comments from the military's top brass are highly unusual and are a sharp, if indirect, rebuke to the commander in chief.

Several conservative pundits and Republican activists expressed outrage at Trump's defense of the white nationalists. On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer branded Trump's comments “a moral disgrace”. Most GOP elected officials shied away from criticizing Trump so directly, even as they issued their own condemnations of bigotry. Some, though, did take Trump on, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said the president was wrong for not assigning all the blame for the Charlottesville tragedy to white supremacists. “We cannot allow this old evil to be resurrected,” Rubio tweeted.

Reportedly, some members of Trump's Cabinet and White House team were upset by the president's comments, too. As Chief of Staff John F. Kelly stood off to the side of Trump during the Tuesday news conference, he exuded the body language of a man who realizes he has sold his soul to the devil. The media is now abuzz with speculation about how long these people can work for a man with such a skewed moral compass before self-loathing impels them to resign.

Seven months into his four-year term, Trump is fast becoming as politically isolated as Richard Nixon in his final days in office. He feels no sense of loyalty to anyone, except, perhaps, members of his family. He insults allies, demeans his own appointees and treats even well-meaning critics as enemies. Trump is a man without real friends in Washington. In the rest of the country, a majority of people now see him as incompetent, if not a clear and present danger to the republic.

But Trump still has his base. And he will cling to them and coddle them, even if some among them are Nazis and white supremacists. It is a twisted neediness that makes Donald Trump blind to obvious evil.


Related to this topic:

 • Racist extremists, no ‘many sides”, brought terror to Charlottesville


 on: Yesterday at 10:18:07 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post....

EDITORIAL: Should the president's advisers stay or resign?

The morality of damage control in the ‘House of Trump’.

By EDITORIAL BOARD | 8:10PM EDT - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. — Photograph: Matt McClain/The Washington Post.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. — Photograph: Matt McClain/The Washington Post.

IN THE wake of President Trump's stunning defense of white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville, Republican politicians and members of the administration are coming under increasing pressure to distance themselves from the president. For officeholders and candidates, it is past time. For people inside government, the calculation is more complicated.

Mr. Trump's comments on Tuesday gave comfort to racists and hatemongers. After white supremacists chanted anti-Semitic slogans and brandished Nazi salutes in a rally that culminated in the murder of Heather Heyer, 32, and the wounding of 19 others, Mr. Trump found “blame on both sides” and “very fine people, on both sides”. Members of Mr. Trump's party, from Virginia gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie up to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wisconsin), ought to have no difficulty saying that a person who holds such views is not fit to be the nation's leader.

But what about administration insiders? So far, a handful of business and union leaders have resigned from White House advisory councils, prompting Mr. Trump on Wednesday to announce that he was abolishing two groups. (Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com and owner of The Washington Post, has visited the White House as a member of a separate technology advisory council.) We admired Kenneth C. Frazier, the CEO of drugmaker Merck, when he became the first to quit after Mr. Trump found fault on “many sides” of the Charlottesville events. Mr. Frazier acted on principle, and Mr. Trump promptly lashed out at him on Twitter.

But is the country better off without the councils? You could argue there was a marginal advantage in Mr. Trump hearing from businesspeople who, for example, believe climate change is real and trade is beneficial. On the other hand, the councils didn't seem to have much impact. Their disappearance probably won't matter much one way or another.

The resignation of Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, on the other hand — or Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis or national security adviser H.R. McMaster — might matter a lot. Mr. Kelly, in particular, who stood impassively to one side as Mr. Trump went on his Tuesday tirade, is being extensively analyzed, advised, prodded and deplored. We didn't find anything to regret when his predecessor, Reince Priebus, left the scene. Mr. Priebus, first as Republican National Committee chairman and then as White House chief, had been primarily a Trump enabler. “Winning is the antidote to a lot of things,” he famously said in February 2016.

Maybe the same is true of Mr. Kelly; it's hard to know from the outside. But maybe the former Marine general is trying to bring order to the White House in ways that could reduce the risk of unintended war or uncontrolled crisis. Mr. Mattis, similarly, seems to be trying to keep things from spinning out of control in Northeast Asia; Mr. Tillerson has tried to prevent a counterproductive rupture of the nuclear deal with Iran; Mr. McMaster is trying to forge a strategy for Afghanistan. Each of these men must consider, every day, whether they are maximizing whatever leverage they have for the good of the country, and whether their accomplishments justify whatever “normalizing” benefit their presence conveys on their chief executive. As long as they can answer yes, we think they should be thanked, not condemned.


Related to this topic:

 • Lack of discipline from Trump leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed

 • Everyone working for Trump knows his Charlottesville response is an abomination


 on: Yesterday at 10:17:54 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post....

Trump's lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff
frustrated and dismayed

Kelly’s early attempts to impose order on the White House
are derailed by the president himself.

By ASHLEY PARKER and ROBERT COSTA | 8:10PM EDT - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks down as President Trump talked about Charlottesville and white supremacists on Tuesday at Trump Tower. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks down as President Trump talked about Charlottesville and white supremacists
on Tuesday at Trump Tower. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY — As the new White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly routes all calls to and from President Trump through the White House switchboard, where he can sign off on them. He stanches the flow of information reaching the president's desk. And he requires that all staff members — including Trump's relatives — go through him to reach the president.

But none of those attempts at discipline mattered this week. Instead, Kelly stood to the side as Trump upended his new chief of staff's carefully scripted plans — pinballing through an impromptu and combative news conference in New York in which he inflamed another self-inflicted controversy by comparing the actions of white supremacist groups at a deadly rally in Charlottesville last weekend with the counterprotesters who came to oppose them.

The uproar — which has consumed not only the White House but the Republican Party — left Kelly deeply frustrated and dismayed just over two weeks into his job, said people familiar with his thinking. The episode also underscored the difficult challenges that even a four-star general faces in instilling a sense of order around Trump, whose first instinct when cornered is to lash out, even self-destructively.

By Wednesday, Trump, back at his New Jersey golf club, was further isolated and the White House was again under attack. Some aides and confidants privately described themselves as sickened and appalled, if not entirely surprised, by Trump's off-the-cuff comments. And the president watched, furious, as a cascade of chief executives distanced themselves from him, prompting the dissolution of his major business advisory councils.

Kelly allies say the former homeland security secretary came into the West Wing job clear-eyed and practical, with the goal of implementing discipline on the staff and processes of the White House, not controlling the president.

“It's clear Kelly is having a stabilizing and organizing influence on the White House,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Republican-Georgia), an informal Trump adviser. But, he added, “He will gradually have an impact on Trump but it won't be immediate. There are parts of Trump that are almost impossible to manage.”

Another Republican operative and unofficial White House adviser was more definitive, saying that no matter how respected or talented Kelly may be, his first 2½ weeks on the job demonstrated an essential truth about the Trump White House: The president will act as he so pleases, even despite — and sometimes to spite — the efforts of his aides.

“The Kelly era was a bright, shining interlude between failed attempts to right the Trump presidency and it has now come to a close after a short but glorious run,” the operative said. “Like all people who work for the president, he has since experienced the limits of the president's promises to co-operate in order to ensure the success of the enterprise.”

This portrait of the White House under Kelly comes from interviews with 17 West Wing aides, informal advisers, Republican lawmakers and Trump confidants, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to offer a more candid assessment.

During Kelly's short tenure, Trump has startled the world with his bellicose rhetoric on North Korea and attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky), further imperiling his stalled legislative agenda.

Nonetheless, Kelly has largely improved staff morale, and implemented a rigor and order that has made West Wing aides feel both more optimistic and less mistrustful of one another, several White House aides said.

He has been empowered to shake up the staff, if necessary, although one confidant noted that all Kelly has done is restrict access to Trump. The chief of staff is reviewing everyone's portfolio, and this friend noted that more West Wing consternation may occur when Kelly begins reallocating assignments.

Longtime Trump campaign associates have been left out of the loop and unable to build a rapport with Kelly. He has shown little interest in courting them or in seeking out their advice about how to improve the president's standing. Phone calls go unreturned or handled in a friendly but curt fashion by his top aide, Kirstjen Nielsen, who came over with Kelly from the Homeland Security Department, they said.

On Wednesday, Hope Hicks, one of the president's most loyal and trusted advisers, was elevated to the role of interim communications director — a role she has unofficially occupied for some time.

In the week before Trump departed for an August vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey, the entire West Wing team began showing up at the 8 a.m. senior staff meetings. Even Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump — who rarely if ever appeared at staff meetings led by Reince Priebus, the previous chief of staff — began regularly attending.

New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Donald Trump shake hands in the Oval Office on July 31st. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Donald Trump shake hands in the Oval Office on July 31st.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

Kelly has transformed the West Wing from a political Grand Central Station — with aides and hangers-on cycling through the Oval Office — into an actual place of business. One outside adviser recalls stopping by the White House to say hello to his friends on days he had free time. Under Kelly, he said, approvingly, “If you're coming, now it's, ‘Why are you coming? Who are you coming to see? And why does the White House care about what you have to say?’”

Aides usually work through Nielsen, and she funnels information to Kelly, who decides what to show the president.

One key difference between Kelly and Priebus, two White House officials said, is that aides respect Kelly and think his efforts to control the information flow to Trump are about better serving the president — not self-preservation.

Nonetheless, Trump has shown signs of chafing. Despite Kelly's switchboard requirement, the president has used his personal cellphone to reach people. And one person close to Trump described him as a “caged animal” under Kelly, saying he is always going to respond negatively to attempts to corral him or keep him to a script.

The president was upset by the almost uniform backlash toward his initial statement on Saturday about the violent rally in Charlottesville, in which he did not condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name, and decried violence from both sides.

Although he did offer a broader scripted condemnation on Monday, he reverted on Tuesday to what aides and confidants say are his more authentic views, arguing that both sides were to blame for the violence.

Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, who is Jewish, appeared with Trump at Tuesday's news conference, standing behind the president in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York as he said that there were good people who protested alongside the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who organized the rally. Those close to Cohn described him as “disgusted” and “frantically unhappy”, although he did not threaten to resign.

But Trump felt vindicated after the remarks, said people familiar with his thinking. He believes that his base agrees with his assertion that both sides are guilty of violence and that the nation risks sliding into a cauldron of political correctness.

On Capitol Hill, Kelly's evident lack of an ideological compass has drawn mixed reactions from Republicans who have dealt with him, said lawmakers and aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly.

Republican leaders appreciate Kelly's light touch on strategy and planning for a busy September. Instead of dictating terms, he is listening to their mounting concerns about legislative expectations and assuring them that he will be a partner.

“He's not an Alexander Haig giving orders,” said Representative Peter T. King (Republican-New York), referring to the late four-star Army general who served as chief of staff under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. “He's been very direct, to the point, making clear what the president's position is. He's firm and tough, but not heavy-handed. He's seen as a totally responsible person.”

But some of Trump's conservative allies said they wish Kelly would do more to force the Republican establishment to rally behind the president, and they worry that Kelly is following the model of Priebus by showing too much deference to congressional Republican leaders.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have talked about Kelly as a “black box” who is unreadable on policy, several people close to the group said.

But within the West Wing, Kelly remains popular. Late last week in Bedminster, he gathered at Trump's clubhouse restaurant for a relaxed, social dinner with the senior staff members. The group included Ivanka Trump, son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Hicks, Nielsen and others. The president also came by, staying for the full meal.

As they reminisced about the campaign and told jokes, Kelly offered a quip. “The best job I ever had was as a sergeant in the Marine Corps,” he said with a laugh, “and after one week on this job, I believe the best job I ever had is as a sergeant in the Marine Corps.”

Robert Costa reported from Washington D.C.

• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• Robert Costa is a national political reporter at The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: GOP grapples with response to Trump

 • VIDEO: Trump's remarks on Charlottesville, in less than three minutes

 • ‘Nazis must be confronted’: World leaders accuse Trump of ‘glossing over’ racist violence

 • PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY: What lawmakers have said about the tragedy in Charlottesville and Trump's reaction


 on: Yesterday at 10:17:02 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post....

Three fundraising giants cancel plans for galas at Mar-a-Lago

The defections expose a key business vulnerability at President Trump's Palm Beach club.

By DREW HARWELL and DAVID A. FAHRENTHOLD | 1:33PM EDT - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Workers lay out the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2016. — Photograph: Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Workers lay out the red carpet at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2016. — Photograph: Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

THREE fundraising giants decided to pull events from President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach on Thursday, signaling a direct blowback to his business empire from his comments on Charlottesville's racial unrest.

The American Cancer Society, a high-dollar client at the club since at least 2009, cited its “values and commitment to diversity” in a statement on its decision to move an upcoming fundraising gala. Another longtime Mar-a-Lago customer, the Cleveland Clinic, abruptly changed course on its winter event only days after saying it planned to continue doing business at Mar-a-Lago, a leading venue for charitable events in the posh resort town.

The American Friends of Magen David Adom, which raises money for Israel's equivalent of the Red Cross, also said it would not hold its 2018 gala at the club “after considerable deliberation”, though it did not give a reason. The charity had one of Mar-a-Lago's biggest events last season, with about 600 people in attendance.

The cancellations will undoubtedly squeeze revenue for the private club Trump calls the “winter White House”, where similar-size events have often brought in fees of between $100,000 and $275,000 each.

But the Florida club may face an even deeper crisis of confidence from the local business community. The head of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, of which Mar-a-Lago is a member, called the business “morally reprehensible” on Thursday and said she expected more charities to defect.

“The glitter, the shine has gone from the club,” chamber executive director Laurel Baker said, “and I can't help but think there will be more fallout from it.”

The rapid rejections of one of the president's signature businesses revealed a possible financial vulnerability for Trump, who has been fiercely criticized this week for equating the actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis with counterprotesters during a violent weekend in Charlottesville.

They also come days after Trump faced condemnations from corporate executives on two of the White House's top business advisory groups, which were disbanded in a stinging rebuke to Trump after his controversial message.

The White House referred questions about the charitable events to the Trump Organization, which did not respond.

At least seven other groups that frequented Mar-a-Lago — including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in New York and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami — have announced in recent months that they would choose other venues, citing reasons such as political differences and security hassles.

Mar-a-Lago's upcoming winter season, the peak of Palm Beach social life, looks as though it will be the slowest period for charity events in at least a decade, according to a Washington Post analysis of upcoming events.

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation's leading medical centers, abruptly canceled its event plans on Thursday, and spokeswoman Eileen Sheil told The Washington Post that “there were a variety of factors” behind the cancellation. “We're not elaborating,” she added.

Shortly afterward, the American Cancer Society announced that it was backing out, saying in a statement: “Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community. It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations.”

Both health-related groups faced growing pressure to reconsider their support of the president's business amid Trump controversies. But the cancellations don't come without risk: The Cleveland Clinic said it had raised about $1 million a year for medical equipment over the past eight years at Mar-a-Lago.

Baker, head of the Palm Beach chamber, spoke vigorously against Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, saying that her directive to nearby charities was “If you're looking at your mission statement, can you honestly say having an event at Mar-a-Lago, given all that has transpired, is the best stewardship of your efforts?”

“The club is a member of the chamber. But right is right,” she added in an interview. She said her mantra this week is “‘The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis’. Especially for nonprofits. Especially for groups who help people who can't help themselves.”

The Cleveland Clinic had still intended to host its ninth gala there as recently as last week. The move followed weeks of public turmoil, including a letter signed by 1,600 health professionals and others last month that said the Mar-a-Lago booking “symbolically and financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to healthcare.”

The clinic's chief executive, Toby Cosgrove, was among the business leaders on the president's Strategic and Policy Forum who agreed to disband on Wednesday. Trump said on Twitter that he would end the forum and a separate American Manufacturing Council “rather than putting pressure on the business­people.”

Mar-a-Lago has faced growing scrutiny from supporters of Trump's “buy American, hire American” agenda because of its recent requests for foreign workers. The club, which has sought dozens of H-2B visas for foreign employees because it argued that it can't find Americans to do the work, was absent last week at a job fair in West Palm Beach.

The charity moves are a welcome development for other venues, such as the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, where spokesman Nick Gold said calls have increased from groups looking to hold fundraising events.

“There's a lot of concern from these charities, where their boards of directors are probably not wanting to be at Mar-a-Lago for a variety of reasons,” including reasons related to Trump, he said.

• Drew Harwell is a national business reporter at The Washington Post.

• David A. Fahrenthold is a reporter covering the Trump family and their business interests for The Washington Post. He has been at The Post since 2000, and previously covered Congress, the federal bureaucracy, the environment, and the D.C. police.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump's remarks on Charlottesville, in less than three minutes

 • The banquet business was booming at Mar-a-Lago. Then Trump became president.

 • At Mar-a-Lago, the star power of the presidency helps charities — and Trump — make more money


 on: Yesterday at 11:18:28 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: Yesterday at 09:32:25 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Donald
Greens down to 4.5%.....

 Ktj........"major political parties can't handle the fact that the GREENs are more morally upright and have higher principles than them"

...ahhhhhhhahaha...what a wanker....wouldn't be employed by kiwirail by any chance😉

...seem to remember a CERTAIN member of this forum idolising the greens......so much so that he was demented enough to think that they would have the most members of parliament by now.    What a wanker......he must be so depressed now....poor guy😏

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