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America's “presidential” president…

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Having fun in the hills!

« on: April 14, 2018, 10:37:58 pm »

from The New York Times....

Trump Calls Comey ‘Untruthful Slime Ball’ as Book Details Released

President Trump, who fired James B. Comey as his F.B.I. director, took
to Twitter on Friday morning to disparage him as a leaker and liar.

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and ALEXANDER BURNS | 7:31PM EDT — Friday, April 13, 2018

James B. Comey last year at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.
James B. Comey last year at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON — James B. Comey's searing tell-all book was met with an aggressive counter-attack on his character by President Trump and his allies on Friday, even as many Democrats struggled with conflicted feelings about the man they blame for Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 election.

In the book, Mr. Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired as F.B.I. director in May, describes the president as “unethical, and untethered to truth,” and writes that he often wondered about Mr. Trump's refusal to acknowledge Russia's attempt to influence the election. “Maybe it was a contrarian streak,” he wrote, “or maybe it was something more complicated that explained his constant equivocation and apologies for Vladimir Putin.” He also compares the president to a Mafia boss.

Pointed details from the book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership leaked out Thursday night before its official release on Tuesday. The response from the president was personal and vicious, even by Mr. Trump's standards.

In two early-morning tweets, the president called the former F.B.I. director an “untruthful slime ball” and a “proven LEAKER & LIAR.” Mr. Trump said that it was his “great honor to fire” Mr. Comey.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, escalated the criticism later in the day, saying Mr. Comey will “be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the president of the United States.”

The Republican National Committee joined in with an all-hands effort to discredit Mr. Comey by distributing lengthy talking points to conservative pundits, sympathetic media hosts and Republican lawmakers.

The message was coordinated with the White House's and echoes Mr. Trump's. “Comey is a liar and a leaker, and his misconduct led both Republicans and Democrats to call for his firing,” said Ronna McDaniel, the committee chairwoman.

The talking points describe Mr. Comey as a “disgraced former official” and a “consummate Washington insider who knows how to work the media to protect his flanks.” It says that Mr. Comey was “strongly criticized by members of both parties for his history of bizarre decisions, contradictory statements and acting against Department of Justice and F.B.I. protocol.”

The committee created a “Lyin' Comey” website and sent out mass emails to reporters litigating the claims in his book and interviews.

Foreshadowing the attack Mr. Trump delivered on Friday, the committee's talking points branded Mr. Comey as a leaker consumed with grievances against Mr. Trump and listed Comey-bashing quotes from Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the current Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

Mr. Comey will have an opportunity to respond to his critics during a book tour that will take him to venues across the country. His first major interview, with ABC News, is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday night, though the network began airing clips on Friday morning after the book leaked out.

He will have several other high-profile appearances in Washington, followed by events at bookstores in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and other cities. At each, Mr. Comey's observations about the president's behavior and character are certain to generate headlines.

The Republican National Committee is organizing television and radio bookings for people appearing to rebut Mr. Comey during the tour. Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr. Trump's most loyal advisers, was up early on Friday to question Mr. Comey's credibility for the TV cameras.

“We find that Mr. Comey has a revisionist view of history and seems like a disgruntled ex-employee,” Ms. Conway said. “After all, he was fired.”

Fox News, the president's preferred TV news network, plans to air its own special on Sunday night, “The Trial of James Comey”, at 9 p.m. on “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton”.

President Donald J. Trump and James B. Comey at the White House days after the inauguration. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.
President Donald J. Trump and James B. Comey at the White House days after the inauguration. — Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times.

Republicans on Friday also leapt at the chance to tie Mr. Comey to Andrew G. McCabe, his former deputy director, after the Justice Department inspector general issued a highly critical report that accused Mr. McCabe of repeatedly misleading investigators.

Not all of the personal insults were coming from the president and his allies. At times, Mr. Comey seemed to be doing the same thing in his book, writing at one point that Mr. Trump's face appeared “slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles.”

Mr. Comey's comparison of the president's operating style to the Mafia — “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them world-view. The lying about all things, large and small” — might have been expected to please Democrats if it had come from someone else. But at least initially, he received a somewhat muted defense from Democrats still angry about the way he handled the investigation into Mrs. Clinton's private email server.

While they cheered on his fight with Mr. Trump, they argued that Mr. Comey should not have made public the email inquiry the way he did.

“He let his own ego get in the way, and it put him in charge of fate that was not his decision to act on,” said Jennifer Palmieri, a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton's campaign. “I don't think he had partisan motivations. But there's a lot of people I know who don't agree with me on that.”

Anger from Democrats toward Mr. Comey cascaded across social media on Friday. Ms. Palmieri said she would urge them not to join Mr. Trump in piling on Mr. Comey, even though she admitted there is “a lot of resentment” toward him.

“I don't agree that he's an untruthful slimeball,” she said, adding that Democrats should not help the president undermine Mr. Comey's credibility. “That's not responsible or productive.”

Mr. Trump's decision to fire Mr. Comey last May eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's 2016 election meddling and whether Mr. Trump has deliberately tried to obstruct the investigation. In an extraordinary day of testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee the next month, he foreshadowed many of the themes of his book, describing how Mr. Trump had tried to derail an investigation of Michael T. Flynn, who served briefly as national security adviser and accused the president of lying and defaming him and the F.B.I.

The former F.B.I. chief's much-anticipated 304-page memoir is the first major memoir by one of the key characters in the Trump administration.

Some of the moments that Mr. Comey describes in the book were already publicly known: He describes a January 2017 dinner where he said that Mr. Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge, an episode that was reported by multiple news organizations last year. But the details cast Mr. Trump and his aides in a negative light.

The time Mr. Comey first briefed Mr. Trump on Russian election meddling has also been frequently described. In the book, Mr. Comey added his own description of how a discussion about a grievous intrusion into the American election process became “a strategy session about messaging on Russia — about how they could spin what we'd just told them.”


Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Alexander Burns from New York. Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting from Washington.

• Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he covers President Trump, with a focus on domestic policy, the regulatory state and life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A veteran political correspondent, he covered Barack Obama's presidency, including the 2012 re-election campaign. Before coming to The N.Y. Times in 2010, he spent 18 years at The Washington Post, writing about local communities, school districts, state politics, the 2008 presidential campaign and the White House. A member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Mr. Shear is a 1990 graduate of Claremont McKenna College and has a masters in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two teenage children.

• Alexander Burns is a political reporter for The New York Times on the National desk, covering elections and the dynamics of political power across the country. He was one of the lead reporters covering Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, after coming to The Times in 2015 as a political correspondent for the Metro desk. Mr. Burns was a reporter and editor at Politico before joining The N.Y. Times, covering the 2012 presidential election and the Republican Party's struggle to define itself during the Obama presidency. He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he edited the Harvard Political Review.


Related to this topic:

 • Read The New York Times' review of Mr. Comey's memoir: James Comey Has a Story to Tell. It's Very Persuasive.

 • Comey's Memoir Offers Visceral Details on a President ‘Untethered to Truth’

 • F.B.I. Agents Supported Comey, Surveys Show, Weakening Trump's Claim of Turmoil

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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 01:25:07 am »

The following editorial appeared in the print edition of The New York Times last Friday. The e-version was in my inbox when I got home from work not long after 1:00am on Saturday morning (I have a subscription to The New York Times and a few other newspapers worldwide). In the print edition, the editorial took up an entire double-page spread, which was what got my attention. Later that day (Saturday, our time down-under), the same editorial appeared on The N.Y. Times website, but with hotlinks to back up everything, including heaps of links to tweets made by President Dumb himself.

The edititorial “hits the nail right on the head” about the “PRESIDENTIAL” president (emperor with no clothes) currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

from The New York Times....



REMEMBER WHEN President Michelle Wolf outraged the conscience of conservatives across America by cracking a joke about the press secretary's eye makeup? Oh, wait — Ms. Wolf is a comedian. Telling jokes is her job.

A better example is President Hillary Clinton, who disregarded all protocol and endangered our national security by relying on a private email server to conduct some government business. Hold on, you say Mrs. Clinton isn't president, either?

O.K., then — how about Barack Obama, an actual president? His disrespect for that station is the stuff of legend. A tan suit. Shirtsleeves in the Oval Office. Those big, impertinent feet defiling the presidential desk.

President Trump has managed to avoid those particular offenses. His suits are dark, his ties patriotically long. Yet in so many other ways he is violating Americans' expectations of how presidents should behave — even of how adults should behave, particularly when children are watching. Yes, Mr. Trump has now been compared to Joseph Stalin by one senior senator from his party, and, yes, he has been pre-emptively disinvited to the prospective funeral of another. But most Republican leaders, usually such vigilant guardians of Oval Office decorum, have remained strangely silent.

So, for the fourth time in a year, we've compiled a list of Mr. Trump's more egregious transgressions. These items don't represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.

We find this guide a helpful way to avoid growing numb to what is so abnormal about this presidency, and to remind ourselves that a day may yet come when dignity and decency will matter again, even, perhaps, to Mr. McConnell and his fellow hypocrites.


  • Use your unsecured personal cellphone to call, among others, media personalities who parrot your talking points — and when you're told this is a security risk, refuse to stop, saying that would be “too inconvenient”.

  • Say that professional athletes who don't stand during the national anthem perhaps “shouldn't be in the country”.

  • Falsely claim your approval rating among black Americans has doubled.

  • Be described by your current chief of staff as “uninformed” on immigration policy.

  • Suggest that a law enforcement officer who failed to stop the massacre was a “coward”, that sheriff's deputies who responded to the attack were “disgusting” and a “disgrace” — and later claim, despite dodging the draft because of bone spurs in your heels, that you would have rushed in, even without a weapon.

  • Congratulate the Russian president on his sham election victory even after aides warn you, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE”, and, when you call him, fail to mention Russia's meddling in your election.

  • Ask the deputy director of the F.B.I. how his wife, who was defeated in a campaign for political office, feels being a “loser”.

  • Stream on your re-election campaign website a live list of donors giving money during your State of the Union speech.

  • Tweet that you “hereby demand” the Department of Justice investigate the F.B.I. for supposedly infiltrating your campaign for “political purposes”.


  • Shut down a bogus voter-fraud commission because “Democrat states” refuse to turn over necessary information, even though states with both Democratic and Republican leadership did, and for good reason.

  • Tell reporters that “It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it”.

  • While debating policy with lawmakers on live television, accidentally agree to a deal that is the opposite of what your party wants, get corrected by the House majority leader, and then release an official White House transcript that omits the exchange.

  • Claim that a new tax bill you support will “cost me a fortune”, even though it will probably save you millions, but who knows since you refuse to release your tax returns.

  • Take credit for the fact that no one died on a domestic commercial airliner during your first year in office.

  • Continue to mock foreign leaders by implying that they are, among other things, “short and fat”.

  • Tell your advisers that the 15,000 Haitians sent here in 2017 “all have AIDS,” and that Nigerians who saw America would never “go back to their huts”.

  • Falsely claim a rise in British crime is due to “radical Islamic terror”.

  • Taunt a foreign leader who claims he has nuclear weapons by saying your “nuclear button” is “a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” and threaten his country with nuclear annihilation over Twitter.

  • Criticize a law that your party firmly supports, then, two hours later, reverse yourself.

  • Call for the firing of “son of a bitch” athletes who choose to exercise their right to free speech.

  • Spend the weekend golfing at your private club while the mayor of an American city wades through sewage-filled water to help citizens after a catastrophic hurricane, then accuse that mayor of “poor leadership” when she criticizes your administration's slow response to the storm.

  • During a visit to some of those victims, throw rolls of paper towels at them and tell them they should be “very proud” that only 16 people have died so far, unlike in a “real catastrophe”.

  • Pick nominees to the federal bench who call a sitting Supreme Court justice a “judicial prostitute” and refer to transgender children as part of “Satan's plan”.

  • Campaign hard for a Senate candidate; then when he appears likely to lose, say “I might have made a mistake” and later delete your tweets supporting him.

  • Publicly and privately humiliate your own attorney general for recusing himself from an investigation into your campaign.

  • Say nothing when a foreign leader's bodyguards brutally attack peaceful protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C.

  • Help draft a misleading statement about the purpose of a meeting between your son, other top campaign aides and representatives of a rival foreign power intent on interfering in the election.

  • Deliver a speech to the Boy Scouts of America that includes mockery of a former president and winking references to sexual orgies, and then lie by claiming that the head of that organization called and told you it was the best speech ever delivered in Boy Scout history.

  • Continue to deny that Russia attempted to influence the presidential election, despite the consensus of the American intelligence community — and yet also blame your predecessor for not doing anything to stop that interference.

  • Pressure multiple intelligence chiefs to state publicly that there was no collusion between your presidential campaign and the Russian government.

  • Continue to repeat, with admiration, a false story about an American military general committing war crimes.

  • Hide data that doesn't support your pre-existing policy preferences.

  • Profit off the presidency, accepting millions of dollars from foreign government officials, businesses, politicians and other supporters who pay a premium to patronize your properties and get access to you — while also attempting to hide the visitor lists at some of those properties from the public.

  • Promise to drain the swamp, then quietly grant ethics waivers to multiple former industry lobbyists who want to work in your administration.

  • Compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis.

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