Former Trump Campaign Manager Registers As A Foreign Agent

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort will register with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent, according to reports by The Associated Press and NBC News.
Manafort led lobbying efforts on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a front group for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in the United States from 2010 to 2014.

The AP verified on Wednesday that Manafort received at least $1.2 million of a suspected $12.7 million in off-the-books payments from Yanukovych’s political party while the Russia-allied leader was still in power.

Manafort will be the second top Trump aide to retroactively register as a foreign agent. After Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser, he acknowledged that he had worked as an agent of the Turkish government to pressure the U.S. to extradite exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016.

When he said it was “time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.,” Trump attacked his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, for taking “massive sums of money from registered foreign lobbyists.” He further stated that he would ban members of his administration from becoming foreign agents and ban foreign lobbyist contributions.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the FBI had sought and obtained a warrant from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Carter Page, another former Trump campaign adviser, to investigate whether he was acting as a foreign intelligence asset of the Russian government.

It is ironic that two members of Trump’s campaign, including his longest-serving campaign manager and his closest national security adviser, have since turned out to be foreign agents, while another is suspected of being a foreign intelligence asset.

And O’Reilly does not say a word about any of it, probably because he is on a forced two week vacation that he may never come back from.


 

Fox News Host Admits He Has A Bias Against Democrats

11:00am

And of course Bill O’Reilly and Bernie Goldberg have not said a word about it, even though they both do a weekly media bias segment on the O’Reilly Factor. A segment where they claim to be non-partisan Independent who judge the media fairly, then they spend the entire segment crying about so-called liberal media bias, while almost never talking about conservative media bias at Fox News.

It’s actually laughable, you have two conservatives (and no liberals) doing what they claim is a non-partisan media bias segment, where the two conservatives give their biased opinion of what they see as liberal bias, when in reality to them any reporting that does not have a right-wing bias is liberal bias to them. It’s what they see, not reality. And they never talk about right-wing bias at Fox or any other conservative news sources. In fact, O’Reilly even denies there is right-wing bias at Fox, which is just ridiculous.

So Stuart Varney basically admitted he has a bias for Trump and against Obama when the bad jobs report came out for March. And then after admitting he has a bias, he still refused to blame Trump for the bad jobs report, even though they blamed Obama when it was not great, including Trump, who has been silent, but when the February report came out and it was pretty good, Trump took credit for it, even though he had nothing to do with it because it was only a month after Obama left office.

Fox Business host Stuart Varney admitted on air to a clear double standard on how he and Fox cover the monthly jobs report for presidents of different political parties. Less than an hour after a disappointing jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Varney revealed that if a similarly weak report had been published under President Barack Obama, he would have castigated the president as a failure — something he admittedly wouldn’t do to President Donald Trump.

On April 7, the BLS reported that the economy added just 98,000 jobs in March while the unemployment dropped slightly to 4.5 percent. The report also revised down the number of jobs created in January and February by 38,000. Though the improved unemployment rate is the lowest in 10 years, the number of new jobs created was far lower than the 175,000 jobs economists expected for the month.

Less than an hour after the report was announced, Varney called it a very weak jobs report but refused to lay blame on Trump. Varney admitted that, had this report come out during the Obama administration, “we would be all over them for the failure of the president’s economic policy.”

Varney repeatedly downplayed positive economic indicators during the Obama administration. Just one year ago, he tried to spin the March 2016 jobs report by questioning the quality of the 215,000 new jobs created. Months earlier, he had claimed that 292,000 new jobs created in December 2015 were modest by historical standards, even though it was one of the strongest reports of the entire year and showed nearly three times the number of jobs shown in the March 2017 report.

Varney’s momentary break of character shines a light on his network’s fair and balanced charade, but the spectacle has been on full display since Trump took office. Fox News praised a solid January jobs report as fantastic news, and wrongly credited Trump for creating jobs that actually predated his inauguration.

A month later, Fox personalities, including Varney, lauded a solid February jobs report as proof that Trump is simply winning everywhere and held it up as evidence of the beginnings, of a potential Trump Economic Era.

The rest of Fox News reported that the same jobs report Varney described as weak would stand as part of the most successful day of Trump’s presidency.

Partial transcript:

STUART VARNEY (HOST): Look, if we’d have had 98,000 new jobs in any month during the Obama administration, we would be all over them.

ASHLEY WEBSTER: Yes.

VARNEY: Failure of the president. Failure of the president’s economic policy. Okay? Why shouldn’t I say that now about Mr. Trump?

JOHN LONSKI: Well go ahead.

VARNEY: No, I’m not gonna do that.

GOP Ready To Give Up And Pull The Plug On Trump’s Dying Campaign

The RNC is holding members-only call tomorrow, where it is possible that they will raise the white flag on the presidential race by cutting off Donald Trump.

Politico reported on an RNC members only call that is taking place on Wednesday:

The RNC chairman last held a nationwide conference call two weeks ago, shortly after damaging revelations emerged that Donald Trump, in 2005, had bragged about sexually assaulting women. During that call, Priebus informed members that the committee would be standing by its besieged presidential nominee, despite a flurry of rumors to the contrary.

The committee is continuing to pour resources into Trump’s presidential bid, even as his poll numbers crater and GOP strategists worry about maintaining the party’s congressional majorities.

The logical conclusion to be drawn from the timing of this call, which was described as a political update, is that Priebus is going to announce that the Republican Party is finally taking the Trump campaign off of life support and redirecting their dwindling resources toward saving endangered Republican Senators.

Priebus wouldn’t be holding a private call with RNC members only if the news was good.

The RNC has continued to fund Trump’s campaign activities even after the Access Hollywood tape was released and the GOP nominee got trounced in the final two presidential debates.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a campaign operation of his own. He is dependent on the RNC for everything from rally organization to get out the vote efforts. Trump has no data operation, no real advertising operation, and no grassroots organization.

If the RNC cuts off Trump, the Republican Party will be effectively conceding the White House to Hillary Clinton.

The Republican Party appears to be finally be getting the message that funding Trump’s campaign is a waste of time and money.


Top Hispanic Republican In Texas Says He Will Vote For Clinton

From the Texas Tribune:

A leading Hispanic Republican in Texas says he has decided to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lionel Sosa, a veteran ad maker from San Antonio, told The Texas Tribune on Monday he will cast his ballot for Clinton to send a clear statement against Republican nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy.

“I want to make sure that I do everything I can to see that Trump doesn’t get elected,” said Sosa, who has worked for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. “I’m doing this because I don’t think he’s a good representative of the Republican Party. It’s not the Republican Party I know.”

Sosa announced in June that he was leaving the GOP over Trump, writing in a San Antonio Express-News op-ed that Trump’s divisive candidacy left him with no choice. Two months later, Sosa joined the campaign of Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, though Sosa said Monday that move did not amount to a strong enough rebuke of Trump.

“If I vote for Gary Johnson, it’s not enough of a statement,” said Sosa, who had been helping Johnson on a volunteer basis. “I must make a statement that Donald Trump cannot win.”

The Trump Campaign Has Spent More On Hats Than On Polling

And they wonder why they are losing, give me a break.

According to the Federal Election Commission filings, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has spent $1.8 million on polling from June 2015 through September of this year (the most recent month for which data are available).

The report also lists $3.2 million spent on hats.

Trump has probably spent more on hats than he has spent on direct mail. The campaign filings occasionally aggregate a few things from the same vendor under one line-item, so some of the hat spending was on collateral generally that includes some hats.

His campaign spent more than $2 million on a line-item that was exclusively hats, though. Overall, Trump’s spent about $15.3 million on collateral — shirts, hats, signs, etc. — more than he has spent on field consulting and voter lists and data.

He has spent at least twice as much on collateral as he has on payroll.

In one apparent concession to the traditions of running a political campaign, Trump has at least started spending more on ads.

The FEC reports don’t go into great detail about what is or isn’t ad spending, so they included things like direct mail, telemarketing services (which probably went to fundraising), the campaign’s website and digital outreach and so on.


Trump Campaign Admits They Are Using Voter Suppression Tactics
November 2, 2016 – 9:00am

The Trump campaign is publicly admitting that they are trying to win the election with three voter suppression efforts targeting white liberals, young women, and African-Americans.

Bloomberg reported:

To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official.

They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters.

The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls — particularly in Florida.

The effort was obvious, and according to the polling, it is failing.

Voter turnout among young women is expected to rise according to the latest Harvard IOP young voters poll. Sanders started flocking towards Clinton in August, and haven’t left, and early voting statistics show that African-American turnout is solid in swing states.

The Trump campaign has realized that they don’t have enough votes to win, so they are adopting tactics that run contrary to the heart of democracy to shrink the electorate in critical states.

However, for voter suppression efforts like Trump’s to be effective, the campaign must have a credible messenger. Donald Trump is not a credible messenger to any of the voters that he is trying to deter, and he has no effective surrogates that are capable of delivering his message.

A voter suppression effort was expected from the Trump campaign. What is unexpected is that the campaign would publicly brag about it.

People on all sides of the political spectrum who care about basic democratic institutions should be alarmed by Trump???s public attack on democracy.

The good news for all Americans is that Democrats are already fighting back, and the Trump campaign’s dark efforts to steal an election appear to be failing.


Trump’s Donors Paid For His Private Jet His Hotels And Now His Books
November 2, 2016 – 8:00am

Now if I were a Republican who donated money to the Trump campaign I would be mad that he spent the money on this nonsense.

Donald Trump used small donors money to buy nearly $300,000 worth of books from the publisher of his Art of the Deal last month, continuing a pattern of putting campaign money back into his own businesses.

The Oct. 15 Federal Election Commission filing for Trump Make America Great Again Committee does not specify which books in particular were purchased, but the committee’s own website suggests it was Trump’s 1987 business bestseller.

“I’ve signed an out-of-print, hardcover copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’ just for you, because I want you on board with Team Trump!” Trump wrote in an Aug. 2 fundraising email, which went on to offer the book for a minimum donation of $184.

Trump’s statement calling the book out-of-print, repeated on the committee’s website, however, is false. The Art of the Deal had a new paperback edition printed last October, and the hardcover is currently in print and available from Random House and retail booksellers. Barnes and Noble is selling it right now for $22.35.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump claims on his web site that his book, The Art of the Deal, is out of print. It is not, and is available both from his publisher and booksellers. Federal Election Commission Records show that his fundraising committee purchased $300,000 worth of books in August and September.

The Trump Make America Great Again Committee is a joint fundraising operation between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. An RNC spokeswoman referred a question about the books to the Trump campaign, which did not return phone calls and emails requesting comment.

Random House representatives also did not respond to Huffington Post queries.

While a second joint Trump-RNC committee concentrates on large contributions, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee focuses on small-dollar donations using online and direct-mail fundraising.

As of Sept. 30, 77 percent of all the money it raised came from donors who have given less than $200.

According to the committee’s Oct. 15 FEC filing, it paid Penguin/Random House $91,866 on Aug. 30, $98,975 on Sept. 1, and another $98,975 on Sept. 22. The purpose for all three was listed as: “Collateral: Books.”

The publishing house has printed five titles by Trump, including How to Get Rich and Think Like a Billionaire. The biggest seller, though, was The Art of the Deal, which was published in 1987 but has remained in print ever since. Trump frequently boasts about it in his campaign speeches, and it is the only one mentioned on the Trump fundraising website.

At the standard bulk discount offered by publishers, Trump’s fundraising committee could have purchased some 17,000 copies of the hardcover edition. Under a typical publishing contract, that quantity would generate over $70,000 in royalties, which Trump would have to split with his co-author.

So in other words, Trump made money on the campaign donations, buying his own lame books.

According to Trump’s financial disclosure statement filed in May, Trump received between $50,000 and $100,000 in royalties for that title over the previous year. The Daily Beast previously reported that Trump spent $55,000 in money from his own campaign to buy copies of his latest book, Crippled America, which was published by Simon and Schuster. Copies were distributed to GOP delegates attending the summer convention in Cleveland.

The purchase of books is just the latest example of Trump using donors money to purchase goods and services from his own businesses and generating personal profit for himself.

Trump houses his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, where the campaign pays $169,758 a month for office space at about $100 per square foot. (The Clinton campaign, in contrast, rents two floors in a Brooklyn Heights office building for about $32 per square foot.)

Trump paid his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach $423,373 on the same day in May that his campaign finalized a deal with the RNC that began bringing him hundreds of millions of dollars of outside donations — even though the only events he held there were two victory parties and an afternoon news conference two months earlier. He could have held those three events at nearby hotels for a total of about $40,000.

In July, Trump’s campaign sent $48,240 to his Westchester County golf course. The only event it had hosted for him was a June 7 victory party. Trump could have used a ballroom at a nearby Marriott hotel for less than half that much.

And Trump’s insistence on using his own personal Boeing 757 jet is now costing taxpayers millions of dollars extra. Because Trump’s Secret Service detail is making up a large percentage — and on some days even a majority — of the flying passengers, the agency must pay a proportionate share of the $10,000-an-hour flying costs.

So in other words, taxpayers are paying Trump money so he can use his own private jet.

Had Trump chosen to charter a more suitable airliner that would accommodate his staff, his security detail and his traveling press corps, as both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and previous GOP nominees have done, he could have driven down the costs for everyone.

Trump’s staff has defended his decisions to spend more at his own businesses rather than use less-expensive alternatives by pointing out that he is contributing $2 million a month to his own campaign.

That $2 million figure, however, is dwarfed by the many tens of millions of dollars per month coming to Trump’s campaign from both large and small donors.