Not exactly the first string . . .

Now we learn that Michael Cohen paid a guy from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University to rig pre-election polls on The Drudge Report to make Trump look good.  Cohen made the payment by handing the guy $13,000 cash in a WalMart plastic grocery bag.

Paying someone from Liberty University cash in a bag to rig an online poll just reminds you that we’re really not playing against the varsity here.

 

Fox will not report these facts

Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress

Donald Trump directed his longtime “fixer” Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, Buzzfeed News reported Thursday night.

The lie was about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow — and special counsel Robert Mueller knows all about it.

Buzzfeed reported that, “Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.”

“The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents,” Buzzfeed explained. “Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.”

Buzzfeed claims their reporting, “is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.”

The story also explains that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. received detailed updates about the Trump Moscow project.

Trump biographer:  “He has to rig every game he’s playing.”

On Friday, it was reported that President Donald Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, paid an IT guy to rig polls in favor of Trump.

CNN host Don Lemon had author Michael D’Antonio and Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Rothfeld, who broke the story, on to discuss the development.

“During the campaign, you heard [Trump] complaining all the time, ‘The polls are rigged, the polls are rigged,’” Lemon said. “Now we find out Cohen was trying to rig the polls in his favor. Yes, they are rigged… I’ve been told on good authority the reason he did it is because they wanted [Trump] to show up in the polls just enough for us suckers in the media to talk about him, to get his name out there.”

D’Antonio, the author of “The Truth About Trump,” was not surprised by the revelation.

“Donald Trump believes either you’re a sucker or you’re taking advantage of the suckers,” he said. “So we were the suckers. They took advantage of us. But there’s also I think something consistent with Donald Trump’s entire life going on here. This is a man who thinks that he cannot win a straight-up competition. He has to somehow rig whatever game he’s playing.”

D’Antonio also said that Trump telegraphs his bad acts by accusing others of the same thing.

“Whatever [Trump] accuses others of doing is the thing that he’s doing himself. Right? So who imagines that the polls are rigged? The guy who’s rigging the polls.”

 

Trump claims women wrapped with tape found at the border; experts say he’s lying . . . nothing new here, he lies all the time

President Trump has a new favorite anecdote, one that fixates on tape.

Specifically, in public remarks at the White House, at the border and at farming conventions, the president has been talking about tape on the mouths of migrant women. On at least eight occasions over a period of 12 days this month, the president has argued publicly for his proposed wall on the southern border by claiming without evidence that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape before illegally driving them through the desert from Mexico to the United States in the backs of cars and windowless vans.

In Trump’s telling, the adhesive is sometimes blue tape. Other times it is electrical tape or duct tape.

In some instances, the descriptions are more salacious and graphic. “Human trafficking — grabbing women, in particular — and children, but women — taping them up, wrapping tape around their mouths so they can’t shout or scream, tying up their hands behind their back and even their legs and putting them in a back seat of a car or a van — three, four, five, six, seven at a time,” the president said in the Cabinet Room on Jan. 11. (A timeline of the president’s taped-women remarks appears below.)

With an eerie specificity, Trump has characterized these acts as commonplace.

Yet human-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about.

“I think his statements are completely divorced from reality,” said Ashley Huebner, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “That’s not a fact pattern that we see.”

In interviews with The Washington Post this week, seven aid workers and academics who have worked on the border or have knowledge of trafficking there echoed Huebner’s characterization of the president’s tape anecdote. A separate story reported in the Toronto Star cited several additional experts who said Trump’s lurid narrative — migrant women bound, gagged and driven across the border — does not align with their known reality.

“I have no idea the roots of it,” said Edna Yang, assistant executive director of American Gateways, a Texas-based immigration legal services and advocacy nonprofit. “I haven’t seen a case like that.”

“I’ve never had that,” said Anne Chandler, executive director of the Houston office of the Tahirih Justice Center, who said she has been dealing with human trafficking for 20 years and recently met with people in Tijuana, traveling with a migrant caravan.

“I’m not really sure where his information is coming from,” said Leah Chavla, a policy adviser with the Women’s Refugee Commission, who has made nearly 15 trips to the border since 2017 and has worked with Latin American migrants.

No prominent news reports have detailed a case that matches the president’s description.

Since Trump took office two years ago, he has made more than 7,645 false or misleading claims, according to The Post’s Fact Checker database, more than 1,000 of which were about immigration.

Planning to buy a new car? Better do it now . . . Trump is preparing to raise the price

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to move ahead with tariffs on imported vehicles, a move that could prompt the European Union to agree a new trade deal, said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley on Wednesday.

“I think the president’s inclined to do it,” the Republican senator told reporters. “I think Europe (is) very very concerned about those tariffs … It may be the instrument that gets Europe to negotiate.”

U.S. Commerce Department recommendations into whether Trump should impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and parts on national security grounds are due by mid-February. A Commerce Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Grassley, who has had regular talks with Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on trade issues, said he did not like new tariffs but “they are a fact of life when Trump is in the White House.” He said they may have been an “effective tool” in getting China, Canada, Mexico and others to negotiate on trade.

Iowa senator Grassley also wants the EU to agree to include agricultural issues in trade talks, although EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said last week the 28-country bloc could not negotiate on agriculture.

The White House has pledged not to move forward with imposing tariffs on the European Union or Japan as long as it is making constructive progress in bilateral trade talks.

Trump has urged the EU to drop its 10 percent tariff on imported vehicles. The U.S. passenger car tariff is 2.5 percent, while it imposes 25 percent tariffs on pickup trucks.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to impose new auto tariffs.

“Cars is the big one,” Trump said last year.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office last week published its objectives for EU talks, including seeking comprehensive agriculture access.

The prospect of 25 percent tariffs sent shockwaves through the auto industry, with U.S. and foreign-brand producers lobbying against it.

German automakers met with Trump in December to urge him not to impose tariffs. On Monday, Volkswagen AG said it would invest $800 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee operations and add 1,000 jobs to build electric vehicles. That drew praise from Trump.

Automakers say imposing 25 percent tariffs would raise cumulative prices for U.S. vehicles by $83 billion annually and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. They argue there is no evidence auto imports pose a national security risk.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, whose members include General Motors Co <gm.n)>, VW and Toyota Motor Corp, warned tariffs would boost imported car prices by nearly $6,000 on average.</gm.n)>

Earlier this week, Senators Doug Jones and Lamar Alexander re-introduced legislation to delay any 25 percent auto tariff and require the International Trade Commission to conduct a comprehensive study before tariffs could be applied.

If you think this tariff on imported vehicles will not affect you if you purchase and “American car,” you need to think again.  No “American cars” are made 100% in the US.  EVERY VEHICLE BUILT IN THE U.S. contains a lot of imported parts — which will be taxed at 25% or higher, thereby driving up the price of “American cars.”

Trump thinks by imposing tariffs — taxes — on “imported cars,” he will be punishing foreign manufacturers and helping American manufacturers.  He doesn’t know that “imported cars” for the most part at built in the U.S.  Here’s a partial list of “imported vehicles” made in the US:  Mercedes-Benz; BMW; Honda; VW; Toyota; Fiat-Chrysler; Nissan; Subaru.

 

And there’s this:  “Mercedes Benz announced today that in preparation of the upcoming tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, all U.S. based MB manufacturing will furlough all workers one day a month commencing now.”  I thought Trump was bringing jobs to America???

 

 

What a load of bullshit — John Whitbeck spent a career attacking Democrats, now wants bi-partisanship

Just remember, as you watch the following video announcing right-wing Republican John Whitbeck’s campaign for Loudoun County Board Chair by talking about “building consensus and bringing Democrats and Republicans together,” that this is a guy who has said things like:

  • “….the extreme left is now in charge of Virginia’s Democrat party. Democrats like Ralph Northam, Tim Kaine, and Mark Herring have made it clear that there’s no room for any dissent from the far-left, Sanders-Perriello line”
  • “For Virginia Democrats, moderation is truly an unacceptable vice.”
  • “The Republican Party of Virginia, the Republican National Committee, and the Trump campaign are part of one team.”
  • “Why would we let media who hate us have access to @POTUS? “Time to take a stand.”
  • “[I] did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service.
  • “Freedom loving patriot or anti-Semite. Your choices in
  • “Fact: In the last few days Democrats have spent more time defending MS-13 and a porn star then American workers.”
  • “Are we going to allow them to elect Ralph Northam, who will do nothing to prevent radical groups from coming in and terrorizing our cities and university campuses?”
  • “Ralph Northam is beholden to groups like Antifa – not regular Virginians.”
  • “Democrats have long since conceded the point that their efforts at gun control have no connection to actual crimes.”
  • “President Trump’s executive decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord is in the best interest of our taxpayers and delivers on his promise to put America first. “
  •  “What began as a simple Race to the Left has turned into an all-out Civil War in the Democrat Party of Virginia.”
  • “Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello apparently think the laws of supply and demand have been repealed. That’s the only way their far-left wing proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour make sense economically.”
  • “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many leftist narratives blow up at one time. Despite media leaks to the contrary, President Trump was never under investigation. Despite media leaks to the contrary, President Trump’s campaign was never found to be colluding with Russia.”

This could go on all day and night, but you get the idea: throughout his illustrious career as Trump apologist/sycophant, demonizer of Democrats/progressives/liberals/environmentalists/etc., and all-around divisive figure, John Whitbeck has been about anything BUT “building consensus and bringing Democrats and Republicans together.” Yet now that he’s running for chair of an increasingly “blue” county, Whitbeck is dishonestly trying to reinvent himself, hoping that Loudoun County voters will forget who and what he’s really stood for. Fortunately, Loudoun County voters are going to prove this November that they’re a LOT smarter than John Whitbeck believes them to be.

Manafort tried to put several Russian spies in the Trump administration

Former Trump campaign chair and convicted felon Paul Manafort worked through unknown intermediaries during the Trump transition phase to place people sympathetic to Russia in the new administration, according to a new court filing Tuesday.

Politico reports that former Manafort business partner and Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates knew about Manafort’s efforts to place people in the Trump administration, and described the hiring scheme to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort maintained contact with these “mystery” intermediaries which included a senior administration official into early 2018, well past when he was originally indicted by Mueller in October 2017. But, per usual, the new filings raised more questions than they answered. A slew of redactions keep Manafort’s contacts under wraps and it’s also unclear exactly how successful his efforts were.

But another revelation from Tuesday’s court filings suggests more inquiries might be taking place in Mueller Land than previously known. The special counsel sought another delay in Gates’ sentencing, noting that he “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations.”