That Numbing Feeling About Washington and Trump by marilyn salenger

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It's easy to become numb to all that is emanating out of Washington. In one week President Trump's focus went from Russia and Putin to Iran, with Korea hanging in the background. While trade policies swirled and too many separated immigrant children remain separated, a Supreme Court Judicial nominee tries to gain favor, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's trial approaches and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen begins to indicate cooperation with federal authorities. A thousand crises a minute. Any one of these issues in any other presidency would be a major one. 

This is not the time to let any of this get lost in a blur of mind fog. That's what President Trump would like to have happen as the pieces now begin to come together that could burst his self-made bubble of invincibility. Donald Trump's passionate love of money and often careless disregard for the consequences of how he gets it and how he uses it are reaching a moment of potential critical exposure.

Money. It has always been what Donald Trump appears to care about more than anything else. His public face of enormous success has often been shadowed by periodic financial troubles, including bankruptcies, that put his so-called financial empire at risk of collapse. Why should we care now? Because he never fully divested himself of ownership of The Trump Organization business. While supposedly run by his two sons, the President of the United States continues to profit from The Trump Organization bringing his personal business right along with him into the White House. 

President Trump unabashedly and proudly opened the high end Trump International Hotel a few blocks from the White House shortly before he took office. He retained full financial involvement. Trump's D.C. hotel is frequented by foreign government lobbyists, organizations with a myriad of domestic business interests, and those who could be seen as trying to gain favor from the President. In 2017, Trump reportedly earned 40.4 million dollars from his local hotel as he sat close by running our government.

But the days of throwing ethics to the wind may finally be catching up with the President. Earlier this week a Judge ruled for a second time that President Trump must face a lawsuit accusing him of improperly profiting from his Washington hotel. The Judge stated: “A number of foreign governments” have “patronized or have expressed a definite intention to patronize the hotel, some of which have indicated that they are doing so precisely because of the president’s association with it." Lawyers representing the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland claim this violates the Emoulments Clause. Their legal discovery in this case could include a demand for Trump's infamous tax returns.

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution has come front and center during the Trump presidency because of the flagrant flaunting of his business dealings remaining a personal source of cash flow. The Emoluments Clause was designed to prevent even the slightest appearance of corruption. It states:

“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

DonaldTrump remains the first post-Watergate President not to release his tax returns. By not releasing them, he has fanned the flames of curiosity of thousands of reporters, legal minds and the rest of us wondering if our President has been guilty of illegal financial transactions that could compromise our country.

Which leads us to the increasingly important upcoming trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It will be the first time evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling of the 2016 election will be made public. Many issues could prove to have parallels to Trump's handling of his own fiances. In part, both men received Russian money for their business ventures. It's always been about the payoff, in one form or another, for Manafort and Trump. Look ahead to hear about where Manafort deposited money. Tax evasion. Money laundering. Greed and arrogance. 

We can move right along to Michael Cohen, until recently Donald Trump's attorney and self-proclaimed "fixer". Just what Cohen has fixed and what he knows has prompted its own Federal investigation. The first bomb was dropped when Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, released an audio tape made by Cohen while he was speaking to Donald Trump. The conversation allowed us to hear the two men talking about setting up a separate corporation, a Limited Liability Corporation, to deal with payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. The money would be used to keep an alleged affair between Trump and McDougal quiet shortly before the 2016 election. Nothing appears clean and separate when it comes to Donald Trump. It's been reported that another LLC set up to deal with porn star Stormy Daniel's relationship with Donald Trump received money from a Russian oligarch. Both Trump and Cohen have numerous LLC corporations that provide little if any knowledge about their functions and finances.

The scenario keeps coming back to money, Russia and politics, and the threads remain woven throughout Donald Trump's presidency. Trust in special counsel Robert Muller has, by necessity, become a new motto. Being honest with the American people from the beginning was never Donald Trump's style. 

Robert F. Kennedy: Personal Recollections by marilyn salenger

                                                             From the Private Collection of Marilyn Salenger

                                                            From the Private Collection of Marilyn Salenger

 

                                                   

The first time I saw Bobby Kennedy was September of 1966. Our country was in chaos as the war in Viet Nam raged and race riots and racial divides filled our streets and our lives. Tension permeated the air on a near daily basis as many fought not to suffocate. I was three months into my first job as a television news reporter in Cincinnati, Ohio when Robert Kennedy arrived in town to speak to a large outdoor evening rally at the Cincinnati Zoo. His appearance became my assignment. The power of the impression Kennedy made on me that night remains vivid in my mind fifty-two years later. His face focused as his eyes swept across the crowd making each individual feel as if he was talking to them personally about the issues confronting their lives. He made me feel as if he was talking to me. 

Two years later I left the news business and went to work as a volunteer for Senator Kennedy's presidential campaign. Operating out of the Chicago Kennedy for President office, my home town area of northern Indiana became my base as I settled in heading up the campaign's speaker's bureau. The Indiana primary was a critical must win election to propel Kennedy's candidacy forward. He was running against Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) and Indiana Governor Richard Branigan. The politics of the state had always been split by its regions.

Gary, Indiana had just elected Richard Hatcher the second black mayor of a major U.S. city and my mother, Gloria Feigenbaum, became Hatcher's secretary. The turf was familiar to me having grown up in its ethnic melting pot communites, as were the racial issues that had arisen. Bobby Kennedy needed to put together a strong coalition of black and white voters in order to win. My campaign days morphed into serving as a bridge between Kennedy's New York advisors and the newly elected Mayor. The out-of-towners sometimes arrived a bit too heavy handed for the locals, and I somehow seemed to help them work through some of their issues. It was an amazing way for a twenty-four year old to learn how a presidential campaign was run. In our small store front location and around the country there was an intensity of passionate commitment to elect the man who sought a "Newer World".

Among the many of Robert Kennedy's gift's was his ability to empower people to work on effectuating positive change. Kennedy's focus on equal rights, equal opportunity and hope for our future became our focus. He was a man who quoted scholars but spoke to best of our human spirit. His victory in the Indiana primary propelled him to California to claim victory once again. I was in Los Angeles with the campaign at an Oakland rally the night before an assassin's bullets struck. The words to describe the feelings upon hearing the news of his death in those early morning hours of June 6, 1968 were beyond those of personal loss. We knew nothing would ever be the same.

On June 12, I receved a letter from Richard Wade, a University of Chicago professor, who headed up the Chicago Kennedy for President office: 

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Robert Kennedy was no ordinary politician. To remember him on this fiftieth anniversary of his death is to remember the man and the enormous power of his commitment to the words he spoke and all that they meant for the times. He came from great wealth and committed to helping the poor through thought and action. He saw the inequities in our society and chose not to tolerate them but help us begin to rectify them. 

"There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed."                                                                         Robert F. Kennedy

The Morning After The Weekend Before: The Royal Wedding And Us by marilyn salenger

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We didn't know how much we needed it until a wave of calm beauty and love and happiness washed over us as we joined Prince Harry and Meghan Markel in their wedding celebration. Our invitations weren't the engraved ones, but we were invited nonetheless. With the young couple making so many of the wedding plans themselves, we were able to just sit back and marvel at it all. Their joy was simply contagious.

Our times have been so dark here in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Chaos. Crisis. A cacophany of noise creating constant stress. Give me a break from Trump and his trumpeteers. A Congress that is barely functioning. Guns that create tragedy after tragedy. It's all gotten way too much. 

Then Saturday arrived. How could we not want to see Diana and Prince Charles youngest son marry the woman of his dreams? A beautiful woman who set herself apart from any other princess-to-be by nature of who she is and the history she she would be making. Never had there been a woman of professional status like Meghan Markel marrying into British royalty. Never was a previously divorced woman allowed to marry a Royal in a church wedding. And never had there been a biracial woman allowed to marry a British Prince. A biracial woman whose maternal ancestors were slaves. 

The Queen of England blessed Harry and Meghan's union leading to an extraordinary wedding that was both grand and down to earth at the same time. The warmth of the couple radiated amidst a glorious setting. I was one of the reported two billion people worldwide who joined the couple in celebration via whatever screens were available. A collective gratitude is being shared by all of us for having the opportunity to bask from afar in loving happiness. And a moment of peace.

When the wedding ended, I didn't want it to end. That's the way fairytales are. But we know that fairytales are pretend, and what we had just seen was real. That didn't mean we did not want to see it again.

On the wedding day, CNN gave us morning, noon and night time coverage, but BBC America had them beat. The English network rebroadcast the royal nuptials on Sunday so we didn't have to bid Meghan and Harry such an abrupt farewell after all. Thank goodness. Simply listening to our Sunday morning news programs here at home sent me rushing back to Westminster, happy to be reunited with that blissful moment.

It seems we need a dose of the Royal wedding every day. If getting back to work on Monday is too sharp a does of reality, take a break and change that site on your computer or your phone. You can see the newlyweds in almost a billion places.

Will Women Be The Ones To Bring Down Trump ? by marilyn salenger

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You can't look forward in the presidency of Donald Trump without looking back. Whether it's his behavior with women or his political policies or his style, he laid it out before us during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Women and real estate have been at the center of Trump's life for many years. He was the New York City playboy whose marriages and affairs made headlines in newspapers and magazines during the '80's and '90's. Trump loved the publicity as long as he saw it as good for him.

Donald Trump inadvertently went national with his thoughts about women when the Access Hollywood tapes were released during the presidential campaign. He brushed off his abusive words about women caught on tape as no big deal, and countered the bad publicity by bringing women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to the second presidential debate. He proudly held a news conference with those women prior to the debate and said:

"If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine were words, and his was action. What he's done to women, there's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women."

Fast forward to 2018. A porn star and former Playboy Playmate may now be the ones to bring down the Trump presidency. Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal have turned the tables on Donald Trump using all the publicity they can muster to expose their alleged extramarital affairs with the Presiden,t and the hush money they were paid shortly before the election. The two women claim to have had the affairs with Trump no long after his wife Melania gave birth to their son.

Attemps to silence Daniels and McDougal have resoundingly failed. The hush money both received became the target of this week's extraordinary FBI raid on Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen's office and residence. Cohen has admitted paying Stormy Daniels $130,000.00, and negotiating a non-disclosure agreement weeks before the election. Karen McDougal's money came via a deal with the National Enquirer owned by Trump friend David Pecker. How much additional money, where it came from, and how many others have been paid by Cohen is a dangling question. The money trail, using a shell corporation(s) for the purposes of these payments, sent red flags waving. Federal fianace laws and potential money laundering are all at play.

Trump is reportedly seething. Talk of the President firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney Genereal Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have become louder once again, but this time with increased velocity. Republicans appear to be surprisingly and increasinly vocal in their warnings to the President concerning potential firings of these men, while Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the White House has been advised that the President has the authority to fire the Special Counsel. Legal authorities think otherwise. 

All the talk of firings at this stage of Trump's presidency bring thoughts of the guillotine and the French Revolution to mind. Beautiful women and all. If Donald Trump fires anyone that is in the chain of command over Special Counsel Robert Mueller, or the Special Counsel himself, chants of "constitutional crisis" will permeate the air. 

 

 

 

 

STOP THE NRA BY NOT ALLOWING THEM TO ELECT OUR POLITICIANS by marilyn salenger

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Because I cannot write anymore grief stricken words about the tragedy of the lives lost in school shootings, mass shootings and the shootings that take place every day, I am providing you with a list of members of Congress who have taken money from the National Rifle Association. The names of every politician who accepts money from the NRA is a list that cannot be circulated enough. It has been compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, non-partisan research group that tracks money in U.S. politics. 

The National Rifle Association and its affiliates spent approximately $50 million dollars in political advertisements in the 2016 election supporting those who towed their line, and going after Democrats who propose stricter gun laws. $50 million dollars.

Donald Trump was the biggest winner of the NRA's 2016 election advertising, buying Trump's support with $11.4 million dollars. It's not by chance that he didn't call for stricter gun control laws after the horrific Parkland, Florida school shooting.

The National Rife Association has done their best to buy our politicians and prevent stricter gun control regulation. If the only thing that these people understand is money, put your money elsewhere.

TOP FIVE SENATORS WITH MOST NRA CONTRIBUTIONS:

John McCain (R, AZ) – $7.74 million

Richard Burr (R, NC) – $6.99 million

Roy Blunt (R, MO) – $4.55 million

Thom Tillis (R, NC) – $4.42 million

Cory Gardner (R, CO) – $3.88 million

NRA & AFFILIATES 2016 DONATIONS TO MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Paul Ryan (R, Wisconsin - $171,977

Martha McSally ( R, Arizona) - $77,063

Todd Young (R, Indiana) - $73,785

Joe Heck (R, Nevada) -$68,520

Mia Love (R, Utah) - $63,350

Kevin McCarthy (R, California) -$42,000

Will Hurd (R, Texas) - $35,850

Kevin Yoder (R, Kansas) - $34,050

Bruce Poliquin$32,400RepublicanMaine, District 22

Mike Coffman (R, Colorado) - $30,843

Ken Calvert (R, California) - $30,466

Ed Royce (R, California - $29,100

Barbara Comstock (R, Virginia) - $28,407

Scott Tipton (R, Colorado - $25,550

A Shutdown: Government Of The People, For The People, By The People by marilyn salenger

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President Abraham Lincoln's strong and poignant words delivered in the Gettysburg Address should be ringing across our country as it splinters apart once again. The war we face as Americans today is again an internal war, but this time with the foot soldiers being those whom we elected to represent our country. We have a President and a Republican led Congress who seem to care not for the people as a whole, but choose to challenge our democracy as it was built appealing only to the interests of a few.

President Donald Trump, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan look to lay blame everywhere else but themselves as our government teeters of the edge of a shutdown. Instead, they are the ones to be held responsible for leading the discord and divisions, and the tragedy they have made of politics. The misguided are in control of our government and we the people are paying the price.

While the world watches the disfunction occuring in Washington, D.C., our stability is questioned near and far. Let's be clear. Children are at the core of the battle in Washington. Families are at the core. Republicans appear unable to come together with Democrats on their behalf. A government shut down is an excuse to cover all else.

The GOP cannot agree on the money needed to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, which provides care for 9 million children in need. They cannot agree to continue support of the Dreamers Act or of those immigrant children covered by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals the Dreamer's Act. These acts have protected approximately one million young people who came to this country illegally as children. They have been protected from deportation because they came here through no fault of their own. All of these children and their families are now living day to day with constant heart-wrenching uncertainty that is being needlessly continued by the President, Congress and its captains.

Will a child be able to have a critical medical procedure? Will a child be forcefully removed from the only country they have known? Children are being held hostage by the political idiocy taking place in the White House and on Capitol Hill. And so, it seems, are the rest of us.

The man elected President one year ago has turned to a mean and vengeful way of governing in the name of leadership. The Republican party has too often followed suit. They are playing dangerous games of brinkmanship while showing too little concern for the humanity that makes up our country. It is the antithesis of the government that Lincoln worked so hard to reunite.

President Lincoln's words at Gettysburg remain striking in their reminders today: 

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

The current leaders of our country have strayed too far. They have lost the ability walk in the shoes worn by all citizens and those who came to our shores for a better life. 

 

Oprah's Passion Translates To The Political World by marilyn salenger

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Today, no matter your political persuasion, you cannot ignore Oprah Winfrey. Anyone who watched the Golden Globes saw a presidential candidate who was a tour de force. I hadn't plan to write about Oprah, but it is impossible not to do so. 

As a former broadcaster and political observer of many years, I respectfully say that the timing of Oprah Winfrey's entry on the political stage is as near perfect as a potential candidate could want. The reason the speech she delivered at the Golden Globes is resonating so strongly with so many is because she had the ability to give a speech that's exactly what much of our country has been yearning to hear. Consciously or not.

If you missed it, read it.

Her passionate words spoke to women as well as men, young as well as old, black as well as white, and rich as well as poor. She inclusively pulled us in with heart and smarts. When you can do that, you've hit a political home run. Especially if you're a woman who happens to be black. Especially if you're thinking of running for President of the United States.

Oprah Winfrey has been masterful in her ability to translate the past tragedies of abuse and poverty in her own life into extraordinary professional success. That couldn't have happened without enormous inner strength, and an instinctive understanding of what it takes to do more than survive. Oprah's success has been based on relatability. No matter how wealthy she has become, or the media empire she has built, or her acting achievements, Oprah Winfrey has perfected the ability to touch the humanity in people. It's a quality that only the best politicians possess. 

The current state of political affairs in our country is its own tragedy. Leadership is not a guiding light of hope, but rather that which is creating epic proportions of divisiveness and anger. It speaks of a bleak future that is pulling too many down and lifting too few up.

Is it any wonder that a speech delivered at a Hollywood gathering, one that was able to address the good and the bad while aiming for a better tomorrow, has been received as it has? With the strength of great oratory, Oprah's closing words were met with resounding applause that rang from the entertainment capital to living rooms across the nation:

"In my career, what I've always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I've interviewed and portrayed people who've withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say "Me too" again."

Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. This time it was an award that launched a political career for a woman whose star has risen yet again. 

Doug Jones Fit For Office by marilyn salenger

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Women's voices were finally heard as they helped elect Democrat Doug Jones the new Senator from Alabama in an upset victory defeating Republican Roy Moore. Through the deafening bluster of lies and denials emanating from Steve Bannon, Roy Moore and Donald Trump, one alleged sexual predator was defeated in his attempt to win a seat in the Senate. One more sits in the White House. The state of Alabama has shown Donald Trump an opening to the exit door.

Doug Jones threw our country a life raft at a critical point in time. We have finally begun to ask out loud - how low will we allow ourselves to sink? A known, though I will use the word alleged, child molester was being touted by President Trump and the Republican National Committee as the right man to elect for the Alabama Senate seat. Think about that for a long hard moment as we move ahead. 

We owe a brave woman named Leigh Corfman a debt of gratitude. She was the first woman to come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against candidate Roy Moore. Corfman was 14 years old when she says Moore "seduced her" initiating a sexual encounter. Moore was 32 years old and an assistant district attorney. That's called child molestation, and the term officially became linked in a Senate election. 

Roy Moore has refuted the accusations made by Corfman and eight other brave women who came out with their own stories of sexual misconduct by Moore. Wendy Miller. Debbie Wesson Gibson. Gloria Thacker. Beverly Young Nelson. Tina Johnson. Gena Richardson. Becky Gray. Together with Leigh Corfman, these women became a plague on Roy Moore's house and another window into the depth of sexual harassment and abuse women have endured.

All of Roy Moore's accusers were called liars. Many people in Alabama didn't believe them. Nor did some people around the country. But a majority of Alabama voters decided they had had enough, and pulled off an extraordinary victory defeating Republican Moore in a solidly red state in the deep south. Donald Trump won Alabama in the 2016 presidential election. 

During the campaign, Doug Jones repeatedly referred to the list of Roy Moore's accusers as proof that Moore was unfit for office. Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee didn't see it that way. They chose to ignore women's voices as they did in the 2016 presidential election. What a difference a year can make.

Donald Trump has his own list of 19 women who accused him of sexual misconduct before he was elected President. Trump himself spoke of his predatory behavior toward women in the now infamous Access Hollywood tape. The man was unfit for office in 2016. He remains so today. What has changed is the impact, at last, of women's voices speaking out against abuse.

 

 

The Days of Reckoning Began With Trump Ineptitude by marilyn salenger

                                                                                     Photo Image by Gage Skidmore

                                                                                    Photo Image by Gage Skidmore

With the indictments and unsealed guilty plea of Trump campaign associates on October 30, 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller let President Donald Trump know there's no denying facts. Few have been able to previously achieve such a feat. 

Mueller's detailed twelve count indictment against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner and campaign associate Rick Gates include conspiracy against the United States, money laundering and being unregistered foreign agents. Both men pled not guilty to the charges largely emanating from their work with the pro-Russian Ukrainian government. But It was the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, that has opened the flood gates of information further than anyone expected at this point. Papadopoulos has admitted lying to the FBI. His cooperation with investigators is revealing critical details of the attempts by Russian intelligence services to contact him in an effort to gain influence in the campaign. Potential collusion is on the books. 

Who's swamp is being drained now? As a man who has prided himself on being a brilliant businessman and Washington outsider who knows how to get things done, Donald Trump has seemingly failed himself. His choices as a candidate laid the groundwork for a presidency now forever married to the first criminal charges and admission of guilt in the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. If he thought he could escape it by firing James Comey, he was wrong.

Donald Trump put together a campaign team who either knew less than he did about presidential politics or whose questionable pasts were well known to anyone who cared to look deeply. He kept his children and son-in-law, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Jared Kushner, closest to him although they had no political experience. Trump chose Corey Lewindowsky, a man who had never worked on a national campaign, as his first campaign manager. Lewindowsky was a short tempered divisive man who fed into Trump's darker side while alienating allies and Trump's children and wrecking havoc with the campaign.

In June 2016, Trump fired Lewindowsky and named Paul Manafort as his new campaign chairman. Paul Manafort, viewed as a veteran Republican strategist, had originally been brought into the campaign in March 2016 to assist with delegate count. Trump saw a wealthy man close to his age who had an apartment in Trump Tower. He seemed to look no further. But they had a past.

Roy Cohen, McCarthy era famed lawyer and Trump's mentor, originally introduced Manafort to Trump in the '70's. Trump was doing business with Manafort's old consulting firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. In my blog post written June 30, 2016  "Trump Wears New Clothes", Manafort is described as a man who "has a particular knack for taking autocrats and presenting them as defenders of democracy". Trump knew what he was getting. Until he didn't.

Donald Trump asked for Manafort's resignation in August 2016 after new reports continued to surface about his past work for pro-Russian political elements in Ukraine. Rick Gates had come along for the Trump campaign ride as Manafort's long time business associate. But he continued to work for the campaign after Manafort left and stayed on through Trump's Inauguaration.

Steve Bannon became Trump's third campaign manager/CEO. He had never worked in a national campaign. Breitbart News was his claim to fame along with being a controversial character. None of that seemed to bother Trump.

Donald Trump has continually lauded himself for running an unconventional campaign and now an unconvential presidency. He has taken his love affair with choosing inexperienced people for jobs of political importance to the White House with seemingly little regard for the consequences. Trump has never really left campaign mode, and that now takes on an entirely different light.

The old adage that you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with rings loudly today for President Trump. When poor judgement, bad decisions and recklessness become known as major hallmarks of a winning presidential campaign, something has gone terribly wrong.       

Special counsel Mueller's investigation has just begun. The closer he gets to the truth about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign the louder the calls become for the investigation to end. Let's not forget we have yet to learn all of the facts about Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Carter Page and the family entanglements of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

A Timely Trump Flashback by marilyn salenger

Recent history often provides clarity on the circumstances of today. Sometimes people change. Donald Trump does not.

One year ago on October 11, 2016, the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took place in St. Louis, Missouri. It was a tumultuous month in the historic 2016 campaign. Trump's campaign appeared on shaky ground, the U.S. announced that Russia was trying to interfere in the election, and WikiLeaks was dumping new controversy into the race. 

As we watched both candidates on the debate stage, Donald Trump laid out the pattern we see being played out today. Trump used distraction to cover up his lack of substance on issues, no matter what Hillary said. No matter what anybody said. Distraction remains his continued modus operandi with only one difference - Trump is now President of the United States and the world is his stage. 

Days before that debate, the now infamous Access Hollywood tapes had been released showing Trump's mentality and despicable behavior toward women. He had been exposed.  Rather than contrition, Trump carried his anger into the debate lashing out and using his physical presence to stalk Clinton on stage. He became the omnipresent bully.

Donald Trump is an angry man. We saw it in the candidate, and we see it in the President. He's a man who believes that the way to succeed is to evoke intimidation and fear spreading anger wherever he can. There's no greater good in his mind other than what works for himself.

I described Trump as "seriously out of control" a year ago in the column appearing below. Tragically nothing has changed. In October 2017, time has become the controlling factor. How much time will it take for the Trump presidency to be brought down? 

Sex. Lies. Groping. Video Tape. and a Debate/ October 10, 2016  

                               St. Louis Debate

                              St. Louis Debate

We have gone through many stages of Donald Trump during this 2016 Presidential Campaign, but we now have reached the numbing effect. He went to the bottom of the barrel in the St. Louis Presidential Debate and did not come up cleansed. In an attempt to save himself after the release of sleazy video and audio tapes of self described sexual ways and encounters, he stooped even lower in full public view. 

In a move few could believe, Trump brought four women, three of whom accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct in the '90's, to the Washington University in St. Louis campus shortly before the debate began. Donald Trump held a photo op with all of them. Then his friend Rudy Giuliani escorted the women to their seats in the main debate room directly in front of Hillary Clinton. Trump apparently felt that humiliating her in a cheap and tawdry way in front of a world audience watching the debate was the best way to redeem himself.

This is the same Donald Trump who told us after the first debate, "I'm really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscrestions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton." The same Chelsea Clinton who was now forced to sit rows apart from women who had played a very painful role in the Clinton family life when she was a young girl. The same Chelsea who was seated in the St. Louis audience next to her father, the former President of the United States. The same daughter whose good friend Ivanka Trump was also sitting close by next to her sibilings and Melania Trump. 

That's what Hillary Clinton saw as she looked out at the audience in the relatively small debate area that had been set up.

And that's exactly what it was. A set up. Trump had wanted to intimidate her.

The Debate was held on a fine midwestern college campus. In normal times, it would have been a great opportunity for students to have the presidential candidates debate on their campus. But what took place last night was something that should never have been seen by any of us as part of the presidential political process.

Donald Trump came on to the debate stage an angry man backed into a self made corner. You can no longer be dispassionate about Trump. His behavior at the St. Louis Debate was repulsive and wrong. He created what was too often an abusive encounter mixed with psychological warfare. He tried to make Hillary guilty for her husband's alledged indescretions. Trump showed continual disrespect for the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, telling her if he were in charge "you'd be in jail."  He refused to stop interrupting and shouting at her. And this was a Presidential Debate.  

The one thing Donald Trump didn't do last night was offer the American people a major apology for his behaviors. Not the thirty second late night one quickly put together two days before. He wasn't man enough to do the right thing, and what many were waiting to hear. 

So much damage had been done to this debate by a defiant and arrogant Donald Trump that it was hard to focus on whatever substance there was. What we saw was a candidate seriously out of control.

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