SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS Feb 19 2018

HOW DUMB IS TRUMP? Does he really believe the FBI exists in a single room and can only do one thing at a time? Now he’s claiming the Russia investigation kept the FBI from checking out the Florida shooter. He probably doesn’t know that the FBI has over 30K employees.  Shouldn’t have skipped those briefings, Don.  Keep it up, Don.   You’re not as smart as you think you are.

FEDERAL TAX FORMS-  I’ve been wondering where they were.  Now the County website says they’ll be here in ‘Late February.”  So hang tight. Or hang loose. I’ve never figured out which you re supposed to say.

INTERESTING STATS:  Broward County FL has ONE (1) high school counselor for each 462 students.

MOMMAS DONT LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE TRUCK DRIVERS-  For years , employment counselors could count on Swift or someone always being in the market for truck drivers.  No more! “More than 3.7 million Americans make a living behind the wheel and 3.1 million of those jobs are at risk”, according to Tim Dickinson’s article in the Jan 11 issue.   Self-driving cars are safer and more reliable than human-driven.  Trump,   of course,  wants to cut the DOL retraining budget.  And as usual, the Chinese are ‘way ahead of us.

Speaking of transportation, according to the New York Times, that city’s partially completed Second Avenue subway is costing SIX TIMES MORE than a similar line extension in Paris. WHY????  Don’t blame the unions.  Their unions are ferocious compared with ours.

THE ROB PORTER MESS-  is probably just an indicator of how sloppy and mismanaged our White House is.  Porter had to abuse BOTH his ex-wives AND a girlfriend?  People with hair like that are always either vampires or  Mormons. 130 people without security  clearances? Obama would have been run out of town on a rail.

WATCHING THE OLYMPICS-  a distraction for which we’re all grateful. I like the Winter Olympics better than the Summer because I will never, ever, do anything even remotely like that. I tried to ice skate once.  Once.

ADS I LOVE-  I love the ad with the Ray Charles music.  Who could resist that? And i love the ad with Butch the coonhound who doesn’t like his owner’s new boyfriend.  Well done!

THE BRISTOL ROSE CAFE  is closed  by the heath department.  This is a place I have never visited.   Tried to eat there once but turned away because the whole place was empty and it was just too creepy. The Eureka Inn is such a jewel but I’m afraid the current owner has neither the cash nor the expertise to run the place,  What a shame!!!

So here we are on Presidents’ Day, with the worst President EVER in the White House. He’s gross, egomaniacal, wouldn’t  know empathy if he hit it in the road, ignorant, crass and came up with a budget plan so bad his own staff is ashamed of it. Read over the indictment and know that better days are coming.

END

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS SOTU Edition, plus “Fire and Fury”

I won’t go through the excruciating review of Our Fake President’s State of the Union speech since Cong. Huffman has already provided a good summary.  The most divisive President in history  says the SOTU is “strong”.  A lot of us would disagree.  Meanwhile the despicable Devin Nunes ought to be brought up on treason charges himself for disclosing sensitive info for political reasons.  Let’s hope he’s stopped before lasting damage is done.  Trump is waging a war against the FBI, the intel agencies and everyone  else who stands between him and his alternate reality. This is going to be a very long three years. As of this writing, Trump, and his staff- the most incompetent in history- and his stooge Nunes are hell-bent on destroying our government and those who work there and they  have nothing better to offer.  And Trump is hell-bent on leaving  us defenseless against the ongoing cyberattacks.  Disgusting.

BTW Nunes has at least seven opponents this year.  Give generously to any of them.

“Fire and Fury”-   We finally got our copy from Eureka Books ($33) and it IS a juicy read,  Did you know that Trump is so out of it he thinks Nixon was framed???? Even Nixon didn’t claim that. It’s the ignorance, again.  I also hadn’t realized how pivotal a figure Jared Kushner is- he’s been behind every bad decision Trump has made. ‘(His West Wing nickname is “The Butler” because he hovers a lot and does little.) No less than NINE solid DC law firms turned down the dubious honor  of representing Trump in the Mueller inquiry. This is good:  “This was Bannon’s fundamental insight about Trump: he made everything personal and he was helpless not to.”  Bannon was obviously the smart one of the bunch. The part about Nicky Haley is not as was publicized;  no indication that she had an affair with anyone although she is regarded as being “as ambitious as Lucifer” .  Perhaps she’ll be picking over the bones  when the Trump thing collapses.

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- Davos Edition

Well, our Fake President took a huge retinue to Davos, including the one with the trophy wife- is it Munchkin? It wasn’t cheap.  When I was there 20 years ago a plate of spaghetti at an outdoor café was $17.   That was in Bern, not Davos.  Davos would be twice that. Davos is close to Klosters where Audrey Hepburn, the most elegant woman who ever lived( including Nefertiti) had her residence.  She was married to a rich Italian doctor, which didn’t save her from dying of cancer at 63.

Yes, the good die young , which means we’ll be stuck with Trump and his gang of robber barons for awhile. Everyone was relieved that he stuck to his  teleprompter speech but the next morning he started in on his Greatest Hits List again,  bashing Hillary and the Fake Media again 15 months after the election. His 71 year-old brain apparently cannot accept new data like THE ELECTION’S OVER.  If they invite him back next year will they/we have to listen to the same crap?

BTW the way to stay on a budget in Switzerland is to hang in the train stations,  which have wonderful takeout food. Everyone  goes there.  The train stations are clean and busy and right in the heart of whatever town you’re going to.  Not like our poor sad neglected stations.  

Short edition today because I believe I’m coming down with that damn flu.  Wish me luck. 

END

TRUMP’S LIES, The Count

 

As of January 2, President Trump had made 1,950 false or misleading claims over 347 days, according to the Washington Post.  It’s hard to keep up with him. The following is a few days old but is a good summary.

 January 2
 3:08
President Trump’s top five false or misleading claims
 
 

As of Jan. 1, President Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims since taking office. Here are the five he says most regularly. 

 

With just 18 days before President Trump completes his first year as president, he is now on track to exceed 2,000 false or misleading claims, according to our database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

As of Monday, the total stood at 1,950 claims in 347 days, or an average of 5.6 claims a day. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.)

As regular readers know, the president has a tendency to repeat himself — often. There are now more than 60 claims that he has repeated three or more times. The president’s impromptu 30-minute interview with the New York Times over the holidays, in which he made at least 24 false or misleading claims, included many statements that we have previously fact-checked.

We currently have a tie for Trump’s most repeated claims, both made 61 times. Both of these claims date from the start of Trump’s presidency and to a large extent have faded as talking points.

One of these claims was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that the Obamacare exchanges, despite well-documented issues, are not imploding and are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future. Indeed, healthy enrollment for the coming year has surprised health-care experts. Trump used to say this a lot, but he’s quieted down since his efforts to repeal the law flopped.

Trump also repeatedly takes credit for events or business decisions that happened before he took the oath of office — or had even been elected. Sixty-one times, he has touted that he secured business investments and job announcements that had been previously announced and could easily be found with a Google search.

With the successful push in Congress to pass a tax plan, two of Trump’s favorite talking points about taxes — that the tax plan will be the biggest tax cut in U.S. history and that the United States is one of the highest-taxed nations — have rapidly moved up the list.

Trump repeated the falsehood about having the biggest tax cut 53 times, even though Treasury Department data shows it would rank eighth. And 58 times Trump has claimed that the United States pays the highest corporate taxes (25 times) or that it is one of the highest-taxed nations (33 times). The latter is false; the former is misleading, as the effective U.S. corporate tax rate (what companies end up paying after deductions and benefits) ends up being lower than the statutory tax rate.

We also track the president’s flip-flops on our list, as they are so glaring. He spent the 2016 campaign telling supporters that the unemployment rate was really 42 percent and the official statistics were phony; now, on 46 occasions he has hailed the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years. It was already very low when he was elected — 4.6 percent, the lowest in a decade — so his failure to acknowledge that is misleading.

An astonishing 85 times, Trump has celebrated a rise in the stock market — even though in the campaign he repeatedly said it was a “bubble” that was ready to crash as soon as the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. Well, the Fed has raised rates three times since the election — and yet the stock market has not plunged as Trump predicted. It has continued a rise in stock prices that began under President Barack Obama in 2009. Again, Trump has never explained his shift in position on the stock market.

Moreover, the U.S. stock-market rise in 2017 was not unique and mirrored a global rise in equities. When looking at the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, it’s clear U.S. stocks haven’t rallied as robustly as their foreign equivalents. Yet Trump loves this claim so much that he has repeated it 28 times in the 49 days since our last update — more often than every other day.

We maintain the database by closely reading or watching Trump’s myriad public appearances and television and radio interviews. The interviews are especially hard to keep up with, in part because the White House does not routinely post on them on its website. In fact, a recent redesign of the White House website appears to make it difficult to find transcripts of Trump’s remarks at the White House.

This project originally started as a first-100-days database, but by popular demand we extended it to one year. We will soon face a decision about whether to maintain it beyond one year, even though it strains the resources (and weekends) of our staff. In at least one instance, the database was used for academic analysis. We welcome thoughts from readers about whether it remains a worthwhile endeavor.

 

 

The “Genius” In the White House

The Washington Post

The ‘genius’ of Trump: What the president means when he touts his smarts

Trump defends his mental fitness
 

At a news conference at Camp David Jan 6., President Trump responded to a question from a reporter about a tweet he posted on his mental state earlier that day. 

 January 13 at 8:04 PM

The genius in the White House has always believed that what makes him special is his ability to get things done without going through the steps others must take.

In school, he bragged that he’d do well without cracking a book. As a young real estate developer, his junior executives recalled, he skipped the studying and winged his way through meetings with politicians, bankers and union bosses. And as a novice politician, he scoffed at the notion that he might suffer from any lack of experience or knowledge.

So when President Trump tweeted last weekend that he “would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!” it was consistent with a pattern of asserting that he will do this his way, without bending to expectations about what constitutes proper presidential behavior.

The tweet, issued in response to a new book that suggests his closest advisers doubt his mental stability, not only doubled down on his belief that smashing conventions is the path to success but also underscored his lifelong conviction that he wins when he’s the center of attention. In the ceaseless battle of life, Trump made clear by claiming the title of genius that he won’t give way to those who believe he doesn’t belong at the top.

“There is a certain kind of genius to winning the presidency like it was an entry-level job,” said Dave Shiflett, the co-writer of Trump’s first book about his political views, “The America We Deserve,” which was published in 2000. “To go into those campaign rallies with just a few notes and connect with people he wasn’t at all like, that takes a certain genius. His genius is he’ll say anything to connect with people. He won by telling the rally crowds that the people who didn’t like them also didn’t like him.”

To many people who worked with Trump throughout his career, last week’s tweets — and Tuesday’s virtually unprecedented Cabinet Room reality show, in which the president conducted an on-camera negotiation about immigration policy with stunned congressional Republicans and Democrats — were familiar tactics: a bold, even brazen, drive to put on a show and make himself the star.

Even when he is not overtly trying to win attention, his natural instinct — a form of genius to some, a sign of instability to others — is to choose the unfiltered path, as he did Thursday, when he told senators during a White House discussion about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations that the United States should bring in people from countries like Norway, not from “shithole countries.” Although Trump on Friday appeared to deny having used that vulgarity, he tweeted that he did use “tough” language — a long-standing point of pride for the president, whose political ascent was fueled by his argument that, as a billionaire, he is liberated to say what some other Americans only think.

From his earliest days in the real estate business, Trump boasted frequently about being smart, said Barbara Res, who was Trump’s top construction executive when he built Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in the 1980s.

“He needed to be stroked all the time and told how smart he was,” she said. “Every decision process was clouded by his sense that he knows more than anybody else. But you could work with that: The way we got things done was to approach him with an idea and make him think it was his. It was so easy.”

Res added: “Donald was always a forest person; he never knew anything about the trees. He knew concrete was brought in on trucks, but he really didn’t know how to run a project. What he had was street smarts — good instincts about people.”

Those instincts did not always bring about stellar results, as Trump’s enterprises suffered a series of bankruptcies and other setbacks from the 1990s through the years before he entered politics.

Those who have watched Trump for decades say he has always encouraged people around him to view him as someone who could see things that others could not. A.J. Benza, a former journalist who covered Trump for many years in New York and in 2001 had a public spat with him when Trump began going out with Benza’s girlfriend, said that Trump often talked about being the smartest guy in the room.

 

“He never meant ‘book genius’ when he said it,” said Benza, who now hosts “Fame is a Bitch,” a podcast about celebrity. “He means, okay, he didn’t hit the brains lottery, but he’s brilliant and cunning in the way he operates. He’s amazing at taking the temperature of the room and knowing how to appease everyone. You want that kind of instinct in your quarterbacks, in your generals. It’s not what we’ve ever thought of as what makes a great president, but he’s never going to be the guy who makes great speeches. This is who he is.”

Being something of a genius was central to Trump’s self-image, his former executives said. Everyone around him learned to cater to that — even his father, who trained Trump to follow in his footsteps as a developer.

In the first major newspaper profile of Trump, in the New York Times in 1976, his father, Fred Trump, describes his son as “the smartest person I know.”

Throughout his life, Donald Trump has believed that his instincts and street smarts positioned him to succeed where others might struggle. At the University of Pennsylvania, he concluded that “there was nothing particularly awesome or exceptional about my classmates” in the real estate division of the Wharton School’s business program, Trump later wrote in one of his books. “Perhaps the most important thing I learned at Wharton was not to be overly impressed by academic credentials.”

Res said that Trump often bragged that he was “first” in his class in the Wharton program or that he was a “top student” there, but his name does not appear in the school’s honor roll, and classmates recalled him as someone who skated by doing little work. “He did what it took to get through the program,” classmate Louis Calomaris told The Washington Post in 2016.

His father often told Trump that “you are a king,” instructing him to “be a killer.” Fred Trump was a student of Dale Carnegie, the evangelist of success through self-improvement, and an acolyte of Norman Vincent Peale, the New York minister who preached a gospel of positive thinking.

“I believe in being prepared and all that stuff,” Trump told biographer Michael D’Antonio. “But in many respects, the most important thing is an innate ability. I’m a big believer in natural ability,” which, Trump said, he had “always had.”

Throughout his business career, Trump expressed deep skepticism of book learning, scoffing at the notion that academics were smarter than others, contending instead that his instincts would prevail over those who studied a subject to death.

In 2000, when Shiflett co-wrote Trump’s book on politics, a newspaper that was writing about the book asked what author had most influenced Trump. Shiflett said he called Trump’s office to find out what he should tell the reporter, and he was told to pick any writer he wanted to. “So I told them he likes Dostoevsky,” Shiflett said. “It was all just good times; the spirit around him was kind of mirthful. Everybody understood that and nobody took any of it very seriously.”

In Trump’s vocabulary, “genius” is perhaps the highest praise, and it refers to a street-level ability to get things done. Trump often referred to his lawyer and early mentor Roy Cohn as “a total genius” or a “political genius,” even if he was also “a lousy lawyer.” Trump explained in one of his books that his own true “genius” was for public relations: Rather than spending money on advertising, he said, he put his efforts toward winning news coverage of himself as a “genius.”

Despite his long history of boasts and his many admissions that he has a large ego, Trump has also had moments of extreme self-doubt. Biographer Harry Hurt described a period around 1990 when, as his marriage to Ivana Trump was breaking up, he occasionally spoke about suicide, according to friends and relatives.

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Ivana Trump decided that the couple should see a psychiatrist. Her husband resisted at first but then agreed, telling her he’d go, “only if you think it will fix what’s wrong with you,” according to Hurt’s 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.” Hurt reported that the future president attended only one session.

Soon, he was back to his usual publicly bullish self, “Trump being Trump,” as he sometimes called it.

“He says things because it gets attention,” Shiflett said. “He just wants people to talk about him.”

Short Ribs and Random Thoughts Jan 17 2018

TRUMP’S MEETING ON DACA etc  As Peter Baker of the NYT put it,   “He did not lapse into incoherence, but neither did he demonstrate mastery of policy details after a year in office.”   Well said.

THE NORWEGIAN INVASION-   Just when you think it can’t get ANY worse, Trump lowers the bar AGAIN.   He makes vile comments about  Haitians and pines for more Norwegian immigrants.  I can’t think of a more clear example of racism.  Then this morning we get to see the HHS Secretary, a blonde Viking type with an extra “j” in her name, declare that she has lost her hearing and sight when it comes to Trump.  Maybe we SHOULD record all his meetings. His selective reality is more than a joke.

BLUNDERS IN PUBLIC LIFE- been a big week for those, from the  fellow in our local welfare department who doesn’t know how to track expenses to the gigantic screwup in Hawaii. When I lived there we had frequent tsunami warnings and when those sirens went off I knew it would take a long time to get home to Waialua because they held us up at Wahiawa.  Everyone complained they were too eager to shut the road but no one questioned the basic competence of the system.  The State employees in Hawaii are abysmally paid, and  folks who are paid poorly are usually supervised poorly too.  One thing I can tell you:  EVERYONE on Oahu knows who  the hapless wrong-button pusher was.  The Coconut Wireless puts electronic media to shame.

OH THE IGNORANCE!  Ana Cabrera on CNN makes $150K a year and supposedly has a degree from Washington State,  but when someone used the term”kabuki”, referring to diplomatic machinations between the two Koreas, she said “Oooh, I’ll have to look that one up”. Is there any high school graduate from California who wouldn’t recognize the term “kabuki”?  I don’t think so.

YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP-  Like everyone else I’ve been wanting to read “Fire and Fury”.  Eureka Books is taking orders but has no idea when their shipment will come in. Believe it or not, my Chinese -speaking friend was approached online by a fellow who wanted to publish a Chinese translation but his details on rights were pretty sketchy so my friend held off but meanwhile the guy sent us the whole book!  Unfortunately, he sent it to my friends PHONE so we’re reading it to each other page by page.

END

 

 

Short Ribs and Random Thoughts Jan 10 2018

WHEN I WROTE the  last edition, I was still in despair at the idea of having to put up with Trump and his minions for four more years.  Now, as any people have pointed out ,  we just need to win the midterms, then impeach. I feel better.

TRUMP AT THE IMMIGRATION MEETING- Our Fake President’s handlers apparently wanted to showcase his maturity and knowledge after the revelations from the Michael Wolff book. Did you see his body language?  Arms folded protectively in front  of him. I’ve never sat through a meeting with someone in such a defensive posture, have you ?  Then at the end he throws the whole issue back to EVERYONE ELSE, saying he’ll sign anything. What leadership! If we get any changes in immigration, it won’t be due to Trump, although he’ll take credit.  BTW, what’s all the hate for “CHAIN MIGRATION”?  It’s called keeping  families together.

OPRAH FOR PRESIDENT- WORST IDEA EVER!!!!   Just what we need! Another TV star!  Let’s nip this one in the bud fast.  If she’s so hot to get into politics, let he serve a term in the Senate.  That’ll cure her .

NANCY PELOSI’S SON Paul Jr.,  apparently  a dingbat, hung with Trump at Mar-A-Lago over New Year’s. Now I can ignore the incessant begging letters from her.

I GOT A CALL the other night while watching TV  and didn’t jump to answer it. It turned out to be Assemblymember Jim Wood,  calling about the HCCDC endorsement .  Wood has run afoul of SINGLE PAYER and I guess there are those who don’t want to support him because  they don’t think he’s strong enough on, but it would help if we had a better bill to support. I’m okay with giving Jim another term.

WINTER SOUP ALERT: Last week in the NCJ, that wonderful woman,  Janice Fumiko Cahilll, published a trio of soup recipes of which the “Rough and Ready Borscht”  turned out to be life-altering. I had never bought a beet before!  Only takes a couple of hours to make.  You’ll thank her.    https://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/winter-simmer/Content

TRUMP AS GENIUS? I don’t think so.

The WAPO carries Our Fake President’s brags about his mental prowess.  Sorry, no link -they sent this by email- but here, below, is a partial readout.  Since when do REALLY smart people have to TELL everyone how smart they are?  Isn’t that pretty much disqualifying?

Trump boasts that he’s ‘like, really smart’ and a ‘very stable genius’ amid questions over his mental fitness.

 January 6 
 2:00
Trump defends his mental fitness, slams ‘Fire and Fury’ author
 

At a news conference at Camp David Jan 6., President Trump responded to a question from a reporter about a tweet he posted on his mental state earlier that day. 

 

President Trump lashed out again at a new book that suggests top White House aides fear that he is unfit for the job, calling the book “a work of fiction” and declaring that libel laws are too weak.

“It’s a disgrace that he can do something like this,” Trump said of the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by New York media writer Michael Wolff. “Libel laws are very weak in this country. If they were stronger, hopefully, you would not have something like that happen.”

Trump’s remarks, during which he referred to Wolff as a “fraud,” came during a brief news conference at Camp David where he is meeting with Republican leaders to plot the GOP agenda for 2018.

In a tweetstorm Saturday morning ahead of the news conference, the president called himself a “very stable genius” and called being “really smart” one of his greatest assets. Trump cited his career in business and reality television and his victory in last year’s election as evidence of his mental prowess. And he again lashed out at the ongoing special counsel investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives, calling suggestions that he colluded with Moscow a “total hoax on the American public.”  

Trump’s outburst came a day after the public release of the book by Wolff, who said he spent time in the West Wing interviewing top aides, as well as Trump. Wolff said he spent a total of three hours talking with Trump during the campaign and after Trump became president, but White House aides said Wolff spoke to Trump only once by phone for about five to seven minutes after he assumed office

 

Wolff paints the picture of a president who is unfit for the job and aides who come to fear Trump is not capable of, or interested in, processing information and making important decisions. Late Friday, Trump blasted Wolff as a “total loser,” and the president mocked his former campaign chairman and former White House adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, who was a key source for the book. Bannon criticized other aides and Trump’s son, calling a meeting at Trump Tower last year between Donald Jr. and a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”

 

Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!

White House aides have mounted an all-out attack on the book since it was first reported on Wednesday, calling it “fiction” and a “complete fantasy.” And Trump’s lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to Wolff and his publisher demanding they not release the book. But the publisher, Henry Holt, moved up the release date from later this month to Friday amid the publicity, and hard copies were quickly sold out in the Washington area.

At Camp David, Trump said Wolff, who has said he has a relationship with Trump, “does not know me at all.”

“By the way, he did not interview me,” Trump said, though he then said Wolff interviewed him once “a long time ago” for a magazine story. Asked by a reporter why he felt the need to defend himself on Twitter, Trump listed his accomplishments, saying, among other things: “I went to the best colleges, or college.” Trump spent two years at Fordham University before completing his education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business.

Trump also criticized Wolff’s past reporting, including a book about News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly spoke briefly to reporters at Camp David. He had not seen Trump’s tweets and, when a reporter showed them to him, he responded, “Okay.” Then he said Trump posted the tweets in order to circumvent the media “filter” on reporting on Wolff’s book — even though Trump praised the media for questioning some of Wolff’s reporting techniques.

 END

The WOLFF Book- some excerpts

Here’s a sample from  SALON.

Good Wednesday afternoon. THE WOLFF BOOK — WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE … “Trump Tower meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’, Bannon says in explosive book,” by the Guardian’s David Smith: “Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic’, according to an explosive new book seen by the Guardian. Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: ‘They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.’ …

“The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: ‘The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers. … Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.’ …

“Bannon has criticised Trump’s decision to fire Comey. In Wolff’s book, obtained by the Guardian ahead of publication from a bookseller in New England, he suggests White House hopes for a quick end to the Mueller investigation are gravely misplaced. ‘You realise where this is going,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to f***ing Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.'” http://bit.ly/2E1NUPj

— The Drudge headline: “Bannon Turns” … HOW WILL TRUMP REACT to Bannon going after his child and son in law?

— HMM … ! … NBC’S PETER ALEXANDER (@PeterAlexander): SIREN: ‘Steve Bannon was certain that after the (July 2016 Trump Tower) meeting, Trump, Jr. had taken the participants to see his father,’ per excerpts from new Michael Wolff book, ‘Fire & Fury.’ Trump has claimed he was unaware any meeting with Russians took place.” … (@PeterAlexander): “NEW: Here’s the Bannon quote regarding the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting: ‘The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office of the 26th floor is zero,’ per “Fire & Fury.” (pg. 255)”.

MORE FROM WOLFF in NEW YORK MAG — “Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President: One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days”: “Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy. … There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.”

AND DETAILS ON THE FIRST DAYS: “Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed.

“The first senior staffer to enter the White House that day was Bannon. On the inauguration march, he had grabbed 32-year-old Katie Walsh, the newly appointed deputy chief of staff, and together they had peeled off to inspect the now-vacant West Wing. The carpet had been shampooed, but little else had changed. It was a warren of tiny offices in need of paint, the décor something like an admissions office at a public university. Bannon claimed the non­descript office across from the much grander chief of staff’s suite and immediately requisitioned the whiteboards on which he intended to chart the first 100 days of the Trump administration. He also began moving furniture out. The point was to leave no room for anyone to sit. Limit discussion. Limit debate. This was war. Plus more on Rupert Murdoch calling Trump a “f***ing idiot”, Bannon’s meeting with Roger Ailes, Trump’s lunch with Mika and Joe, Ivanka musing running for president, the White House power struggles and more http://nym.ag/2E265V4

— Part of the excerpt says Trump questioned who John Boehner was. But Trump has tweeted about Boehner on multiple occasions, and Jake and James Hohmann reported back in 2013 that the pair had golfed together. http://politi.co/2ERM4Sj ALSO: Boehner has been in touch with this White House.

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