Hey John you remember saying how the Porn story would have a lot more legs if the GOP wasn’t in control? Well, Perry Bacon Jr. of 538 said the same thing in today’s 538 slack, dammed near word for word with what you said!
Perry Bacon, Jr: A big plus for Trump right now is that Democrats don’t have any power on the Hill. The Clinton email scandal was driven in part by House Republicans having lots of hearings about it and leaking stuff from their investigations to the press. In other words, which party controls Congress matters. If Democrats control the House next year, issues around Michael Cohen’s role as Trump’s lawyer/fixer and how Trump treats women and uses money and so on could become part of constant investigations. Hearings make news, push forward media coverage, etc.
T: Here’s the link: Will Stormy Daniels’s Allegations Turn Into A Full-Fledged Trump Scandal?
I sort of hate this stupid porn star story, to be honest. She’s such an opportunist that she makes Trump look almost nice in comparison
J: I don’t think this is going to be too big a deal, but Mueller is making noises that might be bigger.
T: I think you nailed it – without control, it’s pretty much up to Mueller. Congress has to sit on its hands and wait.
J: Did you see this?
If they KNEW he had intelligence ties, which it appears they did, and still dealt with him, the noose just got a lot tighter around Manafort’s neck.
T: I have little or no doubt that Manafort was in this up to his gold plated truss – Gates, too, and probably Flynn – and that means Trump was in, too. He isn’t the type to let something this big happen without taking control of at least the decision to do it.
And we KNOW something was done. The hacking of the DNC, the Wikileaks shit, the constant, grinding Hillary email reigniting, over and over … there was an orchestrated effort on Russia’s part to fuck with the election. We know that 100 percent. Now, why in the world would they do this, just for the fun of it? Answer? They wouldn’t.
Hence, there is going to be fire in there, somewhere. And Donnie Senior is not smart enough to cover his tracks. Mueller will find evidence. Will the public believe it? I’ll believe that when I see it.
J: The KGB is like the Mafia; if you’re in, you’re in for life, or at least you should be treated that way. And I agree that Trump HAD to know about this. There is no fucking way in the world that any campaign worker, let alone the manager, would go that far off the reservation without the boss knowing about it.
The question is, what evidence does Mueller have? I think he’s showing some of his card to Manafort in order to get him to flip. He’s saying “I’ve got the goods; this can go two ways. You can cooperate and get a year or so in Club Fed, or you can not cooperate and spend the rest of your life getting bent over in the showers in Leavenworth.”
T: My guess?
Manafort: “Donnie, I can get Putin to back you”
Trump: “Do it, but keep it away from me”
Six months later: “Donnie: “Really Paul, 12 million bucks? Did you think you could hide that much money?”
Manafort: “It’s unrelated”
Trump: “Ok, never mind”
Adelson: “No, NOT never mind, you moron. Paul, you’re fired. If you say a word about this campaign to anyone, I’ll have you ancestors dug up and sterilized.”
J: Probably Mercer, not Adelson, but whoever.
T: Mercer; that’s probably right. But Adelson is still an evil troll.
J: So there’s no doubt fire… what’s the fire? Do you think Mueller will actually come up with concrete evidence linking the Trump campaign to the KGB or whatever the Russian intelligence service is these days?
T: I don’t know if Trump himself can be tied to it directly. I suspect something like my scenario in fact happened between him and Manafort, and there won’t be a concrete connection that goes all the way to Trump. But Mueller is absolutely going to hogtie and ass-rape Kushner, and Kushner could supply the missing link. He was at the meeting with Junior, who is also a future Mueller target.
And Manafort, remember – and the meeting was directly under Donnie Sr.’s office.
J: Then the question becomes, how badly does this hurt Trump in 2018, and more importantly in 2020? If a bunch of his associates go to jail, and if he himself gets impeached for obstruction of justice, does he even run in 2020? Do the Republicans invoke the 25th amendment or recruit a primary challenger for him?
T: I don’t think Trump is a serious 2020 candidate, to be honest. He’ll be 74 years old, the economy can’t possibly stay strong that long – especially in light of his moves to date – and his approval rating is barely over 40 percent. His ceiling was the first miracle. It’s almost inconceivable that he’ll even run again, let alone have more than a drunken puncher’s chance to win.
J: He announced he was running for re-election almost on inauguration day. That being said, with the continued slide in his popularity and the various Mueller-driven clouds over his head, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he dropped out of the race for “health” reasons and endorsed Pence as his successor. Whoever the Republican candidate is will be hammered, of course, but Pence is the most obviously tied to Trump and therefore probably the best sacrificial lamb.
If he doesn’t drop out, I think he will face a stiff primary challenge from a moderate Republican (my guess would be Kasich but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Flake run).
Trump would probably win in that scenario, but he would be even more weakened and would likely go down to a historic defeat.
T: I suspect that the GOP will be ousted in large numbers over the next two cycles (how did we switch places here, lol?). My reasoning is that, while the base is stubbornly holding on to their faith in the horse they bet on, they ain’t taking THAT ticket to the window again.
I expect a massive influx of dems in 2018, and then two years of the opposite version of diminishing returns. The right ain’t as smart, dedicated or energetic as the left. They’ll whine a bit, but eventually Real Housewives will come on and they’ll say fuck it, pop a beer and wait for the next rich asshole to come pretend to love ’em.
J: The big question is the Senate. I have little doubt the Democrats will take the House, but I’d prefer them to take the Senate so that they could stop Trump’s stuffing of the judiciary with conservative ideologues.
T: That’s the ballgame for abortion rights.
J: Can you imagine MINORITY Leader McConnell proposing a Supreme Court nominee? Schumer would chuckle cynically and say, “No.”
T: I don’t think McConnell lasts until 2020. I expect him to get ousted like Boehner did.
I mean, has he done ANYTHING? The tax code was all he got through, and that was about as slam-dunk as you can get.
J: I don’t think Ryan or McConnell survives the midterms, politically. He just barely managed to sneak tax reform through. The expectation is that there will be no major legislation passed between now and the midterms, and frankly I don’t expect there will be anything passed after that. If the Democrats gain either house of Congress, Trump’s agenda is dead. If they gain the House, I’d bet you ten bucks right now that impeachment resolutions would be filed on the first day of the new session.
And I’d bet you ten more that, as part of their impeachment inquiry, they’d subpoena his tax returns.
T: Have you seen the articles saying Trump tried to pardon Manafort and Flynn? The gist is that Trump tried to prevent them from testifying, a serious accusation. And the articles have no evidence to back them up.
Fake news? Dammed right it is. And it came from the New York Times. I don’t know what’s going on up there, but they should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such a strong accusation without any on-the-record sources.
J: That’s a very serious allegation; it’s pretty much accusing Trump of obstruction of justice. If I was running the NYT, I’d want something more substantial than three anonymous sources, no matter how trustworthy they might be. I would want someone to go on the record.
T: It’s chickenshit at best, and just as bad as anything Trump is likely to have done at worst. They should have to stand up – by NAME, PUBICALLY – and admit they acted like the journalistic equivalent of townspeople with torches and pitchforks.
Let’s make that publicly. Oops.
J: “Mr. Happy and I say that John Dowd made this offer.”
T: As Freudian slips go, that one needed to cover more leg.
J: Just across the wire: Trump fired the head of the VA and replaced him with his personal physician.
T: The weird guy that gave him his campaign physical?
J: No, not that guy. Some admiral. Admiral Peckerchecker.
T: Ok … probably qualified, then. As long as it wasn’t some bean-counting prick who hates the military.
J: Well, he’s an admiral, so he’s obviously been hanging around the military for a while. I mean, it takes a while to get to Admiral Peckerchecker. Usually they don’t get past Captain Peckerchecker.
T: You do realize they spend more time around back, don’t you?
J: That’s actually surprising to me, especially after don’t ask don’t tell. I’d have thought they’d be more concerned about the aftereffects of Westpacs.
T: I did three Westpacs.
J: Yeah, but weren’t you married at least some of that time?
T: Actually, no, not during the Westpacs. What are you insinuating? They were Westpacs, not backpacks.
J: I’m insinuating that you kept it in your pants during the Westpacs, which, given the stories I’ve seen on some of the Navy FB groups, was a good idea.
T: Cheeks to the bulkheads; that was my motto.