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#4701
caltrek

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'Elite Strike Force'? Trump Legal Team Throws Right-Wing Attorney Sidney Powell Under the Bus as Coup Attempt Flails

 

https://www.commondr...ey-powell-under

 

Introduction:

(Common Dreams) With the Trump campaign's amateurish, absurd, but nonetheless dangerous attempt to overturn the results of the November election continuing to flop in court, members of the president's legal team late Sunday issued a statement distancing themselves from right-wing attorney Sidney Powell after she spent the past several days peddling bizarre and entirely baseless claims of vote hacking involving Venezuela, Cuba, and "communist money."

 

Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is "practicing law on her own" and "is not a member of the Trump Legal Team," a statement that comes just days after Powell appeared at a press conference with Giuliani and Ellis at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the trio rambled on about a vast conspiracy against the president for which there is zero evidence.

 

"She is also not a lawyer for the president in his personal capacity," Giuliani and Ellis added.

 

An unnamed Trump campaign official told the Washington Post late Sunday that Trump had come to believe Powell was damaging the credibility of his already floundering legal ploy. "She was too crazy even for the president," the official remarked, not mentioning the fact that Trump has readily touted Powell's narrative in recent social media posts and hailed her as part of his "truly great" legal team.

 

During the Trump attorneys' press conference last week, Ellis described Powell as part of an "elite strike force" of lawyers expertly working to advance the Trump campaign's legal aims—a characterization that critics didn't hesitate to mock while also stressing the very real threat posed by the ongoing coup attempt and the lasting damage it could inflict.

 

245798_rgb_768_1.png?itok=TRMjH2ty


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4702
caltrek

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Legendary Watergate Reporter Names Names: These 21 GOP Senators ‘despise’ Trump — but Won’t Say So Publicly

 

https://www.alternet.org/2020/11/carl-bernstein/

 

Introduction:

(Alternet) Although some Republican senators are making no secret of the fact that Joe Biden is the president-elect — including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — many others are afraid to publicly acknowledge Biden's decisive victory in the 2020 presidential election. But the fact that a GOP senator is afraid to criticize President Donald Trump publicly doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't doing it behind closed doors, and veteran journalist Carl Stein is aggressively calling them out for it on Twitter.

 

Bernstein, now 76, is famous for his historic reporting on the Watergate scandal with fellow journalist Bob Woodward at the Washington Post during the 1970s — and Bernstein has stressed, on many occasions, that he considers Trump much more dangerous than President Richard Nixon. In a scathing Twitter thread posted on November 22, Bernstein lists "21 GOP senators who have privately expressed their disdain for Trump." And he goes on to say, "With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct—including undermining and discrediting the US electoral system."

 

The Republicans senators Bernstein lists include, among others, Arizona's Martha McSally (who was voted out of office this year), Florida's Rick Scott, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, Tennessee's Lamar Alexander, Florida's Marco Rubio, North Carolina's Richard Burr, Texas' John Cornyn and Ohio's Rob Portman.

 

Bernstein didn't hold back during an appearance on CNN's "New Day" on November 22, telling hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, "We are witnessing the mad king in the final days of his reign, willing to scorch the earth in his country and bring down the whole system to undermine our whole democracy, strip it of its legitimacy, (and) poison the confidence of our people in its institutions for Donald Trump's own petulant, rabid, selfish ends."

 

Trump, Bernstein added, is making it abundantly clear that he doesn't respect democratic norms — and too many Republicans are afraid to call him out. Berman cited Romney and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska as two GOP senators who are willing to speak out but joined Bernstein in lamenting that so many others are not.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4703
caltrek

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Republican Governor Drops the Hammer on Trump’s ‘banana republic’ Attempt to Steal the Election

 

https://www.alternet.../2020/11/hogan/

 

(Entire Article - less link to CNN Video):

(Alternet) Appearing on CNN with host Jake Tapper, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ® scorched Donald Trump for trying to manipulate electors in various states to overturn the presidential election results and hand the presidency back to him, calling the president's efforts "outrageous."

 

Asked about the president meeting with officials from Michigan and trying to manipulate them into throw votes out, the "State of the Union" guest was livid.

 

"Well, I have confidence that on January 20th, the president-elect is going to be sworn in but I'm not sure, you know, I could say I'm confident that the president is going to the right thing," he told the CNN host. "Look. I thought the pressuring of the legislators to try to somehow, you know, change the outcome with electors was completely outrageous."

 

"Quite frankly, we used to supervise elections around the world and we were the most respected country with respect to elections," he continued. "Now we are beginning to look like we are a banana republic. Now it's time for them to stop the nonsense. It is more bizarre every single day and, frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the Republican Party aren't speaking up."

image.png?width=1245&quality=85&coordina

Maryland GovPics/Wikimedia Commons


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4704
caltrek

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What The U.S. Election Meltdown Looks Like to Other Countries

 

https://www.politico...bservers-438691

 

Introduction:

(Politico) Nearly three weeks after a presidential election plagued by long lines and even longer ballot-counting delays, President Donald Trump still hasn’t conceded the race to Joe Biden, his administration is refusing to help with an orderly transition and his supporters are pulling every lever they can to drag out, block or even overturn the results.

 

Never before has the basic machinery of U.S. democracy looked so dysfunctional. And the rest of the world has been watching almost as closely as Americans themselves.

 

The United States has set itself up as a global model for democratic elections, impressing many people with the longstanding stability of its system, but also fostering some annoyance with its high-handed efforts to promote its own style of democracy worldwide.

 

Now, with its system in a public meltdown under the stress of its own presidential election, how do people overseas see what’s happening here? And how will it affect America’s standing going forward? We asked writers from a range of countries, either watching from overseas or from their jobs in the US, what they thought of this recent election, and how it made their fellow-citizens feel about the United States.

 

Some described a sense of comeuppance, as the self-appointed democratic beacon turned out to be flawed after all; others were disappointed to watch their own autocrats or regional strongmen already capitalizing on the US’s domestic chaos. European allies, though surprised at the confusion, are largely taking it in stride as they await a better relationship with the Biden administration. China and Russia, officially, couldn’t be happier. And the former British ambassador asks what many Americans were asking just a couple of weeks ago: Why can’t the United States just hire more ballot counters? Their responses are below (see article linked above quote box).


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4705
caltrek

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I beg to differ with Starspawn, et al. We are still living in interesting times.

 

The Damage Trump Would Do

 

https://theweek.com/articles/951069/damage-trump

 

Introduction:

(The Week) On Thursday afternoon, when lawyers for the president of the United States were alleging (wholly without evidence) that Democrats stole the presidential election for Joe Biden with a combination of fraudulent mail-in ballots and voting machines rigged by Venezuela's deceased left-wing populist autocrat Hugo Chavez, a new YouGov poll of 1,500 registered voters revealed that 88 percent of Republicans think Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 election.

 

There is no sign whatsoever that Trump will ever concede the election or cease trying to discredit it. How likely is it that this will “work,” in the sense that he will succeed in preventing Biden from taking the oath of office just past noon on Jan. 20, 2021? Almost none, as several informative articles have explained in detail.

 

Yet for me the past couple of days have begun to feel a little bit like those weeks in the winter of 2016 when a range of pundits insisted, in the face of an avalanche of polls showing Trump solidly leading the pack of candidates in the GOP primary field, that he couldn't possibly win the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Back then, my stock response to these denialists was to ask naively, “Why not?” The answers, pointing to mysterious inner workings of party institutions, never succeeded in persuading me that it couldn't happen. As long as Trump had the voters behind him, he would win — because in reality there was no institutional or legal mechanism to prevent it from happening.

 

Thankfully, there is such an institutional and legal mechanism standing in Trump's way this time. So he won't be able to ride a wave of outrage among his supporters to a second term.

 

But that doesn't mean that Trump isn't doing enormous, potentially long-lasting damage to American democracy. He is, and precisely through the same means by which he seized his party's nomination nearly five years ago.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4706
caltrek

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We are former senior national security officials who served in Republican administrations under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and/or Donald Trump or as Republican Members of Congress. We believe that President Trump’s refusal to concede the election and allow for an orderly transition constitutes a serious threat to America’s democratic process and to our national security. We therefore call on Republican leaders – especially those in Congress – to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election.

 

It has been clear for over two weeks that Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential election, garnering 306 electoral votes, far more than the 270 electoral votes required to be elected.

 

Despite this clear outcome, President Trump has refused to accept the results and begin the transition process. While the President is legally entitled to request recounts and file good-faith legal challenges, he has presented no evidence of widespread fraud or any other significant irregularities. Nearly every case filed by the President’s team across multiple states has been summarily dismissed.

 

President Trump’s continued efforts to cast doubt on the validity of the election and to interfere in state electoral processes undermine our democracy and risk long-term damage to our institutions. Although some Republican leaders have supported President Trump’s right to challenge aspects of the voting in various states, for the good of the country, they should now strongly oppose his dangerous and extra-legal efforts to intimidate state election officials and distort the Electoral College process.

 

President Trump’s refusal to permit the presidential transition also poses significant risks to our national security, at a time when the U.S. confronts a global pandemic and faces serious threats from global adversaries, terrorist groups, and other forces. The delay in allowing transition teams to meet and confer with officials on the Coronavirus Task Force and at the National Security Council, the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and the other departments and agencies critical to U.S. national security means that the incoming Biden Administration will be less prepared to defend America’s security when it assumes power in 59 days.

 

https://www.washingt...9-7bc9ccb967dc/


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4707
Maximus

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What Trump and his cronies like Mitch McConnell are doing can be described as nothing less than sedition: 

 

Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organisation, that tends toward rebellion against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent toward, or rebellion against, established authority.

Which also happens to be punishable under US federal law:

 

18 U.S. Code § 2384.Seditious conspiracy

 

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Unity? What's happening right now should not be forgotten and forgiven so quickly. Discussing throwing out electoral results in entire states? That's an attempted coup. Lock them all up, starting with Trump and Mitch. This kind of open assault on democracy should not be allowed to ever happen again.



#4708
caltrek

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Nothing like reading somebody the riot act to get their attention.

 

Key Government Agency Acknowledges Biden's Win and Begins Formal Transition

 

https://www.msn.com/...ocid=uxbndlbing

 

Introduction:

(CNN) The General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from Administrator Emily Murphy sent Monday afternoon and obtained by CNN.

 

The letter is the first step the administration has taken to acknowledge President Donald Trump's defeat, more than two weeks after Biden was declared the winner in the election.

 

Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision "out of fear or favoritism."

 

"Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," Murphy wrote. "I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official -- including those who work at the White House or GSA -- with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination."

 

The letter marks Murphy's formal sign off on Biden's victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. The move will allow the transition to officially begin, permitting current administration agency officials to coordinate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4709
Maximus

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Well, that is surprising. Not exactly a concession, but that significantly eases my worries of the coup succeeding. However, short of charging Trump and those in his orbit with sedition for this circus, the US government should do as Emily Murphy says in the article:

 

But until now, Murphy had refused to move forward with the ascertainment process, despite Biden's clear victory. Murphy, a Trump political appointee, has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition. In a statement Monday, Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said that "there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state" and called on the transition process to begin.

 
In the letter, Murphy suggested that the ascertainment rules were vague and should be updated.
 
"GSA does not dictate the outcome of legal disputes and recounts, nor does it determine whether such proceedings are reasonable or justified," she wrote. "These are issues that the Constitution, federal laws, and state laws leave to the election certification process and decisions by courts of competent jurisdiction. I do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based election process. I strongly urge Congress to consider amendments to the Act."

And she is spot on. Too many rules around the presidency and the election in the US are not clearly defined in law, but rather by custom and tradition. Trump has been the master of violating these democratic norms. If it wasn't written down, Trump was shitting all over it. From now on, it should be assumed the President will be a maniac with dictatorial aspirations. Like for example, states aren't mandated by law to assign electors based on the vote; it's just expected that this will happen. That's why Trump could even contemplate throwing out the vote in a few states; because US law leaves enough grey space to do so. Things like these have to be codified into law.



#4710
caltrek

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Maximus: From now on, it should be assumed the President will be a maniac with dictatorial aspirations. Like for example, states aren't mandated by law to assign electors based on the vote; it's just expected that this will happen. That's why Trump could even contemplate throwing out the vote in a few states; because US law leaves enough grey space to do so. Things like these have to be codified into law.

 

I find all of this quite ironic. Before I retired, I worked in local government dealing with grants in which federal and state laws and regulations needed to be interpreted and implemented. I became increasingly frustrated by all the red tape I had to deal with. At the core was precisely the sort of dynamic that is illustrated by Trump and your response. Things that should have been a matter of common sense were taken as such by most people. Yet, there was always somebody out there willing to take advantage, or otherwise not exercise such common sense. As a result, regulations continued to proliferate to eliminate "grey space".  So, the people that most protested against such red tape often were most willing to indulge those that would abuse the system.  Yet, it was that abuse of the system that was at the core of the drive for more extensive regulation.  That is where a breakdown of the honor system leads.  Government can accomplish a lot of positive things, yet there are always those out there willing to sabotage the system to achieve their own ends. So, much effort is wasted trying to counteract the effects of these abusive sort of people.  Still, that effort is needed given the alternative.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4711
Jessica

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Trump: 'I'm ashamed that I endorsed' Kemp in Georgia

Source: The Hill



President Trump on Sunday said he regretted endorsing Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ®, taking a swipe at the top Republicans in the state ahead of two critical Senate runoff elections.

The president decried the use of Dominion Voting Systems machines in Georgia, which are the subject of unproven conspiracies among some conservatives. He placed blame at the feet of Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ® for approving the rules of the election.

"Everything has to be approved by the legislature, and they had judges making deals, and they had electoral officials making deals like this character in Georgia who’s a disaster," Trump said of Raffensperger, who has defended the integrity of the presidential election in Georgia, where President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump by just more than 12,000 votes.

"And the governor’s done nothing. He’s done absolutely nothing," Trump added of Kemp. "I’m ashamed that I endorsed him. But I look what’s going on. It's so terrible."

 


Read more: https://thehill.com/...kemp-in-georgia



#4712
Jessica

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Trump's Already Gaming Out a 2024 Run--Including an Event During Biden's Inauguration

Source: The Daily Beast


In the twilight of his presidency, Donald Trump is discussing different ways to disrupt the impending Joe Biden era, chief among them by announcing another run against him.

According to three people familiar with the conversations, the president, who refuses to acknowledge he lost the 2020 election as he clearly did, has not just talked to close advisers and confidants about a potential 2024 run to reclaim the White House but about the specifics of a campaign launch. The conversations have explored, among other things, how Trump could best time his announcement so as to keep the Republican Party behind him for the next four years. Two of these knowledgeable sources said the president has, in the past two weeks, even floated the idea of doing a 2024-related event during Biden’s inauguration week, possibly on Inauguration Day, if his legal effort to steal the 2020 election ultimately fails.

The president and some of his closest associates have already started surveying prominent donors to get a sense of who would be with him, or perhaps against him, if he chose to run in the 2024 election. Some top Trump allies have told The Daily Beast that they are doing what they can to stay in the president’s good graces, calculating that doing so will help ensure a seat at the table and a future in the party—in the event he runs again.

...

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the president has privately bragged that he’d still remain in the spotlight, even if Biden is in the Oval Office, in part because the news media will keep regularly covering him since—as Trump has assessed—he gets the news outlets ratings and those same outlets find Biden “boring.”

 


Read more: https://www.thedaily...ns-inauguration



#4713
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Federal Judge Advances Lawsuit Accusing Felix Sater of Laundering Loot Through Trump Properties

Source: Law & Crime



A federal judge on Monday partially advanced a lawsuit accusing Russian mafia-tied businessman Felix Sater of laundering millions stolen from Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank through Trump Organization properties.

“In this case, Kazakhstan’s largest city and a Kazakhstani bank seek to recover millions of dollars in stolen funds from those who allegedly helped the culprits launder them,” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan summarized in a 25-page opinion dismissing only two counts of a six-count complaint. “Felix Sater—the alleged ringleader of the money-laundering operation—along with his associate Daniel Ridloff and several business entities they control, move to dismiss.”

Like Sater, Ridloff was also formerly associated with the Trump Organization. The lawsuit stems from allegations of the systematic looting of Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty and its bank in 2009.

“The Court emphasizes that the Kazakh entities will need to adduce evidence showing the Sater defendants’ deceptive conduct and their justifiable reliance on that conduct in significantly greater detail to meet their burdens of production and of proof as the case progresses,” Nathan wrote. “However, at this stage, the Court concludes that it is not clear on the face of the complaint that their claims are untimely, and so declines to dismiss any claims on that basis.”

 


Read more: https://lawandcrime....ump-properties/



#4714
wjfox

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GK123jt.jpg



#4715
caltrek

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The end of the embarrassment

 

https://www-economis...e-embarrassment

 

Introduction:

 

(The Economist) Appalling as it has been to witness an American president try to steal an election, Donald Trump’s efforts have amounted to less than the best-informed prognosticators feared. Back in June a bipartisan group of over 100 political operatives and scholars, gathered by the Election Integrity Project, war-gamed the aftermath of four scenarios: an unclear result, a narrow win for Joe Biden, a clear victory for Mr Trump and the same for Mr Biden. Only in the last simulation was America spared authoritarianism by Mr Trump, a constitutional crisis and street battles.

 

Mr Biden’s actual winning margin was at the outer edge of a “clear victory”. And the president’s response to it has been even wilder than the war-gamers envisaged. (They did not imagine, in such an event, that he would try to coerce Republican state legislators to overthrow the results.) Yet none of the other features of the Trump coups they envisioned has materialised. Attorney-General Bill Barr has gone to ground. High-powered conservative lawyers have taken a pass on the president’s bogus fraud claims.

 

Hence the ridiculous Rudy Giuliani, dripping sweat and hair dye and ranting about George Soros and Hugo Chávez, has been the spear-point of Mr Trump’s attempted heist. It has been laughable, a shambles. It has also illustrated—yet again—Mr Trump’s iron grip on his party, to the extent that most commentators seem to think the Republican nomination for the 2024 election is already his for the taking. They could be right. But Lexington is sceptical.

 

That is not to deny the president’s success in fast-tracking the myth of his stolen re-election to the pantheon of right-wing grievances. The same livid Trump superfans who have been rallying all year against mask-wearing and the scourge of devil-worshipping Democratic paedophiles have gathered, outside state legislatures from Arizona to Pennsylvania, to demand that state lawmakers “stop the steal”. Right-wing conspiracy theorists have been spitting out explanations—involving shadowy Biden-Harris vans crammed with ballots in Nevada, vanishing sharpie signatures in Arizona and so forth—for how the steal took place. A large majority of Republican voters say Mr Biden’s victory was illegitimate.

 

I think one thing the article does not address that could make a big difference.  Where do the heavy weight donors of the Republican end up going?

 

If they continue to look to Trump for leadership, they can very well terrorize a lot of elected Republicans through the potential for primary challenges. If they decide to back other voices, that could serve to dilute Trump's influence.

 

With Trump not actually in office, their enthusiasm for backing Trump may lessen.  Still, they may find him a useful tool for helping to ring concessions out of Biden. So, this is one of those "time will tell" issues.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4716
wjfox

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Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash, a source tells Insider



#4717
Raklian

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Damn, this article is an exclusive!


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#4718
wjfox

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Just a reminder of what an absolute piece of shit this man is.

 

Video from 29th Feb.

 

 



#4719
starspawn0

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https://www.theatlan...is-mind/617446/

Trump Is Losing His Mind

The president is discussing martial law in the Oval Office, as his grip on reality falters.

As if that were not enough, we also learned that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was pardoned by the president after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, attended the Friday meeting. Earlier in the week, Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, floated the idea (which he had promoted before) that the president impose martial law and deploy the military to “rerun” the election in several closely contested states that voted against Trump. It appears that Flynn wants to turn them into literal battleground states.

None of this should come as a surprise. Some of us said, even before he became president, that Donald Trump’s Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering him, was his psychology—his disordered personality, his emotional and mental instability, and his sociopathic tendencies.


I'm afraid that what people have said about him is true, especially what Mary Trump said about him. She said he would not be able to stand losing, and that his craziness would really become apparent then.

#4720
wjfox

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Donald Trump, Trump, USA, Conservative, 2016, Republican, GOP, POTUS, China, Conservative Christian

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