The Other Trade War

So it’s official, the 3rd most important Jew in the administration (Jared and Ivanka being 1 and 2. Self-disclosure: I am also a Jew), has tendered his resignation. So Cohn found his soul and couldn’t allow it to be further contaminated by the stench in the White House? Not really. If he had a soul he would have left his position when the president failed to condemn Neo Nazis in Charlottesville. They say he had drawn up his resignation then, but didn’t go through with it. It took a disagreement about trade to get him to pull the trigger. What a guy!

The Don showed his disdain for Cohn’s disloyalty by having a meeting where there was an empty chair with his name on it. It’s like Cohn was a contestant on The Apprentice and had been ousted from the show. Soon Cohn will be relegated to a coffee boy and someone The Don barely knew, just like Popadopolous, Manafort and Bannon. There have been so many baristas in the White House that a Starbucks could have opened in the West Wing fully staffed.

OMFG TRUMP - West Wing Joe

The Don followed up his empty chair staging with a comment about how people were dying to work in his White House; this was just another example of the delusional world he inhabits.

“The White House has tremendous energy. It has tremendous spirit. It is a great place to be working. Many, many people want every single job. You know, I read where, oh gee, maybe people don’t want to work for Trump, and believe me, everybody wants to work in the White House. They all want a piece of that Oval Office. They want a piece of the West Wing. And not only in terms of it looks great on their résumé; it’s just a great place to work. It’s got tremendous energy.”

“I have a choice of anybody.” He continued, “I could take any position in the White House, and I’ll have a choice of the 10 top people having to do with that position. Everybody wants to be there.”

So which great person will replace Cohn? My vote is for the two 6 year olds that run the lemonade stand on my corner. They’re business savvy, hard working and really smart. Oops, that means they can’t work in the West Wing.

OMFG TRUMP - Lemonade Stand.jpg

The most important part of The Don’s comment “is want a piece of the White House” and “want a piece of the West Wing.”

If there is anything that means something to The Don it is getting a piece of the action and by joining his team you have the chance to get yours.

The tariffs he is placing on steel and aluminum represent another one of his impulsive, and wrong-headed ideas. All economists believe it will make products Americans buy more expensive and that many more jobs will be lost than gained by protecting the steel and aluminum industry. Have we forgotten the hypocrisy that The Don used Chinese steel to build many of his buildings?

Even his sycophantic Republican legislatures are howling at the moon over this one. Paul Ryan made an appeal that had all the teeth of someone with loose dentures. First, he stated his concern about the consequences of a trade war and urged the White House not to act. He followed that up with a statement to Republican lawmakers not to “bully The Don on the decision as it could backfire and make things worse.” Wow! That’s what happens in domestic violence: the person beaten just accepts it because of the threat that it could be worse.

OMFG TRUMP - Trump and Ryan.jpg

But there is another serious trade issue that makes the West Wing reek. It has to do with all the wheeling and dealing and “horse trading” which is, when it comes down to it, the quintessential activity, the reason d’etre of this White House.

Take Paul Manafort. Desperate for money, he joined The Don’s campaign (working for free! Ha!), and within three months was able to secure a loan of 16 million dollars from a Chicago Savings and Loans bank, which represented one quarter of the bank’s capital. The owner was offered the post of Secretary of the Army, which ultimately never came to fruition. (See my piece Manafort Destiny for more of Manafort’s shenanigans.)

Then there is Michael Flynn who was doing all kinds of wheeling and dealing while acting as an unregistered foreign agent, which is a crime. During the campaign he was actively lobbying for Turkey and being paid for his activities. It was reported that he was part of scheme that would have paid him to help kidnap (Gulen), Erdogan’s rival, back to Turkey. In otherwise trading someone for money! During the inauguration speech, Flynn tweeted “rip it up” and “good to go” referring to Russian sanctions and a deal to build nuclear plants in the Middle East partnering with Russia. Wonder what he got for that?

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Then there is Ivanka who visited China and coincidently received three licenses for her brand. What did favors did she trade?

Then there is Jared’s sister going to China and trading golden visas for $500,000 piece. Can’t you imagine her traveling with one suitcase just filled with visas, standing on a street corner in Beijing, setting up a stand and crooning: Visas for sale only $500,000.

Then there is Carl Icahn, billionaire extraordinaire, dumping 30 million of steel stock a few weeks before The Don announced his trade tariff on steel. Fishy, right: insider trading? I wonder what kind of cut The Don got?

And what about our sleazy wunderkind Jared? It turns out his real estate business is teetering and his building at 666 5th Avenue, a devil of a property, has a billion dollar payment coming due. To our surprise, it has been reported that Jared met with Joshua Harris of Apollo Global Management who loaned our crooked friend $184 million (triple the size of the average property loan) and the CEO of Citi Bank, Michael Corbat, who lent him a cool $325 million. Not to mention his dealings with the Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico who have privately discussed ways they could manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements and financial difficulties. Kushner had contacts with foreign officials that he did not coordinate through the National Security Council, which is standard procedure. These actions may be behind his inability to get a proper security clearance. Wonder what kind of favor he was trying to trade?

And now there are the revelations about George Nader who now has been talking to Mueller and Company.

A player on the international scene since the 90’s, he is suspected of funneling money from the Emirates to The Don’s campaign for the purposes of favorable treatment of that government.

Just in case you didn’t know: it is illegal for foreign entities to contribute to campaigns, or for Americans to knowingly accept foreign money for political races.

Then there is the meeting in the Seychelles, which was convened by the Crown Prince of Emirates; he brought together a Russian investor close to President Vladimir V. Putin, Kirill Dmitriev, with Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and an informal adviser to Mr. Trump’s team during the presidential transition. (Prince is the brother of Secretary of Education, Betsey Devos. Wonder how someone so uniquely unqualified got that job?)

At the meeting, Emirati officials believed Mr. Prince was speaking for The Don’s transition team. Mr. Nader, who grew close later to several advisors in the Trump White House, had once worked as a consultant to Mr. Prince’s company. It was Mr. Nader who introduced his former employer to the Russians in the Seychelles.

Mr. Prince denied representing the Trump transition team during the meeting and dismissed his encounter with Mr. Dmitriev as nothing more than a friendly conversation over a drink, a chance run-in. According to Prince: “We chatted on topics ranging from oil and commodity prices to how much his country wished for resumption of normal trade relations.

If you believe that story I have a unicorn I want you to meet. If you trade “resumption of normal trade relations” for “removal of sanctions.” I think you get the gist.

By the way, “having a drink” with someone can be quite a consequential event as we learned when Papadopolous met with an Australian ambassador and revealed that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And last and most importantly, we have The Don himself. From his money-making hotel in Washington where foreign dignitaries stay in order to court favor, to his attempt to secure a Trump Tower deal in Moscow as late as 2016 and to his refusal to implement sanctions on Russia, we have a president totally compromised by the dirt Putin has on him. Like Jarod, The Don should not have access to classified information. Pretty scary when the president of the country is so compromised that they shouldn’t have access to classified information!

And then we have all the myriads of payments made to women to silence them about their sexual escapades with The Don. That’s a trade war all of its own!

P.S. After writing this article I became nostalgic for Barack Obama and began thinking what we traded for when The Don replaced him:

Obama                                      The Don

Intelligent                                 Ignorant

Ethical                                        Crook

Diversity                                    White Supremacist

Progressive                               Regressive

Kind                                            Bully

Worldly                                      Xenophobe

Revered internationally         International buffoon

Thoughtful                                 Impulsive

Elegant                                        Boorish

Feminist                                      Sexual Predator

 

Shit, did America make a bad trade or what!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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