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Tag: donald trump jr

Trump Kids, Mnuchin Cost Taxpayers $1.7M For Secret Service Protection In 2021

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump's executive order requiring the U.S. Secret Service to continue guarding his children and key members within his administration comes with a hefty price tag: $1.7 million, according to the Washington Post.

Post-presidential Secret Service protection is typically reserved for former presidents, first ladies, and their children up to the age of 16. However, Trump has gone a step further expanding that privilege to his adult children, their spouses, and some former members of his administration including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Robert O'Brien. Their Secret Service detail was set to last for the entire first six months out of office.

The publication reports that Secret Service accumulated the seven-figure bill tailing the former president's ultra-wealthy adult children. Agents accompanied them to "ski vacations, weekend houses, a resort in Cabo San Lucas, and business trips abroad," the Post noted.

"Who wouldn't enjoy continuing their free limo service and easy access to restaurant tables?" asked Jim Helminski, a former Secret Service executive. "Even if there was a credible risk to family and associates of Trump, these people are now private citizens who can afford to hire ... private security firms for their personal protection," he told the Post.

Out of all the expenses, it is being reported that Mnuchin racked up the most. Citing government spending records, the Post reported the highest expenses came from Mnuchin's trips to Israel and Los Angeles. A total of $52,000 was spent to trail Mnuchin to Israel while another six figure bill was accumulated when he traveled to Los Angeles.

The publication reports: "Mnuchin's total Secret Service tab hit $479,000, and included $114,000 for rooms at a W Hotel in Los Angeles."

Although Mnuchin claims he never asked for protection, he also had the option to turn the Service down; something he did not do.

Judge Upholds Coal Magnate’s Lawsuit Against Donald Trump Jr.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although Donald Trump Jr. and former coal baron Don Blankenship have a lot in common — both are far-right bullies, both are extremists, and both are aggressive defenders of fossil fuels — there is a considerable amount of bad blood between the two of them. And in West Virginia, a 95-year-old federal judge has refused to throw out Blankenship's defamation lawsuit against Trump Jr., according to Law & Crime.

The lawsuit stems from comments that Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump, made about Blankenship during West Virginia's 2018 U.S. Senate race, which found Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin being reelected.

The 71-year-old Blankenship is the former CEO of the coal company Massey Energy, and he served a year behind bars because of his role in a 2010 coal mining disaster. In his lawsuit, Blankenship argues Trump Jr. wrongly defamed him by describing him as a convicted "felon"; Blankenship was incarcerated because of a misdemeanor conviction, not a felony conviction.

In one of his anti-Blankenship tweets, Trump Jr. said of Manchin, "He's probably never run against a felon." That tweet, according to Law & Crime reporter Elura Nanos, appears to have been deleted.

U.S. District Court John T. Copenhaver, Jr., who was appointed by President Gerald Ford back in the mid-1970s and is now 95, ruled that Blankenship's lawsuit can move forward.

Copenhaver wrote, "Based on this article that Trump Jr. himself cites within his own quote tweet, there is a plausible inference that he had knowledge of the plaintiff's conviction history in association with the mine explosion, and in particular that the conviction was a misdemeanor, not a felony."

The bitter rivalry between Trump Jr. and Blankenship started in 2018, when Blankenship ran for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia and Trump Jr. — pointing out that Blankenship had been incarcerated — predicted that centrist Democrat Manchin would crush Blankenship in the general election if Blankenship received the GOP nomination. Although West Virginia Republicans rejected Blankenship in the primary as Trump Jr. hoped and Republican Patrick Morrisey won the nomination, Manchin won the general election. The centrist and relatively conservative Manchin, like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, has often been a source of frustration among more progressive Democrats. But he is popular in West Virginia, a deep red state.

Blankenship, who left the Republican Party in 2018, is now a member of the right-wing Constitution Party — and in 2020's presidential election, he received the Constitution Party's nomination and ran against then-President Donald Trump, now-President Joe Biden, Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins.

WATCH: Montana Man Tells Carlson: ‘You’re The Worst Human Being Known To Mankind’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A fly fishing guide in Montana had the kind of opportunity many of us only wish we could tap, and that is to tell Fox host Tucker Carlson, an irresponsibly vocal anti-vaxxer, how much damage he has done. "You are the worst human being known to mankind. I want you to know that," Dan Bailey is seen telling Carlson in video posted to the Montana man's Instagram page on Friday.

Bailey encountered Carlson in Dan Bailey's Fly Shop in Livingston, but neither is affiliated with the shop, according to a statement shared both on the business's website and at HuffPost. "On July 23rd, a well-known television personality, Tucker Carlson, was affronted while shopping at Dan Bailey's Outdoor Company. Coincidentally, the person engaging Mr. Carlson was a local resident named Dan Bailey," the store's owner Dale Sexton said in the statement. "This person has no affiliation with our business, other than he shares the same name as our founder, who passed away in 1982. To be clear, we treat every customer equally and respectfully. Our staff was professional and cordial to Mr. Carlson, as we are with all of our customers."

The Dan Bailey in the video was hilariously unprofessional and uncordial. "It's not everyday you get to tell someone they are the worst person in the world and really mean it!" he said in the caption of his Instagram post after approaching Carlson. "What an a--hole! This man has killed more people with vaccine misinformation, he has supported extreme racism, he is a fascist and does more to rip this country apart than anyone that calls themselves an American."

In support of Carlson, the former president's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his own form of bigotry against transgender parents. "Is the loser who went out of his way to have someone video him harassing Tucker in public for some viral content the model for the new Pregnant Male Emoji? The likeness is uncanny! #SoBrave" he said in the tweet on Sunday.

Film producer Evan Shapiro tweeted about the encounter: "Dan Bailey calmly spoke facts. Tucker tried to use his kid to shield himself from hearing them. Monday @TuckerCarlson will say Bailey attacked him. He will cry like a baby. He will try to dox Bailey in retaliation. Watch. Share. Don't let him."

Carlson has been casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines for months now. "If vaccines work, why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives," he asked on April 13, before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did in fact issue revised guidance that it was safe for vaccinated people to interact without masks. "Honestly, what's the answer to that? It doesn't make any sense at all," Carlson added in April. "If the vaccine is effective, there is no reason for people who have received the vaccine to wear masks or avoid physical contact."

Ex-Fox reporter reveals why Tucker Carlson is lying about vaccines www.youtube.com

What Carlson's rudimentary argument failed to take into account was how the unvaccinated population affects public health in total. As of Friday, only 49 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated, the CDC reported. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN host Anderson Cooper: "There have been multiple times when we have been fooled by Covid-19, when cases went down and we thought we were in the clear and then cases went up again. It means we shouldn't let down our guard until cases not only come down but stay down, and right now cases are actually going up. Cases are going up, hospitalizations are going up, death rates are ticking up."

Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post last Sunday: "I'm admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late."

Don Jr Delivers Hilariously Self-Owning CPAC Speech

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Speaking to attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Donald Trump, Jr. focused on attacking Hunter Biden.

Trump Jr. accused Biden of being a drug addict. Hunter Biden acknowledged his challenges with addiction in a memoir released earlier this year.

"I totally understand addiction," Trump Jr. told the crowd. "It's terrible. We all know people that have suffered from it. It doesn't absolve you from being a total piece of garbage in every other aspect of your life."

"It doesn't absolve you from selling access to the highest levels of government. It doesn't absolve you from selling out your country," he added.

Many responded offering remarks like these:

Weisselberg Dumped As Director Of Trump's Scottish Golf Course

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Allen Weisselberg, the indicted Trump Organization executive, was removed this week as a director of Donald Trump's under par golf resort in Aberdeen, Scotland, public records show.

The move is the first to indicate how the indictment of Trump's longtime chief financial officer is affecting operations of the twice-impeached former president's real estate and resort empire.

Weisselberg's removal comes as Scottish lawmakers and Avaaz, a global public-interest organization, are pushing for an "unexplained wealth" inquiry into how Trump got the money to buy and refurbish both of his money-losing Scottish golf courses.

A 2018 British law lets investigators examine company and personal financial records to determine sources of money and riches that they deem suspicious. It's been called the McMafia law.

Trump's Aberdeen course lost nearly $1.5 million (£1.1 million) in 2019, up slightly from 2018. The property has lost money for seven years in a row.The course also has an interest-free loan from the Trump Organization of $61.1 million (£44.4 million), disclosure documents show. Manipulating interest expenses is a common tax avoidance technique that can justify criminal charges of tax fraud unless executed with extreme care.

There are only two ways Weisselberg could be removed as a director of the Trump International Golf Club Scotland, Ltd.

Weisselberg could have done so on his own. In that case, lawyers may have advised him to do so for reasons not yet clear.

The other way would have been on orders from Donald Trump and executed through his sons Don Jr. and Eric, who remain as the only directors. That, too, may indicate a criminal defense strategic move. Since Weisselberg remains on the Trump Organization payroll it almost certainly does not suggest a split between the interests of Weisselberg and his boss.

Trumps Tighten Grip

The move suggests that Trump may be trying to make sure only he and his family members exercise any legal control over the Trump Organization.

Removing Weisselberg would not block or limit any Scottish inquiry or the investigation by the New York county district attorney's special grand jury, which on July 1 indicted Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.

The New York indictments detailed a calculated 15-year scheme using two sets of books to cheat the federal, state and city governments out of more than $800,000 in taxes.

Larceny, Tax Fraud, Conspiracy

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization face 15 counts of grand larceny, tax fraud and conspiracy. Weisselberg could get 15 years on conviction, but he also could get probation without even home confinement. None of the crimes for which Weisselberg is charged come with a mandatory prison sentence upon conviction.

Weisselberg plead not guilty when brought in handcuffs before a state judge in Manhattan. The judge released the 73-year-old executive on his own recognizance.

The 25-page indictment is the first in what I'm sure will be multiple cases as prosecutors try to persuade insiders that they will be better off turning state's evidence than sticking with Trump.

Those who agree to help prosecutors early on get the best deals, often involving no prison time. Those who hold out may face prison even if they eventually cooperate. The indictment signals that prosecutors have solid evidence against tax cheats in the Trump Organization as well as anyone who took part in manipulating business records.

As I read it, the indictment hints at future charges against Trump's two oldest sons, daughter Ivanka and Weisselberg's son Barry. The latter runs the cash-only ice rink and carousel in Central Park for Trump.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to cancel that lucrative contract and another pact Trump has for a municipal golf course.

'Consultant Fees' For Ivanka

Ivanka was a Trump Organization vice president when she was paid more than $700,000 in consulting fees, which may be a disguised gift subject to tax.

Barry Weisselberg got a free apartment near Central Park, a car and other perks on which his ex-wife Jennifer has said no taxes were paid. Jennifer Weisselberg, following a contentious divorce, is supplying prosecutors with extensive financial documents.

Donald Trump and his lawyers have tried to minimize the criminal charges while not disputing that Weisselberg received $1.7 million in non-cash compensation that was never reported to tax authorities as required by law.

I critiqued Trump's cavalier attitude in this earlier column.

Weisselberg has never been a director of Trump's larger Scottish course, Turnberry, where son, Eric, is the sole director. Weisselberg, however, is listed in British disclosure reports as a person exerting significant control along with Don Jr., while Eric is not listed as having significant control.

Trump's Turnberry golf resort showed a small loss in 2019 after losing $19 million (£13.8 million) in 2018. It has never turned a profit under Trump.

The United Kingdom requires private companies like the Trump Organization to make more disclosures than American law requires. The list includes total revenue (called "turnover") and profits, fees paid to directors, dividends paid to owners and loans outstanding.

In America, only companies with publicly traded stock or bonds must make such disclosures. As Donald Trump's personal property, the Trump Organization and its more than 500 affiliated enterprises are not required to make similar public disclosures.

David Cay Johnston is the Editor-in-Chief of DCReport. He is an investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

Republicans Stirring Up Ugly Smears -- And Lethal Hatred -- Against Fauci

Days after thousands of emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci became public through a series of FOIA requests, Republicans are using portions of those emails—out of context—to ramp up attacks on the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Those emails are being conflated with a series of media-hyped articles about the origins of COVID-19, and the result is a genuinely toxic stew that is being used by Republicans ranging from Josh Hawley to Donald Trump Jr. as a way to stir up hate and rake in cash.

For those not neck deep in OAN, Newsmax, or Fox News, it may be hard to fathom just how much those channels have become a 24/7 assault on the 80-year-old doctor, or how hard they have been pushing the "lab escape" theory as "proof" that the NIAID director is somehow responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these outlets are in heavy rotation with the idea that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, operated by a friend of Dr. Fauci, that Fauci helped China in covering up that origin, and that this somehow absolves Donald Trump of all responsibility in 900,000 American deaths.

And that's the lightweight version. The version being pushed by multiple "guests" and "experts" appearing on these programs is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was deliberately engineered to infect people as part of a program that Fauci—and President Barack Obama—approved of and funded. The baseless accusations are so ugly that, even as Republicans like Hawley demand that Dr. Fauci be fired, others, like Trump Jr., are already chuckling over the idea that Dr. Fauci could be murdered.

On Friday evening, Trump Jr. showed that he isn't just expecting Dr. Fauci to be killed by the rabid Trump supporters being pushed to believe that a man who has lived his life in service to both medicine and the nation is some kind of monster. No, Junior is ready to celebrate that murder. In an Instagram post, Trump Jr. posted an image saying "I'm just going to jump ahead on this, and said I don't think Fauci killed himself." Those words were pasted over a smiling image of the odious and sadistic slave owner Calvin Candie from the film Django Unchained.

Sen. Rand Paul started the latest edition of the smear train on Thursday when he issued a fundraising pitch insisting that Fauci "must go" and claiming that Fauci—who was forced to correct Paul over and over in Senate hearings—was "continuously and deliberately misleading the public at every turn." He provided no examples, but insisted that someone must "fire Fauci!"

On Friday, Sen. Hawley explicitly tied together vague claims about Fauci's emails, with equally vague claims about COVID-19. "Anthony Fauci's recently released emails and investigative reporting about COVID-19 origins are shocking." Exactly what in Fauci's emails Hawley found upsetting, he didn't say. But he did call for Fauci to resign, as well as "a congressional investigation" into claims that Fauci somehow covered up the pandemic's origins.

Also on Friday, Donald Trump issued a statement saying that "After seeing the emails, our Country is fortunate I didn't do what Dr. Fauci wanted me to do."

What this means is anyone's guess, but by Saturday morning Sen. Marco Rubio figured he had his marching orders, so he piled on, calling for Biden to remove Dr. Fauci. And again, Rubio's claim went directly back to the idea that Fauci "dismissed the idea that the virus could have come from a lab."

Fauci never made such a dismissal. And the "lab escape" origin of COVID-19 certainly isn't proven. But it has been getting constant fluffing from a series of articles and constant right-wing coverage, all of which features the implication that "Trump was right" about "the China virus."

The Daily Mail that Trump intends to make things even worse Saturday evening, when he makes his first appearance as a private citizen at a North Carolina rally. He's planning to make attacking Dr. Fauci the center of his tirade,

On Friday, President Biden spoke up in support of Dr. Fauci, responding to a question by saying, "Yes, I'm very confident in Dr. Fauci."

But the assault on Anthony Fauci is unrelenting and the level of ugliness demonstrated by the Trump, Jr. message is only getting worse. If Republicans have learned anything from Jan. 6, it's apparently that they really can (and do) inspire and direct deadly hate.


Did Don Jr. Lie To Prosecutors Under Oath? Watch The Videotape

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The news cycle during the last White House administration was a never-ending stream of corruption and nepotism. The Trumps (and Kushners) participated in such transparent acts of self-dealing and corruption that it became clear they believed their positions in government would immunize them from any prosecution of their actions. Added to this cocktail of criminality and power, is the fact that the Trump family is filled with starkly third-rate people, like Donald Trump Jr. It isn't hard to see how they have broken the laws, stolen Americans' money, and abused their positions in government.

In January of 2020, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a civil complaint against the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Racine alleged that these two Trumpian groups acted a lot like money laundering operations. A year later, while the Trump and Republican machine tried to overthrow our democratically elected government, Racine was asking for depositions from both Ivanka and Junior. Reportedly, Racine was asking the conman's progeny about money purportedly spent by Trump's Inaugural Committee on the Trump Organization—the latter technically being the family business. Ivanka worked the Inaugural Committee while Junior worked the Trump Organization. At the time, Racine reportedly said Trump Jr.'s deposition "raised further questions," that his office would continue to pursue.

Mother Jones reports that some of the questions raised during Junior's deposition may revolve around him lying during his testimony.

Donald Trump Jr.'s deposition is filled with his inability to "recall" whether or not he was involved at all in the deals and moves being made to bring together Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration. One might say he pleads ignorance to most questions asked of him by attorneys. And even though the words "ignorance" and "Donald Trump Jr.," go together like peanut butter and chocolate, Junior possibly being a liar is more believable.

In documents and video obtained by Mother Jones, Donald Trump, Jr. seems to have lied or at the very least misled, prosecutors when he was asked about knowing close Melania Trump friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who raised concerns about price-gouging by the Trump organization, when the Trump hotel was charging the Inaugural Committee "twice the market rate for event space." According to Racine, the committee's deal with the hotel ended up being well above market rates.

During his deposition, Trump Jr. was asked about Winston Wolkoff: "Do you know her?" He replied, "I know of her. I think I've met her, but I don't know her. If she was in this room I'm not sure I would recognize her." He added, "I had no involvement with her."

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, you might remember, is the former senior adviser to Melania Trump. She's the lady who wrote the tell-all memoir about her time with the former first lady. Mother Jones has video from inauguration night of Junior telling a camera how great Winston Wolkoff is, and they also have text exchanges showing that Winston Wolkoff and Junior likely spoke on the phone a bit, and emails from Trump Jr. to Winston Wolkoff asking about helping out with inauguration festivities.

Winston Wolkoff didn't comment on Junior's testimony but she told Mother Jones: "I did not think it was right for the Trump Family or the Trump Family's businesses to be financially profiting from the presidential inauguration. It was a gross mismanagement of funds and an abuse of authority, and I made it very clear to people in the Trump Family and the inauguration committee how I felt."

The video where Trump Jr. is praising Winston Wolkoff also happens to be at an inauguration event that Junior also didn't recall attending. Video evidence says he definitely attended it. Most of Junior's testimony is evasive. Many of the questions directed at him were about private Trump organization events that seem likely to have been paid for, or in part funded by, the Trump Inauguration Committee—something that would be the definition of self-dealing. Prosecutors have receipts for all of these expenditures and whether or not it matters if Junior is lying or simply an ignoramus, will be a legal question decided by the courts.

To be clear, the Republican Party is fully complicit in self-dealing under the guise of self-promotion. And both the Trumps and the GOP use made-up cultural changes to try and obfuscate the real issues of their corruption and impotence as leaders. But lawyers don't care about your incitements to overthrow the government on Fox News when they are investigating whether or not you stole money.

Here's Trump Jr. talking about how great a person he told lawyers he didn't really know was, at an event he couldn't recall attending.


Watch Donald Trump, Jr. Praise Stephanie Winston Wolkoff www.youtube.com

Republicans Fabricate Ludicrous Lie About Biden Banning Burgers

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republicans are angrily denouncing a nonexistent plan by President Joe Biden to get rid of hamburgers and other meat products.

Over the weekend, several prominent GOP politicians and operatives strongly denounced what they asserted was a provision in Biden's plan to combat climate change that would somehow limit meat consumption to just four pounds per person per year.

Larry Kudlow, who served as Donald Trump's top economic adviser, appeared on Fox Business on Friday and made the false argument that Biden would soon force Americans to give up beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.

"No burger on July 4. No steaks on the barbecue. I'm sure Middle America is just going to love that. Can you grill those Brussels sprouts? So get ready. You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag. Call it July 4th Green," Kudlow said, apparently not aware that beer is already plant-based.

"Not gonna happen in Texas!" vowed the state's Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday.

"Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90 percent of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn't Joe stay out of my kitchen?" asked Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert.

"Not only does Emperor Biden not want us to celebrate the 4th of July, now he doesn't want us to have a burger on that day either," tweeted North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn. "Retweet if you're still doing both because this is America!"

"Mmm... burgers," tweeted Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson along with a photo of a diner and emojis of the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. flag.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused Biden of hypocrisy for having eaten hamburgers. She tweeted a photo of the president eating a burger with the caption, "No burgers for thee, but just for me," and retweeted a meme portraying Biden as the McDonald's Hamburglar character.

Donald Trump Jr. boasted that he had eaten four pounds of red meat on Friday alone.

Biden has said absolutely nothing about banning or reducing meat consumption. Campaigning in 2019, he made a visit to a Dearborn, Michigan, restaurant that served a beef burger named after him.

On Friday, Biden spoke at a virtual climate summit of the need to address climate change, stressing not just the threat it poses but also the economic opportunity taking measures against it could provide. "It's an opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs around the world and innovate — in innovative sectors — you know, jobs that bring greater quality of life, greater dignity to the people performing those jobs in every nation," he said.

He made no mention of burgers.

Fact-checkers say the GOP's bogus claims come after the Daily Mail tabloid published an article connecting Biden's climate change proposals with a University of Michigan study on the effect of lower meat consumption on climate change. That study, however, does not examine the president's plan at all; one of its authors told CNN on Sunday that he has "no idea what Biden's plan has to say about our diets."

Boebert, Cawthorn, and other Republican lawmakers have for months tried to convince Americans that Biden is scheming to cancel the Fourth of July on the basis of a March address in which the president said that if Americans took steps to curb the spread of coronavirus, he hoped it would be safe for people to hold small Independence Day gatherings with family and friends.

Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) proposed a law on April 13 that would ban federal agencies from observing "meatless Mondays" in their cafeterias, serving only vegetarian foods once a week — despite the fact that this has never actually happened and no one in the administration has proposed doing so.

On Sunday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mocked Kudlow and the GOP over their conspiracy theories.

"Excited to be watching the Oscars with an ice cold plant-based beer," the New York Democrat tweeted. "Thanks Joe Biden."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.