Update On The OTHER Russia Scandal

Ken AshfordGun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Political Scandals, RussiaLeave a Comment

In a week of political scandals, it is important that this one doesn’t get lost because, although it doesn’t implicate Trump, it implicates the Republican Party as well as the Republicans’ source of campaign income, the NRA. I’m talking of course about Marina Butina.  I’ve talked about her here and here. Butina was arrested in July after the FBI raided … Read More

Crazy Days

Ken AshfordGeneral corruption, L'Affaire Russe, Middle East, Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s impossible to keep up with the news anymore. Here is just today: Donald Trump’s inauguration committee is under investigation. Apparently they managed to spend twice as much as any other recent president for an inaugural celebration that was half the size of any other recent president. Maria Butina pleaded guilty to infiltrating the NRA on behalf of Russia. Trump is now on … Read More

Trump On A Twitter Tear This Morning

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal Affairs, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

He rants about the investigations, Cohen, the wall…. in a largely fact-free tirade. This is creative accounting at best. I don’t know how much the US benefits from the NAFTA 2.0 Trade Agreement (i.e., the USMCA), but by most accounts, it’s not that different from the original NAFTA.  And anyway, the benefits go to manufacturers, farmers, etc. — not the … Read More

Trump Gives MBS A Thanksgiving Pardon

Ken AshfordCrime, Middle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

BREAKING: Trump says he’s taking no new punitive measures against Saudi Arabia over the killing of US-based Saudi columnist. — The Associated Press (@AP) November 20, 2018 Trump on MBS/Khashoggi: “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe … Read More

Trump’s Eyes

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

How Trump looks at allies versus Putin This was in France this weekend as world leaders gathered to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One. The overseas trip, largely ceremonial for everyone, was a complete disaster for Trump, starting with his failure to show up because of rain: On Sunday, in unrelenting rain, more than … Read More

Trump Administration Tries To Cover For Saudis

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Middle East, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Riyadh to read the Riot Act to Saudi rulers over the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi, he hid it well behind cheery smiles and professions of amity. But then outrage has been conspicuously absent from the Trump administration in the two weeks since Mr. Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, never to be … Read More

Breaking: Saudis Admit To Killing Khashoggi: Said It Was An Accident

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

It looks like the Saudi prince is trying to clear his name by throwing certain operatives under a bus. Source tells NYT the Saudis are preparing to describe a scenario that would protect MBS from blame. The source said the royal court would soon put out a narrative that an official within the kingdom's intel services carried out the killing … Read More

President “America First” Is Sure Quick To Believe Other Countries

Ken AshfordCrime, Foreign Affairs, Middle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Fielding a question on the White House lawn, Donald Trump showed that he is always ready to believe a dictator … even when it requires saying something utterly ridiculous. Asked about the disappearance, and suspected murder, of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump was ready to say who it wasn’t. Trump: The king firmly denies any knowledge of it.  And, just like Vladimir Putin … Read More

Trump On 60 Minutes

Ken AshfordEnvironment & Global Warming & Energy, L'Affaire Russe, North Korea, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

In his first non-Fox interview in months, Trump talked to Leslie Stahl for “60 Minutes”.  Here’s a highlight of the insanity Climate change “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this. I don’t want to … Read More

The Apparent Murder of Khashoggi and the Chaos of The US-Saudi Relationship

Ken AshfordCrime, Foreign Affairs, Middle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known Saudi Arabian journalist and Washington Post columnist who has been critical of his country’s government, vanished last week. His disappearance is straining Turkey-Saudi relations and could complicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent attempts to recast his government as forward-thinking and reform-minded — as well as his country’s close relationship with the US. The 59-year-old … Read More

Trump, After Killing NAFTA, Strikes “Understanding” With Mexico If He Can Get Them On The Phone

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, Foreign Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

What a disaster this President is .@FoxNews begins coverage of U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement #USMTA TRUMP: I believe the President is on the phone. Enrique? (uncomfortable 10-sec pause) Err, you can hook him up, please. STAFF: Coming! TRUMP: You wanna, uh, put that on this phone, please? Hello? 🤦‍♀️ pic.twitter.com/carlPz1HMj — Bad Fox Graphics (@BadFoxGraphics) August 27, 2018 "Enrique?" pic.twitter.com/nH205gPOZs — … Read More

They Have To Explain Time Zones To Our “Very Stable Genius President”

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Politico’s Daniel Lippman rounds up several harrowing new details of Trump’s attempts to interact with world leaders. Trump’s shortcomings as a global strategist include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Knowing all the countries. Maps indicate the world contains a bunch of countries whose existence Trump was never made aware of previously. “Trump appeared confused by Nepal and Bhutan, which … Read More

It’s Not Just Trump Anymore

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Republicans, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Michelle Goldberg asks “Are Republicans Covering for Trump, or for Themselves?” Of all the interlocking mysteries of the Trump-Russia scandal, one that I’ve found particularly perplexing is the utter servility of congressional Republicans before a president many of them hate and believe to be compromised by a foreign power. Yes, I know they’re thrilled about tax cuts and judges. Given … Read More