Patterico's Pontifications


Did TIME Magazine Unintentionally Flatter President Trump And Rally His Base With The New Cover?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I don’t see how Trump will see this as anything but a clap on the back for a job well done. After all, just one month after Trump’s election win, we were told by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that “deconstruction of the administrative state” would be the ongoing goal of the President and his administration.


The magazine’s accompanying report notes:

For most of the year since Trump’s stunning election win, his pronouncements have commanded the public’s attention the way an unexpected announcement does on a long plane ride. But on the ground, things have been happening. Quietly, the Administration has taken thousands of actions, affecting everyone from the poorest day laborer to the richest investment banker. And it’s touting its work. “No President or Administration has deregulated or withdrawn as many anticipated regulatory actions as this one in this short amount of time,” says White House communications director Hope Hicks.

In Washington, philosophy tends to disappear into the swamp Trump pledged to drain. His White House is stocked with former executives and industry insiders who have power over issues in which former clients have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. By mid-June, according to USA Today, more than 100 former federal lobbyists had found jobs in the Trump Administration, 69 of them in agencies they had tried to influence from the outside.

…Ultimately, as with much in life, good government relies on the good faith of those in whom we place our trust. Which is why so much rides on the crew that Trump has put in charge of his D.C. demolition project.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Talk About A Real Game Changer: Mark Halperin, Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Out At MSNBC

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:40 am

[guest post by Dana]

Hoo boy, the flood gates have opened:

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to five women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with CNN and others who did not experience the alleged harassment personally, but were aware of it.

While no potted plants were reportedly involved, the MSNBC and NBC analyst’s disgusting actions were, nonetheless, most unwanted:

The stories of harassment shared with CNN range in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will. Three of the women who spoke to CNN described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed. Halperin denies grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against the three women.

Here is a rundown of complaints against him:

The first woman told CNN she was invited to visit his office in the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, and said that while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her and pressed his genitals against her body.

“I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”

From the second woman:

“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” this woman told CNN. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [but] I got out of there and was freaked out by that whole experience. Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.”

She claims he continued to “express a sexual desire for her in subsequent visits”.

From the third woman:

“I excused myself to go to the bathroom and he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something,” she said. “It freaked me out. I came out of the ladies’ room and he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door.”

A fourth woman claims that he asked her up to his hotel room. An offer she declined.

And from the fifth woman making a complaint against Halperin:

The fifth woman who spoke to CNN was not an ABC News employee at the time of the incident she alleges. She was not comfortable sharing specifics of her story for publication, but said Halperin, while clothed, placed his erect penis against her body without consent.

Not surprisingly, the women did not report Halperin to management because they were embarrassed, as well as fearful of retaliation given his position and power.

MSNBC announced that Halperin was “leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

Here is the statement Halerpin released:

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

How very woke of him. (Because who knew grabbing a woman’s boobs or pressing one’s erect penis against the backside of a woman when not invited to do so is inappropriate…)

Anyway, already another woman , who was with ABC at the time, has come forward as well. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were more.

Via Beckett Adams:


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



What Trump Says vs. What Trump Does

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

Donald J. Trump:

There is, of course, zero self-reflection there. Bob Corker’s slamming of Trump as ridiculously dishonest, whatever you think of Corker, is on the mark. He is, in fact, an utterly untruthful president. Jeff Flake’s criticism of Trump’s absurdly juvenile behavior, whatever you think of Flake, is absolutely correct. Trump is, in fact, “reckless, outrageous and undignified.” We have a jackass for a President. A nincompoop. A bonehead. An ignoramus.

Here’s the weird thing: as we sit here today, I still think he’s mostly doing OK.

I reach this conclusion by comparing what he has done, so far, to what he has said.

I had a bit of a revelation after I learned that Bill Browder’s visa waiver had been suspended, pursuant to a bogus Interpol notice by Putin. I wrote that I believed that it was likely a bureaucratic snafu, and I was right. But during the time while I was waiting to find out, I tried to visualize Trump coming out and actively supporting the decision, because of his love for Vladimir Putin. I tried to see, in my mind’s eye, Trump foisting the evil Putin-inspired fiction that Browder is a murderer upon the public, and proclaiming that maybe we needed to revisit the Magnitsky Act.

I found the prospect incredibly chilling. But I also found it very difficult to visualize. I started reviewing in my mind: what has this guy Trump actually done that makes me think he would do something that evil? Not what has he said, but what has he done, that has been that bad?

And my reaction was: eh, not much. In fact, a lot of it has been pretty good. I’ve covered some of that before: reversal of illegal and overstepping Obama-era executive orders; refusal to abide by international agreements that did not go through the treaty process; and regulation-slashing. And of course but muh Gorsuch, and an apparently rock-solid slate of judges in the lower courts.

Sure, he voices support for strongmen, but what policies have made those strongmen’s lives easier? I don’t see any. Sure, he seems to favor an authoritarian style of government, but what has he done to put that into practice? Not much that I can see.

I can already hear the Trumpers getting excited. He’s the best! He’s Reagan II! He’s a sooper-sekrit genius and you have simply misunderestimated him!!!!1!

Settle down, Sparky. Let’s not get carried away here. He hasn’t really accomplished all that much. Most of what he has gotten done can be undone by President Kamala Harris with the stroke of a pen. Entitlements, the debt, the deficit — all of this is untouched.

And then there are the words.

Here’s the thing, Trumpers. Words do matter. Our biggest danger is that Trump’s idiot mouth, rotten judgment, and chihuahua-ish attention span will get us into an avoidable war. You can tell me his foreign policy decisions are well-considered, but “Little Rocket Man” tweets do not reassure, and world leaders are just as easily able to read the diarrhea he squirts out on Twitter as his American base is.

The anti-anti-Trumpers love to ask: so, is Trump better than Hillary? As an anti-anti-anti-Trumper, my answer is: absolutely . . . so far. However, I can’t say that the country made the right choice until he’s out of office and we haven’t been nuked. Until then, the jury is out.

Moral leadership matters, too. The immoral example Trump has set for children, while nothing new in the Oval Office (hi, Richard Nixon! hi Bill Clinton!) is a negative. Few people on Earth repulse me as much as the cultists on Twitter who are so taken with Trump’s (inherited) wealth, his gold-digging wife (I’m being kind here), and other extraneous examples of “success” that they don’t care about the moral rot at the center of his soul.

Trump has also ripped the Republican party and the conservative movement in two — and although there are times when this seems like a good thing, it’s actually not. Every large party is a coalition of different interests. These factions always war with one another, but to the extent that the party stands for something that is a net good, keeping the coalition together is critical.

It’s common, and lazy, to assert that the GOP has never been good for anything. This assertion is made by the same people who compared the 2016 election to Flight 93: if we don’t elect Trump, but instead choose Clinton, our lives are basically over and the terrorists have won!!!1! The same people will tell you, in the next breath, that the GOP is basically the same as the Democrats and it doesn’t really much matter who is in office. Charles C.W. Cooke has ably rejected such silly arguments in the past, and I can’t top his efforts.

The state of the conservative movement somewhat resembles a civil war. People on one side applaud Steve Bannon saying that George W. Bush was the worst President ever — as if Barack Obama had never existed. They insult former friends, emulating their Dear Leader’s crude and hyperaggressive “Alpha Male” attitude. (The notion of the physically weak, yellow-bellied bone-spur draft-dodging wussy Donald Trump as “Alpha Male” has always confused me, but that’s another topic for another time.) They applaud when their idol gets himself into one stupid fight after another over the most trivial horse droppings.

And on the other side are the limited government conservatives, saying the same things we have always said, and being told that we have changed, man! We’ve changed!

So don’t get me wrong. I’m not minimizing the power of “just words” to set a rotten example and help rip the fabric of our society apart.

But this presidency could be a lot worse. If Donald Trump were half the actual fascist that the insane #Resist left makes him out to be, we’d be in an awful lot of trouble. But he’s not. I think he’s too intellectually lazy to be an actual effective fascist, even if that’s the way he leans.

And so, when I see the Flakes and Corkers going nuclear over Trump, part of me says: well, yeah. They’re absolutely right. And another part of me says: eh, what’s the big deal?

My own ambivalence no doubt reflects a national ambivalence about this man. This will hardly be the last word. It’s just what I am thinking today.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Anonymous Sources: Hillary, DNC Paid for Infamous Trump Dossier

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 pm


The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

If you are someone who often cautions against crediting stories that hurt Trump and are based on anonymous sources, I recommend that you ignore all qualms and triumphantly accept this story as 100% true. This time anonymous sources are credible because insert your rationale here.

Whether true or not, the story is interesting and will no doubt lead to much discussion.

UPDATE: This line is also worth discussion:

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.


[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Sen. Jeff Flake Won’t Run For Re-Election

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Arizona’s Senator Jeff Flake gave a searing speech today on the Senate floor when he announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. He went for broke and challenged President Trump and Republican party leadership as he reminded them, among other things, that no one is indispensable.

A few significant portions:

It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our – all of our – complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.

In this century, a new phrase has entered the language to describe the accommodation of a new and undesirable order – that phrase being “the new normal.” But we must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue – with the tone set at the top.

We must never regard as “normal” the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country – the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. If we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us. Without fear of the consequences, and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal.

Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as “telling it like it is,” when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.

And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength – because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.

I am aware that a segment of my party believes that anything short of complete and unquestioning loyalty to a president who belongs to my party is unacceptable and suspect.

If I have been critical, it not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States. If I have been critical, it is because I believe that it is my obligation to do so, as a matter of duty and conscience. The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters – the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.

It is clear at this moment that a traditional conservative who believes in limited government and free markets, who is devoted to free trade, and who is pro-immigration, has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the Republican party – the party that for so long has defined itself by belief in those things. It is also clear to me for the moment we have given in or given up on those core principles in favor of the more viscerally satisfying anger and resentment. To be clear, the anger and resentment that the people feel at the royal mess we have created are justified. But anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.

There is an undeniable potency to a populist appeal – but mischaracterizing or misunderstanding our problems and giving in to the impulse to scapegoat and belittle threatens to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking people. In the case of the Republican party, those things also threaten to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking minority party.

P.S. Kelli Ward , in spite of three recent polls putting her at a 15 point lead over Flake, just might be counting her chickens before they’ve hatched.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Sen. Ted Cruz Endorses Roy Moore For Alabama’s Vacant Senate Seat

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, Senate candidate Roy Moore told TIME that magazine that it was a violation of the law for NFL players to kneel during the playing of the national anthem:

In an interview with TIME magazine, the Alabama Republican argued that NFL players and others who have protested police violence are violating a section of the U.S. code which outlines how people should conduct themselves when the anthem is played. …

“It’s against the law, you know that?” he said. “It was a [sic] act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.” …

“I back the President in upholding respect for the patriotism for our country, on two grounds,” he said. “One, it’s respect for the law. If we don’t respect the law, what kind of country are we going to have? Two, it’s respect for those who have fallen and given the ultimate sacrifice. I’m surprised that no one brought this up.”

He added that it’s a matter of the “the rule of law.”

“If they didn’t have it in there, it would just be tradition. But this is law,” he said. “If we disobey this, what else are we going to disobey?[“]

At the link Eugene Volokh examines the federal statute, and lays out why “none of this would apply to people refusing to stand for the national anthem at an NFL stadium”.

Moore, as a reminder, has made some controversial remarks such as suggesting that 9/11 could have been a result of Americans turning their backs on God, Putin might be right about gay marriage, Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen, and Muslims should not serve in Congress while the U.S. is at war with Al Quaeda, etc.

Today, Sen Ted Cruz announced he was endorsing Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate:

This December, the People of Alabama have a clear choice.

They can choose a liberal Democrat, who will stand with Chuck Schumer to raise taxes, weaken our military, open our border, and undermine our constitutional rights. Or, they can choose to elect Judge Roy Moore, a conservative who will proudly defend Alabama values.

I strongly urge the voters to elect Judge Roy Moore. Judge Moore has a lifelong passion for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and he has the courage of his convictions.

In the Senate, we need reinforcements; we desperately need strong conservatives who will stand up to the Washington status quo.
Please join me in supporting Judge Moore on December 12.

For Liberty,
Ted Cruz

The timing of Cruz’s endorsement is just a bit interesting, to say the least. You might even find it coincidental:

The news comes just weeks after Moore’s chief booster — Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon — vowed to recruit primary opponents to run against Republican incumbents in next year’s election, save for Cruz.

Cruz, who with Bannon shares close ties to mega-donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, declined to endorse a Republican in the primary. He joins conservative Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., in backing Moore now.

Moore’s opponent in the special election is Democrat Doug Jones, who reportedly checks off any list of litmus test issues for progressives.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


HMMM: The Curious Reason Trump Did Not Sanction This Company Run By Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 am

President Trump has a new policy towards Iran. As Susan Wright recently explained, Trump has said (among other things) that “he would be instructing the Treasury Department to sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] over its support of terrorism in the Middle East.” Trump called this a “long overdue step” — and it was.

There is, however, one company that is clearly tied to the IRGC that is curiously not getting sanctioned: Azarpassillo. You’ll never guess what distinguishes this company from the rest. Yup, sure enough, Azarpassillo has done business with the Trump Organization:

After Trump’s speech, the Treasury named Shahid Alamolhoda Industries, Rastafann Ertebat Engineering Company, and Fanamoj as, essentially, tools of the Revolutionary Guard. Strikingly, the Treasury did not name Azarpassillo, an Iranian firm with a leadership made up of lifelong Revolutionary Guard officers. Azarpassillo’s leaders have been named by U.S. officials as likely money launderers for the Revolutionary Guard and, through their international construction operations, the company is ideally suited to provide W.M.D. components.

Azarpassillo has another interesting connection; one of its apparent partners in money laundering, the Mammadov family of Azerbaijan, was also, until quite recently, in business with the Trump Organization. In fact, for the entire Presidential campaign, the Trump Organization knew that it was actively involved with a company that was likely laundering money for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is not a wild conspiracy theory; it is an acknowledged fact, confirmed by Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel, and not disputed by the White House or any of the people involved. Ivanka Trump directly oversaw the relationship with the Mammadov family, led by Ziya Mammadov, a man whom American diplomats have called “notoriously corrupt even for Azerbaijan.”

Davidson first revealed the Trump Organization’s dealings with Azarpassillo in March, although I just learned about it yesterday. With a #FAKENEWSMEDIA that is notoriously hostile to Trump, it is curious how little play the story has received. Some Democrat senators have shown interest and asked questions, but the arrangement has certainly not been the subject of unrelenting consecutive days of television coverage.

Davidson’s pieces do not accuse Trump of a secretive support for the IRGC. Davidson says: “There is no reason to think that anyone in the Trump Organization was intentionally seeking to help the Iranians.” He notes that Trump’s top lawyer is an Orthodox Jew, who supports Israel and abhors Iran. But, Davidson explains, the Trump Organization has been licensing Trump’s name around the world to “people and businesses who were unable—or unwilling—to work with the vast majority of international companies which demand comprehensive due diligence.” The results are unsurprising:

A remarkable number of Trump’s business partners met one or more of the warning signs of troubling business practices: they had been investigated or convicted of fraud or other economic crimes; they were government officials in a position to abuse their power for financial gain; or they were secretive entities, hidden behind shell companies.

It’s not that Trump is trying to help the IRGC. It’s that the Trump Organization has been willfully blind to the shady doings of many of its business partners. As Davidson noted in his March piece, this may have violated the law, as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “made it a crime for an American company to unknowingly benefit from a partner’s corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided doing so.”

If Trump were to include Azarpassillo on the list of sanctioned companies, it would be an open admission by the administration that the Trump Organization has done business with a company connected to the Revolutionary Guard and money laundering. And Trump’s motto is: no matter how obviously true something is, you don’t admit it if it hurts Donald Trump. Apparently, even if it is in the nation’s security interest.

I’m frankly at a loss as to how Trump supporters will defend this. The salient facts are beyond dispute. Azarpassillo is run by IRGC officers. The Mammadovs’ connection to the Revolutionary Guard has been publicly known for several years. The Trump Organization’s lawyer “learned of the Mammadov family’s likely relationship to Azarpassillo in the summer of 2015.”

By leaving Azarpassillo off the list of sanctioned companies, Trump is putting his personal interests ahead of the interests of the country. Similarly, those who defend him on this are sacrificing the interests of the United States in favor of their narrow partisan interest in defending Donald Trump, come hell or high water.

UPDATE: Commenters point out that I should have been more careful to note in the post that, according to Davidson, the Trump Organization did business, not directly with a company run by the IRGC, but with a corrupt money-laundering partner of a company run by the IRGC. I don’t think this renders Trump’s decision not to sanction Azarpassillo any less suspect. The mileage of Trump partisans may vary and probably does.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


David French: LOL At O’Reilly’s Release Of Lis Wiehl’s Affidavit

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:38 pm

[guest post by Dana]

On the heels of the NYT report about Bill O’Reilly’s humongous $32 million payout to former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl, the no-spinmeister released the full text of Wiehl’s artfully worded affidavit.

First, David French offers an explainer:

…statements like this aren’t uncommon after settlements — especially when those settlements involve prominent people or prominent institutions. Part of the “purchase price” of the settlement often includes a statement that defendants use to try to claim that the litigation was nonsense from the beginning. Plaintiffs will accept the payout and do their best to negotiate language that’s as meaningless as possible. They want the settlement amount to do the talking. Negotiations over statements or affidavits can sometimes be more complex and contentious than negotiations over even seven-figure payouts. The wording is careful, and the statements are notable mainly for what they don’t say.

He then breaks down the statement in an amusing fashion, showing why it doesn’t exonerate O’Reilly, in spite of that being the hoped for outcome:

1. I have known Bill O’Reilly for over 18 years. We have worked together, we have socialized, and on occasion I gave him legal advice.

Translation: I used to work with Bill O’Reilly.

2. At the end of 2016, I hired counsel who prepared a draft complaint asserting claims against Bill O’Reilly. We have since resolved all of our issues. I would no longer make the allegations contained in the draft complaint.

Translation: I sued O’Reilly, he paid me $32 million, and I agreed to drop the suit. I “would no longer make the allegations” because every settlement agreement ever created in the entire history of the universe bars the plaintiff from ever again raising her original claims.

3. Additionally, over the years while I was acting as Bill O’Reilly’s counsel, he forwarded to me certain explicit emails that were sent to him, and any advice sought or rendered is attorney-client privileged, confidential, and private. I have no claims against Bill O’Reilly concerning any of those emails or any of the allegations in the draft complaint.

Translation: My lawyers are very, very good. Admire their handiwork. If you read closely, all I said is that he sent me explicit emails, I can’t talk about them, and I have (note the verb tense) no claims. Of course I currently have no claims; I settled them for $32 million.

4. Also, I have reached an accommodation with Fox News regarding the termination of my employment. I have no claims against Fox News.

Translation: Same verb tense as the previous paragraph, y’all. I have no claims because I settled those claims.

Allahpundit asks the question that answers itself:

What the affidavit doesn’t say is that she recants the allegations in her complaint as having been untrue. You’re left wondering why, if nothing happened between them, there’s nothing in there that states plainly, “I, Lis Wiehl, hereby acknowledge that Bill O’Reilly never harassed, assaulted, raped, or behaved otherwise inappropriately with me in any way.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson have both responded to the news of O’Reilly’s whopping $32 million payout. O’Reilly, true to form, is punching back.

O’Reilly also said today that he is mad at God about the sexual misconduct allegations, and that he regrets having settled with Wiehl.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Bill Browder’s U.S. Visa Waiver Cancelled, Quickly Restored, After Bogus Putin Interpol Notice

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:16 pm

So I wrote a spittle-flecked post at RedState about the cancellation of Bill Browder’s US visa waiver pursuant to yet another bogus Interpol notice from Vladimir Putin. Fortunately, I saved my rage for Putin and gave Trump the benefit of the doubt. Then I went to look at Browder’s Twitter after the post was published and saw that Browder’s visa waiver had been restored a couple of hours earlier. (I saw no news stories about the restoration despite looking before posting.)

Anyway, there’s no point in repeating the whole clusterfark here, so I will merely link the post. I repeat that the U.S. needs to fix the system so that Putin can’t do this again.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Sgt. Johnson’s Widow: Congresswoman’s Account Was Not “Fabricated”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:10 am

I figured (and hoped) we were done with this, but both Trump and Big Media evidently want it to continue. So here we are.

Here’s Myeshia Johnson’s interview with George Snuffleupagus:

Ms. Johnson asked for the call to be put on speaker so her aunt and uncle could hear. She did not like Trump’s tone. She said that he said: “He knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways.” She said of Trump: “I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name.” She said the only way he could remember her husband’s name was because his file was in front of him. (Trump told her he had the file in front of him.) She said the call made her very upset. “It made me cry even worse.”

She said of Rep. Wilson: “She’s been in our family since we were little kids.” Her uncle in law had been Ms. Wilson’s elementary school principal (I’m assuming she means Ms. Wilson was his principal), and her husband had been in her 5000 Role Model program. As for what funny hat Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said about the call, Ms. Johnson said:

Whatever Miss Wilson said was not fabricated. What she said was 100% correct. It was Master Sgt. Neil, me, my aunt, and uncle, and the driver, and Ms. Wilson in the car. The phone was on speaker phone. Why would we fabricate something like that?

Asked whether she had anything more to say to Trump, she said no.

But Trump has more to say!

It is political genius to directly contradict the widow’s account. Eight-dimensional chess? Nah. Twenty-dimensional, at least!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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