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Everyone has an opinion and the right to speak that opinion our forefathers granted us that right it's called the First Amendment. Read it then discuss it in the Forums. Find out about Donald J. Trump’s time in the white house. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projects himself on to other.

Donald J. Trump Before the White House Page 2

This page is dedicated to Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con) before his time in the White House. Donald J. Trump is threat to Democracy, America and you, we are dedicated to shining a light on that threat. Do not take our word for it read it for yourself and find out more about the real Donald J. Trump. We believe the information provide below shows why Donald J. Trump should not have been elected president of the United States of America. The more you know the better informed you will be to make your own determination on the real Donald J. Trump.

By Ian Schwartz

CNN's Fareed Zakaria reacted to President Trump's campaign rally in Greenville and said the message the president is sending to brown people is "shut up and stand in line." In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN Wednesday night, Zakria said Trump was singular and unique in the way he campaigned in 2016 "trashing America." Trump's message, according to Zakaria, was America is a terrible place and cited Trump's inauguration address where he used the phrase "American carnage." The CNN host pointed out the president's slogan is still 'Make America Great Again' which means America is not great. Zakaria says Trump understands immigration in a "base way" and knows how to manipulate his base and scratch their belly. He also accused Trump of taking advantage of "cultural anxiety" and making promises like to take people back to a time before we had "uppity women." "But it's manipulation. They can't see that they're being manipulated. Maybe they don't care," CNN's Don Lemon said of Trump supporters. "That's why his slogan is 'Make America Great Again,'" Zakaria said of Trump. "'I'm going to take you back to this world before there were these uppity women, before there were these people of color telling you what's wrong with the country.'" more...

By Tom Winter and Adam Edelman

The release of the previously redacted documents came one day after the judge in the case disclosed that prosecutors had concluded their probe into Cohen’s campaign finance crimes. The FBI believed then-candidate Donald Trump was closely involved in a scheme to hide hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump, court documents from the closed campaign finance case against former Trump-fixer Michael Cohen show. The documents, released Thursday, describe a “series of calls, text messages, and emails” among Cohen, Trump, Trump campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford — and David Pecker, an executive of the company that published the National Enquirer. “I have learned that in the days following the Access Hollywood video, Cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages and emails with Keith Davidson, who was then Clifford’s attorney, David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media Inc. (“AMI”), the publisher of the National Enquirer, Trump, and Hope Hicks, who was then press secretary for Trump’s presidential campaign,” an FBI agent investigating the matter wrote in the released documents. “Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story,” the agent said. more...

By Jack Bohrer

The November 1992 tape in the NBC archives shows Donald Trump with Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade before Epstein pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges in Florida. The footage shows two wealthy men laughing and pointing as they appear to discuss young women dancing at a party. Today, one of the men is president of the United States. The other is in federal lockup awaiting a bail decision as he fights sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. The November 1992 tape in the NBC archives shows Donald Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, now a private club, more than a decade before Epstein pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges in Florida. At one point in the video, Trump is seen grabbing a woman towards him and patting her behind. The president says he hasn’t spoken to Epstein since his guilty plea, and that his relationship with him was no different than that of anyone else in their elite circle. “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” Trump said last week. “I was not a fan.” But on the tape, Trump gives Epstein plenty of personal attention. more...

Florida businessman George Houraney told the New York Times that the president’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein involved at least one “calendar girl” party at Mar-a-Lago.
By Eric Lutz

Donald Trump now says he’s “not a fan” of Jeffrey Epstein, a convenient way to feel about the disgraced financier in the aftermath of his 2008 conviction on soliciting underage girls for prostitution and his indictment Monday on charges of sex trafficking minors. (Epstein has pleaded not guilty.) But that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when Trump could be counted among Epstein’s rich, well-connected friends. And, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday, the relationship may have been a good deal closer than the president has let on. Per the Times, Trump in 1992 directed Florida businessman George Houraney—who would later accuse Trump of sexually harassing his former girlfriend and business partner, Jill Harth—to organize a members’ only “calendar girl” competition at Mar-a-Lago. After Houraney “arranged to have some contestants fly in,” he told the Times in an interview Monday, he discovered that there would be only two attendees. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein,” Houraney recalled. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’” The anecdote underscores the friendship between the pair, and suggests that their relationship proceeded in spite of warnings about Epstein’s behavior. Houraney “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events,” he said. “Trump didn’t care about that.” more...

A series of high-profile prosecutions highlights the impunity that the rich have long enjoyed.
By David A. Graham -Staff writer at The Atlantic

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” the then-socialite Donald Trump told New York in 2002, in a profile of Jeffrey Epstein. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” The quote is stunning to read today, after Epstein’s arrest for the sex trafficking of minors, and an indictment that alleges he repeatedly recruited and abused victims as young as 14 years old. Why would Trump, in the same breath that he noted the financier’s preference for women “on the younger side,” liken himself to Epstein? But while Trump was unusually willing to say it out loud, he was hardly the only person aware of Epstein’s proclivities. In fact, they were widely known. The journalist Vicky Ward wrote on Twitter Monday that she sought to include reporting on allegations of sexual abuse in a 2002 Vanity Fair profile, but those mentions were cut from the story. Epstein was finally prosecuted in Florida in 2007, but as Julie K. Brown reported last year in the Miami Herald, he got off with a slap on the wrist. Following the Herald series, federal prosecutors in New York found a way to charge Epstein with fresh crimes, for which he could serve a lengthy prison term if convicted. more...

By Nicole Goodkind

A writer for Elle magazine has accused President Donald Trump of raping her about 24 years ago, and says she still has the unwashed coat she was wearing when it happened. E. Jean Carroll, a well-known advice columnist and writer, said the assault took place at Bergdorf Goodman, a high-end department store in New York City, where Trump recognized her while shopping. Trump was married to his second wife, Marla Maples at the time and had a young daughter, Tiffany Trump, with her. The White House and Carroll did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Newsweek. The White House called the allegations, "completely false and unrealistic" to New York. The story surfaced 25 years after the allegations, they said, and "was created simply to make the President look bad." According to Carroll, the president recognized her as "that advice lady" and asked her to help him pick out a gift for "a girl." The pair settled on a piece of lacy lingerie and Trump asked Carroll to try it on. Carroll said she deflected the offer and told him to try it on instead. The pair then made their way to a dressing room where, Carroll alleges, Trump sexually assaulted her. Carroll did not go to the police after the encounter, but did say she told friends, both journalists, one told her to go to the police she said and the other advised her to tell no one. Both confirmed the account to New York. more...

Adam Davidson follows the money trail in one of President Donald Trump's past deals all the way to Vladimir Putin. more...

Prosecutors unsealed bribery charges Thursday against a Chicago  banker who made loans to Paul Manafort allegedly expecting they would  help him get a top job in the Trump administration. A grand  jury in Manhattan returned an indictment against Stephen Calk, chairman  of Federal Savings Bank, in a case with strong echoes of the earlier  ones made against Manafort, who has since been convicted and sentenced  to prison. Bank employees testified last year in Manafort's case  in federal court in Northern Virginia, where much of the story was  first revealed. Some witnesses received immunity from prosecution  because of the alleged illegal activity. Calk, who did not receive an immunity deal, was expected in federal court on Thursday in New York City. more...

By David Enrich

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog. The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes. But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government. The nature of the transactions was not clear. At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious. more...

“We know for a fact that Donald Trump has been involved in money laundering in the past," Johnston points out
By Joseph Neese

The New York Times broke a story Sunday that revealed staff of Deutsche Bank were hired especially for their expertise of money-laundering. The bank staff recommended that they contact federal investigators about possible criminal activity in the accounts of President Donald Trump and his senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner. “The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees,” the Times reported. “Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.” The bank rejected the recommendation, and it appears now it might spark another investigation, according to Trump biographer David Cay Johnston. “We know for a fact that Donald Trump has been involved in money laundering in the past, fined for it,” Johnston said. “We know that Deutsche Bank is fined over $600 million just for laundering money for Russian oligarchs and are nondenial denials. The Trump Organization said we never heard of this. Why would you? It was locked up in the bank. The bank said we didn’t stop anyone. The story makes it clear.” more...


On April 18, 2019, a redacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election” (Mueller Report) was released to the public. The Mueller report builds on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump— one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. The Mueller report clearly identified collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, despite repeated denials from Trump and many of his senior advisers and close associates that there were any connections between the two campaigns. A total of 251 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia-linked operatives have been identified, including at least 37 meetings. And we know that at least 33 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisers were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition, including Trump himself.

None of these contacts were ever reported to the proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them. Beyond the many lies the Trump team told to the American people, Mueller himself repeatedly remarked on how far the Trump team was willing to go to hide their Russian contacts, stating, “the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.” Below is a comprehensive chronological list of the contacts that have been discovered to date and some of the many lies Trump’s campaign, transition team, and White House told to hide them. more...

New details are emerging about the long, symbiotic and at times troubled relationship between the president and his loyal German bank.
By David Enrich

For nearly two decades, Donald J. Trump relied on Deutsche Bank to lend to him when other banks wouldn’t. Deutsche Bank, eager to expand in the United States, made a decision to repeatedly take a risk on him. Much has been written about their relationship, which is now under investigation on Capitol Hill and by the New York attorney general. Here are some of the new revelations from The New York Times’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank cut off Mr. Trump twice — and then kept lending to him. From the outset, Deutsche Bank executives recognized that Mr. Trump was a risky client — that’s why most other banks considered him off-limits. But the bank soon got an up-close view of its client’s problems. In 2003, Deutsche Bank helped Mr. Trump’s casino company sell hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds. (The salesmen were rewarded with a trip to Mar-a-Lago.) Mr. Trump’s company defaulted in 2004, leaving Deutsche Bank’s clients with deep losses.

The bank’s investment division that sold the bonds vowed to not do business again with Mr. Trump. A year later, though, Mr. Trump approached another part of the investment division for a $640 million loan to build a skyscraper in Chicago. It made the loan — and in 2008, Mr. Trump defaulted and sued Deutsche Bank. That prompted the whole investment division to sever ties with Mr. Trump. And then, three years after his previous default, Deutsche Bank started lending to him again, this time through the private-banking division that catered to the superrich. In fact, it lent Mr. Trump money that he used to repay what he still owed Deutsche Bank’s investment division for the Chicago loan. Top bank executives supported the relationship. Since Mr. Trump won the 2016 election, Deutsche Bank officials have been trying to minimize the importance of their business with the new president, arguing that some senior executives didn’t even know the relationship existed. But two of Deutsche Bank’s chief executives — as well as numerous other senior executives — knew about and at times aided the relationship. more...

By Joshua Partlow, Nick Miroff, David A. Fahrenthold
At his home on the misty slope of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Dario Angulo keeps a set of photographs from the years he tended the rolling fairways and clipped greens of a faraway American golf resort. Angulo learned to drive backhoes and bulldozers, carving water hazards and tee boxes out of former horse pastures in Bedminster, N.J., where a famous New Yorker was building a world-class course. Angulo earned $8 an hour, a fraction of what a state-licensed heavy equipment operator would make, with no benefits or overtime pay. But he stayed seven years on the grounds crew, saving enough for a small piece of land and some cattle back home. It’s a common story in this small town. Other former employees of President Trump’s company live nearby: men who once raked the sand traps and pushed mowers through thick heat on Trump’s prized golf property — the “Summer White House,” as aides have called it — where his daughter Ivanka got married and where he wants to build a family cemetery. “Many of us helped him get what he has today,” Angulo said. “This golf course was built by illegals.” more...

By Marina Fang
Despite his anti-immigration diatribes, Trump has employed dozens of undocumented workers at his New Jersey country club, The Washington Post reports. President Donald Trump has long employed undocumented workers at his New Jersey golf club despite his racist and anti-immigration policies and rhetoric, according to a new Washington Post investigation. The Post reported Friday it located more than a dozen workers in Costa Rica who said they were undocumented when they worked at Trump’s country club in Bedminster as groundskeepers, housekeepers and dishwashers. The former workers said their supervisors at the Trump club knew of their undocumented status, and some managers discussed obtaining fake documents. “This golf course was built by illegals,” Dario Angulo, who said he was an $8-an-hour grounds crew worker at Trump’s resort, told the newspaper. The former workers said dozens of other undocumented immigrants worked at the Bedminster resort, often following family members and friends there. Other undocumented workers came from El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala, among other Latin American countries, which Trump has regularly denigrated. A police report obtained by the Post through a public records request shows that as far back as 2011, officials informed Bedminster’s head of security about an undocumented worker’s false documents. more...

By Greg Sargent
An odd, two-tiered narrative has long unfolded around the Russia scandal. In much media commentary, there’s been a deeply baked-in skepticism that the Trump campaign could possibly have conspired with Russian interference in the 2016 election — even as more and more evidence of that “collusion” has surfaced. Media figures sometimes still say “there’s no evidence of collusion,” even though we already know, among other things, that top Trump campaign officials met with Russians in the eager hope of receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton gathered by the Russian government. We still don’t know whether the “collusion” being established amounts to criminal conspiracy, but we do know that “collusion” happened. On Friday morning, the “no collusion” narrative took yet another big blow, with the news that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has indicted longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone. Stone has been charged with obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering. I want to focus on one particular nugget in the indictment that may add substantially to our understanding of what this conspiracy might — repeat, might — look like. First, recall that on July 22, 2016, Wikileaks released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s system. more...

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. intelligence community issued a report that showed there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. Trump and many of his senior advisors and close associates have repeatedly denied any connections between the two campaigns, despite the fact that they were working towards the same goal, at the same time, and utilizing the same tactics. Yet over the past year, we’ve learned about a series of meetings and contacts between individuals linked to the Russian government and Trump’s campaign and transition team. In total, we have learned of 101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives, including at least 28 meetings. And we know that at least 28 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisors were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition. None of these contacts were ever reported to the proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them. Why were there so many meetings? What was discussed in them? More importantly, why did Trump and his camp lie about them, including to federal law enforcement? What are they hiding? The American people deserve answers. Below is a comprehensive chronological list of the contacts that have been discovered to date and the lies Trump’s campaign, transition, and White House told to hide them. The Trump campaign issued at least 15 blanket denials of contacts with Russia, all of which have been proven false. more...

By  Philip Bump
We have, on Thursday, a story that perhaps serves as the best encapsulation to date of how the early days of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency worked, a summary that, itself, seems to explain much of what happened afterward. It’s the details that are particularly compelling. It was, according to the Wall Street Journal, a Walmart bag, blue, containing somewhere over $12,000 in cash and a boxing glove that Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal attorney, claimed had been owned by a Brazilian fighter. We’re meant to infer from Cohen’s assurances on the glove that it was somehow worth $38,000; otherwise, that Walmart bag wouldn’t have contained the $50,000 that Cohen was supposed to turn over. This was in early 2015, before Trump was a candidate for the presidency, but the wheels were already in motion. Cohen had engaged a tech guy named John Gauger to help prime the pump for a Trump candidacy, according to the Journal, asking him to rig a non-scientific poll hosted at the Drudge Report. It didn’t really work. That poll, completed on Feb. 2, 2015, ended up with Trump getting 5 percent of the vote, well behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and even Ben Carson, now a member of Trump’s Cabinet. more...

By Devan Cole and Pamela Brown, CNN

President Donald Trump's former "fixer" Michael Cohen said Thursday that he paid the head of a small technology company thousands in 2015 to rig online polls at "the direction of and for the sole benefit of" Trump. Cohen was responding to a report in The Wall Street Journal that he paid John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, between $12,000 and $13,000 for activities related to Trump's campaign, including "trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump's favor" and creating a Twitter account called "@WomenForCohen" that "praised (Cohen's) looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting" Trump's candidacy. In making the claim, Gauger told the paper he wasn't fully paid for the work, though the Journal said Cohen was reimbursed $50,000 -- the amount the two originally agreed on for Gauger's services -- by the Trump Organization. Gauger, according to the paper, also received a boxing glove "worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter" along with the cash payment. The paper said that Cohen denied paying Gauger in cash, instead telling the Journal that "all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check" and declining to comment further. The Trump Organization did not comment to the Journal. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, told the paper that the allegation that Cohen received more money than what he paid to Gauger shows he's a "thief." Later Thursday morning in a statement to CNN, Cohen said his actions were "at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn't deserve it." more... - Now we know why Trump claimed the polls were rigged he was rigging them.

By Devan Cole, CNN

President Donald Trump's former "fixer" Michael Cohen paid the head of a small technology company thousands in 2015 to rig online polls and elevate Cohen's character to benefit Trump's presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. According to the paper, Cohen paid John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, between $12,000 and $13,000 for activities related to Trump's campaign, including "trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Mr. Trump's favor" and creating a Twitter account called "@WomenForCohen" that "praised (Cohen's) looks and character, and promoted his appearances and statements boosting" Trump's candidacy.

In making the claim, Gauger told the paper he wasn't fully paid for the work, though the Journal said Cohen was reimbursed $50,000 -- the amount the two originally agreed on for Gauger's services -- by the Trump Organization. Gauger, according to the paper, also received a boxing glove "worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter" along with the cash payment. The paper said that Cohen denied paying Gauger in cash, instead telling the Journal that "all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check" and declining to comment further. The Trump Organization did not comment. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, told the paper that the allegation that Cohen received more money than what he paid to Gauger shows he's a "thief." In a statement to CNN Thursday, Cohen said his actions were "at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn't deserve it." more...


The daughters of a Queens foot doctor say their late father diagnosed President Donald Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War draft as a "favor" to his father Fred Trump, according to a new report Wednesday. Dr. Larry Braunstein, a podiatrist who died in 2007, often told the story of providing Donald Trump with the diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels so he could be exempt from military service, his two daughters -- Dr. Elysa Braunstein and Sharon Kessel -- told the New York Times. "It was family lore," Elysa Braunstein told the Times, adding that the story was "something we would always discuss" among family and friends. The Times did not find documentation to help corroborate the family's account, who described themselves as Democrats who dislike Trump, and Elysa Braunstein was unsure whether her father ever examined Donald Trump. The White House did not return the Times' request for an interview with the President nor respond to questions about his service record. more...

In the fall of 1968, Donald J. Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam. For 50 years, the details of how the exemption came about, and who made the diagnosis, have remained a mystery, with Mr. Trump himself saying during the presidential campaign that he could not recall who had signed off on the medical documentation. Now a possible explanation has emerged about the documentation. It involves a foot doctor in Queens who rented his office from Mr. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, and a suggestion that the diagnosis was granted as a courtesy to the elder Mr. Trump. more...

Jack Leitner outside the Beach Haven Apartments in Brooklyn. A tax scheme created by the Trumps, who owned the building, artificially inflated rent paid by him and thousands of other tenants. They were collateral damage as Donald J. Trump and his siblings dodged inheritance taxes and gained control of their father’s fortune: thousands of renters in an empire of unassuming red-brick buildings scattered across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Those buildings have been home to generations of strivers, municipal workers and newly arrived immigrants. When their regulated rents started rising more quickly in the 1990s, many tenants had no idea why. Some heard that the Trump family had spent millions on building improvements, but they remained suspicious. In October, a New York Times investigation into the origins of Mr. Trump’s wealth revealed, among its findings, that the future president and his siblings set up a phony business to pad the cost of nearly everything their father, the legendary builder Fred C. Trump, purchased for his buildings. The Trump children split that extra money. more...

Recent revelations in memoranda filed by the government against Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort describe even more widespread and troubling contacts with the Russians. However, since the inception of the Mueller investigation, President Donald Trump, his lawyers, legal pundits on both sides of the aisle, and everyone in between has either claimed or conceded that "collusion" is not a crime. President Trump has tweeted, "Collusion is not a crime. ..." Rudy Giuliani told Fox News, "I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. ... Collusion is not a crime." Jay Sekulow told The New Yorker, "For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. ... There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion." Having worked as a federal prosecutor for 13 years in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, I can report that the President and his lawyers are wrong. Collusion is a crime. The federal criminal code says so. The federal bribery statute -- 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)(B) -- makes it a federal crime for a public official to "collude" in a fraud on the United States. More specifically, the federal bribery statute expressly states that a crime is committed when a public official "directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value ... in return for ... being influenced to ... collude in ... any fraud ... on the United States."  more... - Trump and the Republicans trying to protect Trump tell us that collusion is not a crime, the federal bribery statute -- 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)(B) -- makes it a federal crime for a public official to "collude" in a fraud on the United States.

The "Statement of Admitted Facts" says that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment "in concert with the campaign". Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when his lawyer Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump's relationships with women, NBC News has confirmed. As part of a non-prosecution agreement disclosed Wednesday by federal prosecutors, American Media Inc., the Enquirer's parent company, admitted that "Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate's relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided." The "Statement of Admitted Facts" says that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment "in concert with the campaign," and says that Pecker, Cohen, and "at least one other member of the campaign" were in the meeting. According to a person familiar with the matter, the "other member" was Trump. more...

The Russian ambassador. A deputy prime minister. A pop star, a weightlifter, a lawyer, a Soviet army veteran with alleged intelligence ties. Again and again and again, over the course of Donald Trump’s 18-month campaign for the presidency, Russian citizens made contact with his closest family and friends, as well as figures on the periphery of his orbit. Some offered to help his campaign and his real estate business. Some offered dirt on his Democratic opponent. Repeatedly, Russian nationals suggested Trump should hold a peacemaking sit-down with Vladi­mir Putin — and offered to broker such a summit. In all, Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and presidential transition, public records and interviews show. “It is extremely unusual,” said Michael McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama. “Both the number of contacts and the nature of the contacts are extraordinary.” more...

Federal prosecutors said on Friday that President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the White House in 2016, putting the weight of the Justice Department behind accusations previously made by his former lawyer. The lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had said that as the election neared, Mr. Trump directed him to pay two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump. But in a new memorandum arguing for a prison term for Mr. Cohen, prosecutors in Manhattan said he “acted in coordination and at the direction of” an unnamed individual, clearly referring to Mr. Trump. In another filing, prosecutors for the special counsel revealed that as early as November 2015, a Russian citizen offered Mr. Cohen “government level” synergy between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign. That approach, which Mr. Cohen did not pursue, came months before other known approaches by Russian emissaries to the campaign. more...

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean reacts to President Donald Trump's history of criticizing those who invoke their Fifth Amendment right. more...

Cabinet documents reveal police warned NSW government about approving a 1986-87 plan to build city’s first casino in Darling Harbour. A bid by Donald Trump to build Sydney’s first casino was rejected 30 years ago after police expressed concerns about his links to the mafia. News Corp revealed on Wednesday morning minutes of the New South Wales cabinet that show police had warned the state government against approving a 1986-87 bid by a Trump consortium to build and operate a casino in Darling Harbour. The documents, obtained by News Corp, show the Kern/Trump group was one of three deemed “dangerous” by the police board. “Briefly stated, the Police Board considers that HKMS, Federal/Resorts/Sabemo, Kern/Trump, are unacceptable,” the summary of the police report said. “Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgment, the Trump mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium,” a summary of the police board’s report said. The cabinet papers also show there were doubts about the viability of the Kern/Trump bid. A report prepared by the independent contractor, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, found the Kern/Trump bid was one of two that were “not financially viable”. more...

In the 1980s, the budding real estate mogul had a soft spot for wise guys. Donald Trump's views on criminal justice remain one of those  mysteries he will presumably carry with him if elected into the Oval  Office, where he'll sort it all out with the help of the nation's best  minds. We do know that he's a "huge fan" of the police, and that he'd  like to see them get more power. But he hasn't suggested what kind of  power, or how he'd do that. More jobs would solve the problem of mass  incarceration, he told the Washington Post  editorial board last month. And he's been crystal clear on the death  penalty, which he would make harsher by eliminating lethal injections,  since they're "too comfortable." But  one helpful lens for determining Trump's views on crime and law  enforcement is via his past encounters with those alleged to be on the  wrong side of the law. That's his history with the mob. And for all of  his tough law-and-order rhetoric, the record shows the GOP frontrunner  has been remarkably tolerant. In the course of his 40 years of business  deals, Trump has encountered a steady stream of mob-tainted offers that  he apparently couldn't refuse. more...

Journalist Craig Unger talks Russia, Trump, and “one of the greatest intelligence operations in history.” On November 9, 2016, just a few minutes after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, a man named Vyacheslav Nikonov approached a microphone in the Russian State Duma (their equivalent of the US House of Representatives) and made a very unusual statement. “Dear friends, respected colleagues!” Nikonov said. “Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton admitted her defeat in US presidential elections, and a second ago Trump started his speech as an elected president of the United States of America, and I congratulate you on this.” Nikonov is a leader in the pro-Putin United Russia Party and, incidentally, the grandson of Vyacheslav Molotov — after whom the “Molotov cocktail” was named. His announcement that day was a clear signal that Trump’s victory was, in fact, a victory for Putin’s Russia. Longtime journalist Craig Unger opens his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin, with this anecdote. The book is an impressive attempt to gather up all the evidence we have of Trump’s numerous connections to the Russian mafia and government and lay it all out in a clear, comprehensive narrative. The book claims to unpack an “untold story,” but it’s not entirely clear how much of it is new. One of the hardest things to accept about the Trump-Russia saga is how transparent it is. So much of the evidence is hiding in plain sight, and somehow that has made it harder to accept. more...

Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of president’s participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws.
As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request. What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting. Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump. Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair. Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance. The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents. more...

Donald J. Trump built a business empire and won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help. “I built what I built myself,” the president has repeatedly said. But an investigation by The New York Times has revealed that Donald Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire. What’s more, much of this money came to Mr. Trump through dubious tax schemes he participated in during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, The Times found. In all, the president’s parents transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate on gifts and inheritances that was in place at the time. Helped by a variety of tax dodges, the Trumps paid $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax returns show. more...

The Times alleges that Trump set up a fake corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents. U.S. President Donald Trump engaged in tax schemes that included cases of outright fraud in which he and his siblings helped their parents dodge taxes, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The Times investigation, which a Trump lawyer said was inaccurate, showed Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate business, citing a “vast trove” of confidential tax return and financial records. The Times reported that much of that fortune came to Trump because he helped his parents evade taxes, setting up a fake corporation with his siblings to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents. During his presidential campaign, Trump promoted himself as a self-made real estate mogul who started out with only a “very small” loan from his businessman father, Fred Trump.” The Times said its findings were based on more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. The records did not include Donald Trump’s personal tax returns. more...

The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s. President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found. Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help. But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day. Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings. more...

Romney called it when he called a Trump a con man and a fraud but we did not listen. more...

Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes. - Posing as ‘John Barron,’ he claimed he owned most of his father’s real estate empire. more...

President Trump making a phone call in 2017. He used pseudonyms during call-in interviews throughout the 1980s and 1990s. American businessman, politician, and 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, has used several pseudonyms, including "John Barron" (or "John Baron"), "John Miller" and "David Dennison". His practice of sometimes speaking to the media under the guise of a spokesperson has been described as "an open secret" at the Trump Organization and in New York media circles. Some New York editors recalled that "calls from Barron were at points so common that they became a recurring joke on the city desk." A writer for Fortune reported that Trump's father Fred Trump had used the pseudonym Mr. Green in business dealings. more...

The factual evidence seems strong. Trump’s father Fred was arrested in New York City in 1927, when a group of Klansmen got into a brawl with police officers during a Memorial Day parade in Queens. There is a document trail, and the names, dates, and addresses match up. The New York Times published a story about the riot and the seven men who were arrested; Fred Trump is mentioned by name. His address is given at 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica, New York City, and the federal census of 1930 shows that Fred Trump resided at that address. more...

I've spent years investigating, and here's what's known. Trump hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan. more...

In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies began picking up evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic states shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. more...

A former writer for Forbes charges that President Trump used a fake personality to lie his way onto the magazine's list of richest Americans. Jonathan Greenberg says Trump was obsessed with being on the list and overstated his fortune. more...

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