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 Post subject: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:36 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Now this sounds like a pretty revealing read, posted by my mate Gabriel on FB.
read on..... 8)

Author and columnist Michael Wolff was given extraordinary access to the Trump administration and now details the feuds, the fights and the alarming chaos he witnessed while reporting what turned into a new book.
Editor’s Note: Author and Hollywood Reporter columnist Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Henry Holt & Co.), is a detailed account of the 45th president’s election and first year in office based on extensive access to the White House and more than 200 interviews with Trump and senior staff over a period of 18 months. In advance of the Jan. 9 publication of the book, which Trump is already attacking, Wolff has written this extracted column about his time in the White House based on the reporting included in Fire and Fury.

I interviewed Donald Trump for The Hollywood Reporter in June 2016, and he seemed to have liked — or not disliked — the piece I wrote. "Great cover!" his press assistant, Hope Hicks, emailed me after it came out (it was a picture of a belligerent Trump in mirrored sunglasses). After the election, I proposed to him that I come to the White House and report an inside story for later publication — journalistically, as a fly on the wall — which he seemed to misconstrue as a request for a job. No, I said. I'd like to just watch and write a book. "A book?" he responded, losing interest. "I hear a lot of people want to write books," he added, clearly not understanding why anybody would. "Do you know Ed Klein?"— author of several virulently anti-Hillary books. "Great guy. I think he should write a book about me." But sure, Trump seemed to say, knock yourself out.

Since the new White House was often uncertain about what the president meant or did not mean in any given utterance, his non-disapproval became a kind of passport for me to hang around — checking in each week at the Hay-Adams hotel, making appointments with various senior staffers who put my name in the "system," and then wandering across the street to the White House and plunking myself down, day after day, on a West Wing couch.

The West Wing is configured in such a way that the anteroom is quite a thoroughfare — everybody passes by. Assistants — young women in the Trump uniform of short skirts, high boots, long and loose hair — as well as, in situation-comedy proximity, all the new stars of the show: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Gary Cohn, Michael Flynn (and after Flynn's abrupt departure less than a month into the job for his involvement in the Russia affair, his replacement, H.R. McMaster), all neatly accessible.

The nature of the comedy, it was soon clear, was that here was a group of ambitious men and women who had reached the pinnacle of power, a high-ranking White House appointment — with the punchline that Donald Trump was president. Their estimable accomplishment of getting to the West Wing risked at any moment becoming farce.

A new president typically surrounds himself with a small group of committed insiders and loyalists. But few on the Trump team knew him very well — most of his advisors had been with him only since the fall. Even his family, now closely gathered around him, seemed nonplussed. "You know, we never saw that much of him until he got the nomination," Eric Trump's wife, Lara, told one senior staffer. If much of the country was incredulous, his staff, trying to cement their poker faces, were at least as confused.


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Their initial response was to hawkishly defend him — he demanded it — and by defending him they seemed to be defending themselves. Politics is a game, of course, of determined role-playing, but the difficulties of staying in character in the Trump White House became evident almost from the first day.

"You can't make this **** up," Sean Spicer, soon to be portrayed as the most hapless man in America, muttered to himself after his tortured press briefing on the first day of the new administration, when he was called to justify the president's inaugural crowd numbers — and soon enough, he adopted this as a personal mantra. Reince Priebus, the new chief of staff, had, shortly after the announcement of his appointment in November, started to think he would not last until the inauguration. Then, making it to the White House, he hoped he could last a respectable year, but he quickly scaled back his goal to six months. Kellyanne Conway, who would put a finger-gun to her head in private about Trump's public comments, continued to mount an implacable defense on cable television, until she was pulled off the air by others in the White House who, however much the president enjoyed her, found her militancy idiotic. (Even Ivanka and Jared regarded Conway's fulsome defenses as cringeworthy.)

Steve Bannon tried to gamely suggest that Trump was mere front man and that he, with plan and purpose and intellect, was, more reasonably, running the show — commanding a whiteboard of policies and initiatives that he claimed to have assembled from Trump's off-the-cuff ramblings and utterances. His adoption of the Saturday Night Live sobriquet "President Bannon" was less than entirely humorous. Within the first few weeks, even rote conversations with senior staff trying to explain the new White House's policies and positions would turn into a body-language ballet of eye-rolling and shrugs and pantomime of jaws dropping. Leaking became the political manifestation of the don't-blame-me eye roll.

The surreal sense of the Trump presidency was being lived as intensely inside the White House as out. Trump was, for the people closest to him, the ultimate enigma. He had been elected president, that through-the-eye-of-the-needle feat, but obviously, he was yet … Trump. Indeed, he seemed as confused as anyone to find himself in the White House, even attempting to barricade himself into his bedroom with his own lock over the protests of the Secret Service.

There was some effort to ascribe to Trump magical powers. In an early conversation — half comic, half desperate — Bannon tried to explain him as having a particular kind of Jungian brilliance. Trump, obviously without having read Jung, somehow had access to the collective unconscious of the other half of the country, and, too, a gift for inventing archetypes: Little Marco … Low-Energy Jeb … the Failing New York Times. Everybody in the West Wing tried, with some panic, to explain him, and, sheepishly, their own reason for being here. He's intuitive, he gets it, he has a mind-meld with his base. But there was palpable relief, of an Emperor's New Clothes sort, when longtime Trump staffer Sam Nunberg — fired by Trump during the campaign but credited with knowing him better than anyone else — came back into the fold and said, widely, "He's just a ******* fool."

Part of that foolishness was his inability to deal with his own family. In a way, this gave him a human dimension. Even Donald Trump couldn't say no to his kids. "It's a littleee, littleee complicated …" he explained to Priebus about why he needed to give his daughter and son-in-law official jobs. But the effect of their leadership roles was to compound his own boundless inexperience in Washington, creating from the outset frustration and then disbelief and then rage on the part of the professionals in his employ.

The men and women of the West Wing, for all that the media was ridiculing them, actually felt they had a responsibility to the country. "Trump," said one senior Republican, "turned selfish careerists into patriots." Their job was to maintain the pretense of relative sanity, even as each individually came to the conclusion that, in generous terms, it was insane to think you could run a White House without experience, organizational structure or a real purpose.


READ MORE
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On March 30, after the collapse of the health care bill, 32-year-old Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff, the effective administration chief of the West Wing, a stalwart political pro and stellar example of governing craft, walked out. Little more than two months in, she quit. Couldn't take it anymore. Nutso. To lose your deputy chief of staff at the get-go would be a sign of crisis in any other administration, but inside an obviously exploding one it was hardly noticed.

While there might be a scary national movement of Trumpers, the reality in the White House was stranger still: There was Jared and Ivanka, Democrats; there was Priebus, a mainstream Republican; and there was Bannon, whose reasonable claim to be the one person actually representing Trumpism so infuriated Trump that Bannon was hopelessly sidelined by April. "How much influence do you think Steve Bannon has over me? Zero! Zero!" Trump muttered and stormed. To say that no one was in charge, that there were no guiding principles, not even a working org chart, would again be an understatement. "What do these people do?" asked everyone pretty much of everyone else.

The competition to take charge, which, because each side represented an inimical position to the other, became not so much a struggle for leadership, but a near-violent factional war. Jared and Ivanka were against Priebus and Bannon, trying to push both men out. Bannon was against Jared and Ivanka and Priebus, practicing what everybody thought were dark arts against them. Priebus, everybody's punching bag, just tried to survive another day. By late spring, the larger political landscape seemed to become almost irrelevant, with everyone focused on the more lethal battles within the White House itself. This included screaming fights in the halls and in front of a bemused Trump in the Oval Office (when he was not the one screaming himself), together with leaks about what Russians your opponents might have been talking to.

Reigning over all of this was Trump, enigma, cipher and disruptor. How to get along with Trump — who veered between a kind of blissed-out pleasure of being in the Oval Office and a deep, childish frustration that he couldn't have what he wanted? Here was a man singularly focused on his own needs for instant gratification, be that a hamburger, a segment on Fox & Friends or an Oval Office photo opp. "I want a win. I want a win. Where's my win?" he would regularly declaim. He was, in words used by almost every member of the senior staff on repeated occasions, "like a child." A chronic naysayer, Trump himself stoked constant discord with his daily after-dinner phone calls to his billionaire friends about the disloyalty and incompetence around him. His billionaire friends then shared this with their billionaire friends, creating the endless leaks which the president so furiously railed against.

One of these frequent callers was Rupert Murdoch, who before the election had only ever expressed contempt for Trump. Now Murdoch constantly sought him out, but to his own colleagues, friends and family, continued to derisively ridicule Trump: "What a ******* moron," said Murdoch after one call.

With the Comey firing, the Mueller appointment and murderous White House infighting, by early summer Bannon was engaged in an uninterrupted monologue directed to almost anyone who would listen. It was so caustic, so scabrous and so hilarious that it might form one of the great underground political treatises.

By July, Jared and Ivanka, who had, in less than six months, traversed from socialite couple to royal family to the most powerful people in the world, were now engaged in a desperate dance to save themselves, which mostly involved blaming Trump himself. It was all his idea to fire Comey! "The daughter," Bannon declared, "will bring down the father."

Priebus and Spicer were merely counting down to the day — and every day seemed to promise it would be the next day — when they would be out.


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And, indeed, suddenly there were the 11 days of Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci, a minor figure in the New York financial world, and quite a ridiculous one, had overnight become Jared and Ivanka's solution to all of the White House's management and messaging problems. After all, explained the couple, he was good on television and he was from New York — he knew their world. In effect, the couple had hired Scaramucci — as preposterous a hire in West Wing annals as any — to replace Priebus and Bannon and take over running the White House.

There was, after the abrupt Scaramucci meltdown, hardly any effort inside the West Wing to disguise the sense of ludicrousness and anger felt by every member of the senior staff toward Trump's family and Trump himself. It became almost a kind of competition to demystify Trump. For Rex Tillerson, he was a moron. For Gary Cohn, he was dumb as ****. For H.R. McMaster, he was a hopeless idiot. For Steve Bannon, he had lost his mind.

Most succinctly, no one expected him to survive Mueller. Whatever the substance of the Russia "collusion," Trump, in the estimation of his senior staff, did not have the discipline to navigate a tough investigation, nor the credibility to attract the caliber of lawyers he would need to help him. (At least nine major law firms had turned down an invitation to represent the president.)

There was more: Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he'd repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories — now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions — he just couldn't stop saying something.

By summer's end, in something of a historic sweep — more usual for the end of a president's first term than the end of his first six months — almost the entire senior staff, save Trump's family, had been washed out: Michael Flynn, Katie Walsh, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon. Even Trump's loyal, longtime body guard Keith Schiller — for reasons darkly whispered about in the West Wing — was out. Gary Cohn, Dina Powell, Rick Dearborn, all on their way out. The president, on the spur of the moment, appointed John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general and head of homeland security, chief of staff — without Kelly having been informed of his own appointment beforehand. Grim and stoic, accepting that he could not control the president, Kelly seemed compelled by a sense of duty to be, in case of disaster, the adult in the room who might, if needed, stand up to the president … if that is comfort.

As telling, with his daughter and son-in-law sidelined by their legal problems, Hope Hicks, Trump's 29-year-old personal aide and confidant, became, practically speaking, his most powerful White House advisor. (With Melania a nonpresence, the staff referred to Ivanka as the "real wife" and Hicks as the "real daughter.") Hicks' primary function was to tend to the Trump ego, to reassure him, to protect him, to buffer him, to soothe him. It was Hicks who, attentive to his lapses and repetitions, urged him to forgo an interview that was set to open the 60 Minutes fall season. Instead, the interview went to Fox News' Sean Hannity who, White House insiders happily explained, was willing to supply the questions beforehand. Indeed, the plan was to have all interviewers going forward provide the questions.

As the first year wound down, Trump finally got a bill to sign. The tax bill, his singular accomplishment, was, arguably, quite a reversal of his populist promises, and confirmation of what Mitch McConnell had seen early on as the silver Trump lining: "He'll sign anything we put in front of him." With new bravado, he was encouraging partisans like Fox News to pursue an anti-Mueller campaign on his behalf. Insiders believed that the only thing saving Mueller from being fired, and the government of the United States from unfathomable implosion, is Trump's inability to grasp how much Mueller had on him and his family.

Steve Bannon was openly handicapping a 33.3 percent chance of impeachment, a 33.3 percent chance of resignation in the shadow of the 25th amendment and a 33.3 percent chance that he might limp to the finish line on the strength of liberal arrogance and weakness.

Donald Trump's small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would — or, in many cases, should — have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country's future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.

At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.

Happy first anniversary of the Trump administration.


Well hope I can buy it before it gets banned, but it will be on the internet sooner than later, any how that's America for you.... 8)
Ps: I think God invented them so we can have a laugh....

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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:56 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

Egyptian Pharaoh
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Watching the White House shenanigans gives me what can only be described as "schadenfreude overload" :snig: :snig:

With the book being released tomorrow, Trump's lawyers will have to be satisfied with some kind of libel action .

More fun :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:03 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Well someone has made a lot of money the author is delighted with the sale of his book.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:34 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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How come all these adventure books Ludlum, Grisham, Cussler ect depict American Presidents as wise and thoughtful,
When in reality they have a really dumb idiot in real life ?
People think him as a clever businessman when in reality he lost fortunes of his families inherited fortune..... 8)

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Sophocles.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:47 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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A tweet late last night from the tweet twat! “I went from VERY successful businessman, to top TV Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius and a very stable genius at that...

Yeh! right investigate his business so-called empire it's a load of crap as is he, Yanks ? "their pulling our chains.....

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Sophocles.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:18 am  |  Posted from: Cyprus
  

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Buy that book, Buy that Book, Buy that book, anyone recognise the chant??


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:56 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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No!

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"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:02 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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The biggest elephant in the room as far as I can see is that Trump won't comply with revealing his tax situation and finances.

Why is it not important to those who admire him that he allowed to do what they aren't? :urm:

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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:36 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Mad Dilys wrote:
The biggest elephant in the room as far as I can see is that Trump won't comply with revealing his tax situation and finances.

Why is it not important to those who admire him that he allowed to do what they aren't? :urm:


Generally speaking the tax returns of any American citizen are protected by law from public scrutiny.

Section 6103 of the US tax code includes a lengthy list of situations in which government officials are authorized to disclose tax information to other agencies, such as for criminal or congressional investigations, background checks for federal appointees, child support enforcement, state tax enforcement or verification of eligibility for government benefits. In some situations, disclosure requires a court order. In other words, unless there was a criminal or congressional investigation into Trump, no court is going to order the release of his returns.

I believe he hasn't even completed returns yet for 2016.

Presumably, he's refused to follow the procedure of previous presidents who released their returns voluntarily because the tax returns contain information which might be embarrassing for him.

He's banking on the fact that his hard core supporters couldn't care less about his returns...and he's probably right. He can tough this one out - as he's done with so many other matters.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:46 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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I can see that Watergate will have nothing on Trumpgate when it eventually explodes!

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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:20 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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We who live here only have TV, radio and newspaper reports to go on, what are the people in the UK or elsewhere saying about Trump. I think he is a very dangerous because he seems to be mentally deranged. As so called leader of the free world, God help us, his constant tweeting without having given the matter any thought strikes me as that of a man who needs to have everyone agree with him or he flies into a temper.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:35 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Everyone I've met has been bemused that he was actually elected, Though I must say Reagan had the same reaction and he had at least been a governor so had a little political experience.

There seems to be a possibility that Oprah Winfrey might stand at the next election for president - nothing surprises me any more. :urm:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:00 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Just wait until Jeremy Corbyn is PM, he has had 35 years experience watching all those 'smooth-tongued politicians lining their own nests,
at least he hasn't compromised his own integrity, well he has once.
Simona bumped into him the other day as her offices have moved into the Town Hall.
She stopped him shook his hand and said 'My Dad voted for You' and he flew 2450 miles just to do it.
I said "keep 'waggling all your attributes at him, because one day he will be Prime Minister.
She wasn't impressed....'kids eh ?..... 8)
14310

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:56 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Obviously a woman of good taste Doctor! :up

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:24 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Who2 wrote:
A tweet late last night from the tweet twat! “I went from VERY successful businessman, to top TV Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius and a very stable genius at that...


Hmm... didn't he stand for presidential office some years back? Failed!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:33 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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HEPZIBAH wrote:
Who2 wrote:
A tweet late last night from the tweet twat! “I went from VERY successful businessman, to top TV Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius and a very stable genius at that...


Hmm... didn't he stand for presidential office some years back? Failed!


I don't think so :lol: .....well, not in an official sense.

He did talk about running a few times times (glorified publicity stunts from the arch self-publicist), and what a wonderful POTUS he'd make etc etc., but never got round to even putting his name up in the primaries.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:49 pm  |  Posted from: Australia
  

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Dusak is right he did try to stand before.

Pending the book the best doco on the beast is the US Frontline https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/arts ... -hits.html. Sorry I can't find any live broadcasts that work outside the US. A major theme (possibly overstated) is that he hated Obama because he had humiliated him in public and that this led him to stand.

Even this doco has weaknesses - like who backed him and why - but it does cover his 'connection' with his lawyer Roy Cohn - one of the most evil men in the US and his (Trump's) botched business deals. It doesn't cover the dubious sources of funds following his last insolvency and the fact that he builds little but sells his name/logo in recent decades.

Most of the dirt was well known before his election so his election raises quite a few questions about the judgement of the average voter in the modern media age. It also raises the question of how weak is the Republican Party that a mad outsider can barnstorm in.

The next interesting story might be his mandated medical examination in a few weeks. Will it cover his sanity and will the results be made public. I imagine that the Russians and Chinese are calculating that now is a good time to make some moves.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:30 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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It was Hepzibah - not Dusak - who suggested Trump may have stood for presidential office. A question of terminology I would have thought. The nearest he got was in 2000 when he withdrew his candidature, on behalf of the Reform Party, before the primaries.

Even though America is the land of the 'shrink', they have a reluctance to declare anyone insane, even when the ruling might affect whether or not they might be executed. I think we can consign the likelihood of any deleterious medical or psychiatric report to the realms of fantasy ( or wishful thinking if you prefer).

Whether he's a fit person to hold presidential office is, perhaps, less contentious.

A number of senators (admittedly Democrat) publicly assert that he used the word "shithole" in describing certain countries. Trump denies he used the word.

Either the senators are conspiring with each other to promulgate an outright untruth ....or the president of the United States is a barefaced liar.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:58 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I get blamed for everything. :(

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Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.


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 Post subject: Re: Fire & Fury.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:58 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Hafiz wrote:
Pending the book the best doco on the beast is the US Frontline https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/arts ... -hits.html.

Not seen that one, but there was a decent four-part Trump documentary on Channel 4 (UK) late last year http://www.channel4.com/programmes/trum ... ican-dream.
Hafiz wrote:
Even this doco has weaknesses - like who backed him and why - but it does cover his 'connection' with his lawyer Roy Cohn - one of the most evil men in the US and his (Trump's) botched business deals.

Roy Cohn was "the most repulsive man I ever met in my life", according to one of the interviewees in said doc.


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