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OpinionNew disclosures about lewd Trump video reveal his mastery of GOP

18:42  10 july  2019
18:42  10 july  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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A new book details the remarkable GOP closing of ranks behind Trump — foreshadowing today's wreckage. President Trump speaks to journalists on the South Lawn of the White House on July 5. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

A new book details the remarkable GOP closing of ranks behind Trump -- foreshadowing today's wreckage. In this context, it’s fitting that a new account has emerged of Trump ’s own biggest brush with political death over his own sexual misconduct: The controversy over the “Access Hollywood”

New disclosures about lewd Trump video reveal his mastery of GOP© Carlos Barria/Reuters (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

President Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, is under intense pressure to resign over his past role in a soft plea deal for financier Jeffrey E. Epstein, now that Epstein has been indicted on child sex trafficking charges. It’s not clear whether Epstein will survive, but Trump does seem to be trying to keep him on board, to see if it’s possible to weather the resulting political storm.

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By Greg Sargent Opinion writer July 10 at 10:19 AM President Trump ’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, is under intense pressure to resign over his Separate names with a comma. Newer Than

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side. But he also called the revelation “a distraction from the issues we are facing today.” He said that his “foolish” words are much different than the words and actions of

In this context, it’s fitting that a new account has emerged of Trump’s own biggest brush with political death over his own sexual misconduct: The controversy over the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump boasted of repeatedly committing sexual assault with impunity.

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The new account of that affair -- which shows that to a greater degree than previously known, leading Republicans privately thought Trump had disqualified himself, only to abruptly fall in line behind him -- is deeply revealing as to Trump’s grasp of today’s GOP, and more broadly is depressingly symbolic of today’s culture of elite impunity.

Acosta has defended his handling of the Epstein case as U.S. Attorney in Florida -- in which Epstein ended up doing a scant 13 months for sex crimes -- arguing it was the best prosecutors could do. But calls for his resignation are mounting. The Miami Herald, which revealed many questionable details about the case, and just excoriated Acosta for failing to show “an ounce of sympathy for the vulnerable girls Epstein sexually exploited.”

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New disclosures about lewd Trump video reveal his mastery of the GOP . Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

New Tapes Reveal Trump Lewdly Discussing his Daughter, Black Women, Threesomes, and More: In another, Trump responds to a question from Stern about whether he'd stay with Melania if she was disfigured in a car accident by asking, "How do the breasts look?"

Trump says he feels “very badly” for Acosta. Two senior officials tell the New York Times that support for Acosta could quickly disappear if more emerges, and CNN reports that Acosta’s fate may turn on what Trump thinks of the “media coverage” of the controversy.

All of this basically means Trump is trying to see whether he can keep Acosta on. Which brings us to the new revelations about the “Access Hollywood” tape.

Politico Magazine has published an excerpt from a forthcoming book about Trump and the GOP by journalist Tim Alberta. In it, Alberta reports the following:

  • After the tape became public, scores of top Republican lawmakers, donors, and activists -- far more than did so publicly -- privately urged then-RNC chair Reince Priebus to push Trump out and replace him with Vice President Pence at the top of the ticket. This included then-House Speaker Paul Ryan.
  • Pence hunkered down and prayed with his wife, Karen, who furiously warned him that she would no longer appear in public if Pence remained Trump’s running mate. Pence hinted to advisers that he might have to stop campaigning with Trump.

But the key revelation is what happened next. At the next debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump ferociously attacked back, blasting Bill Clinton’s history with women, and even threatening to unleash law enforcement on Hillary Clinton, saying that with him as president, Clinton would “be in jail.”

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Donald Trump issued an apology statement early Saturday morning after video published by the Washington Post showed the Republican presidential Trump said he ran into the woman some time after his attempt to woo her and found that she looked quite different and had gotten “big phony tits.”

Striking new revelations about Trump /Access Hollywood video : Scores of Rs privately said Trump had disqualified himself Pence threatened to leave campaign trail Trump vowed to jail Hillary, and all was forgiven Me on our culture of elite impunity:https

Alberta recounts what then transpired:

"Within 48 hours the bleeding had stopped: Republicans ceased their calls for his withdrawal, Pence dutifully returned to the stump and his campaign went on as though nothing had happened."

With this, Trump displayed a remarkable, if perhaps instinctual, grasp of how to survive in today’s GOP. While he did issue a video apology, what really rescued Trump is going ferociously on the attack, including threatening to put the real enemy in prison.

Timothy L. O’Brien, who wrote a biography of Trump, told me this gut instinct on Trump’s part goes back to his earliest days, and is a function of his worldview, which O’Brien described as “eat or be eaten.”

“Trump’s view that life has only winners and losers comes directly from his father,” O’Brien said. “Fred Trump came through the rough-and-tumble of early- to mid-20th century real estate industry and clubhouse Democratic politics in New York. It was a ruthless, eat-or-be-eaten world.”

“Fred channeled that into Donald with full force,” O’Brien continued, adding that Donald Trump “came out of the gates with this predatory worldview, wedded to a substantial amount of money that his father gave him.” That inherited fortune, of course, was enhanced and protected by massive and extensive father-and-son tax fraud.

Epstein had "well in excess of 50" victims, accusers' lawyer says

Epstein had Epstein faces federal child sex trafficking charges in New York City, where prosecutors say a raid of his home turned up hundreds of lewd photos . require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz helped negotiate the controversial plea deal and in a separate interview with "CBS This Morning" denied it was a bargain for his client. Dershowitz argued prosecutors lacked the evidence to indict the billionaire financier but Edwards refuted that notion.

Speaking of predators, Epstein, who clawed his way into jet-setting global elites from very humble New York beginnings, just as Fred Trump did, stands accused of an extraordinary array of crimes, including creating a network of girls for him to abuse at will, some of them potentially being under age.

As Michelle Goldberg argues, Epstein’s light sentence the first time, combined with the fact that the architect of that sentence remains as labor secretary, exposes a culture in which “the very rich” often enjoy “impunity for the most loathsome of crimes.”

That culture of immunity, of course, involves both major parties and many industries outside of politics. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled that Democrats will not take investigative action against Acosta, a baffling and inexplicable decision.

Still, Democrats have of late been more aggressive in policing sexual misconduct in their ranks than Republicans have been. And Pelosi -- and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer -- have called on Acosta to resign, something we’re not hearing from many Republicans.

In all kinds of ways, of course, Trump himself demonstrates how deeply the culture of impunity has penetrated the GOP. We’ve seen bottomless self dealing and a refusal to show basic transparency on his business holdings; extensive and potentially criminal efforts to derail the Russia investigation; the refusal to hold the Saudis accountable for the dismembering of Jamal Khashoggi; maximal resistance to any and all congressional oversight; the turning loose of Attorney General William P. Barr on his political critics; Acosta’s potential survival; and so much more -- much of it with nary a peep from Republicans.

What Trump seems to have developed here is a kind of full-saturation, totally unabashed flaunting of impunity as something to be worn as a badge of honor. In retrospect, that remarkable closing of ranks behind Trump despite the lewd video foreshadowed much of what we’re seeing now.

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