Opinion: Opinions | We thought Trump was the biggest con man. We were all wrong. - - PressFrom - US
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Opinion Opinions | We thought Trump was the biggest con man. We were all wrong.

16:30  12 november  2019
16:30  12 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump keeps NYT, WaPo apps on his phone despite cancelling subscriptions: report

  Trump keeps NYT, WaPo apps on his phone despite cancelling subscriptions: report The New York Times and The Washington Post's respective apps remain on President Trump's phone despite his recent decision to end the White House's subscriptions to the two newspapers, according to Axios.The news outlet reported Sunday afternoon that a source familiar with Trump's phone confirmed that the two apps are still installed on his phone, despite Trump's public bashing of their reporting.A request for comment on the president's

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.

Many of President Trump’s critics (myself included) have portrayed him as a fantastically successful con artist, a man who has swindled customers, vendors and voters alike.

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  White House dismisses impeachment transcripts: Trump 'has done nothing wrong' The White House claimed Tuesday that newly released transcripts showed there is “even less evidence” underscoring House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s interactions with Ukraine than previously known. © The Hill White House dismisses impeachment transcripts: Trump 'has done nothing wrong' "Both transcripts released today show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment sham than previously thought," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

We were all wrong. Trump isn’t history’s biggest scam artist; he’s history’s biggest dupe.

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At least, that’s the narrative Trump and his defenders are spinning as they portray the president as the victim of an elaborate, long-running political sting, perpetrated by his own devious underlings.

Trump claimed once upon a time that he was recruiting the “best people” to the White House and senior ranks of the executive branch. He now claims he got conned into hiring a cabal of covert Never Trumpers.

The list of people who allegedly hustled the master hustler is long, an “Ocean’s Eleven”-like dream team carefully cultivated to undermine their guileless boss. But rather than ninjas, pickpockets or pyromaniacs, this political heist has been perpetrated by diplomats, donors, lawyers, economists and generals who earned and then abused the trust of their mark.

Opinions | Where is Mike Pompeo? He’s hiding in fear of Donald Trump.

  Opinions | Where is Mike Pompeo? He’s hiding in fear of Donald Trump. The secretary of state joins a long list of those damaged by their fealty to this president.Since the investigation began into President Trump’s machinations in Ukraine, one of the most disturbing questions has been: Where is Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, who’s supposed to shield his diplomats from political interference?

Four of the five sitting Federal Reserve governors, for instance, were Republicans handpicked for their current positions by Trump, and yet Trump now says they represent the “biggest threat” to his presidency and are an “enemy” to America. He has similarly accused his own Cabinet members, White House counsel, FBI director and otherseniorofficials of allegedly plotting against him.

These connivers have been astoundingly effective. Somehow they’ve tricked Trump into saying and doing racist and corrupt things, in public and on camera. They hoodwinked him into passing economic policies that punish his working-class base while rewarding wealthy donors. And, worst of all — in the case of Ukraine — these schemers suckered Trump into subordinating U.S. national security to his own selfish political interests.

Either that or they cleverly framed him.

Consider Trump’s own top diplomat to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., who testified to House lawmakers that Trump was extorting a desperate Ukrainian government into smearing Trump’s domestic political opponent. Taylor must secretly be a Never Trumper, the president claimed multiple times, without evidence. The decorated career diplomat had somehow hornswoggled Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo into giving him this senior diplomatic position — which Taylor knew would come in handy on the off-chance he’d someday be subpoenaed to testify against the president.

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Trump leveled the same Never Trumper charge against Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a war hero serving as the National Security Council’s director of European affairs. Vindman testified that the rough transcript of Trump’s “perfect call” with the Ukrainian president left out some damning details and was secreted away onto a special server against standard procedure.

Sure, Vindman might seem like a credible, honorable witness — particularly given his subject-matter expertise and his impressive biography. But really this was all part of a (very) long con. He fled persecution in the Soviet Union as a child and was wounded while serving the U.S. Army in Iraq as an adult — all so that someday he could set up a future president by . . . accurately testifying about what that president said and did.

The longest con of all, though, involves Trump’s European Union ambassador, Gordon Sondland.

Sondland is a loyal Republican donor and was a bundler for Trump in 2016. He also gave more than $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee through four different LLCs. Now you might think this donation history, coupled with Trump’s decision to award him an ambassadorship, would inoculate him against accusations of anti-Trump bias.

Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions'

  Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' President Trump’s campaign called the testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, “third-hand opinions,” dismissing its value in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump. © Greg Nash Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' "The entire world can read the transcript of President Trump's conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky, so people don't need to rely on third-party opinions when they can see the facts for themselves," campaign spokesman Brad Parscale said in a statement released shortly after the public hearing conclude

Nope.

After Sondland amended his testimony last week to confirm that there were indeed conditions placed on Ukraine before Trump would release military aid, Trump surrogates began impugning Sondland’s loyalties, too. This longtime GOP donor, it turns out, must secretly be a “deep-stater” in cahoots with Democrats!

“Why did Sondland change his testimony?” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally, asked on Fox News. “Was there a connection between Sondland and Democratic operatives on the committee?”

Indeed, what other possible explanation could there be for a Republican offering incriminating testimony about the president?

Of course, there is a simpler way to interpret these accounts, and one that doesn’t require colorful conspiracy theories and secret double lives: that Trump did all the incriminating stuff in question.

But as we head into the first public impeachment inquiry hearings this week, that straightforward Occam’s razor-esque explanation is the very last thing Trumpkins want voters to consider. They prefer confusion and discord. And so they invent improbable motives and complicated conspiracy theories involving cunning double agents.

If voters hear hoofbeats, Team Trump wants them to think not of horses or even zebras, but stampedes of unicorns.

Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions'

  Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' President Trump’s campaign called the testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, “third-hand opinions,” dismissing its value in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump. © Greg Nash Trump campaign dismisses Taylor, Kent testimony as 'third-hand opinions' "The entire world can read the transcript of President Trump's conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky, so people don't need to rely on third-party opinions when they can see the facts for themselves," campaign spokesman Brad Parscale said in a statement released shortly after the public hearing conclude

crampell@washpost.com

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump are posing for a picture: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pause during a moment of silence at a Veterans Day Parade and Wreath Laying ceremony in New York on Monday.© Andrew Kelly/Reuters President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pause during a moment of silence at a Veterans Day Parade and Wreath Laying ceremony in New York on Monday.

Tillerson says Trump actions 'wrong' if proven .
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson has criticized alleged actions that have triggered an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying using US influence for personal gain is "wrong." "So if you're seeking some personal gain and you're using, whether it's American foreign aid, American weapons or American influence, that's wrong, and I think everyone understands that," he said.Tillerson, a former oil executive who was unceremoniously fired by Trump in March last year, was asked about the scandal in an interview with the PBS Newshour broadcast Monday.

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