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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "foreign"

Rubio on Trump nudging China to investigate Biden: I think he’s just trolling you guys in the media

Westlake Legal Group m-1 Rubio on Trump nudging China to investigate Biden: I think he’s just trolling you guys in the media Trump The Blog Marco Rubio investigate hunter foreign China biden

One of the more pitiful soundbites of the Trump presidency. After all, not even Trump claims that he was joking yesterday when he nudged China yesterday to investigate the Bidens while standing on the White House lawn. Some Trumpers did use that excuse in 2016 when he called on Russia at a press conference to “find” Hillary’s emails, even though that was — at best — “kidding on the square.” But yesterday wasn’t a joke. It was part of Trump’s core defense of his Ukraine conduct: It’s not wrong to ask a foreign government to investigate a former U.S. official for corruption, even if that official just so happens to be leading the Democratic polls and even if he just so happens to be the only official you’ve asked about in two and a half years.

Why doesn’t Rubio just repeat that defense, however unconvincing it may be, instead of resorting to this “you got trolled lol” nonsense?

All I can think is that he’s a broken man at this point. Two and a half years of this circus have finally broken him.

Some people will tell you that Rubio still dreams of being president and that he’s doing what the Ted Cruzes and Josh Hawleys of the world are doing nowadays, pandering to Trump’s populist base and making excuses for the president as needed. I don’t see it. Rubio’s never been a populist and doesn’t go out of his way to pretend otherwise; the most he’ll do is crank out an op-ed now and then arguing unpersuasively that Trump-style nationalism and old-fashioned melting-pot pluralism are kinda sorta the same thing. I also doubt that he’s under any illusions about his viability as a national figure in a party that’s been conquered by white identity politics and a restrictionist view of immigration. Rubio didn’t even want to be a senator again, remember; he was prepared to step away from politics after his failed 2016 presidential campaign until McConnell and the party leadership begged him to run again. That’s not the hallmark of a 2024 hopeful.

So what’s the point of all this? No matter how much Trump ass he kisses, he’ll always be suspicious to populists thanks to his Gang of Eight membership and his hardcore interventionist foreign policy. I doubt he’d be the choice of moderate Republicans in 2024 either with Nikki Haley waiting in the wings to run. At this point he seems like a zombie senator, a guy who doesn’t want to be in Washington, doesn’t recognize the party around him, doesn’t respect its leader, doesn’t see a future for himself in it, but for some reason can’t muster the will to say any of that out loud. All he can do is mumble “lol nothing matters.”

Broken man. And not the first one on the Hill in the Trump era! I was reminded on Twitter that another broken man, Paul Ryan, once resorted to this same lame excuse when Trump was caught saying something he shouldn’t have.

The punchline is that I suspect Rubio’s post-Trump memoir will be one of the most fulsome in claiming how “troubled” he was by this entire period. Like Ryan, he’ll find his nerve to voice his concerns the moment it no longer matters.

Someone should ask him if he’s troubled by this. At this point, I’d be curious to hear his response:

A normal politician would balk at the idea that it’s impossible for a member of one party to credibly report misconduct by a member of the other, but a broken man who now believes “lol nothing matters” might lunge at it. Rubio’s top priority at this point is obviously just finding a way not to have to answer uncomfortable questions about Trump. Why not point to the fact that whistleblower is a Democrat as evidence that Trump has been framed, case closed? That would be marginally more convincing than “he was trolling about China and the Bidens.”

The post Rubio on Trump nudging China to investigate Biden: I think he’s just trolling you guys in the media appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group m-1-300x159 Rubio on Trump nudging China to investigate Biden: I think he’s just trolling you guys in the media Trump The Blog Marco Rubio investigate hunter foreign China biden   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Shep hits Tucker Carlson and Joe diGenova: It’s “repugnant” that Andrew Napolitano was called a “fool” for thinking Trump committed a crime

Westlake Legal Group ss-1 Shep hits Tucker Carlson and Joe diGenova: It’s “repugnant” that Andrew Napolitano was called a “fool” for thinking Trump committed a crime zelensky Ukraine Tucker Carlson Trump thing of value The Blog Shepard Smith Joe diGenova foreign biden Andrew Napolitano

As you’ll see, Smith offers this chiefly as a critique of diGenova, who appeared on Carlson’s show last night to sneer at Napolitano’s criticism of Trump on the Ukraine matter. But he makes a point of noting that that criticism went “unchallenged” by the unnamed host.

Is this it? At long last, the “news vs. opinion” civil war at Fox News turning from cold to hot, triggered by the anger and anxieties surrounding impeachment?

Remember, Shep is also the guy who famously said this last year about his colleagues in Fox’s evening bloc:

“Some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining,” Smith told Time Magazine’s Daniel D’Addario in a piece titled, “Shep Smith Has the Hardest Job on Fox News.”

“We serve different masters,” Smith, 54, added when discussing the difference between the opinion side of Fox News, including shows such as “The Sean Hannity Show,” and the network’s news division. “We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion.”…

“I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming,” Smith continued. “I’m busy.”

He seems to view his role on the news side during the Trump era as a corrective to the partisan excesses of his own network’s opinion hosts but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him call out anyone else on the network by name (almost by name, I should say). But Shep would say, I assume, that turnabout is fair play: Tucker and diGenova started this by denigrating one of Fox’s own contributors. If their imperative to defend Trump at all costs now includes dogging Fox personnel on Fox’s own airwaves, well, Smith will behave in like fashion.

Tomorrow I half expect to see Hannity burst through the wall of his set like Kool-Aid Man while Shep is on the air and challenge him to a karate match, right then and there.

Loser has to admit that Trump rules/sucks, as the case may be.

The Shep/Tucker thing wasn’t the only example of Foxies clashing on the air today either. Hoo boy:

The claim made by Napolitano that earned him the insult from diGenova was suggesting that Trump committed a campaign finance violation when he asked Zelensky to investigate a potential general election opponent. Law prof Richard Hasen, who specializes in election statutes, addressed that argument a few days ago. Did Trump solicit a “thing of value” from a foreign national, i.e. Zelensky, in pressing him to reopen the Biden probe? Well, arguably, yeah, said Hasen. Napolitano’s not a “fool” for thinking that. Oppo research counts as a “thing of value” and Trump would certainly have had knowledge that this sort of thing was a crime after his Mueller experience. That doesn’t mean he could be successfully prosecuted — there’s a potential First Amendment defense — but it’s not batty to think he committed an offense. And just to emphasize the point, Shep himself reads a few opinions in the clip from other former prosecutors who agree. The main argument against Napolitano’s position is a political one, not a legal one: Democrats just aren’t going to convince the public that a president should be removed from office for violating something as byzantine and frequently dubious as campaign finance law. If you want to build support for impeachment, you stick to things which people know in their gut are wrong. Bribery. Extortion. That’s what Democrats would have to prove.

Here’s Shep this afternoon calling out diGenova and Tucker followed by Napolitano’s latest broadside against Trump (in which he does mention bribery). I wonder if Tucker will respond on his own show tonight or if Fox executives have called a team huddle and warned everyone to stop attacking members of the Fox family going forward.

The post Shep hits Tucker Carlson and Joe diGenova: It’s “repugnant” that Andrew Napolitano was called a “fool” for thinking Trump committed a crime appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group ss-1-300x159 Shep hits Tucker Carlson and Joe diGenova: It’s “repugnant” that Andrew Napolitano was called a “fool” for thinking Trump committed a crime zelensky Ukraine Tucker Carlson Trump thing of value The Blog Shepard Smith Joe diGenova foreign biden Andrew Napolitano   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong

Westlake Legal Group np Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong wray Trump The Blog Russia Research pelosi opposition oppo foreign Federal Bureau of Investigation dirt crime

Before you ask, no, this doesn’t mean she’s any closer to impeaching him. As Greg Pollowitz said earlier on Twitter today, Pelosi has now adopted her own version of Trump’s famous comment from the 2016 campaign. He could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and she still wouldn’t impeach him for it.

Depending on the day, my reaction to the claim that Trump doesn’t know right from wrong would be either “Well, yes, obviously” or “Well, yes, obviously, but that’s true of a lot of people in Washington.” (If you want to counter that it’s less a matter of them not knowing than not caring, fine.) The Trump fans who responded to last night’s unpleasantness by noting that Hillary sought dirt on him from foreign individuals via the Steele dossier are right, of course. Ed Morrissey was also right, and drew a better analogy to the collusion question at the heart of Russiagate, when he pointed out in this morning’s post that Team Hillary received some help on their Trump oppo effort from Ukrainian government officials. There’s a material difference, I think, between pressing foreign randos on what they know about your opponent and accepting dirt that’s volunteered by a foreign government. A foreign government will have a political agenda in offering information, may be more willing to lie in the name of advancing that agenda, and will certainly have more sophisticated means of fabricating information than the average person will. Use their oppo and you’re handing a possibly/probably unethical foreign regime influence over the outcome of an American election.

And you’ll owe them for it.

That’s why the Hillary/Ukraine relationship is more troubling than the Hillary/Steele one. Although you don’t need a 2016 analogue if you’re looking to let Trump off the hook for his comments in the ABC interview. Is it really true that Team Biden would instantly call the FBI if Chinese officials reached out to say that Trump spent decades laundering money for the Russian government and they’ve obtained the paperwork that proves it? Some Biden aides might want to, but others would inevitably argue that if evidence exists proving that the president is corrupt, they have a patriotic duty to see that that evidence is laid before voters. It’s not just a matter of electoral advantage, it’s a matter of making sure that someone who’s compromised doesn’t assume the presidency and find him- or herself subject to blackmail.

Which is precisely what Team Trump would say about their interest in hearing out the Russian lawyer at that meeting in Trump Tower in 2016.

David Frum makes another point to distinguish oppo research, which is what the Steele dossier was, from the sort of dirt that the Trump campaign was interested in three years ago. One was the product of a crime committed against Americans, the other was not.

Frum’s kidding himself if he thinks “nobody” would have objected to Team Trump putting people on the ground in Russia to sniff around about Uranium One, but never mind that. It’s true that the campaign gleefully promoted the hacked DNC/Podesta emails that were released through Wikileaks, but that wasn’t what was offered to Don Jr before the Trump Tower meeting. Rob Goldstone told Junior that it involved “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” POTUS told Stephanopoulos last night that “maybe” he’d go to the FBI “if I thought there was something wrong” with dirt on an opponent offered by foreigners. Trump being Trump, he wouldn’t, but that was his concession that it’d be shifty to use illegally obtained information — never mind that he cheerled for publication of the hacked emails in 2016.

If China hacked Trump’s financial records and put them on the Internet next year, would *no* Democrat ever so much as reference them? C’mon.

Hair-splitting about the dossier, the help Hillary got from Ukraine, and the hacked emails misses the core point, though, which is that the president shouldn’t be on television winking at foreigners that he might take dirt on his opponent from them in 2020. He’s incentivizing foreign interference in the next election. NBC reported just a few days ago that officials from at least 22 different countries have spent money at Trump properties since he became president, never mind the implications that may have for the Emoluments Clause. Diplomats have been flocking to the Trump Hotel in Washington since before he was inaugurated. Everyone understands the value of doing a favor for this president, financial or otherwise. So here he is on ABC telling the world he’s amenable to favors in the form of oppo on Democrats seemingly without much care about what forms that oppo might take. It’s a green light to hack. The argument for electing him instead of Clinton in 2016 was that Hillary was an amoral reptile who embodied the swamp and America needed to be better than that to be great again. The argument for defending Trump now on what he said to Stephanopoulos is “Well, he’s really no worse than Hillary.” Congratulations.

Exit question via Marco Rubio: If the Chinese government sends proof of Trump’s criminal activity to the New York Times instead of to the Biden campaign, will the Times call the FBI? If the concern here is about letting a hostile power influence a presidential election with dirt obtained through scurrilous means, laundering oppo through the media will do the job just as well as handing it off to a candidate will. So, again, will the Times call the FBI?

The post Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group np-300x159 Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong wray Trump The Blog Russia Research pelosi opposition oppo foreign Federal Bureau of Investigation dirt crime   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com