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TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

    The Trump Scandals

    "Vladimir" Trump is engulfed in more scandals than any other politician in modern history, anywhere in the world.

    First, there are the corruption and the nepotism, to an extent never experienced in the West. For example, Trump met with Novartis' CEO in january 2018, and later the New York Times discovered that Novartis made four payments of about $100,000 to a shadow firm owned by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen. AT&T made four payments to the same firm just when it was waiting for approval of its controversial merger with Time Warner. Several firms that have been punished for polluting the environment have contributed directly to the political campaigns of Scott Angelle, Trump's director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Scott Pruitt, Trump's director of the EPA, has fired or demoted personnel who questioned his extravagant spending. Ronny Jackson, chosen by Trump to run the second largest agency of the US government, is a chronic drunk. White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after allegations of domestic violence. Tom Price, the highest-ranking health official in the Trump administration, resigned after a scandal of high-priced flights on charter and military airplanes. Dozens of Trump administration lawyers working in agencies including the White House, Department of Justice, Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are now in charge of dealing with their own old clients (source: Public Citizen). Senior officials of the Trump administration have been spending taxpayer's money in lavish expenses, including a trip to Fort Knox to witness the solar eclipse, $31,000 dining sets and $139,000 doors. Trump was hostile to China until China approved 30 trademarks for the Trump organization: overnight Trump started calling president Xi a friend, and (right after China approved another trademark for his daughter) Trump even went so far as to rescue a $7 billion Chinese corporation (ZTE) that Congress wanted to punish for violating all sorts of US laws. Trump's anti-Muslims rhetoric evaporated when his billionaire friend and fund-raiser Tom Barrack struck a deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that helped his company Colony NorthStar raise a record $7 billion in investments.

    When in July 2018 Pruitt finally resigned (as evidence emerged that he had retaliated against any employee who opposed his hyper-corrupt spending), the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Norman Eisen) wrote "There has never been a cabinet official who has survived as many scandals as Scott Pruitt". Unfortunately, his successor Andrew Wheeler is no less corrupt: he has worked as a lobbyist for the likes of Murray Energy, Energy Fuels Resources, Xcel Energy and Bear Head LNG Corporation Growth Energy, General Mills, Archer Daniels Midland (and the list goes on and on), all firms with a vested interest to cause harm to the environment.

    Nepotism has reached a level unheard of in democracies with Jared Kushner and Trump's daughter Ivanka working in the White House. Kushner has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars from the people and states that benefited from Trump's policies (See this Guardian report). A "lawyer" named Brett Talley, who had never tried a case in his career, and who was unanimously deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association, was nominated by Trump for a lifetime federal district judgeship. And that was just Trump's fourth judicial nominee who was rated "not qualified" by the bar association.

    Trump's conflicts of interest are virtually everywhere, and particularly visible in his dealings with China. During his campaign, China was the enemy. But after president Xi granted a number of trademarks to the Trump organization, Trump started calling Xi a friend. In May 2018, when a trade war was brewing between China and the USA, Trump suddenly became worried about the jobs lost in China by a Chinese company (ZTE) widely suspected of breaking US laws. The New York Times pointed out a coincidence: Trump's sympathy for a Chinese firm that he had previously demonized started exactly after China granted his daughter Ivanka seven new trademarks. Trump's bans on Muslims? It only affects countries where he doesn't have any business interests. It does not affect countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt that have contributed September 11 terrorists: Trump owns businesses in both countries. Saudi Arabia is obviously a much worse dictatorship than Iran (check the number of dissidents who are in jail), and it has caused much more turmoil in the Middle East, funding everybody from Al Qaeda to ISIS, but Trump has instead singled out Iran, a country where he owns no business. Trump has done business with the Saudi royal family for more than twenty years, but never with Iran. And, of course, Trump sides with Israel on just about every issue: Jared Kushner's organization is funded by Israel's largest bank (Bank Hapoalim) and Jared Kushner's organization received a $30 million investment from one of Israel's largest financial institutions (Menora Mivtachim) just before his first trip to Israel (see this report in Haaretz) and his business interests there have increased since he became Trump's envoy to the Middle East (see this this report in the New York Times). A blatant case of abuse of power to take care of his personal financial interests was his visit to Britain, during which he met with the prime minister and the queen, but mainly publicized his (money-losing) golf course.

    In February 2018 the Trump organization settled for $25 million a lawsuit filed by the people who were duped by the fake Trump University. The Trump University was no university at all, just a scam. In June 2018 the city of New York sued the Trump Foundation for "extensive" lawbreaking. Theoretically, the Trump Foundation is a charitable organization, although it never donates money to any charitable project. In practice, it is just a way a hoax to cheat on taxes and fund Trump's political and business interests. The foundation paid more than $250,000 to settle legal claims against some of Trump's businesses and even $10,000 to purchase a painting for a Trump golf club.

    George W Bush was rightly criticized for the poor rescue operations after the Katrina hurricane destroyed New Orleans. But that pales in comparison with Donald Trump's incompetent and indifferent response to the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico (and to callous comments he made in June 2018 about the victims of hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017).

    In October 2017, ISIS killed four US soldiers in Niger. By all accounts this was a poorly planned botched mission, and one of which almost nobody knew the existence. It was certainly something that should have kept news media busy for a while. Remember the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi (Libya) that killed four US citizens? There were investigations, discussions and accusations (against Hillary Clinton) for at least two years. But the Niger scandal has rarely surfaced on mainstream news media. Those four soldiers have been rapidly forgotten and nobody has taken responsibility for their death, least of all the commander-in-chief, "Vladimir" Trump, who was busy playing golf and spreading fake news.

    Then there are the sex stories. Trump has always boasted of his sex adventures and some of them are coming back to haunt him. Apparently, he had a hot affair with porn stars Stormy Daniels. She was silenced with hush money paid by Trump's lawyer. Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, was silenced in an elegant manner: her story was purchased by the magazine National Enquirer that promised to publish it: instead Trump's associates paid this company to kill the story. In april 2018 the New Yorker reported that in 2015 David Pecker, the publisher of the magazine National Enquirer, a close friend of Trump, bought a story from Dino Sajudin, a former doorman at Trump World Tower in Manhattan, and then buried it. The story was about Trump having a love affair with an employee in the late 1980s that resulted in an illegitimate daughter. The story has been corroborated by six former employees of the National Enquirer, who also revealed the name of the woman. Sajudin has passed a lie-detector test during which he testified that he learned the story directly from Trump's head of security Matthew Calamari and other members of Trump's entourage. Later a former senior editor who worked for this David Pecker, Jerry George, told CNN that this was just one of many stories that Pecker silenced with money on behalf of his friend Trump. In the past, at least 16 women have come forward accuse Trump of sexual harassment. One, Summer Zervos, is now suing the president for defamation (Trump called her "a liar", he of all people...). And buried in the noise is a lawsuit dropped in November 2016 according to which Trump raped a 13-year-old in 1994 (see for example this Guardian article). Her attorney Lisa Bloom wrote that her client "received numerous threats as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented."

    Then there's the Russia-collusion scandal. Read it here.

    You can also add the "Great Trump Purges" (paraphrasing the great Stalin purges of the 1930s). His contempt for the rule of law has caused many to resign. Others had been fired for refusing to accept the actions of a corrupt and incompetent boss as he proceeded to smear honorable people of the FBI and all other agencies, people who, unlike him, served the country with honor, decency and honesty.

    And finally there's Trump's tax returns, which we have never seen, and by now everybody guessed why. Read it here.

    One could add many other scandals. These are scandals that would ruin the career of any politician, but Trump has ammassed so many, and so much bigger, that these pale. Think of the fact that he called Africa "a shithole" (he denied it, as usual, but in April the former director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the White House, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, confirmed that he did indeed say it). Think of the fact that Trump dictated the health certificate that his doctor Harold Bornstein signed, the famous note about the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency" (this was admitted by the doctor in April 2018): this is clearly a sign of mental instability. Then there are the countless lies and exaggerations. And the obsession with claiming that his inauguration crowd was the biggest ever or that he lost the popular vote because of voter fraud. Any of these grotesque incidents involving a sitting politician (any politician, even a congresswoman in a rural district) would normally cause nationwide outrage.

    Trump has so far survived them because he, his associates and his mouthpieces (Fox News) have used a strategy of silencing the witnesses (usually, buying their silence, sometimes bullying them to silence), distracting the public (usually, by inventing fake scandals somewhere else) and by smearing and accusing the accusers (typically, of being politically motivated).

    There is at least one thing that makes Trump truly the best in the world: his ability to survive multiple scandals each of which would have easily brought down just about anybody else.

    The big mystery is not whether these scandals are true (you must be very naive if you still believe a word that comes out of Trump's mouth), but whether his wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka have been duped all these years or knowingly sided with a husband and a father whom most of us would disown and be ashamed of.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.