ChrisWeigant.com

Trump's Record-Setting Burn Rate

[ Posted Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 – 18:26 PST ]

The conventional wisdom in Washington is that President Donald Trump, unlike his television persona, actually has a hard time firing people. He reportedly doesn't like such personal confrontation, which can lead him to keep people on long past when they should have been let go. The current episode with Rob Porter and David Sorensen seemed to confirm this view. But whether Trump personally enjoys saying "You're fired!" or not, he is setting records for having higher turnover in top White House jobs than his predecessors.

A new study out by the Brookings Institute shows that the Trump White House has had to either fire (or "accept the resignation of") more top officials than any of the five presidents before him. In fact, over one-third of the top people in the Trump administration have left at some point during the past year.

The study identified what it calls the "A Team" at the White House -- dozens of the top jobs which have actual influence within the administration -- and then measures how many of them left (and when) for each president. Trump's 34 percent rate is exactly twice the level of the second-most-volatile administration, Ronald Reagan's. Only two recent presidents even cracked double digits in the first year -- Reagan at 17 percent, and Clinton at 11 percent. Barack Obama saw 9 percent turnover among his A Team, while both Bushes were even lower.

The study further identifies the 12 most important jobs within the A Team group, and notes that Trump has lost six -- fully half of them -- during his first year in office. Obama only lost one, his White House Counsel. George W. Bush didn't lose a single one of his top key aides during his first year.

Losing top people is risky, of course, because who knows what they'll say after they're gone? Trump, so far, has had to deal with some blowback from fired officials (James Comey and Omarosa both spring to mind, for different reasons), but he hasn't yet felt the full force of a juicy memoir that really dishes the insider dirt from the point of view of a disgruntled ex-advisor. Reince Priebus is said to be working on a book, though, and he's surely not the only one. Sooner or later, someone's going to hang a lot of Trump's dirty laundry out to dry in public, that much seems certain (dirty laundry the public hasn't already heard about, to clarify).

But there's another risk involved in such high rates of employee churn -- filling those jobs with qualified people. Now, Trump has never been all that concerned with the quality of people he hires to work for him, but it already feels like many in the world of Republican politics have decided it isn't exactly a résumé booster to take a Trump administration job, no matter how prestigious the job title might sound. In fact, if rumors are to be believed, Chief of Staff John Kelly might already have been let go if there were anyone plausible to take his place. So far, there really isn't, which is a strange kind of job security to have for such a high-profile White House job. Usually, quality applicants would be falling all over themselves to lobby for the position, but this is not so for Trump.

Hiring people without fully vetting them has already come back to bite Trump, of course. In fact, there have been so many high-profile scandals from Trump advisors that it seems like they could just create a form letter for the press release. "President Trump accepted the resignation of [Fill in job title and name] today, and we want to reiterate that we had no idea that he had [choose as many as apply]: secretly met with Russian spies / repeatedly lied to the F.B.I. / mishandled top secret national security information / refused to end a Trump investigation / leaked to the media about White House turf wars / said something that was incredibly racist (or otherwise offensive) / had sex with underage girls / beat his wife. We wish him all the best for the future, and feel he did an outstanding job during his tenure here." In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at this point if that list grew even more bizarre or downright eldritch. I mean, at this point, "was a necrophiliac" or "regularly ate human flesh" wouldn't be anywhere near as shocking as it truly deserves, would it?

Snark aside, though, roughly a month ago there was a rumor that John Kelly was having to orchestrate a schedule for people leaving the Trump White House right around the one-year mark. Some people had only really accepted their position with the understanding that they'd do it for a year or so and then move on. The most prominent name was rumored to be Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who certainly has never looked like he's enjoying himself in his job. Kelly was supposed to be staging these exits so that they were staggered and didn't happen all at once (which would have led to people noticing the exodus). If this rumor is true, then there is a backlog waiting to go which has only just begun -- and that doesn't include the two accused wife-beaters who had to hastily depart last week. Now that there's so much media focus on people leaving the White House, any further exits in the next few weeks will get more attention. Especially if they're from high-profile jobs.

It would be ironic if the conventional wisdom about Trump is really true -- that he doesn't like to fire people at all, in contradiction to his famous reality television catchphrase. What is doubly ironic is a man who made a lot of money fake-firing people on television who can't bring himself to fire real people as president -- but who still breaks records for the burn rate his White House has seen during his first year in office. And if John Kelly is the next to go, it really doesn't bode all that well for Trump's second year, since part of Kelly's job is to oversee the staff. If someone less competent than Kelly takes the job, then it sets up even more vetting catastrophes to come. Because, as with all things in Trump's White House, just when you think they can never sink any lower, they prove to do just that. Consider the fact that few people even now recognize David Sorensen's name, because he was actually the second person who left the Trump White House in a week due to accusations of domestic violence. Two. In one week. With employees like these, it is no wonder that Trump is setting a record burn rate.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

43 Comments on “Trump's Record-Setting Burn Rate”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    There's really two issues here: who get's hired, and why they leave.

    1.

    For some years I worked as a headhunter/recruiter and background checking was part of the deal. The impression I'm getting is that no one in this administration knows how to do a background check or how to conduct a serious screening interview. Obviously getting security clearance is much bigger deal and THOSE folks know what they're doing. (Per testimony today, FBI had alerted WH officials last July about Porter's abuse history. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/us/politics/rob-porter-fbi-background-check.html)

    But the folks who "handled" initial hires and whoever's been responsible since keep bringing in people with baggage that Blotus/Kelly etc. later claim to be surprised at discovering -- if true, that's just incompetence.

    I suspect part of the problem is a lack of competent people to coordinate inter-agency activity re: screening and hiring.

    Now, Blotus doesn't appear to care about criminal behavior, ethical behavior, etc. - he appears to "screen" for loyalty, whiteness and a pulse and that's about it. But Kelly is supposed to fill in with professional expertise - but then, maybe he screens FOR white supremacy and blows off the rest. (Turns out Porter was a white supremacist in college - that may be precisely what Kelly liked about him.)

    Separately there's the growing problem of qualified/ethical people not being willing to work in this administration at all -- so their pickings are slim.

    In the end its hard to tell if Blotus admin gets rotten people because they don't screen and/or coordinate effectively, or because they WANT people because of their rottenness, or because only rotten people are willing to take the jobs. Probably a combination of all three.

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Re: why people leave -

    2.Vox had this piece: "Why there’s so much chaos in the Trump administration" (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/13/17004108/trump-aides-legal-fees-firing-resignations) which concluded:

    During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to “hire the best people.” But the best people want to work for the best bosses, in the best organizations, supported by the best cultures. Trump hasn’t created anything of the kind. The Trump administration is a leaky, chaotic, dangerous place, where staffers operate under constant threat from Trump and each other, and in which the president is so uncertain of his own opinions and agenda that more staff energy goes into persuading him of what he believes than carrying out what he wants.

    A year into his presidency, the bar for Trump administration staffing has been lowered. Forget the best people. It’s an open question whether he can even attract qualified people. But that’s because this isn’t really a crisis of staffing. It’s a crisis of management.

    Its a good read.

    Bottom line, whatever constellation of reasons, this administration is a toxic work environment.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    James Comey and Omarosa both spring to mind, for different reasons

    That last bit may qualify for the understatement of the millennium. Heh.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...but he hasn't yet felt the full force of a juicy memoir ...

    That's because Comey's book isn't out yet.

    I guess he still won't feel that particular full force unless he picks up reading as a new hobby.

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: And if John Kelly is the next to go, it really doesn't bode all that well for Trump's second year, since part of Kelly's job is to oversee the staff.

    The word on K Street is that Porter was being considered for a promotion... even as they knew he couldn't get a clearance. Meanwhile, it's rumored that Jared and Ivanka want Kelly out because he has been very successful at controlling the staff... them.

    An estimated three dozen staffers in the White House, including presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, still have only an interim clearance, according to one person familiar with the issue.

    Kelly has privately expressed concerns about the large number of people working in the White House on interim clearances, and he even considered firing anybody who would not be able to secure a full clearance. Kelly had been informed several weeks ago that multiple White House officials, including Porter, would not qualify for permanent clearances.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/13/security-clearances-porter-white-house-407910

    * Should Kelly let everyone go who can't get a security clearance... including Jarvanka?
    * How could Kelly keep Jared yet fire the wife beater?
    * Nov. 7 email to OMB: No more interim security clearances except the dozens already in place.

    So many decisions, while it's the same as it ever was where the factions jockey for power and leak to the press... and anybody's guess who is left standing.

    I am hearing that Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs... who criticized Trump for his handling in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and "both sides," who barely escaped firing already... is the aspiring new Chief of Staff. Hard for me to believe, but nothing at this point would surprise me.

    Meanwhile, Michael Cohen admitted to paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016... one month before the election, and Cohen too is shopping around looking for a book deal to dish on his pal Trump.

    The stench of the Trumptrash grows ever deeper, and it only gets worse from here.

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    Cohen too is shopping around looking for a book deal to dish on his pal Trump.

    The most permanent legacy of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" is the amount of money it made its author.

    There is probably a stampede to be the second "Tell All" - by the time the 4th or 5th one comes out the audience will be fatigued, unless of course there is a real smoking gun (e.g. in a Jared book where he throws 45 under the bus with an "Inside the Family" book).

    This is going to be "Real Presidents of Washington DC" territory.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Meanwhile, Michael Cohen admitted to paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016... one month before the election, and Cohen too is shopping around looking for a book deal to dish on his pal Trump.

    Funny how when the Democrat rapist was in the White House, ya'all Dumbocrats went on and on about how the GOP was obsessed with private sex matters..

    Now that the POTUS in the White House has a -R after his name, NOW it's ya'all Dumbocrats who are obsessed with private sex matters..

    Thereby proving, once again, that ya'all don't really care about ANYTHING but the -X after a person's name...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    The most permanent legacy of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" is the amount of money it made its author.

    Yep..

    Old, mundane, out of date stuff like FACTS and ACCURACY doesn't matter to people like you..

    Once again, proving that ya'all are no better than the GOP you denigrate...

  9. [9] 
    John M wrote:

    The anti-Trump Democratic juggernaut continues.

    Democrats flipped a GOP-held Florida state House seat on Tuesday, handing the party its 36th state legislative pickup nationwide since Donald Trump won the presidency.

    Democrat Margaret Good, an attorney, defeated Republican James Buchanan, son of Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), 52 percent to 45 percent. Libertarian Alison Foxall received 3 percent of the vote.

    The district voted for Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by about 5 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats flipped a GOP-held Florida state House seat on Tuesday, handing the party its 36th state legislative pickup nationwide since Donald Trump won the presidency.

    Democrat Margaret Good, an attorney, defeated Republican James Buchanan, son of Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), 52 percent to 45 percent. Libertarian Alison Foxall received 3 percent of the vote.

    The district voted for Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by about 5 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

    Off topic, but OK.....

    Once again, I am constrained to point out that your Dumbocrats lost over **ONE THOUSAND** political seats and ya'all's response was "eh.. No biggie"

    Now ya'all point to a single state level seat and act like it's the Second Coming of Hillary Clinton's/Bernie Sanders' love child...

    But, let it not be said that I am not the *ONLY* fair guy here...

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/373730-dems-vie-to-win-back-blue-collar-voters-in-pivotal-pa-race

    If the Dems prevail in THIS race, I'll concede that there may be some hope for the Dumbocrats in the 2018 midterms..

    Are you willing to concede the converse?? If the Dumbocrat loses are you willing to concede that Democrats have a ***LOOONNNGGGG*** way to go before they can attract disillusioned Democrats in numbers??

    I am betting you won't.....

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Why would lawyer Michael Cohen, come forward to confirm Stormy D. was paid $130,000 to keep quiet, and that he, Michael Cohen made the payment "from his own pocket." The latter is a distinction without meaning, since Cohen is a Trump Org. executive who receives a salary, which is fungible with any other money in his wallet, bank accounts or mattresses. It looks to me like this statement is form of nudge,nudge - wink/wink money laundering, which may or may not hold up in court, should it come to that. I think Cohen wants it to come to that.

    The motivation may simply be that old celebrity adage, "any publicity is good publicity." True or not, this philosophy has true believers. Cohen may just be operating in brass balls celebrity mode.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Funny how when the Democrat rapist was in the White House, ya'all Dumbocrats went on and on about how the GOP was obsessed with private sex matters..

    Well, it looks like SOME Democrats are wising up and kicking the Clintons to the curb.. :D

    Dems: Bill Clinton too toxic to campaign in midterms
    One of the party's top surrogates has been effectively sidelined by the #metoo movement.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/14/bill-clinton-metoo-backlash-campaign-407280

    Will wonders never cease. Democrats *DON'T* have their heads as far up their asses as first believed...

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Trump is not alone in lacking the ability or fortitude to fire people that should have been let go long ago.

    The Democrats inability or refusal to purge the Big Money interests from the Democratic Party is just as bad and has been overdue for a lot longer than the year that Trump has been in office.

    Why not try cleaning up your own house? Without that your criticism of Trump and/or the Republican Party is nothing more than the pot calling the kettle black.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why not try cleaning up your own house?

    I have asked that exact same question for over 11 years now, DH...

    They won't answer because to answer honestly would completely expose their hypocrisy....

    A wise man once said They don't want the problem to be solved because they get more mileage out of exploiting the problem...... or words to that effect...

  15. [15] 
    Paula wrote:

    [11] TS: John Edwards was indicted for having someone else pay off his girlfriend, remember? On Twitter, Rep. Ted Lieu said Cohen making such a payment is essentially the same as Blotus doing it in terms of illegality.

    Kevin Drum offered this snark:

    OK, here’s my guess: Cohen paid Stormy; Kushner paid Cohen; Ivanka paid Kushner; Don Jr. paid Ivanka; and Don Jr.’s end-of-year bonus from The Trump Organization was $130,000 higher than last year thanks to his outstanding performance. You don’t believe me? Fine. Come up with a better theory.

    He's probably right.

  16. [16] 
    Paula wrote:

    Meanwhile, Maggie Haberman of NYTimes tweets:
    Several White House officials are now prefacing or concluding their sentences in convos w reporters by making clear they can't swear by the information they've just given.

    That is unsustainable.

  17. [17] 
    Paula wrote:

    Ted Lieu's tweet:
    Cohen says Trump campaign was not "a party to the transaction." But that's not the law. If $130k hush money payment to Stormy Daniels was made "in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign," it violated fed election law.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    So... the House Oversight Committee is going to investigate the White House "handling" of Rob Porter's employment. Or as staffers on The Hill term it: "Gowdy Duty Time." Yes, there will be a Peanut Gallery to seat all the nuts.

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "They won't answer because it would completely expose their hypocrisy."

    It's not easy to get people to question their "religion".

    If you substitute ideology for salary then this quote pretty much explains it.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it."
    -Upton Sinclair

    If you leave salary in the quote it pretty much explains why the media keeps repeating instead of exposing the bullshit.

  20. [20] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/2/14/1741271/-The-Rob-Porter-story-is-just-the-tip-of-a-national-security-iceberg#read-more

    Blotus/Kelly and gang knew perfectly well Porter had problems, as well as others. They have perfected a strategy of stringing things along, letting people without clearance have access to sensitive info:

    The Trump White House has created a process in which they: Hand out interim clearance without even a cursory check, ignore FBI results by continuously requesting additional information, never take any step to revoke the interim clearance. This allows them to keep people like Porter—and people like Kushner—cleared to read top secret documents, months after results have come back showing that they represent a danger to the nation. It’s a process in which Sarah Sanders can stand up and say that the process on anyone isn’t final, because the process never is. By design.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not easy to get people to question their "religion".

    A-frakin-men to THAT!!! :D

    If you substitute ideology for salary then this quote pretty much explains it.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it."
    -Upton Sinclair

    Yep.... Yep.....

    I don't mind that people here are totally and fanatically religious-esque about their ideology...

    I just wish they would concede what is so factually accurate...

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    In addition, Michael Cohen's confession just provided:

    A. Robert Mueller a reason to request his tax returns
    B. Stormy Daniels a reason to ignore their nondisclosure agreement
    C. The State of New York a reason to revoke his law license.

    So why is Cohen confessing this now?

    A. As a dangle to help solicit a book deal
    B. As a distraction to get ahead of upcoming news
    C. A and B

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    So why is Cohen confessing this now?

    Because Mueller has something on him and he needs to make sure he answers every question with the whole truth or he'll end up in court?

  24. [24] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    17 dead in Florida high school shooting. Our prayers and thoughts go out to those families and friends who lost loved ones in this senseless act.

    Can we talk NOW talk about gun control and gun violence in this country?!?!

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you need to talk first about amending the constitution?

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    LWYH [24]: Can we talk NOW talk about gun control and gun violence in this country?!?!

    No, because the folks that control the legislature are obligated to voters are afraid of the NRA and their ability to raise huge sums of money for campaigns, and to mobilize the minority of GOP voters who are against gun control. Polling shows that a majority of GOP voters are actually in favor of gun control, so that puts them in the position of preferring not to talk about it at all.

    Liz [25]: Do you need to talk first about amending the constitution?

    Perhaps, but a lot of dominoes have to fall before the Democrats can hope to get 2/3 of the States to sign on to such an amendment, in particular the undoing of the gerrymandering scam called the "Red State Project" that produced many GOP dominated legislatures in 2010. That's slowly being unraveled by the courts (and by voters), but will take maybe a decade to fully undo. Obama's on it.

    Both of the most recent Supreme Court decisions on the subject were 5-4 decisions (District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010)), so a switch of just one seat on the court could bring the whole structure tumbling down. Democrats had their best shot at that after Scalia died, but allowed the GOP to pull off the greatest theft of a Supreme Court seat in history, for which three currently seated Democratic Senators voted for Gorsuch: Heidi Heitkamp N.D., Joe Manchin W.Va., and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Pro-gun control challengers would likely lose primaries in those red states, and the debate itself could cause those Senate seats to go to Republicans, making it conversely harder to enact gun control legislation, so we're caught in a chinese finger puzzle on that front, at least until enough Dems are elected to the Senate to render those votes unnecessary.

    So again, it all comes down to Democratic turnout in 2018 and 2020. If the electorate takes a look at the present carnage, decides that they've had enough and votes in a more progressive national legislature, gun control is definitely on the table. Until then, we all have to sit back and watch our children's lives be traded for tax cuts.

  27. [27] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Strike out 'are obligated to voters' in the first sentence of my last post. As the following sentence indicates, the preferences of their voters has nothing to do with it.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    How do you define gun control. I mean, if all of the dominoes you mention fall in place, then what does gun control look like?

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Perhaps something else that should be on the discussion table is how the experience with gun violence in America's peer countries compares and what the US can learn from these experiences.

    Would it be inherently difficult for the US to learn from other countries? What must America overcome before important lessons can be learned?

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    To answer one of those questions, maybe the US needs to shed its insecurities and its need to feel exceptional in the world order.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A strong country would WANT to learn from the experiences of other countries.

  32. [32] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    A strong country would WANT to learn from the experiences of other countries.

    Absolutely, which is why everytime this debate comes up I always end up posting a link to the on-point Onion headline, now two years old: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

    Because that says it all.

    Perhaps something else that should be on the discussion table is how the experience with gun violence in America's peer countries compares and what the US can learn from these experiences

    One would think. But whenever that's suggested, gun advocates mount a false equivalence defense, arguing essentially that elements of American society are simply immune to the sorts of solutions that have worked elsewhere, and that these criminal savants would use any attempt to limit guns as an opportunity to reap mass destruction upon society.

    Never mind that there are too many holes in that argument to either count or refute, it often stops the effort to learn before it starts.

    How do you define gun control. I mean, if all of the dominoes you mention fall in place, then what does gun control look like?

    Well of course, in a perfect world that would include 'lessons learned' as you've said. It's pretty obvious that even modified assault weapons have no business being on the commercial market, and that custom accessories like those used by the Vegas shooter should be banned outright. Certainly, vigorous background checks - applying to all gun sales - are an idea whose time already came. And laws that protect weapons manufacturers from lawsuits are just craven. The Colorado law that made the family of a shooting victim pay the legal costs of an arms manufacturer in a wrongful death suit should be burnt at the stake and buried at sea.

    I thought Chris Rock had a good idea when he suggested that bullets should cost $5,000 apiece. He imagined a would be assailant saying, "I would blow your fuckin' head off — if I could afford it. I'm gonna get me another job, start saving money, and you're a dead man."

  33. [33] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    6

    There is probably a stampede to be the second "Tell All" - by the time the 4th or 5th one comes out the audience will be fatigued, unless of course there is a real smoking gun (e.g. in a Jared book where he throws 45 under the bus with an "Inside the Family" book).

    I know, right!? But Jared, Cohen, and the others better get busy "writing"... paying someone to do it for them, that is... in order to beat the laws that do not allow criminals to profit from their crimes.

    I would guess that Cohen is shopping around his book because Trump has "commissioned" one that will flatter him in no uncertain terms in order to blunt the effect of the book by Michael "Rat" Wolff. Those uninformed minions who claim that Trump doesn't care what people think have failed to factor in the fact that what people think about Trump is pretty much his greatest obsession. A guy who poses as his own publicist, talks about "hand size" in a national debate, goes ballistic over inauguration crowd size, and lies on a serial basis about his personal and professional life is NOT remotely a guy who doesn't care what people think. :)

    This is going to be "Real Presidents of Washington DC" territory.

    :) *LOL*

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    11

    Why would lawyer Michael Cohen, come forward to confirm Stormy D. was paid $130,000 to keep quiet, and that he, Michael Cohen made the payment "from his own pocket." The latter is a distinction without meaning, since Cohen is a Trump Org. executive who receives a salary, which is fungible with any other money in his wallet, bank accounts or mattresses.

    Yes, sir. Cohen stated:

    In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.

    Yes, indeed... my but isn't this a craftily parsed statement? Cohen states he used his "own personal funds to facilitate a payment" and states that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign reimbursed him; he does not however state that no one reimbursed him, and that would include Donald Trump individually along with many others too numerous to list. :)

    It looks to me like this statement is form of nudge,nudge - wink/wink money laundering, which may or may not hold up in court, should it come to that. I think Cohen wants it to come to that.

    As fate would have it, it seems that you and me think a lot alike. ;)

    The motivation may simply be that old celebrity adage, "any publicity is good publicity." True or not, this philosophy has true believers. Cohen may just be operating in brass balls celebrity mode.

    I think you're on to something there. In addition, Cohen is attempting to sell a book about Trump that is most likely "commissioned" directly by the boss because his ego and his reputation demands it, and he simply has to get a puff piece about his greatness out in the public arena as soon as possible... time's a wasting. :)

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    Can we talk NOW talk about gun control and gun violence in this country?!?!

    You can TALK about it all you want..

    But until you hysterical anti-gun nuts can come up with a reasonable and effect gun law that A> hasn't already been enacted and B> is compatible with the 2nd....

    All you CAN do is talk...

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Absolutely, which is why everytime this debate comes up I always end up posting a link to the on-point Onion headline, now two years old: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

    What a load of crap...

    In the 20 years prior to the Port Arthur shooting in Australia that beget the Australian gun ban do you know how many people were killed in mass murder events??

    75....

    In the 20 years after Australia initiated it's gun ban, do you know how many people were killed in mass murder events??

    74....

    The *FACTS* clearly show that, in Australia, a gun ban had absolutely **NO EFFECT** on mass murder events..

    You hysterical anti-gun nuts need to realize that GUNS are not the catalyst for mass murder events..

    PEOPLE are...

    But you Dumbocrats simply use these tragedies to push your unpopular anti-gun agenda...

    Like DH said, you don't really mind the problem as long as you can exploit the problem for political gain.

    Now how SICK is THAT!??

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    A strong country would WANT to learn from the experiences of other countries.

    If there is another country out there that is a Superpower and has the exact dynamics and parameters in play as the US has, then we can learn from their experiences..

    Until their is, we're going to have to muddle our way thru....

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dumbocrats won't even let the bodies cool before they start on their hysterical anti-gun agenda..

    Jesus, people.. Try to show a LITTLE compassion and stuff the political agenda crap...

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    You hysterical anti-gun nuts need to realize that GUNS are not the catalyst for mass murder events..

    And it's VERY easy to prove conclusively that guns are not the problem..

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the scumbag shooter is a registered Democrat.....

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    And now we come to find out that the FBI was warned about this scumbag and his intent back in Sep of 2017...

    Turns out the FBI was more concerned about the phantom Russia Collusion than actually doing their jobs and keeping American kids safe....

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Credit where credit is due..

    Do you need to talk first about amending the constitution?

    You are dead on ballz accurate...

    ANY discussion of this *MUST* start with the 2nd Amendment...

    Until such time as THAT issue is addressed by the hysterical anti-gun nuts, ANY other conversation is a non-starter from the word GUNS ARE EVIL...

  43. [43] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Awesome high jacking...

    I am also constrained to point out that the scumbag shooter is a registered Democrat....

    and yet another bullshit claim without evidence.

    There is a 19-year-old registered Democratic voter by the name "Nicolas de Jesus Cruz" in Broward County, Florida but his birth date on FLVoters.com is not the same according to Sheriff Scott Israel. The sheriff says Nikolas Cruz was born in September 1998, not May 1998 as the other Cruz's Florida voter registration states

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