Trump’s “Major Announcement” Is a Distraction

Trump’s “Major Announcement” Is a Distraction January 18, 2019

Let’s check in on how things are shaking out in the world of Donald Trump.

So the Russia probe, it’s not going away, but there have been murmurs from some corners that when special counsel Robert Mueller’s report drops – possibly in late February – that it isn’t going to be great news for the gilded toad.

We’ll see.

Then of course, there was the Buzzfeed story that dropped late Thursday evening.

I covered that earlier, so go here and check it out, if you missed it.

Basically, however, the report alleges that President Trump instructed his former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the attempts of the Trump Organization to do business with the Kremlin, well into the 2016 election, and after Donald Trump was named as the GOP nominee.

Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, but this news that he was perhaps lying at the behest of his former client brings a new element to the case.

“Suborn perjury.”

Get familiar with that term. If you’ve watched the news through the day, you’re probably already familiar with it.

The Buzzfeed reporter who logged the story said that he had not see the evidence, which is said to consist of emails and other documents, but stands by his reporting.

It was a bad day for Trump.

I’ll say this: I’m seeing some reports now that special counsel’s spokesman has issued a statement saying the Buzzfeed report is not accurate in it’s characterization of the work of special counsel and Michael Cohen’s cooperation.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, Trump needs a distraction. As he tends to do when there’s bad news.

So what does he do?

He announces on Friday evening that he’ll be making a “major announcement” on Saturday, in regards to the government shutdown, and the “humanitarian crisis” at the nation’s southern border.

In a tweet (of course):

“I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse,” Trump wrote

The message raises the possibility that the president is planning to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and win funding for his wall — while ending the partial government shutdown at the same time.

Well, that would certainly change the headlines, wouldn’t it?

Of course, his pettiness and all the flop-sweat overreactions to the bad news swirling around him does more to make him look like a guilty man than someone who is in control.

I would say, in fact, his willingness to overstep his constitutional bounds in this matter will do him more harm, in the immediate.

Just a point to ponder for all those MAGA faithful who buy into his every spoken syllable, and believe there is a national emergency on the southern border:

What sort of national emergency takes a month to declare?

Don’t strain yourselves. No national emergency takes a month to declare. The word “emergency” indicates a situation of immediate and crucial importance.

This is not a national emergency, and Trump is not a king.

Let’s hope Congress responds to whatever he announces on Saturday accordingly.

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  • JASmius

    I don’t think these things can be called “distractions” anymore, but rather additional layers of scandal. After all, the shutdown was, in part, a distraction from the Russiagate investigation, and then Russiagate has been used as a distraction from the shutdown (i.e. Trump reportedly lamenting just the other day that “We’re getting crushed” on it, which the polling certainly indicates), and now he’s back to using the shutdown as a distraction from the Buzzfeed story. There’s simply nothing Trump can do to distract from all his scandals because the scandals are the entirety of his presidency at this point.

    That’s why tomorrow’s “big announcement” probably will be the the biggest unlawful power grab in American history, a bogus “national emergency” declaration. It makes sense given that (1) anything short of that would make him look even weaker than he did in that woebegone Oval Office address last week, and (2) the shutdown is eroding his base support, which, as you’ll recall, is the very thing he feared when Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh attacked him and prodded him to shut down the government in the first place. A presidential coup de tat is all he has left.

    I do wonder about the Mueller office’s statement tonight on the Buzzfeed story. They didn’t deny the story in whole, but merely said that unspecified parts of it were “inaccurate,” begging the question of which parts or aspects were off target. Are they saying that the story overstates the quantity of independent corroborating evidence of the allegation that Trump suborned Michael Cohen’s perjury, implying that they *do* have some such evidence? That’s how I would interpret it. Buzzfeed adamantly stands by it, but no other media outlet has been able to independently verify it. And it’s highly unlikely that the SCO will publicly identify the specific inaccuracies. But why, after over a year and a half of never saying anything publicly would they say something about this story? Was it upsetting their carefully planned timetable, what with numerous Democrats today wanting confirmation and saying that if the allegation is true, Mueller should release this part of his results immediately? Are they in the process of gathering that evidence and it’s not yet complete, and the Buzzfeed “scoop” jumped the gun on it? Or – and this gets into conspiracy territory – were the two “law enforcement sources” actually Trumpie plants who offered the two Buzzfeed reporters tantalizing false information they couldn’t resist in order to create a story Mueller’s office would be compelled to pour cold water on to both blunt their momentum and revive the “hoax/witch hunt” false narrative?

    If Bill Clinton were still president, I’d take that last theory a lot more seriously. It’s way more cunning than I can remotely credit to a moron like Donald Trump. Which further bolsters the idea that tomorrow is the first day of his attempted dictatorship. Desperate hamfistedness is far more his speed and style.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    If the furor over Buzzfeed’s reporting dies down or if Trump’s announcement of an announcement succeeds in distracting the news media, Saturday’s announcement may well be that he is postponing or canceling his announcement until a later time when he needs a more distracting distraction.

    He pulled this stunt during and after his campaign. On a couple occasions, he announced that he would make an announcement at a later time and the mere announcement of an announcement was enough to distract the press and allow Trump’s poll numbers to rise. Examples include when Trump announced that he would make an announcement about opening his tax returns, about the emails from the Clinton camp being released on WikiLeaks, and about moving the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem (before he signed the 6-month waiver again). Since his inauguration, Trump has often announced a future announcement that either turns out to be postponed, cancelled or nothing news-worthy — usually whenever he needs a distraction for his cult.

  • Ronald Langdon

    There has always been an emergency at the border LOL!! Buzzfeed is fake like all the main stream media!! Everyone is drawing straws and throwing all they got to see if anything will stick… Be a great day when all you hopefuls are disappointed and realize that you are all following a rabbit trail. SAD

  • Ronald Langdon

    Have you seen yet? Mueller disputes Buzzfeed and states false reporting LOL

  • cindy blandin

    Trump’s only talent is in naming and branding things. It is what he’s done, it is what he does. Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump magazine, Trump vodka, Trump airlines, Trump casinos, Trump University, Trump board game, Trump charity, Trump hotels. Almost all have been complete failures and have either shutdown or been sued for corrupt practices. And now we have the Trump emergency branded as a national emergency and humanitarian crisis. He’s had 2 years of Republican controlled Senate and House to do something about this “emergency and crisis.”

    Do we need secure borders? Yes. But Trump wants money without a reasonable plan. He needs to visit the Rio Grande and see nature’s own natural secure border. He needs to focus on making ports of entry secure. Furloughing the very people that do that is a crisis of his own making.

  • John225

    No, Mueller’s team said the Buzzfeed story, specifically the one about Trump directing Cohen to lie, is not accurate. Mueller hasn’t elaborated on exactly what facts in the story are in dispute as doing so would itself be a disclosure of facts. That is how water tight Mueller keeps things. I would think the only facts Mueller and his team would dispute are ones specifically involving themselves e.g. as in what evidence they have. It is hard to say if Mueller is disputing the central thesis of the story or saying no they don’t have a source inside our organization so reporting we have this evidence or that testimony is pure supposition on somebody’s part. Meanwhile Buzzfeed are saying their sources high in law enforcement are sticking to their story. Consider this statement from Cohen’s attorney “We address the campaign finance and false statements allegations together because both arose from Michael’s fierce loyalty to Client-1. In each case, the conduct was intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1’s directives.” Exactly what Client-1’s directives were remains a bit opaque if you like.

  • John225

    You know how much this whole thing is of Trumps making. There was a bipartisan deal on the table that made it through both houses and Trump wouldn’t sign it. The Republicans had control of everything for 2 years and failed to secure funding for the wall all that time (obviously wasn’t that important). The instant Trump loses the HOR it becomes triple purple top priority crisis time, more like time to manufacture a crisis to feed the divisions in the Nation and galvanize the base and hopefully they won’t see through it (most seem so blinded by Dem hate they don’t). Trumps offer on DACA and TPS is a farce. You take something away and then offer it back on a limited time basis with threats to take more away is the epitome of bad faith. Trumps long history of just tearing up deals he doesn’t like makes him more deal breaker than deal maker. Who can trust a deal he makes? Check out Republican Will Hurds views on the wall (he actually represents border constituencies). $5,700,000,000 by the way is not the total cost of the entire border length barrier, that has been estimated at more than $30,000,000,000.

  • Barros Serrano

    Anyone who at this point thinks that Trumpolini should not be indicted AND impeached has to be a fascist who WANTS an Orange Dictator.

    Well, I’ve lived under a fascist govt, and no thank you.

    There are a LOT of traitors running around loose in this country, who care more about hurting non-whites than about the Constitution, democracy, justice, etc. They’re all wearing MAGA hats.

  • John225

    I think Trump has engineered this shut down crisis to have a confrontation to try and break the Democrats in the HOR so they will think twice before engaging him again. It is a classic power struggle. You cannot negotiate when there are opposing non-negotiables. So both the $5.7billion and the no wall at all stances must go. Someone must blink. If Trump had got his ducks in a row before the midterms instead of playing so much golf it would also be totally unnecessary. There is a debt ceiling to negotiate in March. Roll that into the mix and I would be looking for another job if I was a federal employee.

  • Ronald Langdon

    I understand that the DEms agreed to 46 billion for a wall not long ago and all previous presidents and runner-ups agreed that a wall was necessary but Trump is the only one who will keep the promise LOL Only a few billion requested—hypocrites

  • John225

    If you’re talking about the “secure fence act 2006” They spent $2.3 billion between 2007 and 2015 and built 650 miles of fence of the proposed 700 miles. If they built the originally proposed two-layer barrier along the entire 700 miles that would have been $4.1 billion. The original appropriation agreed to by the DEMS was $1.4 billion and obviously didn’t fully fund the project.

  • John225

    Should anyone get on a plane and fly now? Air traffic controllers haven’t been paid for over a month now and some are taking on second jobs to survive. This means many aren’t properly rested while controlling air safety. At some point gaps will start to open in the system as some people simply cannot carry on. This may lead to shutting some airspace to traffic. Airport security is on skeleton crews and those on the job aren’t getting paid with some calling in sick. Air accidents aren’t being investigated by the NTSB and this is not a deferral of investigations as evidence isn’t being gathered so behaviors and shortfalls that caused those fatal accidents aren’t being modified and opportunities to improve air safety are being permanently lost.

    The FBI is struggling with investigations particularly tracing financial transactions and this may be a factor Trump likes very much. Makes me wonder if this is purposely impacting Mueller’s investigations. The FBI cannot pay informants and worries that it will permanently lose those sources which will impede investigations and damage its future capability particularly in drug crime.

    The department of homeland security aren’t getting paid. These are the people who patrol the border. This is a clear indication that there is no crisis at the border if there was it would be a priority to retain those staff members.

    If something bad happens because nobody is watching will Trump care? Trump doesn’t seem to have any intention of breaking the impass with his less than zero offers.

    I’ve heard the R word (recesion) bandied about a couple of times now in mainstream media by financial experts. This can be a precurser to it materialising if it becomes any more prevalent. Government shutdowns, tradewars, a long winded bull run that is long overdue to end, and over inflated valuations in the market, could precipitate just that. Once the market is primed all it needs is a triggering event and once the dominos start to fall there is no stopping it.