Some Cream For Your Covfefe
Being a Friday, tonight will undoubtedly see some heinous news from the Fourth Reich that they hope will be buried over a long, get-away weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for some 20-sided-dice fuckery.
In the meanwhile, it’s all death and taxes, or in our first story TRUMP TAXES!!1!
Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit.
…And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.
Electoral Vote tells us:
Last June, Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with several Russians, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has ties with Vladimir Putin. The Americans expected that they would get some dirt on Hillary Clinton. Much later, Veselnitskaya said that Manafort wasn’t paying attention but was playing with his smartphone. Now it turns out that he was very much paying attention, and was using the phone to take notes. NBC News is reporting that Manafort turned the notes over to special counsel Robert Mueller as well as to House and Senate committees. According to two sources, the word “donations” appears in the notes, close to a reference to the RNC. Since the entire contents of the notes have not leaked, it is hard to tell in what context “donations” was used. One context it had better not have been used is donations from foreign citizens to a U.S. political campaign, since that is a felony.
According to multiple reports, Mueller is keenly interested in what was said during the meeting. He probably has guessed that Manafort will be the easiest of the three to flip and spill the beans, so he is pursuing this lead aggressively. This is also why he is sharing information with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Mueller knows very well that the president does not have the power to pardon people for state offenses, so if Manafort is indicted and convicted in New York, he will be at risk of imprisonment and cannot count on a pardon.
At this point it is hard to understand what kind of donations might have been discussed. Putin’s operatives surely know that a wire transfer from a bank controlled by a Putin ally to the RNC’s bank account would not be a smart idea. So something else must have been discussed, but what it might have been remains a mystery for the moment. (V)
Axios says that this is the most intriguing story of the day, but I’m reframing it: Comrade Preznint Stupid is afraid of his chief of staff?
“The president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, from his personal phone when [Chief of Staff John] Kelly is not around.”
Sara Armstrong, the top staffer at the Republican National Committee, is departing, according to three people familiar with the move — the latest in a string of exits from the committee.
I wonder why she is leaving?
Armstrong, the RNC’s chief of staff, is exiting to take a senior-level job at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She had been serving in the chief of staff role since early this year after helping to oversee President Donald Trump’s inauguration planning.
Well, OK then.
David Clarke, the controversial outgoing sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, is expected to take a job in the Trump administration, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Of course, his fall-back plan if he doesn’t get a job in the 4th Reich is probably Fox News (CNN Reliable Sources Newsletter):
Oliver Darcy emails: David Clarke resigned his post as Milwaukee sheriff Thursday afternoon, immediately prompting speculation about whether he would land a paid contributor gig at Fox News. Clarke is a frequent guest on the channel, where he is known for serving up red meat on the network’s conservative opinion shows. A source with knowledge of the situation told me that there have been no discussions thus far at Fox News about hiring Clarke for such a role.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is now a regular columnist on the far-right news site run by President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist.
Kobach, a candidate for Kansas governor who is running on a platform of combating illegal immigration, published his first article for Breitbart.com in June — a piece that tied refugees to terrorism.
Donald Trump Jr. will be paid $100,000 to speak at the University of North Texas’ Kuehne Speaker Series on Oct. 24, according to executed contracts between UNT and Trump Jr. obtained by the North Texas Daily through a Freedom of Information Act request.
And we will conclude with the Racing Forum brought to us by Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing the Axios morning email thingie. Yes, he’s already lining up the 2020 Goat Rodeo Contenders, and that ain’t normal:
- Watched most closely: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- The classics: Joe Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
- Outsiders: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper
- Has begun seeking staff: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio).
- Many in Obamaworld like: former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), former Missouri SecState Jason Kander.
- Many in Clintonworld like: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former Ag Secretary and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
- Possible if wins reelection: Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio).
- Wants to be mentioned: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).
- Wild cards: Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. John Delaney (Md.).
- Non-politicians: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban, The Rock, Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Oprah, George Clooney.
- Someone Trump would have no idea what to do with, and who’d win women with authenticity and Southern charm: Sally Yates, the acting attorney general fired by Trump.