Trump Claimed To Be Angry Flynn Didn’t Make Good on Putin’s January 21 Requested Phone Call

As I noted, newly unsealed parts of Mike Flynn’s January 24, 2017 302 make it clear that he explained away his calls with Sergey Kislyak on December 29, 2016, in part, by claiming that Kislyak asked Flynn to set up a videoconference between Trump and Putin on January 21, 2017, the day after Trump would be inaugurated.

During the call, KISLYAK asked FLYNN to set-up a VTC between President-elect TRUMP and Russian President PUTIN on January 21st.

[snip]

The interviewing agents asked FLYNN if he recalled any []ation with KISLYAK surrounding the expulsion of Russian diplomats or closing of Russian properties in response to Russian hacking activities surrounding the election. FLYNN stated that he did not. FLYNN reiterated his conversation was about the PUTIN/TRUMP VTC…

That’s damning enough: Putin wanted to capitalize on his investment right away.

But it’s still more damning given a detail from the Comey memos. During the January 27, 2017 dinner that Trump invited Comey to that same day to demand loyalty, Trump suggested he believed Flynn was unreliable. The basis for that unreliability is that Flynn didn’t tell Trump that Putin — and not Theresa May — was the first foreign leader to give him a congratulatory call after the inauguration.

He then went on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgement and illustrated with a story from that day in which the President apparently discovered during his toast to Teresa May that [Putin] had called four days ago. Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [Putin] had called (first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [Putin’s call] and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment or after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [President] of a country like [Russia]. This isn’t [redacted] we are talking about.”) He said that if he called [redacted] and didn’t get a return call for six days he would be very upset. In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said “the guy has serious judgment issues.”

This was, remember, the day that Don McGahn and Sally Yates had their second conversation about the FBI investigation into Flynn for lying about his December 29, 2016 conversation with Kislyak. I’ve had mixed opinions about this passage, originally thinking it was an attempt to distance himself from Flynn, but later noting that it fit the (largely chronologically undated) observations by Trump aides that Trump really was fed up by Flynn by the time he was forced to resign.

Here’s the thing, though. At least according to the White House record of Trump’s toast to May, the claim is a lie. That’s because Trump never claimed that May was the first to call Trump after his inauguration. Rather, he applauded her because she was the first to visit Trump after inauguration.

Thank you very much. I am honored to have Prime Minister Theresa May here for our first official visit from a foreign leader. This is our first visit, so — great honor.

It is true that May called Trump sometime on January 21.

It’s also true that in the first question after their comments on January 27, Trump was asked about the phone call with Putin the following day (and he feigned uncertainty whether it would happen).

STEVE HOLLAND, REUTERS: Thank you. You’re going to be speaking tomorrow with the Russian president. What message would you like to convey to him? How close are you to lifting some of the sanctions imposed on Russia over its Ukraine incursion? What would you expect in return?

And Prime Minister May, do you foresee any changes in British attitudes towards sanctions on Russia?

TRUMP: Well, I hear a call was set up, Steve, and we’ll see what happens. As far as the sanctions, very early to be talking about that. But we look to have a great relationship with all countries, ideally. That won’t necessarily happen, unfortunately probably won’t happen with many countries.

But if we can have, as we do with Prime Minister May and the relationship that we’ve all developed and even in the short relationship that we just developed just by being with each other and have lunch and — we’ve really had some very interesting talks and very productive talks. But if we can have a great relationship with Russia and with China and with all countries, I’m all for that. That would be a tremendous asset.

If nothing else, it means Trump knew of the call before lunch, which was scheduled after the press conference, so could not have been surprised to learn of call timing by then.

But now consider the comment after considering that Trump had at least one conversation with Don McGahn about the substance of Flynn’s lies before this meeting, and — given McGahn’s request to have the underlying materials — may have asked to know specifically what Flynn said.

On January 26, 2017, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates contacted White House Counsel Donald McGahn and informed him that she needed to discuss a sensitive matter with him in person. 142 Later that day, Yates and Mary McCord, a senior national security official at the Department of Justice, met at the White House with McGahn and White House Counsel’s Office attorney James Burnham. 143 Yates said that the public statements made by the Vice President denying that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions were not true and put Flynn in a potentially compromised position because the Russians would know he had lied. 144 Yates disclosed that Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI. 145 She declined to answer a specific question about how Flynn had performed during that interview, 146 but she indicated that Flynn’s statements to the FBI were similar to the statements he had made to Pence and Spicer denying that he had discussed sanctions.147 McGahn came away from the meeting with the impression that the FBI had not pinned Flynn down in lies, 148 but he asked John Eisenberg, who served as legal advisor to the National Security Council, to examine potential legal issues raised by Flynn’s FBI interview and his contacts with Kislyak. 149

That afternoon, McGahn notified the President that Yates had come to the White House to discuss concerns about Flynn.150 McGahn described what Yates had told him, and the President asked him to repeat it, so he did. 151 McGahn recalled that when he described the FBI interview of Flynn, he said that Flynn did not disclose having discussed sanctions with Kislyak, but that there may not have been a clear violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. 152 The President asked about Section 1001, and McGahn explained the law to him, and also explained the Logan Act. 153 The President instructed McGahn to work with Priebus and Bannon to look into the matter further and directed that they not discuss it with any other officials. 154 Priebus recalled that the President was angry with Flynn in light of what Yates had told the White House and said, “not again, this guy, this stuff.” I 55

[snip]

The next day, January 27, 2017, McGahn and Eisenberg discussed the results of Eisenberg’s initial legal research into Flynn’s conduct, and specifically whether Flynn may have violated the Espionage Act, the Logan Act, or 18 U.S.C. § 1001. 160 Based on his preliminary research, Eisenberg informed McGahn that there was a possibility that Flynn had violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and the Logan Act. 16 1 Eisenberg noted that the United States had never successfully prosecuted an individual under the Logan Act and that Flynn could have possible defenses, and told McGahn that he believed it was unlikely that a prosecutor would pursue a Logan Act charge under the circumstances. 162

That same morning, McGahn asked Yates to return to the White House to discuss Flynn again. I63 In that second meeting, McGahn expressed doubts that the Department of Justice would bring a Logan Act prosecution against Flynn, but stated that the White House did not want to take action that would interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation of Flynn. 164 Yates responded that Department ofJustice had notified the White House so that it could take action in response to the infonnation provided.165 McGahn ended the meeting by asking Yates for access to the underlying information the Department of Justice possessed pertaining to Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak. 166

In other words, by the time Trump claimed to the FBI Director that he didn’t know Putin called him on January 21, he already knew that the FBI had interviewed Flynn about a conversation where (he claimed) Kislyak had asked to set up a call on January 21, and he may have had more specificity about whether or not the request for a January 21 call came up.

We can’t tell, given the kind of liars we’re dealing with, what is true. These are some of the possibilities:

  • Kislyak never asked for a January 21 meeting but Flynn used the actual call on January 21 as an excuse
  • In response to Kislyak’s request, Flynn did set up the meeting, but Trump was trying to claim he didn’t listen in that day
  • Kislyak asked for a January 21 meeting and Putin did call, but Flynn somehow intercepted the call and kept it a secret from the President

Whichever it is, the centrality of setting up a January 21 call with Putin — as opposed to the January 28 call we already knew about — really raises the import of Trump’s claimed reason to be pissed at Flynn in a meeting where he was already thinking about how to end an investigation into his ties with Russia.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

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67 replies
      • bmaz says:

        On the other hand, Seth Abramson is as big of a raving quack as John Solomon. Why are either one of you bringing this well known nutbaggery junk to this site? Competent sourcing is really appreciated, this bunk is not.

        • Danno says:

          I don’t know who John Solomon is but that article is batshit crazy.

          And Seth Abrahamson is worth raising, if only to warn of the dangers of trawling the web for the most conspiratorial Trump/Russia material, even if they are generally from reputable news sites. This sort of confirmation bias just magnifies errors in reporting, rather than lessening them.

          Ho-hum, now I have to get back to Louise Mensch.

          • Jesse says:

            John Solomon has been at this a long time and the obviousness with which he does this has pushed him from muckraking journalist pieces with AP, WaPo to an opinion columnist at The Hill.

            Josh Marshall at TPM said this recently: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/rudy-solomon-fox-barr

            >>> I’ve mentioned before that John Solomon for a couple decades has been the go-to guy for Republican operatives to peddle their oppo research. This has all been more out in the open of late. And even The Hill, with its minimal editorial standards, felt compelled to reclassify him as an opinion columnist rather than a reporter. But one of my colleagues notes that prior to getting into the Times, this Hunter Biden/Ukraine stuff was pushed most heavily by The Hill and all of those pieces were by Solomon.

            Here’s an observation on John Solomon from 2006: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/ap-s-john-solomon-the-story-so-far

        • Desider says:

          My 2 most read Twitter feeds are Emptywheel & Abramson. I like that they dismiss each other so I don’t get matching viewpoints. Rave on.
          PS – would post a Dr John tribute, but too much trouble from mobile…

    • emptywheel says:

      I think it’s a leak from Manafort (thus the reference to 3 people familiar with how Mueller’s office worked). Like all Solomon posts it’s stupid.

      • Peacerme says:

        Could the leak be from Russia? I ask because of Russia conducting these military near misses? What if Putin is toying with Trump for some reason? To intimidate him or get something he wants?

        • Anvil Leucippus says:

          Russia is definitely messing with the U.S. but I think it has more to do with Russia showing off to China. At least for the Pacific ships, in any case.

    • Vicks says:

      It seems some are spinning the Flynn story in the event of a potential pardon perhaps this is an attempt to fake a clean up for Mannafort as well?
      Many Americans are confused and believe that there must be “beyond a reasonable doubt”/legal grounds to impeach a president.
      So far spinning events down to “immoral is not illegal” has been major technique to give cover to this administrations’s god awful behavior.
      Pushing inconsistency and uncertainty on the facts that have already indicted people will work in a similar way to strengthen the resolve of people who may be hearing rumblings that Trump may actually be guilty.

  1. Troutwaxer says:

    In this case I can understand why Trump is so upset. “I’m being investigated, on my first day as President, for incorrect relations with Russia and the first thing Flynn does is set up a video meeting with Putin? What’s wrong with that guy?” Even if Trump was a pure as the driven snow, the optics would be awful.

    • Snarfyguy says:

      That would suggest Trump had some kind of awareness of how his posture w/r/t Russia was being perceived, or that he cared how it was perceived, which clearly isn’t borne out by subsequent events.

      But who knows?

    • Americana says:

      It’s a dead certainty Flynn lied to VP Pence about not discussing Russian sanctions because it indicates Trump was likely anxious to keep his activities viz Russia hidden from Pence (or at least not fully disclosed to Pence). That compartmentalization of Pence likely indicates Trump’s attempts at insularity among his staff. It seems from what we know only some Trump staffers were initiated into becoming working members of the cabal whether that was based on their previous demonstrated geopolitical philosophy (as w/Flynn) or whether it was necessary to have certain staff at least partially cognizant of why Trump wished his relationship w/Putin to be X or Y because of what Trump asked them to do for him viz Russia (again as w/DNI Flynn). I’m fascinated by what will eventually be revealed about the differences in knowledge of Trump’s activities overall viz Russia and the Middle East by someone like Flynn vs someone like Erik Prince.

      It’s rather telltale Trump tried to lay a trail of breadcrumbs in his dinner w/Comey that Trump “didn’t trust Flynn.” What did Trump stand to gain by pretending he didn’t trust Flynn to Comey at that point when Comey would have known Trump hired Flynn against the advice of the Obama administration? At best, feigning distrust of Flynn would only have been a temporary means of throwing Comey/FBI off the trail of Trump’s Russian efforts because the evidence was compounding itself Trump had discussed sanctions in different venues using different personnel under different levels of secrecy.

      • PR says:

        Pence became aware of Russian election assistance in November 2016; he’s not as pure as mountain snow. Sorry folks, he’s laying low and playing dumb. He overheard references and information. He should’ve gone to authorities – immediately – or the least – anytime during the M. investigation met with the team to disclose damning puzzle pieces. That’s the difference between a politician and a patriot. He’s just a scumbag politician who hedged his bets: riding it out as VP or riding it to Trump’s impeachment. “If you see something, say something.” we were all on the same page post 9/11.

        Today people are blind.

        That’s the difference of “immediacy” in traditional domains of warfare – carnage and destruction vs. an unseen poisonous death to checks and balances of our government (e.g. McConnell), undermining international orgs / bodies UN EU UK via election hacks / Trump attacks, not responding when our allies are lead astray: e.g. Philippines by China – attacking Obama, failing to react to Crimea, letting the South China Sea become Chinese bases, Russian invasion into north pole and Canadian/US borders –

        We have a fake POTUS, an impotent M. report, a partisan senate majority leader, a timid speaker of the house, and yes, a VP who knew before he was sworn into office. Dirtbag.

        • P J Evans says:

          The fact that he accepted the VP nod, when it was clear that he’d soon be out as governor of Indiana,was enough for some of us to know he’d sold whatever ethics he still had, after selling his morals for power. (It’s probably a good thing that Congress doesn’t like him.)

  2. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    “It’s also true that in the first question after their comments on January 27, Trump was asked about the phone call with Putin the following day (and he fei……..” Was this supposed to be “feigned ignorance”

  3. Savage Librarian says:

    I’m going with door #2, Marcy:
    “In response to Kislyak’s request, Flynn did set up the meeting, but Trump was trying to claim he didn’t listen in that day”

    Being a Casino man, I’m guessing that DT was furious that Flynn revealed his “tell.” So, of course, DT could not forgive him for that gambler’s sin.

    • cinnawhee says:

      Wow. So we think there is a good possibility that Trump did take a call from Putin on Jan 21 or maybe just listened in on a call to Flynn. Strikes me as unlikely Putin would actually get on a call w/Flynn. Methinks he’d only get on a call if it was guaranteed that Trump would be on it.

  4. Andrew Long says:

    Two things that don’t scan in (possibly Comey’s recollection of) Trump’s story: The Trump-May meeting and the Trump-Comey meeting are both on Thursday, Jan. 27. Comey recalls Trump saying that in the Trump-May lunch meeting, during the toast, Flynn interrupted him and said, no, actually, May didn’t call you first, Putin called 4 days ago. But that makes no sense, because that would be Monday, Jan. 23, not Saturday, Jan. 21, when you note we know May did call.
    Also, Comey says Trump said “six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call,” but 6 days prior to Saturday (the day of the scheduled call) would be Sunday, Jan. 22, or 5 days ago when Trump was recounting story to Comey, not 4.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Yes, I noticed discrepancies, as well. But I might be willing to chalk that up to Flynn and DT being so full of bs that they couldn’t keep their stories straight.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Or it may be a matter of talking about dates without having notes in hand. I wouldn’t remember what date last week I went to (local city) without having the work order in front of me, and it’s important to remember in the midst of discussing the minutia that the dates aren’t particularly important, and the trangressions ARE important. Sometimes this stuff matters and sometimes it doesn’t.

        The lies that matters are the ones that go “I never asked the Russians for help,” or “I stopped doing business with Russia in 2015.”

    • emptywheel says:

      It could just be Trump garble.
      Comey is a lot of things, but I think he’s an accurate note-taker.

  5. BroD says:

    “as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [Putin] had called (first, apparently)”

    As much as anything, this sounds like Trump was just pissed at being corrected in public.

  6. Jenny says:

    Correct statement Marcy – “We can’t tell, given the kind of liars we’re dealing with, what is true.”
    Weeding out the lies is a challenge from this unglued administration.

    I select number two considering Trump is a habitual liar. Liar in Chief.

  7. Badger Robert says:

    This successfully paints a picture of Trump as becoming aware of just how indebted he was to Putin, and desperately trying to delay that coming to light. Anything that created public distance between Trump and Putin was good. Thus the cover-ups began to eat his Presidency. Everyone that would not cover-up for the President had to fired and disgraced.

    • Hops says:

      Rather than “indebted to Putin” should we say “compromised by Putin”?

      I and others don’t think Trump even wanted to be President, just build his brand, although some of his spawn apparently wanted him to win.

  8. viget says:

    Gotta be #2. Except I think Trump was very much on the call, not just listening in. Maybe Flynn routed it as a NSC matter, so it wouldn’t appear on the president’s schedule? Would love to see Trump’s schedule for that first day.

    IF this were true, it would totally explain Trump’s paranoia about the Flynn investigation. Because, he might have been afraid that Flynn would flip on him straight away, and reveal that he was talking to Putin right out of the box. Not to mention all the other Flynn shenanigans with the power plants and the mideast Marshall plan, etc.

    I also suspect that the Turkey stuff is really only tangentially related to Turkey, and some how fits into the broader electoral conspiracy writ large, especially since Alptekin has some interesting Russian ties.

    • Badger Robert says:

      Since Trump lies about everything, the idea that he did not talk to Putin asap, and that he was dissatisfied with Flynn, are both probably lies.
      Trump was using Flynn as cover, in Trump’s typical secretive manner.

      • viget says:

        Totally agree. It’s really the only thing that makes sense.

        Though I do think Trump was peeved at Flynn. Flynn clearly has issues with judgement (texting we’re all gonna get rich during the inauguration), and at this point was probably more interested in advancing his nuke plan so he could cash in, than actually trying to help Trump govern. But, of course, both had too much dirt on the other to really turn on each other. It was kind of mutually assured destruction.

        I wonder if we will ever know the depths of Flynn’s depravity.

  9. Frank Probst says:

    Tangential rant: In this day and age, there is simply no good reason for the FBI not to record its formal interviews. I have no problem with them continuing to write up 302s, but if the conversation is important enough to merit a 302, it’s important enough to record.

      • klynn says:

        They may fear alteration of a recording by someone from the inside. Or security of digital media not being secure enough in this day and age.

        • P J Evans says:

          Security is definitely a consideration. I’ve seen too many stories about “evidence” disappearing from supposedly-secure rooms.

        • Americana says:

          Just as w/voting, we need multiple forms of these official records in order to keep them safe from tampering or destruction.

      • Hops says:

        Change the Miranda Warning to “anything you say, including any nuance or hesitation or tremor in the way you say it, including analysis by artificial intelligence algorithms for signs of anxiety, can and will be used against you”?

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    OT – Watching these youtube interviews might make your weekend better.

    Michael Wolff – Siege: Trump Under Fire

    MSNBC – The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell –
    pt. 1 – How Donald Trump Staffers Really Feel About the President

    https://youtu.be/AnhOeqva9N8

    pt.2 – President Donald Trump Is Willing to Destroy an Institution

    https://youtu.be/-FKizYqvXXI

    CNN – John Berman –
    Michael Wolff predicts how Trump’s presidency will end

    https://youtu.be/uwab38_hINY

    • Eureka says:

      SL, you remind me of another Wolff appearance/set of claims: about documents he says are from Mueller’s office (on Ari Melber yesterday).

      Sounded to me like stuff OLC (or even WHCO) would write, or like sound legal practice exploring ~those points of view. Memos about how Trump could directly fire Mueller, and how Trump could pardon with impunity as regards the investigation. Anyway, the points ‘sold’ were that the SCO was very vulnerable to presidential discharge, and that perhaps Mueller tread very carefully for reasons related to these memos (Wolff also raised questions about SCO work product being destroyed if Trump fired Mueller).

      I don’t know if the potentiality of ‘bad things’ raised in the memos survives the finishing of the report, and am interested if anyone who knows more has any feedback on this topic.

      I cannot find the June 6th Melber interview with Wolff (a Melber show twitter clip of it is about something else): this is from the 4th where some of this is addressed (DOJ statement read, panelists discuss, Wolff snippet from another appearance):

      Revealed: New Report Of Mueller Memos On Trump Firing Threat
      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU54oJ8uB8A)

    • Tom says:

      I may be wrong, but my general sense is that Wolff’s new book isn’t generating as much interest as his first one on Trump.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM cannot understand why Donald Trump would fear prison more than, say, impeachment or any other consequence for failure. That’s a crude failure of the imagination.

    Imprisonment would destroy the imagery upon which Trump’s self-esteem, business, and income depend. It would destroy his ability to manipulate the world through fantasy and wealth. Prison would impose its merciless disciplines on an undisciplined mind, from jumpsuits and crew cuts to prison food and prison showers.

    Trump would emerge from it a broken man. A real mob boss could probably run a diminished empire while in prison. Donald Trump would see his empire, his wealth, his ego and his mental state circle the drain.

    A Democratic administration’s DoJ might be as reluctant to pursue Trump as Ford’s DoJ was to pursue Nixon. But the same cannot be said of every state that might have jurisdiction over his possible crimes.

    • Thomas Paine says:

      Amen, Brother Earl. The Fed.s in a future Democratic administration might not want to get their hands dirty with Citizen Trump, but they can refer a lot of investigations to the states, particularly New York. NY AG Letitia James is likely Trump’s worst nightmare. She doesn’t owe Trump or the racist bunch in the GOP, ANYTHING, and has promised her constituents to bring the entire Trump Organization to justice. Riker’s Island is Trump’s next home.

    • Badger Robert says:

      Prosecuting a former President is a bad idea. But conditioning any non prosecution or pardon on a complete exposition of the truth seems justifiable. And Trump cannot tell the truth. Even if the tried now, he would just shifting Corsilike from one BS story to another.

        • Badger Robert says:

          If Robert E. Lee was told to go home and try to be a better citizen and Jefferson Davis was bonded, prosecuting Trump and the former first lady does not seem likely. But since Trump is going to broadly pardoning numerous family members and co-conspirators, this circumstance will be different. Exactly how a truth commission will work, or whether we will ever get there, involves numerous contingencies. With those qualifications, the answer is “yes”.

          • Vern says:

            They (confederate LTs and above) should all have been executed as traitors, their culture destroyed and the earth over their graves salted: “…leaving not so much as a yellow dog to wag its tail.”

            Also, too: Rikers is too good for the Trumps.

            • BobCon says:

              Robert E. Lee’s estate was confiscated and filled with the graves of Union soldiers so that he could never return.

              • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                History of Arlington National Cemetery
                Arlington National Cemetery is comprised of land that once belonged to George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson of George Washington. Custis spent his life commemorating Washington and built Arlington House on the 1,100-acre plantation as a memorial to the first president. In 1857, Custis willed the property to his daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis, who in 1831 had married U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Robert E. Lee.
                After the Lee family vacated the property at the onset of the Civil War in 1861, federal troops used the land as a camp and headquarters – beginning on May 24, 1861. Throughout the war, three forts were constructed on the grounds as part of the overall defenses of Washington, D.C. In 1863, the government established Freedman’s Village on the estate as a way to assist slaves transitioning to freedom. The village provided housing, education, employment training, and medical care. A property tax dispute, amounting to just over $92.07 cost the Lee family their home and in January 1864, the U.S. government purchased the property for $26,800 at public auction. After Mary Lee’s death, her son, George Washington Custis Lee sued in 1882 for the return of the property, winning his case in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Lee then sold the property, which by this time contained the graves of over 6,000 Union soldiers, to the federal government for $150,000.
                By the third year of the Civil War, the increasing number of fatalities was outpacing the burial capacity of Washington, D.C. cemeteries. To meet this demand, 200 acres of Arlington plantation was set aside as a military cemetery. The first military burial took place on May 13, 1864, for Private William Christman of Pennsylvania. On June 15, the War Department officially designated this burial space a national cemetery, thus creating Arlington National Cemetery. By the end of the war, burials included thousands of service members as well as African-American Freedmen.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Conflating too many things. Melania is not Trump. Nineteenth century precedents are poor examples. It’s up to Americans to elect a president who will look back as well as forward, and apply the law equally, without fear or favor.

            As to Vern, prisons are as humane as the society that produces them. By all accounts, Rikers is very Trumpian. Its conditions should be improved for all its residents, whether or not that includes Trump.

          • P J Evans says:

            They lost their rights as citizens for several years. They had to be sworn in as citizens after a period of good behavior – and *that* went down to the lower levels of the CSA.

      • Americana says:

        Sure, there could be negative fallout from prosecuting Trump. It was sort of weirdly confessional hearing Trump saying the other day during a Fox interview “impeachment is such a dirty word” considering it’s likely Trump’s going to experience both impeachment (extremely likely) and imprisonment (likely). I see no reason for Trump’s status as a future ex-POTUS granting him immunity for his crimes. It would dishonor the office to pretend such an occupant deserves immunity given just how much deliberate, self-serving damage he’s done to multiple of our institutions while pretending he’s innocent of X, Y and Z. It would dishonor the office even more if Trump got off scot-free and continued the same criminal behavior once he returned to his private grifting.

        I don’t believe that in any trials once he’s left office Trump will be able to escape the legal fallout from having lied in previous legal depositions about “not knowing who Felix Sater is and I probably wouldn’t recognize him if he were in this room.” The settlement of the Trump SoHo trial was a disappointment given what is known about Trump. But that may be the last legal escape of Trump’s career given what he’s done and just how publicly he’s lied on the record.

      • P J Evans says:

        He might look better with a crew-cut. (Or a buzz-cut.)

        (ETA: my parents’ families run to balding. They didn’t try to hide it. Except for my grandfather wearing a hat all the time outside, so we have like *one* picture of him without a hat.)

  12. mospeck says:

    I’ll go with door #2, Monty

    did I win? oh please..oh please, the tower in Moscow . Not a zonk..oh please..

    “Jay, tell him what he’s won..But wait, Jay. Carol, first show the man what’s behind door #1”

    [Carol pulls back curtain to reveal giant bottle of Pepto Bismol] Jay: “It’s a four year supply of Pepto-Bismol! That’s right, for when you’ve eaten one too many cheeseburgers..Pepto-Bismol.. It soothes, coats, relieves.”

    so you’re thinking that maybe I should switch to door #3 [crowd screaming switch] they think they’re smarter than me [smiles]. Sorry folks, I go with my gut. Trust my gut, so I’m gonna stick with #2.

    [Carol pulls back the curtain and there’s a picture of an airliner and Big Ben] Jay: “You’ve won a Tower! But it’s not just any tower, and it’s not in Moscow. That’s right you will be flown first class and escorted by Federal Air Marshalls to Heathrow airport. Once there, an MI6 motorcade will whisk you to your prime river-front real estate in London, England!..And just in time for four o’clock tea in the tower with Boris and Mister Big from the GRU.”

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