Why A Convicted Killer Is Running For Office In Texas

Updated August 03, 2018 13:17:41

President Donald Trump speaks as he stands in front of a wall>> Photo: This week we heard the press is becoming the 'enemy of the people' and all news is 'fake news' (again). (AP: Evan Vucci)

>Related Story: Manafort's 'secret income' funded lavish lifestyle, prosecutors say as trial begins

>Related Story: Trump ignores New York Times' plea to rein in anti-media rhetoric

>Map: United States

In 2018 if you say something often enough it becomes true, right?

So, the press is becoming the "enemy of the people", all news is "fake news" and I'll say this again —

we are in dangerous territory, repeat, dangerous.

Red alert.

It was just over a month ago that a shooter burst into a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five staff.

The accused was a serial critic of the Capital Gazette, with a specific grievance in relation to the paper's coverage of a stalking case against him.

That said, the horrific attack galvanised public debate about anti-media sentiment in America in the age of Donald Trump.

The media critic in chief even came out to respond, saying:

"This attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief."

"Journalists like all Americans should be free of the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs."

And yet news cycles are short in today's world.

We're back to this:

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External Link: This has to stop.

Mr Trump's son had this to say, which was retweeted by POTUS:

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External Link: #truth

And this was press secretary Sarah Sanders' non-response when pressed to decry the "enemy of the people" moniker by CNN's Jim Acosta (who is on the receiving end of many of the current attacks).

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External Link: Acosta repeatedly asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to say the press isn't the enemy of the American people. She didn't

You can expect a lot more of this in the coming weeks as Mr Trump hits the mid-terms campaign trail in earnest.

For reporters, who are square-penned behind metal barricades at Mr Trump's events and are therefore unable to retreat from the crowd, it will be a testing few months.

Trump meets the New York Times

The Trump motorcade drives past the New York Times>> Photo: The US President has made his feelings towards the "failing New York Times" well known. (Reuters: Shannon Stapleton)

There was also this tweet from Mr Trump this week, after he met with the publisher of the New York Times, about fake news "morphing into a phrase".

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External Link: Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!

Hmmm.

Ivanka Trump got involved.

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External Link: They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!

For the record, here's what Mr Sulzberger had to say about the NYT meeting.

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External Link: Statement from NYT Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, who says he told Trump his “language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”

And then there was the whole 'Russia thing'

Mr Trump has been particularly active on Twitter this week, largely because the case against his former campaign manager Paul Manafort is proceeding through the courts.

It brings up the whole "Russia thing" again, even though the twin cases against Mr Manafort are not strictly Russia related, or are they? Here's a primer:

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External Link: Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders

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External Link: Looking back on history, who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Number One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement - although convicted of nothing? Where is the Russian Collusion?

The case is centred on Mr Manafort's finances and alleged bank and tax fraud, and how he allegedly hid his multi-million-dollar income laundering money through purchases of luxury goods — although US district judge TS Ellis III has set some pretty specific parameters.

"We're not going to have a case tried that he associated with despicable people and, therefore, he's despicable," the judge declared during an exchange before jurors were brought into the courtroom. "That's not the American way."

A courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort (fourth from R) standing with his lawyers.>> Photo: Paul Manafort (fourth from R) stands with his lawyers before opening statements. (AP: Dana Verkouteren)

It's all very interesting stuff. A case in point; testimony from an FBI agent who said he found business documents in Mr Manafort's apartment showing millions of dollars in loan agreements and wire transfers.

Why Manafort matters

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Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign director, is facing two separate trials for a range of financial crimes, as well as conspiracy and perjury charges.

One appeared to show a $US3 million wire transfer with Mr Manafort's name on it including the words "wire into our account".

Apart from anything else the trial has centred on some very tabloid detail about Mr Manafort's spending habits.

"Mr Manafort is not on trial for having a lavish lifestyle," Mr Ellis told prosecutors who say that lifestyle was funded via illicit means.

However, Maximillian Katzman who works at his father's men's fashion store in New York told the jury that Mr Manafort was the only client who paid with international wire transfers.

In 2013, Mr Manafort spent $US443,160 at the store.

That's a lotta silk ties!

Former Manafort deputy Rick Gates (who also worked for the Trump campaign briefly) is expected to take the stand as well.

Prosecutors plan to call as many as 25 witnesses, and their arguments could last two weeks.

Watch this space.

Was it an opinion or an order?

Meanwhile, Mr Trump opened the whole obstruction of justice can of worms again with this tweet this week:

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External Link: ..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!

And press secretary Sarah Sanders justified it thus:

"It's not an order, it's the President's opinion and it's ridiculous that all of the corruption and dishonesty that's gone on with the launching of the witch hunt, the president wants, has watched this process play out," she said.

"But he also wants to see it come to an end, as he stated many times and we look forward to that happening."

OK then. Or not.

There was also this:

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External Link: ....,the only Collusion with Russia was with the Democrats, so now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people) - the rigged Witch Hunt continues! How stupid and unfair to our Country....And so the Fake News doesn’t waste my time with dumb questions, NO,....

Meanwhile, US officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed the Russians have meddled (and are still meddling) in US elections.

"We acknowledge the threat. It's real. It's happening," Mr Coats said.

However, the Senate rejected a bill that would've upped security for state elections.

How often has Trump been to the supermarket in his lifetime do you reckon?

Mr Trump managed to dent his everyman status when he suggested that American grocery shoppers have to show ID to buy stuff.

In this he quickly joined several presidents of various stripes before him who have demonstrated that they have no idea how much a gallon of milk costs and have, indeed, rarely queued to buy tinned tomatoes and a loaf of bread.

"We believe that only American citizens should vote in American elections, which is why the time has come for voter ID like everything else," he said.

"Voter ID. If you go out and you want to buy groceries you need a picture on a card, you need ID.

"You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID, and you need your picture.

"In this country, the only time you don't need it in many cases is when you want to vote for a president, when you want to vote for a senator, when you want to vote for a governor or a congressman. It's crazy."

Sarah Sanders, again, playing catch for her boss:

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External Link: Press Sec. Sanders tells @CeciliaVega she's "not sure" when Pres. Trump last went to the grocery store, following the president's comment that "you need ID" to buy groceries.

For the record, in three years in America, I have never once been asked for ID buying groceries. Add alcohol? Maybe twice in three years.

Oh, and speaking of everyman status — our PM got a mention in the Times.

Are we scandalised? Not sure, but what I would give for an Aussie meat pie right now!

ICYMI:

There was this glimmer of good news on something truly terrifying:

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External Link: I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!

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External Link: BREAKING: Federal judge issues temporary restraining order stopping release of downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed guns

It was a Seattle court that blocked blueprints for 3D printed guns from going viral.

Defense Distributed, a Texas-based organisation, is expected to fight the order.

Man holds black and white 3D printed pistol>> Photo: The Trump administration allowed a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun. (AP: Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman)

Off-record and untraceable, the DIY guns could be snuck through security systems — though it may soon be easier to sneak guns into small airports anyway...

Ugh.

Over to you @av_security on why this is a really bad plan:

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External Link: Put up a quick video on my thoughts about #TSA consideration to remove #screening from smaller airports. What do you think? #avsec

Alan Alda of MASH fame has Parkinson's Disease.

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External Link: Alan Alda -- the Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the long-running series "M.A.S.H.

The Matildas drew 1-1 with the US in the Tournament of Nations (having led for most of the match.)

Awesome game from the Aussie women's soccer side.

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External Link: WOW! Matildas

And, drum roll, may I present mayonnaise ice cream. I predict a mayonnaise ice cream takeover of America is imminent.

What next?

Topics: donald-trump, world-politics, government-and-politics, information-and-communication, internet-culture, united-states

First posted August 03, 2018 11:56:39

Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-03/this-week-we-learned-trump-hasnt-been-to-the-shops-in-a-while/10069630

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