Mother Jones: “Donald Trump’s massive debts—he owes hundreds of millions of dollars—are the subject of continuous congressional and journalistic scrutiny. But for years, one Trump loan has been particularly mystifying: a debt of more than $50 million that Trump claims he owes to one of his own companies. According to tax and financial experts, the loan, which Trump has never fully explained, might be part of a controversial tax avoidance scheme known as debt parking.”
“Yet a Mother Jones investigation has uncovered information that raises questions about the very existence of this loan, presenting the possibility that this debt was concocted as a ploy to evade income taxes—a move that could constitute tax fraud.”
Keep an eye on this.
Philip Bump: “All of this has been fairly well established by now. Trump’s tweet was dismissed as inaccurate by his own National Weather Service’s station in Alabama within a half-hour of his sending it out. Again, it was an important correction to make: Alabamians were incorrectly informed by the president that their state was at risk and it’s the responsibility of those in positions of authority to quell such unwarranted concerns.”
“That refutation came four days ago — but here we are, still litigating it.”
“For Trump, this is a fight worth having because it does two things. It pits the media as oppositional by looping criticism of his initial inaccuracy and his flawed defenses as attacks on him and, by extension, on his supporters. It is also an example of Trump’s unwavering unwillingness to admit mistakes, a central component of his personal survival strategy.”
“One of President Trump’s top advisers on Hurricane Dorian issued a lengthy statement on Thursday defending the president’s repeated claims that forecasts showed Alabama getting hit by Hurricane Dorian, adding another twist to the days-long effort to justify Trump’s claim,” The Hill reports.
“The White House circulated a statement on official letterhead from Rear Adm. Peter Brown, a Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, who said he briefed Trump multiple times about Dorian as well as models that showed the potential path of the eye of the storm.”
So Admiral Brown’s integrity and character is forever destroyed just because Trump cannot admit he was wrong.
Cecil Roberts, the president of United Mine Workers of America, said that the coal industry is not “back,” despite President Trump’s claims, CNN reports. Said Roberts: “Coal’s not back. Nobody saved the coal industry.”
He added that coal-fired plants are closing all over the country, calling it a “harsh reality.”
“The Trump administration is moving forward with a proposal to revoke part of California’s authority to set its own automobile gas mileage standards, in another confrontation with a state that has repeatedly challenged environmental rollbacks,” the AP reports.
“The Environmental Protection Agency was preparing paperwork for the White House that would set a single national standard for fuel economy.”
Dan Balz: “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has eclipsed President Trump as the chaos-maker-in-chief. Just weeks into his tenure at 10 Downing Street, the new leader tried to take a wrecking ball to the political system and ended up hitting himself as well.”
“This is all in the latest chapter of the long-running drama known as Brexit. In the summer of 2016, British voters narrowly voted to leave the European Union. Nothing has been the same since. Government has been paralyzed, and the public’s dissatisfaction has grown steadily. Two prime ministers were taken down by the turmoil unleashed by that vote. Johnson could be the third. Or could he?”
“Like Trump, Johnson is much bluff and bluster — in look and action. At the dispatch box in the House of Commons, he looks slightly out of place, his hair permanently mussed and askew, his head cocked to one side or the other. But if he looks as if he doesn’t quite belong, he also seems to relish the political combat with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and others in the opposition. It hasn’t gone well.”
“President Trump’s lead negotiator on his highly anticipated Arab-Israeli peace plan will be leaving the White House soon, throwing further into question the administration’s efforts to resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Jason Greenblatt, who formerly served as the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, had originally committed to serving for two years but extended his stay as the plan hit several delays, including political uncertainties in Israel.”
Tom LoBianco: “On the surface, Trump and Pence insist they have a great relationship and are working closer than ever to win reelection in 2020. (They’ve consistently beaten back rumors that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is in the running to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket.)”
“But behind the scenes, tensions have been mounting among Trump, Pence and their top advisers ever since the GOP’s resounding losses in the 2018 midterms. In the weeks afterward, Trump asked aides about replacing Pence on the ticket, and he asked again for their thoughts on Pence during his August vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., according to Trump advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about private discussions with the president.”
LoBiano is author of the forthcoming biography of Pence, Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House.
“Federal Reserve officials are gearing up to reduce interest rates at their next policy meeting in two weeks, most likely by a quarter-percentage point, as the trade war between the U.S. and China darkens the global economic outlook,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Washington Post: “China said Thursday its trade representatives will fly to Washington in early October to resume negotiations with the United States, raising the possibility that both sides might arrest a recent deterioration in the bilateral relationship that has cast a shadow over the world economy.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told constituents at a town hall in Iowa that he drank out of a toilet at a migrant detention facility “to prove that criticisms of the conditions in those facilities are unfounded,” the Daily Beastreports.
Said King: “I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet. I took a drink out of there. And actually, pretty good!”
President Trump amplified accusations of McCarthyism leveled at actress Debra Messing after the “Will & Grace” star made a public plea for a list of Trump donors in Hollywood, Politico reports. Said Trump: “Bad ‘actress’ Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water,” claiming that Messing wanted to create a “Blacklist” of Trump supporters.
“Last week, Messing stoked controversy when she reposted a news article about an upcoming Trump fundraiser in Beverly Hills, asking for a list of attendees. Her Will & Grace co-star Eric McCormack echoed the call, saying he wanted to be aware of who he no longer wants to work with.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Vice President Pence of “selling out the Constitution” to financially benefit President Trump following the vice president’s stay at one of Trump’s properties in Ireland, The Hill reports.
Said Pelosi: “Vice President Pence promised that their Administration would defend the Constitution and stand by a ‘strict constructionist’ interpretation of the Constitution. Instead the Trump-Pence Administration is ignoring the text itself and selling out the Constitution to line Trump’s pockets.”
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan “has acknowledged having failed to act more vigorously to shield State Department staffers from retaliation by the Trump administration for their perceived political views,” Foreign Policy reports.
“But Sullivan said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lacked the authority to fire a top Trump political appointee accused of inflicting, or abetting, the alleged harassment.” Said Sullivan: “I will be the first to admit the failure on my part to have done more to address the situation.”