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DAY 82: Trump still has not released his tax returns. He has not instituted anything close to a blind trust, and we now know that the crappy trust he did form, run by his children, allows him to take money from the profits of his businesses, whenever he wants and he is under no obligation to disclose how much or how often he does this. President Trump continues to be walking, breathing ethical joke, where every action he makes as president becomes a conflict of interest.
If you had misgivings about the Clinton Foundation, you must be going through six pairs of skivvies a day now.
Hard Facts On the Missile Strike
Put aside the completely plausible conspiracy theories you rightly have regarding Trump's collusion with Putin in hacking the election and coordinating the Syrian missile strike. Here are a few hard, simple facts regarding the U.S. reaction to Assad.
|"Is it on me? Come on guys, this isn't funny!"|
1. Using Sarin gas in an attack is not simply a matter of loading the bomb on the plane, flying around, and dropping it. We don't have to get into the wikipedia leaves over it. We can just agree you need to have people trained and who know what they are doing. It requires different clothing, decontamination teams when the planes return... all kinds of stuff.
2. It is impossible to believe, unless maybe you are uncle Ralph, that the arming of warplanes with Sarin gas, and the decontamination of the planes when they returned, could be done without the Russian's knowing it was happening, when the Russians themselves were embedded at the same airfield.
3. Assad probably does not ask Putin for permission every time he drops a barrel bomb filled with nails on women and children. I think we can all agree he has tacit approval for this, as he's done it about 10,000 times. But, dropping Sarin gas? Gas that Russia promised the world they had removed from Syria. This isn't exactly a hard fact, but I think any reasonable person must conclude that the use of sarin gas was not done without first clearing it with Putin.
4. Why would Putin clear this? That we don't know. There's no hard facts to answer that question.
5. President Trump saw the news and expressed outrage. He said many, many lines were crossed.
6. While entertaining the president of China at Mar-largo, Trump told Putin that the U.S. was going to launch missiles at the airfield.
7. Putin told his Syrian client state. Then the Russians and, presumably, the Syrians, made sure or tried to make sure weren't there.
8. Trump then insisted China's president try the meatloaf. Ok, this isn't a hard fact.
9. Trump later orders a launch of 59 tomahawk missiles. The tomahawk has an accuracy of about 3 meters. That's from memory. It may be 3 feet. Look it up. It's very accurate. No one really disputes that our missiles hit everything they were told to hit.
10. Russia had the ability to shoot these missiles down. At least they had the hardware. Whether it would work or not, who knows. But they didn't bother using it.
11. We have weapons that are designed to destroy chemical weapons in great, big balls of fire. They probably require manned aircraft to deliver them. We didn't use them.
12. Within 24 hours, Syria launched airstrikes from the same airfield. We say that was a political stunt. The president has asked for a detailed damage assessment report. We are working on it.
13. Sean Spicer said yesterday that using barrel bombs was another red line. Then he walked it back a bit. The Jerusalem Post reports today that Syria dropped barrel bombs about 12 hours ago.
Without discussing motive, we know that: There was a chemical attack. We told Russia we were going to retaliate. We did so in a way that left the airfield and whatever chemical weapon capability Syria has completely intact. It cost taxpayers about $100,000,000. Our attack on Syria was unilateral and done without the approval of Congress.
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED TREASON
There was quite the sideshow this weekend, and Congress is in recess, stealing jelly beans and taking discrete bites out of their children's Easter candy. But distraction doesn't stop the wheels from turning on the investigation into Trump's collusion with Putin to steal the 2016 election. Adam Schiff may not be around to preen for the cameras, but the FBI is still sticking around.
And shit is happening.
A Russian hacker named Pyotr Levashov was arrested in Spain on a U.S. warrant. Why? We won't say. But the Kremlin will. And that's odd. They are saying Peter's the wolf who hacked the election. It's even weirder when you learn that poor Peter was a big part of using fake news to help rig Putin's election in 2012. Obviously, this guy isn't the big enchilada, or whatever it is Putin eats these days. But he's likely a domino who's going to lead us to bigger dominoes.
And then there’s the AP Report (CLICK) confirming Russia was in on the Syrian chemical gas attack. The Russians had a drone in the air after the strike and the drone's intel was used to direct a conventional airstrike at the same location, in an attempt to cover up the use of chemical weapons.
Okay. Now pay attention. When the attack first happened, Trump said Russia wasn't involved. But after they learned what was reported in AP, i.e. the Russian attempt to cover up the initial attack, the White House cancelled a scheduled press briefing on the event. Instead, they held an off-the-record, unreportable briefing.
If you believe the Palmer Report, this suggests that the Syria bombing story "will end up circling back into the existing Trump-Russia scandal in the end."
That's it for now.
It's 9:04 a.m.