Trump's Sinkhole of Sleaze

By Ronald Horvath | Aug 09, 2018


"Since Jan. 20, 2017, Americans have seen an endless torrent of corruption beyond anything previously imagined. No president has ever had a surer instinct than Donald Trump for finding and empowering scam artists, spongers and thugs.


As a candidate, he promised, “I'll choose the best people for my administration.” Maybe he inadvertently omitted the word “not.” Looking for the best people in Trump’s circle would be like looking for icebergs in the Everglades.


Three Trump associates — Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Rick Gates — have pleaded guilty to charges of lying to investigators. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was brought down by his habit of using private jets and military planes for travel. EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned over a raft of shameless ethical offenses.


Trump’s first staff secretary, Rob Porter, and his first nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew after revelations that their ex-wives had accused them of violent abuse. But this is a president, keep in mind, whose first wife accused him of rape.


The trial of his former campaign manager has provided more evidence of Trump’s sure instinct for compulsive shysters. Paul Manafort was indicted for allegedly laundering millions of dollars in income and evading taxes. Gates, Manafort’s trusted aide and Trump’s deputy campaign chairman, testified this week that he helped Manafort commit those crimes.


A John Adams quote adorning a fireplace in the State Dining Room at the White House includes the words: "May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof." (The White House Historical Association)


Manafort stands out for his peculiar shopping proclivities. Among his more ridiculous outlays was more than $1.3 million in men’s apparel, including a $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket that most men would not wear if you paid them $15,000. Gates admitted he embezzled from his former boss, which suggests that Manafort was no better at finding honest help than Trump is.


You could hardly surround yourself with so many disreputable figures as the president has unless you opened a halfway house for felons. But his preference for the shady sort is what you’d expect of someone whose business career has been a chronicle of bankruptcy, bullying and deceit.


After vowing never to settle a lawsuit filed by Trump University students who said they had been scammed, he agreed to pay $25 million to bring it to an end. His lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 not to share her story of having sex with Trump. Cohen is under investigation on an array of possible crimes.


Flying under this cluttered radar is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who just settled one of a string of lawsuits by business associates charging that he stole from them. Forbes magazine found that “these allegations — which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine — come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.”


In June, the New York attorney general sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing it of “sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign,” as The New York Times reported.


Among the alleged offenses was using charitable funds to settle lawsuits and buy portraits of Trump. The foundation earlier paid a fine for an illegal campaign contribution.


Marc Owens, who previously was director of the tax-exempt organization division of the IRS, told CNN, “The Trump Foundation may be unique in the variety and scope of its transgressions of state and federal law.” He added, “In my opinion, there are no effective defenses that Donald Trump and/or his foundation can deploy to either the attorney general’s petition or to federal tax charges.”


“Unique in the variety and scope of its transgressions.” That would do as the motto of an administration that, even if it manages some tangible achievements, will forever be remembered as a sinkhole of sleaze."

Comments (7)
Posted by: Nina Reed | Aug 22, 2018 01:27

well it looks like the swamp is draining. i can only pray that trump is close to the drain. patricia williams

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Aug 21, 2018 19:19

Whatever your political persuasion this is a sad day for America as well as the Trump family.  :(   This time was inevitable. The question is: Where do we go from here?

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 21, 2018 18:29

"Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to illegally interfering in the 2016 election at the direction of the president.

Cohen says he worked “at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” ostensibly Trump, for the purpose of influencing the election. He has pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, two counts related to an illegal campaign contribution and one count of making a false statement.

The revelation is a bombshell. Cohen was the keeper of Trump’s secrets, and this admission reveals that the two men colluded to illegally affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. And the news came the same day onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts, likely destined to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“These are very serious charges and reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over an extended period of time,” Deputy U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York Robert Khuzami said at a press conference. "


Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 14, 2018 10:40

The fish rots from the head down.


"The president’s paranoia, secrecy and contempt for democracy course through the West Wing, spurring those in its offices to behave in bizarre ways that betray their lack of sophistication, common sense and self-awareness. The White House still uses nondisclosure agreements to try muzzling everyone from high-level staff to lowly staffers — all of whom leak incessantly, get gobbled up and spit out before you can say “Reince Priebus,” and show President Trump the same loyalty he shows them (none). When aides leak and write tell-all books and testify to Congress or special prosecutors, the administration goes into a defensive crouch, trying to destroy the people whom Trump once hired and praised. (The use of NDA’s, by the way, is constitutionally suspect and perpetuates the noxious idea that staffers highest loyalty is to this president.)

Trump and his advisers are caught flatfooted again and again because they never seem to talk to anyone who is willing to tell them bad news or to give them a sense of what 60 to 70 percent of Americans think and feel. The administration does not behave like other administrations, in part because it doesn’t look like most workplaces in the United States. Trump’s Republican Party is becoming freakishly isolated and alienated from the experiences of the vast majority of Americans.”

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 10, 2018 08:54

"Four additional Republican congressmen are now implicated in Chris Collins' recent charges-Mike Conaway (TX), Doug Lamborn (CO), Billy Long (MO), and Markwayne Mullin (OK) purchased the stock in Jan 2017 and two are on a Health subcommittee w/ Collins. …

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 09, 2018 15:56

Here ya' go, Edwin.  This is especially for you.


“...  the “Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias, where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don’t have enough knowledge to know they don’t have enough knowledge. Or, stated more harshly, they are “too dumb to know they are dumb.”

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Aug 09, 2018 15:43

You have out done yourself this time .Good luck with your pity party !

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