What kind of a day was it? A day like any other -- except...you are there.
So, there was Trump releasing his Financial Disclosure Report and, well, what a shock, there it was. A mention of the $130,000 payment to Michael Cohen he's relentlessly insisted he knew nothing about. And his snarky explanation that he didn't really have to bring it up, but he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart for transparency. (Side note: the last known time when Trump did something either out of the goodness of his heart or for transparency, let alone both, is never.) Not only is it not his to decide what should be reported and what doesn't have to be, but...well, the Office of Government Ethics not only decided he had to disclose the information, but it should have been disclosed last year. And so, believing it could have been an intentional act to hide the payment, they sent a criminal recommendation to the Department of Justice. And in a touch of God-like whimsy, it was sent to Rod Rosenstein. Oh, by the way, as part of his listing of income last year, Trump included $40 million from a hotel. Now, of course, Trump's income from the hotel wasn't $40 million -- that was the hotel's revenue. To get income, one of course has to take out things like...oh, expenses! Salaries, daily maintenance, insurance, utilities, repairs, taxes...little things like that. But no, Trump wants you to believe he's far, far, far richer than he is. It's what he's always done. So, he listed his hotel's revenue as his personal income. As he's always done. Which brings us to, "Show us your tax returns." But I digress...
And while that would be more disaster enough for most people, no, that was just the start of the day in Trump Land. Because there was also the Senate Intelligence Committee releasing a report that confirmed findings by the U.S. intelligence services that Russia did, in fact, try to influence the election, and it was ordered directly by Vladimir Putin. Gee, it's such a good thing that the House Intelligence Committee, lead by Trump water carrier Devin Nunes, shut down its own investigation and "concluded" that there was no effort by Russia to involve itself in the U.S. presidential election. Nothing to see here, move along, sonny.
And the Senate was done. They released transcripts of their committee interviews about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and, starring as "The Russians," the Russians. And there was Don Jr. saying endlessly that "I don't recall." Over and over and over and over and over. And over and over. A real ace there, with a cracker jack memory. Among the things he didn't remember, by the way, was whether or not his father had a blocked phone number. Okay, so when any of you have spoken to your dad on the phone, how many of you can't recall whether or not he has a blocked number? Hands??? Anyone??? Yeah, I didn't think so.
And sure, that's a pretty day for anyone. But then The New Yorker magazine published a new article by Ronan Farrow in which he tracked down the government law official who released the bank records of Michael Cohen. It was a phenomenally risky thing to do, since the action was illegal. But the unidentified person (who we'll refer to here as "he") said he was horrifyingly concerned about a discrepancy he discovered. Three Suspicious Activity Reports -- known as SARs -- had been filed by Cohen's bank, but two of them had disappeared from the official FinCEN records. Something that Just Doesn't Happen. The only one that didn't was the one leaked -- and which refers to the other two, which is how it was known they existed. Now, to be clear, it's possible that there is an innocent explanation. For instance, Robert Mueller could have asked for access to them be blocked. It's possible. Whether it's probable, though, is another matter. After all, why only remove two of the SARs, and not the third? Anyway, it was so uncommonly rare for such a thing to happen that the official felt it had to be brought to light. Shining more attention on Michael Cohen, Trump, money laundering and dealing with Russians.
And here's a late addition -- Trump calling illegal immigrants "animals." Now, to be fair, there are some people who say it's unclear if he only meant gang members, which was a topic of his exchange, or that ALL illegal immigrants were "animals," since that's how it is phrased. But here's the thing - it doesn't matter. His hatred of illegal immigrants (who he says are rapists) and even legal ones from "shit holes" is on the record. His personal view on the subject is clear and on the record.
And all of that was yesterday. JUST yesterday.
What kind of a day was it yesterday? A day like any otherr -- except...you are there.
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