Trump’s Birth Certificate Moment

The story is all over the place now. What began in July, with Trump begging the Russians to help him beat Hillary Clinton, and continued through October with the Obama administration formally accusing the Russians of hacking the Democrats and Mother Jones’ David Corn publishing a story about the possibility that the Russians have for years been trying to “co-opt and assist Trump,” finally hit the big time yesterday when CNN did a tardy “breaking news” story:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

By now, if you have been paying attention, you know what the “compromising personal” information might be, but in case you don’t, here is the PG version from Newsweek:

The story began making the rounds at Washington dinner parties late last summer: Donald Trump had been caught in a compromising sexual position by Russian intelligence agents during a business trip to Moscow. According to one version, told by a high-ranking Obama administration diplomat, Russian intelligence services, acting on Trump’s well-known obsession with sex, had arranged an evening for him with a bevy of hookers, with hidden cameras and microphones recording all the action. The jaw-dropping detail that topped the story? Trump had somehow engaged in “golden showers,” sex acts involving urine.

Now, I don’t personally give a damn whether an entire brothel full of hookers pissed on his orange coif, his tiny hands, or any other part of his anatomy. The fact that he admitted to sexual assault on that infamous pussy tape is much more damaging than any revelation, true or not, that he got a urine bath in Moscow. That pussy tape is a thousand times more revealing of who he is than any pissy tape.

What does bother me about this issue, and what should bother all Americans, is the potential “compromising…financial information” the Russians, or others, may have related to Trump. As I write this, the Russian-Trump story is still developing. The latest, reported on MSNBC and NBC, is that Trump was not told in an intelligence briefing about the potential compromising information, nor were any documents presented to him indicating as much. Who knows at this point. But here’s something we know for sure: Trump trusts the Russians more than he trusts his own government. He tweeted this morning:

Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.” Very unfair!

“Russia just said,” Trump madly tweeted. Think about that. This man will soon be in the White’s House. But he didn’t stop there. An hour later, he said:

I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!

Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?

Besides having fascism on his mind, clearly Trump thinks the present U.S. government is out to get him and he finds it okay to cite the Russian government as a reliable source.

But Trump tweeted something else that should be the focus of all journalists, and all investigative agencies:

Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!

There is no ambiguity in that SHOUTED declaration. It is absolutely clear. And because it is so specific and so clear, it can be proved or disproved. And Trump has all the information, including his tax returns, that can prove or disprove it.

Back in 2011, after President Obama released the long form of his birth certificate because he was tired of all the stupidity surrounding “papers please” birtherism, Donald Trump took credit for his “big role” in the release. “I am really proud, I am really honored,” the race-baiter said. The next year he tweeted:

An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud.

Well, today an “extremely credible source”—a former British spy who American intelligence officials apparently have some confidence in—has suggested that the Russians have compromising financial information that they can use to play Trump, and which would explain his creepy cheerleading for Putin. In short, Trump is a fraud, if what the British operative was told is true.

Thus, unlike the birthers, we have very good reasons to suspect Trump is hiding vital information. All he has to do is show us his financial birth certificate. Show us his papers. Prove to us who he is, that he is telling the truth about his lack of Russian connections.

He will have a chance to begin clearing this up as early as this morning during his first press conference since that infamous one last July. Every journalist who gets to ask a question should not move on to something else until Trump agrees to release all his financial information—including his tax returns going back many years—until he backs up what he tweeted this morning. Journalist after journalist, question after question, should focus on this one, vitally important, issue.

Because if Trump has been compromised by the Russians, we are in a world of trouble.

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13 Comments

  1. What’s disturbing about this is that (a) any sordid behavior that Trump is accused of is plausible because of who he is (among other things, a self-described pussy grabber) and (b) this is the kind of crap we’re going to have to deal with for the next four years. I watched about 30 seconds of his press conference a few minutes ago. It’s all I could stand given his endless arm-waving and ridiculous hand gestures, extremely limited vocabulary, and incredibly superficial understanding of reality, which make it too painful (and frightening) to listen to him for any longer.

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    • Dayan,

      Unfortunately, I watched the entire thing.

      There is—and this may surprise you—something about the guy that I find sad. Don’t get me wrong. He is the most disturbed and disturbing and dangerous person in public life, for the reasons you mention and more. But in simple human terms there is something so pathetic about the way he sees and experiences the world. He is so emotionally needy that his always-selfish transactional approach to everyone and everything is to be pitied. It’s hard to imagine him being genuinely happy in his own skin. He reminds me of the people in hell in C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. They are never happy where they are and keep moving further and further away from each other, building house after house, until they are completely isolated.

      As I said, it’s kind of sad. But the man is capable of bringing our democracy to ruins, so to hell with him indeed.

      Duane

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  2. Does this feel like a twisted coup to you? It does to me. Accomplished by government insiders: the GOP establishment, SCOTUS and the wealthy who really run things anyway.
    The GOP Senate is trying to ram through appointees prior to their vetting. The FBI Director is obviously in their pocket. Sort of bloodless, I guess, but a coup of American Democracy. And let’s don’t forget they were aided and abetted by every numbskull who voted Republican in November.
    Who knew Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Jeff Sessions, et al have been Russian double agents all these years?
    And where’s the outrage from the Right? Won’t happen. Here’s my experience with “true believers” — they don’t really believe in anything beyond the idea that they are right. If you point out their mistaken allegiances they merely double down. Can’t argue with fools. We are so screwed.

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    • You know, I think “coup,” even a bloodless one, goes too far. That implies a level of cooperation that I don’t think Trump could possibly be trusted to maintain.

      I do think, though, that Ryan and McConnell, the two GOP leaders who matter most domestically, believe Trump is compromised, either in ways described in that dossier, or simply by his business conflicts, none of which he put to rest today (as expected). Thus, I think they believe they can, most likely through Pence, get Trump to sign on to their dirty work simply by making it known that they know “things” and can do “things” and a “deal” can be made.

      As for the outrage from the right, there isn’t much. Some here and there, but most of the outrage from the right is in the form of anti-anti-Trumpers. I see that kind of response all the time. They focus on hating those of us who hate Trumpism rather than the prospect of Trumpism itself. Mostly this is because, I suspect, that in Trump they see too much of what many of them have cultivated over the years.

      True believers, of all stripes, are difficult to crack. In order for it to happen, there has to be a fault line somewhere, at least a little crack that lets in enough light to keep one tethered to the possibility of changing. I know this from experience. The problem is that most true believers I have met don’t have such a fault line. But one doesn’t know who does and who doesn’t until one tries. And tries. And tries. I guess that’s why I keep at it. I changed and I want to believe that others can too. Even though mostly I just get frustrated.

      Duane

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      • Never give up, brother. We all appreciate your good work.

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        • I appreciate that encouragement. What a week this was. I sense a tiny movement, on the right, toward admitting that Trump is at least circumstantially compromised and I see in this an opportunity to press our case. We need journalists to focus on the real meat and not the salacious stuff, even though that is part of it too. And as hard as it is to focus on just one or two things with all this going on, I feel like some real progress is being made in “unpresidenting” Trump.

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  3. You probably are already aware of this piece and the author – former NSA analyst John Schindler – not to mention the publication he writes for, The Observer (which is published by Jared Kushner, Trump’s S-I-L), but in the off chance you haven’t seen it I thought I’d share it with you. I also recommend following the links he provides in the main article as they provide additional information and background. Here’s to hoping that people smarter than I are looking into the situation and are able to help our country get out of this mess before too much more damage is done….

    http://observer.com/2017/01/donald-trump-press-conference-prague-michael-cohen/

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    • Dawn,

      Thanks for that link. I had not seen it. What makes Schindler’s take on this all the more credible (besides his expertise) is that he spent a lot of time going after Clinton’s private server “scandal.” Thus, he has, in the past, been a favorite of conservatives. I have noticed there seems to be a change, at least among some Republicans, with their approach to this issue. It is becoming all too obvious that Trump is compromised in some way, likely, as Schindler says, financially. And the revelation that Flynn had been talking to the Russians around the time of Obama’s sanctions for mucking with our election has seemed to push more right-wingers in the “something is seriously wrong” camp.

      We can only hope that there is some integrity left in the GOP leadership. I admit that’s a thin hope. But it’s about all we have. Trump will soon be untouchable legally for anything. He, as he sort of hinted at during his weird presser, has figured out that, as president, he will be essentially beyond the reach of the law. The only remedy for his actions, after January 20, is impeachment, a political act. And we have to rely on Republicans in the House to do that. I’m not holding my breath. But if more damaging information turns up (and it will now that the FBI is being investigated and journalists finally are going hard-core), we may have a President Pence. And while that doesn’t give me much reason to rejoice, at least the orange creep will be disgraced, and, hopefully, his creepy movement along with him.

      Thanks again,
      Duane

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    • Oh, I forgot something. I thought it was interesting that Schindler suggested that the whole dossier leak issue was part of an effort to distract from the most worrisome aspects of Trump’s indebtedness to Putin. That would be the way a counter-intelligence guy would look at it, which is not how most of us process this stuff.

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      • Do you follow Schindler on Twitter? Very interesting stuff he’s putting out there now…. @20committee
        I’ve been sending hubs to his articles, also. I figure it can’t get more reliable and insightful than him.

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        • I do follow him. He gets a lot of grief. As with any other source of information, I measure what he says against what others in the field, and others who have studied the issues involved, have to day. He holds up very well. As does Malcolm Nance, who has been on this stuff since the beginning. He was the first one I heard on television talk about these things in the terms people like Schindler are using now.

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  4. Duane, your change and my own journey of change is what powers my goal of keeping at it. The last paragraph of your response to “The Generalist”,

    “The problem is that most true believers I have met don’t have such a fault line. But one doesn’t know who does and who doesn’t until one tries. And tries. And tries.”

    For me, it is the trying and trying that will ultimately prevail. To paraphrase from Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “A man convinced against his will is a man not persuaded still…..”

    We all need to keep up the struggle. I am with you. Millions more are, also.

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