“Donald got his personal helicopter and the one for his casinos from a convicted felon who turned out to be a major drug trafficker, and instead of cutting ties with this guy, he kept him on, he rented him an apartment under very unusual circumstances as I described in the book,” Johnston told CNN host Michael Smerconish. “He wrote a letter pleading for mercy for him, saying he was a standup guy. The guy got 18 months while the people who actually delivered the drugs for him got 20 years. And, by the way, the case came before at one point Judge Maryanne Trump Barry — Donald’s older sister.”
Johnston was referring to Joseph Weichselbaum, who was indicted for drug trafficking in 1985.
Johnston said the media should investigate Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but he complained that virtually no one had called attention to Trump’s “lifelong business dealings with Russian mobsters, con artists, violent felons, swindlers, and this big time cocaine trafficker.”
Trump campaign CEO once charged in domestic violence case (Politico - link): Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Donald Trump campaign, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed, according to a police report and court documents.
The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.
While the case ended when Bannon's ex-wife did not appear in court, the incident presents a new problem for the Trump campaign following the hiring of the controversial Bannon. He went on leave from Breitbart News, where he is chairman, to take over the Trump campaign.
Bannon, through a spokeswoman, said he was never interviewed by the police about the incident. Bannon pleaded "not guilty" to the allegations and was represented by a local criminal defense attorney during the proceedings. The couple — who had twin girls — were divorced shortly after the criminal charges were dropped in August 1996.
Bannon’s then-wife, who POLITICO is not naming, answered the door at the home looking “very upset,” according to the police report.
According to the report, she said, “Oh, thank you, you are here. How did you know to come?” and took several minutes to compose herself.
Bannon, according to the report, was less than seven months into his second marriage, though the couple had known each other for a number of years prior to their April 1995 wedding. The couple just had twin girls seven months earlier, Bannon’s ex-wife told police at the time.
There had been a history of physical altercations in their relationship, Bannon’s then-wife relayed. "In the beginning of their relationship, she said they [had] 3 or 4 argument that became physical and they had been going to counseling. There has not been any physical abuse in their arguments for about the past 4 years.
Donald Trump Uses Shooting of Dwyane Wade’s Cousin to Peddle Dangerous Stereotypes (The Daily Beat - link): Has there been a more feckless, disconnected and intellectually lazy major party nominee for president in the modern era? By any measure, the answer is no.
Donald Trump, a man known for hurling racially-charged brickbats of intolerance, spent recent days spewing vile stereotypes in a ham-fisted attempt to appear more sympathetic to African American voters and blaming Democrats for the social maladies that tend to plague many of nation’s largest cities.
But, Saturday morning, in a uniquely craven and breathtakingly vulturistic social media post, Trump proved—once again—that he knows no boundaries.
Linking the shooting death of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade’s cousin to his own recent rhetorical flourishes about so-called black-on-black crime, the former real estate developer seemed to say: I told you so.
“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago,” Trump said, in a tweet he deleted, then reposted with the correct spelling of the NBA star’s name. “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”
The fact that the one-time reality television personality originally misspelled Wade’s first name, did not mention Nykea Aldridge by name and failed to extend condolences to the family was largely greeted with derision. As the nation grapples with meaningful solutions to some of our most pressing dilemmas—including how to stem the tide of gun violence—and a family was dealing with a tragic loss, Trump was taking a victory lap.
Trump, who appears to get his sketchy public policy ideas from tooling around fringe websites, immediately pounced on the horrific incident as proof that he deserves more support from black voters. In recent days, Trump has attempted to parlay his feigned benevolence for social disparities in predominantly non-white, inner city neighborhoods into political gains among white suburbanites.
His ripped-from-the-headlines message may have won Trump a fractured Republican primary. But, over time, his off-the-cuff and sometimes scripted remarks have proven costly—to both himself and the broader GOP. Party insiders see him as a wrecking ball, concerned more with his own cheering crowds of true believers than building the kind of broad coalition of support that could win him the presidency and help down-ticket candidates.
Trump campaign donor linked to mafia, Putin loyalists (This Week - link): Last month, Felix Sater, a businessman with ties to the mafia and "loyalists of Russian President Vladimir Putin," paid Donald Trump a visit at Trump Tower for "confidential" reasons, Politico reported Friday. That same month, Sater gave the Trump campaign $5,400 — the maximum contribution allowed.
Sater and Trump's ties go way back; the two once co-developed a Trump project and Trump briefly hired Sater. However, Trump has long maintained that his relationship with Sater is "distant" and stated under oath that he "would not recognize Sater if the two were sitting in the same room," Politico reported.
Whether or not Trump recognizes Sater, the Russian-born businessman's reappearance in Trump's circle comes at an inconvenient time for his campaign, Politico says:
Around 1999, Sater joined Bayrock, a real estate firm that had offices in Trump Tower and pursued business ventures with Trump. Bayrock is now being rocked by allegations made in a lawsuit brought by a former executive of unexplained cash infusions from Russia and Kazakhstan and receiving financing from a firm used by Russians "in favor with" Putin. Around 2010, Sater went to work for Trump directly, carrying a Trump Organization business card that described him as a "senior advisor to Donald Trump."
The revelation of Sater's contribution and recent Trump Tower visit come at a time when Trump's pro-Russian stances, his relationship with former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his campaign's role in softening the Republican Party's support for Ukrainian resistance to Russian incursions in its territory have all brought the New York billionaire's ties to Russia under intense scrutiny.
Saudi prince says he twice saved Trump from bankruptcy (Middle East Monitor - link): Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal said he twice saved US presidential candidate Donald Trump from bankruptcy, describing him as a “bad and ungrateful person”.
In an interview with Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper, the prince said he bought Trump’s hotels after they were acquired by the banks which demanded he repay his debts.
The yacht he used to come to Antalya, southwest of Turkey, is one he bought from Trump when he was threatened with bankruptcy.
Earlier, the Saudi prince called on Trump to immediately withdraw from the presidential race describing him as a disgrace to the Republican Party and America.
Trump’s Favorite Poll Just Delivered A Devastating One-Two Punch To The Republican Party (Politics USA.com - link): A new Quinnipiac University poll contained the bad news that not only is Hillary Clinton leading by double-digits, but the vast majority of voters have made up their minds.
According to the Quinnipiac University Poll:
In the battle of the unloved presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton tops the magical 50 percent mark among American likely voters, leading Republican Donald Trump 51 – 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.
When third party candidates are added to the mix, Clinton gets 45 percent with Trump at 38 percent, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson at 10 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 4 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. This survey of likely voters can not be compared with results of earlier surveys of registered voters.
Women and non-white voters propel Clinton in the head-to-head matchup. Women back her 60 – 36 percent. Men back Trump 48 – 42 percent. White voters back Trump 52 – 41 percent. Non-white voters back Clinton 77 – 15 percent.
Hillary Clinton leading by ten is very bad news for the Republican nominee, but what is even worse is that 90% of those polled have already made up their minds. Only 9% of respondents said that they are open to changing their minds. This means that even if Trump got all of the people who could change their minds to support him, he would still be losing to Clinton.
The Quinnipiac results if they maintain and are replicated in other polls will suggest that Donald Trump has entered the territory of being completely unelectable. Trump’s new campaign team doesn’t matter. Trump’s changes in policy don’t matter. The presidential debates might not matter.
The polling suggests that Trump reacted too late to his slide. Voters say that they have made up their minds.