And so another week blogging here at Crooks and Liars ends for me. It's been swell thanks to the work of 28+ bloggers who've brought clarity to a muddy world, and insights to our times that the mainstream media chooses to ignore. We are grateful to them, and to you. Thank you for letting all of these many blogs and bloggers be part of your week.
Herlander Walking walks the walk of the fallen again this Memorial Weekend. We all should remember the fallen as she does.
Stinque is (rightfully) outraged over the separation of immigrant children from their parents. We should ALL be outraged at what is being done in our names!
World o' Crap tells us what was old is new again.
Bonus Track: Open Culture shows us how 1923 explained Einstein's Theory of Relativity, as a popular entertainment. Science has always been cool!
Round-up by Tengrain who blogs at Mock, Paper, Scissors. You can follow Tengrain on the Twitters, too. Send tips, requests, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org (with For MBRU in the subject line).
Is the Republican National Committee offering wealthy Chinese investors access to Trump in exchange for campaign contributions?
Nooooooooo. I mean, why WOULD they? That would be improper. Illegal, even! Pay no attention to that letter with "the insignia of a real Republican committee raising money for the party and President Trump's reelection campaign, it purported to offer a handshake and a one-on-one photo with the president for $100,000 — a "VIP" trip "to be remembered for a lifetime." That's all completely innocent, and the RNC knows nothing about that, they promise!
Also, completely innocuous is the upcoming fundraiser on May 31st! Ignore, if you would, the two Chinese companies charging two or three times the price of the campaign fundraiser's ticket, promising access to and photos with the president of the United States. The RNC knows noooooothing about that.
"But some campaign finance experts say there would be ethical concerns if foreigners were routinely gaining access to the U.S. president through fundraisers. And the solicitations, if offering a legitimate service, raise questions about whether attendees are indirectly paying for their tickets through a U.S. donor, which would be illegal."
Maggie Haberman has a unique platform, for which she is utterly and tragically unable to do well.
As the designated Trump-whisperer for The New York Times, Haberman has been the beneficiary of the Leaker-in-Chief, as Trump has enjoyed calling Maggie personally and giving her all of his hot takes, truthful or not.
But reporting Trump's lies as "lies" is apparently not part of the deal.
So when Trump tweeted this ridiculousness yesterday.
Rudy Giuliani, a lead attorney for President Donald Trump, called former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan "clowns" on Sunday because they have spoken about Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
During an interview with Giuliani on CNN, host Dana Bash noted that the former federal prosecutor had "worked closely with intelligence agents throughout your decades in public life."
"You really believe that people like Brennan and Clapper are part of a deep state conspiracy?" Bash asked.
"I don't know what you want to call it," Giuliani replied. "But I have no regard for all for Clapper and Brennan. I think they're two clowns. Clapper is talking about spying, which he doesn't realize it's spying on the Trump campaign. He's [had] an obligation to tell them."
"Brennan was chief torturer in charge," he added. "Then he disowned it, then I don't know what he did for the CIA. He's the most political CIA director I have ever met."
Giuliani continued, muttering under his breath: "Clapper, well, yeah. They're not civil servants as far as I know."
"Really?" Bash countered. "All those decades of service in the military."
"Hey, there are a lot of people with decades of service," Giuliani shrugged. "Some are good, some bad and some men get consumed with power and some begin to lie. And in the case of Brennan, he's a political guy. He was Obama's chief defender. I'm not sure about Clapper. I haven't watch him as well. But watching him, he's sure not impressive."
When the news came out this week that the NFL owners had taken a vote and unanimously agreed that they would fine any player who took a knee during the national anthem, they got cheers from Donald Trump and decidedly mixed feedback from NFL players.
But then the cracks started to show. Owner of the 49ers, Jed York, denied voting for such a measure, saying that he abstained until he could speak to the players. So did the Raiders' Mark Davis.
Not sounding so unanimous, is it?
And in a league in which the player population is nearly 70 percent minority, incredibly tone-deaf:
In the statement, Goodell all but begs for forgiveness, not from the players whose rights he has trampled but from those fans who claimed outrage, adopting the same language about "respect" and "patriotism" that Trump and his supporters have so disingenuously used: "It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case."
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, revealed on Sunday that evidence will show that Donald Trump participated in his personal attorney's business of selling access to top government officials.
While speaking to Joy Reid on MSNBC, Avenatti pointed to the news that Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen had met with agents of foreign governments to sell access to the president and other officials.
"This is a president that people have routinely stated that he insists on knowing what's going on around him," Avenatti explained. "He absolutely despises people who are trying to make money on his 'back' without his knowledge."
"In my view, there was no question he knew what was going on here in relation to Michael Cohen selling access," he continued. "And I think when all the evidence comes out, there's going to be substantial evidence that not only did he know about it, but he participated in it."
Trump's mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani gave another incoherent interview on CNN's State of the Union this morning, full of tics and weird facial expressions. As usual, he called the special counsel a "rigged" investigation and claimed that the charge of "perjury" is really just open to interpretation.
But as Giuliani was spinning as hard as he could while using every Kellyanne Conway talking point he studied, he made a curious slip-up after guest host Dana Bash asked him to clarify what two topics were agreed upon for a Trump interview with the special counsel.
Dana Bash asked,"What are those two topics. What's in, what's out?"
Giuliani immediately began to backtrack," I should say it's all contingent on every point being worked out. It's kind of like the North Korean negotiations. if everything can be worked out then they would probably limit it to collusion and obstruction."
He continued, "The collusion part we are pretty comfortable with because there has been none. The obstruction part I'm not as comfortable with. I'm not. The president is fine with it, he is innocent. I am not comfortable because it's a matter of interpretation, not just hard and fast, true/not true."
The thing about Trump is that he's almost pure id. And his tweets reflect that. You can tell what he's watching just by how he responds and how he projects his own massive fears and insecurities on others.
So while I'm not sure what Trump was watching this morning, it's pretty clear that he's feeling very, very nervous.
One thing that it is important to note: pretty much everyone that was involved in the campaign, the transition or worked in the White House for however long has smartly lawyered up. And that costs money. Potentially, a LOT of money. Don't get me wrong, there's no sympathy there--if you decided to hitch your wagon to Trump, you deserve what you get. But that doesn't mean that everyone involved has the deep pockets of Javanka or Trump himself when it comes to legal fees.
Rep. Peter King, who has a long history of supporting the Irish terrorist group know as the IRA, went ballistic this morning on Twitter and Facebook and actually compared NFL players silently taking a knee to protest racial injustice to those making racist remarks and Nazis salutes.
I understand that King sees this as a winning issue for Donald Trump but making these comparisons are truly horrific.
Trump and his TV surrogates have been gaslighting all forms of racism to defend Trump's white nationalism and immoral and unconstitutional government policies on immigration.
CNN pundit Joan Walsh on Sunday called out host Brian Stelter for parroting the Trump administration's line that separating immigrant children from their families is an effective form of "deterrent."
Walsh noted during an appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources that Donald Trump had lied to Fox News viewers about border crossings being down 40 percent. In reality, crossings are up.
"It is a lie," Walsh explained, pointing to the news that as many as 1,500 children are missing in the United States' immigration system.
"While we cannot account for these children in our care, we are now cruelly adding more children, putting more children into a system that is obviously not keeping track of them," Walsh stated. "And doing the cruelest thing imaginable and pulling babies, little babies, from their parents."
"There was a mother crying as her toddler was taken away," she continued. "And she was given a yellow wristband to mark her as a mother that had smuggled a child. And that 'smuggling' of her own child is considered a crime... It is cruel, it is horrible and Trump is lying about it."
Stelter felt the need to stand up for the administration.
"Trump, [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions, will say, 'This coverage, it's working. It's having a deterrent effect. This is exactly what we want to make sure people don't cross the border,'" Stelter said, leaving Walsh appalled.