Saturday, May 21, 2016

Donald Trump seems to have skipped a crucial step in preparing to run for President. And it could be his undoing.

Courtesy of Mother Jones:  

For most major presidential campaigns, it is a routine act: You conduct opposition research on your own candidate. The reason is obvious; campaign officials and candidates want to know what they might have to contend with once the you-know-what starts flying. But not Donald Trump. At least not at the start of the campaign that would lead to him becoming the presumptive GOP nominee. According to a source with direct knowledge, when Trump was considering entering the presidential race early last year, his political advisers, including Corey Lewandowski, who would become his campaign manager, suggested that he hire a professional to investigate his past. But the celebrity mogul said no and refused to pay for it. 

Marital infidelity, connections to mob-related persons, bankruptcies, the hiring of undocumented workers, policy flip-flops, deals gone bad, legal troubles—Trump's life is an opposition researcher's dream. That was no secret to his political lieutenants, who prior to his announcement discussed the need to conduct a deep dive into the tycoon's background. The point was to do more than Google searches and perusing of the many books written on Trump—and to instead mount a full forensic examination of everything Donald. Especially before anyone else did. (Trump's aides had heard a rumor that wealthy conservative donors, perhaps including the Koch brothers, were underwriting a private opposition research effort aimed at the former reality TV star.) 

"Everyone does this," says a former Mitt Romney aide. "I don't know a campaign that didn't. It's a standard procedure." Political research firms specialize in this sort of work. "It's an off-the-shelf service they provide," this aide notes. "For X dollars, you get a different level of digging. I've never known a campaign that didn't do this. After all, you're expected to know your own record. Any responsible campaign would do that."

I think the key phrase here is "responsible campaign." 

Let's face it Trump is an "in the moment" kind of guy who can say today today the exact opposite of what he said in the past, such as he recently did concerning Libya, and expect nobody to call him out over it.

The problem for Trump is that the Clintons are experts at oppositional research and if there are smoking guns to be found, they will in fact be found.

Their challenge is in making sure that it actually sticks to Trump and makes it harder for people to justify voting for him. So far nothing that we know, and we know a lot, seems to have accomplished that feat.


  1. Anonymous2:07 PM

    The rise of Trump is over. If he can't give policy specifics instead of walking back all the comments he made to get his Primary following aka his worshipers, we'll see a Titanic sized SS Trump sinking soon.

    1. I think this will really show up in the first general debate. The Democratic candidate will be talking actual policy and substance, while Trump will be stuck in his "See Spot run. Spot runs and runs. See Tim. Tim sees Spot run and run" third-grade level of rhetoric.

      I suspect that, like Palin, he will refuse to practice, convinced that he can just wing it.

    2. Anonymous3:57 PM

      Given the winners he's surrounded himself with, they won't even know enough to do the research so he could practice. Bunch of bomb tossers....then runs way and giggle.

    3. Anonymous10:00 PM

      My departed mother-in-law said it best about lying, hypocritical, low-down vipers; 'throw a rock and hide your hand.'


  2. Anonymous2:15 PM

    When it comes to lying, Trump is in a class by himself

    Stonewaller, shape-shifter, liar. I wrote this week about how an all-but-certain presidential nominee embodied these characteristics, prompting comments from readers observing, with varying degrees of snarkiness, that they had assumed I was referring to Hillary Clinton.

    My target was Donald Trump, but these readers raise a reasonable and important question: Can’t the same criticism I heaped on the presumptive Republican nominee be applied to the Democratic front-runner? To all politicians, for that matter? Am I just whaling on Trump and going soft on Clinton because I disagree with Trump’s positions and agree, for the most part, with Clinton’s?

    Some will conclude that I am simply in the tank for Clinton, willfully blind to her faults. (On that score, full disclosure: My college-age daughter has volunteered for the Clinton campaign as an unpaid intern this summer.)

    But I’d make two countervailing points.

    Donald Trump: Stonewaller, shape-shifter, liar

  3. Hedgewytch2:15 PM

    ""Everyone does this," says a former Mitt Romney aide. "I don't know a campaign that didn't. It's a standard procedure." Political research firms specialize in this sort of work. "It's an off-the-shelf service they provide," this aide notes. "For X dollars, you get a different level of digging. I've never known a campaign that didn't do this."

    I know a campaign that didn't! How soon they forget (but then the GOP is known for its selective memory.) How about the McCain campaign fully vetting Mrs. Palin? Hmmm?

  4. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Trump loaned White House campaign $7.5 million as he nears Republican nomination

    Donald Trump raised $1.7 million from donors and loaned his White House campaign $7.5 million in April as he moved closer to becoming the Republican nominee for president, according to documents filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Friday.

    1. Anonymous6:16 PM

      The kicker will be he'll get his loan refunded and theoretically never self funded his campaign. Just more Trump bs!

    2. Anonymous10:33 PM

      He will earn interest on the repaid loan to the Republican party 2016 campaign for the White House. It's all about the benjamins.


  5. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Think of all the opposition research McCain did on Sarah Palin. Trump figures the same system will work for him.

  6. Anonymous2:18 PM

    COMPLETELY off topic, but Gryphen, you will LOVE this!

    Perhaps not so surprising after all was the readers’ first choice:

    The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.

    1. Anonymous3:28 PM

      Got a set in my house and NO bible.

  7. Dinty2:18 PM

    Is the "source with direct knowledge" named John Miller?

  8. Anonymous2:20 PM

    The military veterans group VoteVets is blasting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “fraud,” after it was revealed that his claim that he raised $6.5 million for veterans was a lie.

  9. Anonymous2:22 PM

    Good lord, the disconnect is profound!

    Dana Perino Explains Why She is a Conservative

    Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, explains in an excerpt of her book, And the Good News Is… why she is a conservative. And it makes for interesting reading if only because her reasons fly in the face of every known fact. Which explains why she did so well under Dubya, who made reality up as he went along.

    Perino explains,

    I’m a conservative because everything else seems easy by comparison. And when something is too easy, it’s too good to be true or it’s sure to fail and disappoint. I wasn’t impressed by the alternatives to conservatism—I gravitate to facts, logic, and reality, whereas to me, liberalism is based on theory, and feelings, and fantasy.

    That’s right. Perino, who belongs to the party that has its own special Rovian math to make them feel better about how things are compared to how they wish them to be, says that it is liberalism that is “based on theory, and feelings, and fantasy.”

    1. That is rich, coming from the truffle-headed dunce who claimed that "But we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term."

    2. Anonymous3:54 PM

      But they believe that! How many times have you heard, "Bush kept us safe!" He did NOT keep anyone safe, least of all New Yorkers and the 5500 servicemen and women who were killed, as well as the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who we killed. Yet, the GOP is convinced that Bush and his flight suit mentality are what is needed..expect to see the Donald in uniform on an aircraft carrier before he ever debates Hillary. Expect no blowback over the fake 'fund raiser for the troops' he pulled off to put money into his own pocket. He is teflon man right now. That will change.
      Oh, and Perino is an idiot.

  10. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Self-Loathing Hispanic Republicans To Reconcile With Drumpf

    Are you enjoying watching the cavalcade of Republicans biting the bullet and reluctantly 'endorsing' Trump? I certainly enjoy the awkwardnes. Certain Republicans must really dislike themselves. There's no other way to explain their membership in a party that hates them.

    You might be familiar with some of these especially baffling types of Republicans:

    Muslim/Hispanic Republicans,
    LGBT Republicans,
    Black-Republicans (or any person of color, really)
    Poor Republicans,
    Female Republicans,
    Scientifically-Inclined Republicans,
    Educated Republicans, etc.

    I am sure that list is far from complete. The .1% of White males, with a deep-seeded hatred for immigrants, homosexuals, a desire for unfettered gun proliferation and total absence of compassion are much easier to understand their desire to be Republicans. The number of self-loathing Republicans is much greater than the number of Republicans perfectly suited for the GOP.

    We are looking today, specifically, at the coalescence of Hispanic Republicans, a proud member of the self-loathing subset of the GOP. The Hill Reports:

    1. Anonymous5:55 PM

      I don't know why people vote against their own best interests. No woman should vote for Trump. I can't imagine why any Hispanic would want to vote for him either. Then there are the Muslims who live in the US. I can't imagine that anyone who is gay is a loyal member of the Log Cabin Republicans. That party has done nothing for you except to make your life tougher, not easier.

  11. Anonymous2:26 PM

    There is no secret to why Donald Trump is running a low-cost Presidential campaign. And there's no doubt why he ran in the first place: to elevate his brand and grift, as many others have before him, off the publicity of running for President. (Ask Newt and Callista Gingrich how it works.)

    Trump and the media who enabled him have no reason to be surprised that he's getting a free ride. OF COURSE Trump is grifting off Fox's free coverage. What else are they there for?

    1. Anonymous11:19 PM

      He doesn't need to spend money. He just says something outrageous and gets free publicity from all of the media outlets.

  12. Anonymous2:28 PM

    8 European Far-Right Parties Who Are Celebrating Donald Trump

    The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has a few supporters across the pond—on the far right of the political spectrum.

    Donald Trump’s campaign is truly testing the limits of the old saying “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Unless one operates under the assumption that a hate-filled platform fueled by bigotry, xenophobia and sexism is what the world needs right now. In which case, the Trump cloud appearing on the horizon is seen by some as an invitation to open their arms in exaltation, awaiting the inevitable Trumpian shower to follow.

    The attributes of a Trump-thumper are pretty easy to identify. Mostly it’s a hatred of immigrants coated in a fine patina of pseudo-nationalist rhetoric. George Packer writing in the New Yorker recently described it as “white identity politics.” Given Packer’s diagnosis, it’s safe to say America is not alone in this category. And so, from the continent well-versed in such terminology, below is a list of eight far-right political party leaders from Europe eagerly awaiting Hurricane Trump.

  13. 66gardeners2:31 PM

    Have you heard of the Donald Trump documentary?

    The film was commissioned in 1988 by Leonard Stern as the first of a series on celebrity businessmen and finished in 1991. Back then, the only way for a film to be seen was on television or in the theater. Donald threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor that took on the film. In effect, it was suppressed.

    Watch it now online for free at Mediate

    1. Anonymous3:00 PM

      Suppressed Documentary Part 1: The Documentary on Donald Trump He Tried to Suppress

      Donald Trump’s entire career has been about creating and projecting an image of himself that suits his needs. That has never been truer than during his current presidential bid. But what lies behind the image? Is Trump the genius and unremitting success he would have us believe? Is he the master of knowing how to pull all things off, how to win big while intimidating the bad guys and be loved by everyone else?

      Long ago — a quarter century ago — when Trump was already making noises about wanting to be president, some filmmakers set out to discover what the man was made of. They learned a lot — an astonishing amount. And they made a documentary. Trump, always aggressive, threatened to sue, and the film never saw the light of day.

      Now, though, we’ve obtained this documentary and, in the public interest, are showing it. From today until the first votes are cast in Iowa, we will stream “chapters” of it here.

  14. 66gardeners2:35 PM

    It seems the documentary is no longer available for violating youtube's policies. Does anybody know where a good copy of this documentary can be found? Thanks in advance

    1. Anonymous3:21 PM

      So, this is a documentary was done in the early 90s, but was buried away due to (surprise, surprise!!!) frivolous lawsuits by Donald Trump/John Baron/John Miller.

      This is the full documentary film, currently available on YouTube:

    2. Anonymous3:33 PM

      Yeah,they keep jerking down this one also too:

    3. Anonymous3:34 PM

      It's available on iTunes for only $9.99.

    4. I rented it for $2.99 for 72 hours on Vimeo and watched it today. Same Trump then as we see now, a total mess!

  15. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Let the undoing begin, we simply cannot afford a buffoon for a president.

    1. Anonymous3:13 PM

      Actually we could, considering all the buffoons whose support him, plus all the politicians who have backtracked on their initial antipathy towards him.

  16. Anonymous2:53 PM

    Birth certificate? I knew it, he was born in Kenya.

  17. Anonymous2:58 PM

    The Clinton's are lifetime politicians. They've spent a lifetime correcting the public record and paying people to create their perfect backgrounds.

    Trump needed a decade ago to hire the right people, create the proper background and hire handlers that would groom him and parse his every word and statement.

    He's a loose cannon, the Clinton's were never loose cannons because they have been running for office for 35 years so they know how it works. It's not as if their past is any more palatable than is Trumps, they just knew how the political game really works.

    I find the entire process despicable and distasteful, but unfortunately that is politics in America for the last 40 years.

    1. Anonymous4:33 PM

      Clintons continue to tout legacy where others see era of mistakes and scandal

    2. Anonymous5:52 PM

      @2:58 I'm sorry to tell you the truth, but as long as man has been trying to live together in so-called civilizations, there was always something funny going on with the politics. On their way to the Senate, Romans (in ancient Rome) were greeting by people with all kinds of personal petitions that they wanted brought before the Senate. They offered gifts or money to the senators to vote their way. The only difference between yesterday and today is that we have a much more invasive media carrying cameras and microphones who can record the things that used to be hinted at. This is probably politics around the world, throughout time, sometimes worse than other times.

  18. Donald Dump2:58 PM

    I've never seen anything like this documentary, it's a total disaster, it got ZERO ratings.. (moving my arms sideways back and forth)

  19. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Trump got rich using his father's political ties, other people's money and hundreds of millions of dollars in dubious tax breaks!

    Truly a "self made man" for conservatives to look up to!

  20. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Moody's Analytics has correctly predicted who'll be president in every election since 1980 and has a 90 percent success rate in guessing state outcomes.

    Moody’s latest model shows for the third straight month that the Democratic nominee would take 332 electoral votes compared with 206 for the Republican nominee. The model has predicted every election correctly since it was created in 1980.

    1. Anonymous11:29 PM

      So, does that model predict that whether the Democratic nominee is Hillary or Bernie the Democrats still win?

      If so, I guess all the Bernie Bashers are just whining crybabies.

  21. Anonymous3:22 PM

    At the end of the day,ya can't beat the law as far as "opposition research"...
    Hillary had to read and sign this agreement NDA Agreement:
    Intending to be legally bound, I hereby accept the obligations contained in this Agreement in consideration of my being granted access to classified information. As used in this Agreement, classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications, that is classified under the standards of Executive Order 12958, or under any other Executive order or statute that prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of information in the interest of national security; and unclassified information that meets the standards for classification and is in the process of a classification determination as provided in Sections 1.1. 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4(e) of Executive Order 12958, or under any other Executive order or statute that requires protection for such information in the interest of national security. I understand and accept that by being granted access to classified information, special confidence and trust shall be placed in me by the United States Government.
    ...I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information, I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it...
    ...4. I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearances..."

    Clinton and her aides have broken the law.
    Title 18 Section 1924
    Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
    Title 18 Section 793
    (f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
    Just where the fuck are the missing emails between the Clinton Foundation and the State Dept?
    And I'll save y'all the trouble of screeching:
    "What about Jane and the Burlington College"!?!?
    If Jane is guilty,fry her ass.
    Same as Hillary.

    1. Anonymous7:02 PM

      Nobody is reading your walls of text.

    2. Anonymous8:13 PM

      "Nobody is reading your walls of text."
      Just stating verbatim FEDERAL LAW.
      Hillary obviously didn't read it either as she signed off on it...
      Or doesn't give a fuck.
      I'll let you decide for yourself.

    3. Anonymous9:19 PM

      Is this has you create unity? You believe she broke the law, yet you will support her in the general election?

  22. Anonymous3:33 PM

    His supporters are believers, not thinkers. They filter out or do not see facts. Trump is their man come hell or high water. They believe anything negative about him is a lie. They are just like cultists.

    1. Anonymous4:59 PM

      Exactly; believers and not thinkers.


  23. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Yes, based on the 'media' it 'appears' that nothing that Hillary Clinton has put out there on The Donald is sticking! But, I think it is and will be glued to him by the time the voting takes place!

    Hillary Clinton will beat Donald Trump as POTUS. I have zero doubts about it. She's so much better prepared, smarter, experienced, cool under fire and has negotiated bigger deals than he ever thought of handling. She's dealt with wars, lives, deaths and many, many other things that required her care while serving in the various positions she has held in government.

    He, on the other had, deals in his money that has less value than he projects, sexism and his terribly inflated ego!

  24. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Off Topic but very newsworthy:

    How a deadly tropical virus became another Washington mess


    1. Anonymous4:48 PM

      Why are you not providing links with your posts? It's so frustrating to have to go dig for the articles. Do you have a good reason for not citing your articles? It just makes all of us have to do your work for you. Which I will now do, because it will benefit others.

    2. Anonymous3:02 AM

      4:48 how hard is it to search

      "politico how a deadly tropical virus became another Washington mess"?

      Get over yourself. I am doing this so you will be knocked off your high horse

  25. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Sweet. And keep following Mother Jones. I bet they will come up with the nail for this cretin's coffin. -sjp

    1. Anonymous9:31 PM

      Love David Corn!

  26. Anita Winecooler4:26 PM

    Donald needs to own all of it, but we all know he's got the backbone of an amoeba. All I could think of while reading the links was "And he's running for President?" Seriously? Shady dealings, breaking laws, organized crime ties, using illegal immigrant construction workers, marital rape etc, and to save a few bucks he doesn't find out what's out there on him already?
    I'm sure the presumptive Democrat nominee, whoever she happens to be, has all this and more and can cite it by heart.
    Even Mitt the shit had sense enough to get oppo research done. McCain, not so much, and look what it did for him!!!!

  27. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Donald Trump gets away with every lie: Ronald Reagan, Fox News and how the right slowly gutted the truth

    We're not entitled to our own facts? The big victory of Trump and the GOP has been turning the truth inside-out

  28. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Donald Trump, human dog-whistle

    What Bill Maher and Barack Obama understand about whipping a bully. Trump's weakness is ridicule.

    1. Anonymous4:51 PM

      How to Defang Drumpf

      It is commonly acknowledged that next to the definition of Narcissist in the dictionary there is a photo of Donald Trump with his horrid smirk. I refuse to show the photo because, personally, I am so sick of seeing his face that I suspect that many of you feel about the same and would be happier never to see photos of him ever again.

      What does a narcissist fear the most? Perhaps there is a hint in the saying, “What women fear is that men will kill them. What men fear is that women will laugh at them.” A corollary is that a Strong Man who is vying to be the new fascist authoritarian ruler would likewise fear being laughed at. The reason being laughed at is disturbing lies in what happens in the minds of those who witness the subject being laughed at. Respect for the ridiculed man plummets and he loses influence over others. Much of the power of the Strong Man type ruler is being feared. When one is publicly ridiculed they are perceived as quit a bit less scary. Certainly less admired. A star to which you no longer want to hitch your wagon.

      I reference the following:

      Ridicule as a Weapon

    2. Anonymous6:56 PM

      A corollary is that a Strong Man who is vying to be the new fascist authoritarian ruler would likewise fear being laughed at.

      I can not stop laughing when he holds a gun. He is a joke. The NRA gun love fest was hysterical. SNL can do a masterful job with that.

      Seriously, he never looks worse than when he tries to hold a gun. I think he knows it because he does not do it often.

  29. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Donald Trump’s single greatest weapon is America’s hatred for its press

    Distrust in the media is at an all-time high, and Trump plans to ride that enmity all the way to the White House

    ...Sarah Palin tried it, too. Eight years ago, she invoked the idea that there were “real” Americans and then there were elites; that the media were among the elites; and that when the press attacked her, they were really attacking those real Americans for whom she was a proxy. It was philistine cultural warfare.

    Trump is making himself into the same kind of proxy, and he is likely to be far more successful than Palin, who was fighting to define herself at the same time the press was defining her. Trump already is well defined — armed, locked and loaded to go after a critical press who are not really just attacking him but all those Americans who love him.

  30. Anonymous4:59 PM

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was set to counter her GOP rival Donald Trump's fiery NRA speech with an address of her own at an anti-gun violence event Saturday.

    Clinton will speak Saturday at the Circle of Mothers Conference in Florida, an event put on by the Trayvon Martin Foundation, named for the Florida teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member in 2012. Martin's mother invited Clinton to speak at the event.

    According to CNN, Clinton is set to refute Trump's stance on guns — like ending gun-free zones, a promise he made to the NRA.

    As the event was starting, Clinton shared a video on Twitter featuring Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and relatives of other African-Americans who were killed by police or died while in police custody.

  31. Enjay in MT6:14 PM

    tRump began his business empire with daddy's money and reputation. He has probably never applied for a job in his life and doesn't realize getting to the Presidential office is an interview with the American people, not a popularity contest.

    All the banks, investors and businesses tRump has a history with probably took his word about how "great" things will be and how much money they were going to make, until bankruptcy papers hit the table.

  32. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Trump put the name "Crocked Hillary" on
    Hillary. I call him " Lying Trump."

    1. Anonymous7:10 PM

      Personally, I like Toxic Trump. Now that one could really stick if it got put out there in a big way. Toxic is associated with slimy, stinky, putrid, gross, foul, rancid, rotten, fetid...all very good adjectives to describe Trump.

    2. Anonymous11:34 PM

      I like what I read on another post somewhere:


    3. Anonymous3:06 AM

      Donald dump works for me

  33. Anonymous7:33 PM

    In the end, forget the acrimony and the name calling. We must come together to stop this dangerous man. No one on the left poses the danger he does. Hold your nose while voting if necessary. We can survive Bernie or Clinton. Trump is a frightening loose canon. Can you imagine a Supreme Court stacked with his choices? Can you imagine his threats, name calling, insults, and the dangling of the nuclear option on the international stage? It may all just be hyperbole on his part, but how do you know when he never tells the truth about anything? His thin skin and need for revenge(like Palin) are very worrisome.

  34. Anonymous9:29 PM

    These are two great stories re Trump. The Federalist one follows some of his crime connection past and the Vanity Fair one is such a feel-good piece for Trump haters (enjoy!).

  35. Anonymous9:30 PM

    Only a malignant narcissist would refuse to have the research done. What other malignant narcissist do we know who would take the same stand?

  36. Did anyone see this?
    "Megyn Kelly Talks Her 'Dark Year' Facing Off Against Trump"

    There is a clip from her interview with Trump, starts after 2:15. His advice to bullying victims? "Get over it".

  37. Anonymous4:22 AM

    meanwhile back at the bundyville ranch....the Koch plot thickens for pickens. The takeover and those whom claim to defend their heritage constitution. The speech all over the country. Con quer and divide everyone. Rig the system, lie, cheat and steal. Yes hire the brightest marketing, political damaging firm that sits in the usa. Genius. Trojan rump strikes again and poses in another reality show.

  38. Anonymous4:59 AM

    To me, this is just further proof Trump never wanted to be POTUS, he just wanted publicity. He never volunteers for anything that might make him the least bit not comfortable.

  39. Anonymous7:08 AM

    The Good Wife


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