Trump preparing for re-election campaign launch

Donald Trump is set to officially launch his re-election campaign next Tuesday – well over a year before the election in November 2020 but this is the US – although he has run campaign style public events for some time, including this week.

It’s hard to know whether this was deliberate or ignorant, or whether it will help or hurt his re-election chances – Trump: I Would Accept Information On My Opponent From Foreign Governments, “It’s Called Oppo Research”

President Donald Trump said he would accept information from a foreign government or foreign nationals that would help him in the 2020 presidential election and not notify the FBI in an Oval Office interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Your son, Don Jr., is up before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. And again, he was not charged with anything. In retrospect though-

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: By the way, not only wasn’t he charged, if you read it, with all of the horrible fake news- I mean, I was reading that my son was going to go too jail — this is a good young man — that he was going to go to jail. And then the report comes out, and they didn’t even say, they hardly even talked about him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Should he have gone to the FBI when he got that email?

TRUMP: OK. Let’s put yourself in a position. You’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, “Hey, I have information on your opponent. Do you call the FBI? I don’t think-

STEPHANOPOULOS: If it’s coming from Russia, you do.

TRUMP: I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do-

STEPHANOPOULOS: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.

TRUMP: Well, that’s different, a stolen briefing book. This isn’t a stolen- This is somebody that said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that’s what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. I don’t- There’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country — Norway — “We have information on your opponent.” Oh. I think I’d want to hear it.

A country like Norway is unlikely to try to interfere in a US election by helping one candidate with dirt on their opponent.

I doubt that China would try to help trump.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It’s not interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research. “Oh, let’s call the FBI.” The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it. They always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.

So collusion is now renamed ‘oppo research’.

Axios: Trump’s re-election crisis

The state of play: His internal polls show it, national polls show it and even a poll in reliably conservative Texas shows it — all as Trump should be crushing it. Unemployment is at a near-historic low. The economy is growing. Peace and prosperity abound. But his numbers are sagging.

The warning signs:

  • The N.Y. Times reported“After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win. … Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.”
  • National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar writes that Trump is “in the weakest political shape of any sitting president since George H.W Bush”: “Trump hits 50 percent disapproval … in North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa — all states he carried in 2016.”
  • Pay little attention to national polls in a race where states are what matters. But as a sign of voter mood, six Democrats (Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, Buttigieg and Booker) each beat Trump in the first 2o2o Quinnipiac University National Poll, released yesterday.

The other side … A Trump ally familiar with the campaign’s strategy said: “Trump has always under-polled. Until it’s actually a binary contest, though, these polls really don’t matter.”

  • “Educating voters on what Green New Deal and Medicare for All actually mean = an absolute disaster for Democrats.”
  • “When Trump gets a shot at defining someone one-on-one, they’re no longer going to be what they are now, which is for the most part a ‘generic Democrat.'”
  • “Historical data says that with the economy roaring like it is, the incumbent always wins.”

Be smart: Trump is betting polls will swing when it’s a choice between him and someone he can lampoon as a dumb socialist.

  • But, but, but: Even the self-avowed socialists are beating him — Bernie Sanders is up 12 in Michigan.

The bottom line: The 2018 elections were a wake-up call for Trump. Democrats had record turnout; his Midwest presidency-makers of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania reverted to their Democratic form; and conservative states, including Texas, showed the demographic dangers for the GOP.

Some will say that Trump defied and confounded the polls and pundits last tome and could do so again. He could do so.

But it will be different this time. Voters won’t be judging trump on his potential, they will be judging him on his actual performance this term. Some say he has been the best president since 1776 and that Trump’s declaration of his greatness is more historic than the Declaration of Independence, and others see him as a self obsessed narcissist boorish overrated buffoon.

Still, there’s a lot that can happen. The US economy is strong but if that trips up between now and the election it may work against Trump. Any number of international crises could strike.

And a key factor will be who the Democrats choose to stand. They stuffed up last time with Hillary Clinton. Picking someone who is leader-like and credible would be a good contrast to Trump and a good start. Trump is certain to ridicule and name call, but the novelty factor of his derogatory lying attack modus operandi has long worn off.

It will be a long campaign as usual, and could be ugly.

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32 Comments

  1. “Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law”.

    “If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in her removal from her federal position,” Kerner’s letter said. “Never has (the office) had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual.”

    A separate statement from the Office of the Special Counsel, issued alongside the report, said that “given that Ms. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, (the office) recommends that she be removed from federal service.”

    The recommendation carries no actual power to remove Conway. That decision is up to Trump, who has expressed nothing but support for Conway.

    Trump has shown disregard for conventions and laws.

    The initial White response claims there are errors in the report.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th June 2019

      Did you read the WH reply? It’s a comprehensive Get Stuffed answer.

      Reply
      • Yes I did read it, and it is no surprise at all that it is a comprehensive ‘get stuffed’. The White House have shown repeatedly they think are above the laws and conventions of office.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th June 2019

          Trump as a businessman used 100s of legal actions against his business partners or anyone else in his way.
          Its typical of his arsonist/firefighter approach to international diplomacy.
          Trump matches the pattern DG has observed in people like Nottingham , Slater. Ignore and break all legal restrictions on them , while using the law to the fullest extent against opponents to delay and divert.

          Reply
      • The WH response is rich — “attempting to weaponize” the law by actually enforcing the law. What a novel concept.

        I’m looking forward to reading George Conway’s tweets on this particular subject – lol.

        Reply
  2. Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th June 2019

      Is there some reason Trump should trust the FBI?

      Reply
      • taking help from a foreign government is a federal offence.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  14th June 2019

          Didn’t seem to bother Hillary.

          Reply
          • same comment as I made to David:

            Whatever the quality of its contents, the Steele dossier was a campaign expenditure, a compilation of information ultimately paid for by the campaign and the DNC — wholly legal — and the material was contracted by an American entity from another American entity.

            The aid Trump’s campaign received in 2016 wasn’t opposition research on Hillary Clinton; it was the dirty tricks campaign operated by the Russian Internet Research Agency targeting Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz during the Republican primary. And it was stolen emails leaked to generate negative sentiment about Clinton.

            There is no comparison.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  14th June 2019

              “the Steele dossier was a campaign expenditure, a compilation of information ultimately paid for by the campaign and the DNC ”

              Supplied by the Russians…..

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th June 2019

              There is no comparison because unlike Clinton there was no involvement by Trump in the Russian activities.

        • Duker

           /  14th June 2019

          “Federal Election Commission chair Ellen Weintraub issued a statement today clarifying that soliciting or accepting information from a foreign national, as Trump professed to being willing to do in an interview released Wednesday evening, is a criminal act. Weintraub published the statement to Twitter with the preface: “I would not have thought that I needed to say this.”

          Exactly what foreign information did Clinton solicit or accept. Soros is of course a US citizen

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  14th June 2019

            Steele solicited for her.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  14th June 2019

            accepting information from a foreign national, as Trump professed to being willing to do in an interview released Wednesday evening, is a criminal act.

            Drivel. So a presidential campaign can’t read a foreign road map or airline schedule? Give us a break from such inanities.

            Reply
      • Duker

         /  14th June 2019

        Is there some reason we should trust Trump , and next week hell deny saying anything about accepting foreign intell about an opponent.

        Reply
  3. David

     /  14th June 2019

    Hilary actually paid millions, through a law firm, to a foreign based spy with connections in the Russian spy agencies to dig up dirt, largely discredited and totally unverified, on her opponent. Then Obamas intelligence agency bosses, yes the ones making millions appearing on CNN and MSNBC going apoplectic over Trump, used it to spy on her political opponents but that is all fine.
    As if Nancy or Biden wouldnt use hurtful research on an opponent because it came from a foreigner.

    Reply
    • David this is just whataboutism, (it’s actually not even that, because the Muller report debunks all your assertions) but its an attempt at whataboutism. And that never solves the problem. Remember – Go high when they go low.

      Reply
      • David

         /  14th June 2019

        It’s about the Dens having a crack at Trump when they actually paid and sort out dirt from foreign spy agencies but clutch their Pearl’s at Trumps comments.

        Reply
        • Whatever the quality of its contents, the Steele dossier was a campaign expenditure, a compilation of information ultimately paid for by the campaign and the DNC — wholly legal — and the material was contracted by an American entity from another American entity.

          The aid Trump’s campaign received in 2016 wasn’t opposition research on Hillary Clinton; it was the dirty tricks campaign operated by the Russian Internet Research Agency targeting Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz during the Republican primary. And it was stolen emails leaked to generate negative sentiment about Clinton.

          There is no comparison.

          Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  14th June 2019

        Not one charge was laid against Trump or any of his associates for colluding with Russia to influence the 2016 elections. That should tell you something about the intel that was used to bring about the Mueller investigation. The intel was nonsense, paid for by Clinton (as David says). Keep an eye on John Durham and who he’s talking to.

        Reply
    • David it seems that you are trying to pin Trump’s latest scandal on Hillary Clinton by muddying the waters. Steele wasn’t working for a foreign government and didn’t obtain his information illegally.

      The Mueller report, if you have read it, is clear. Mueller presents considerable detail that Trump not only “would” accept stolen information provided by a foreign government, but that Trump and his campaign repeatedly tried to make that happen.

      Trump encouraged the Russian government to break the law on his behalf. The Russians repeatedly did that. And the president has just admitted he’d be perfectly content to see them do it again.

      Trump has said that he would take election campaign help from a foreign government. That is not opposition research. It is a crime, and it’s a major departure from his insistence that there was “no collusion”.

      Electing Trump was supposed to be about draining the swamp – now you’re advocating for a person who is doing exactly the opposite.

      Reply
      • David

         /  14th June 2019

        Sorry it doesnt say that at all, in fact the opposite. Mueller painted the campaign as somewhat chaotic with fringe players trying to insert themselves for their own purposes.
        I think waiting for the IG report and the work being done by the AG will be quite enlightening and should be looked at without the lens of hating Trump. The leadership of the intelligence agencies has been pretty frightening and politically driven which should be more of a story than non existent collusion.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  14th June 2019

        “Steele wasn’t working for a foreign government and didn’t obtain his information illegally.”

        You have no information that supports this. You don’t know where the information was sourced, nor do you know who Steele was working for,

        Reply
        • FarmerPete

           /  15th June 2019

          We do know where he was getting payments from. Perkins Coie (DNC), the FBI and also reportedly, a Russian oligarch. Who knows who else he was gifting from. We also know that in an English court case Steele admitted he could not substantiate any of the information in his dossier.

          Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  14th June 2019

    Trump’s job approval rating remains stuck in the low 40s with a 9 point gap to disapproval in low 50s and the Generic Congressional Vote has the Democrats steady at +7

    Generic Congressional Vote
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/2020_generic_congressional_vote-6722.html

    Trump Job Approval
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

    All fake polls though.

    Reply
  5. admiralvonspee

     /  14th June 2019

    TDS in full effect…ho hum.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  14th June 2019

      hehehe. Trump writes the script for TDS, by his lies and bullshit and takes on his opponents with even bigger lies.
      Dont complain if Trump uses DS as his primary attack weapon on others

      Reply
  6. admiralvonspee

     /  14th June 2019

    Signal vs noise…hey ho.

    Reply
  7. David

     /  14th June 2019

    Trump doing criminal justice reform, something that has eluded all his predecessors. The US has far to many people locked up under minimum sentencing rules and finally someone is doing something. 1000 out and support in place for them, thank you Mr President.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7139115/Kim-Kardashian-White-House-talk-criminal-justice.html

    Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  11th September 2019

    The Trump Circus continues.

    Trump’s Adviser Revolving Door ejects 3rd National Security Adviser, Bolton The Moustache, already!

    He didn’t last long. Thank Goodness.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/trump-sacks-national-security-adviser-john-bolton-190910160524266.html

    “Bolton and Trump had significant disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and a cascade of other global challenges.”

    Somebody should sack Trump. He’s hopeless at recruitment.

    Reply

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