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today's Trump distractions: TikTok and Covid. Because Manhattan DA now moving forward

5 min read

Trump is running out of distractions, as he recycles hydroxycholoroquine “cures” again and criticizes Birx. Backpedaling on TikTok has also some implications for US companies as Trump still wants some retribution for the Tulsa million-ticket stunt.

These are meant to draw attention from the Manhattan DA Cy Vance moving forward to further the investigation of Trump and his finances.

NEW YORK — President Trump’s latest efforts to block a grand jury subpoena for eight years of his tax returns is a delay campaign that could serve to provide him with the immunity from prosecution that the Supreme Court has rejected, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a court filing Monday.
The district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., has been investigating payments made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump several years prior, and whether any business records were manipulated in violation of New York state law. Trump, who has denied the women’s allegations, has been fighting the subpoena to his accounting firm Mazars USA for much of the past year.
Vance’s investigation is focused on the possibility that business records at Trump Organization were altered in an attempt to conceal the true nature of those payments. Monday’s filing suggests the district attorney also may be looking at “alleged insurance and bank fraud,” as cited in past reports by The Washington Post and other news organizations. Such “publicly available information itself establishes a satisfactory predicate for the subpoena,” it says.
The district attorney’s filing comes as Trump’s lawyers argue the subpoena is illegal, having been shut down by the Supreme Court last month in their bid to claim that, as a sitting president, Trump is immune from investigation. The district attorney’s office countered Monday that the president’s latest argument, filed in Manhattan federal court last week, is an attempt to obstruct the investigation from going forward. Impending statutes of limitations are nearing and could hinder authorities from pursuing charges if a case is warranted, the filing says.…


— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) August 3, 2020


— Techmeme (@Techmeme) August 3, 2020

Campaigns and White Houses always seek “message discipline,” the state of having everyone repeat the same carefully chosen phrases and arguments over and over in an endlessly numbing drone in order to pound their ideas through the skulls of the electorate. It’s something the Trump campaign and the Trump administration have never achieved, for a few reasons.
First, as a group, the people who work for President Trump are not particularly smart or skilled at politics. Second, because they work for Trump, they are often called upon to defend the indefensible, whether it’s disastrous negligence, shocking corruption or farcical lies. And third, Trump is so erratic and self-contradictory that it can be almost impossible for them to keep track of which brand of lickspittlery they’re supposed to perform at any given moment.
So watching the Trump spin machine whining, clunking and throwing off sparks isn’t a bad way to ascertain just how deeply this president is failing, in both practical and political terms.


On CNN, Dana Bash tried to get Deborah Birx, a top adviser on the pandemic, to explain why the United States has failed so utterly to contain the virus when many other countries have succeeded. Though Birx has plainly worked hard to avoid Trump’s wrath, even she could not bring herself to claim that the administration’s performance has been stellar, as he so often claims. So her boss went after her:


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020

It’s unclear what he meant when he said Birx “hit us.” But he may have been referring to this claim: “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas.” That’s the sort of simple statement of fact that Trump cannot tolerate.…



— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) August 3, 2020


— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) June 17, 2020


— Blair Fix (@blair_fix) August 3, 2020


— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) August 3, 2020


— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) August 3, 2020


— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) August 3, 2020


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