Ethics experts see national security concern in Trump’s debt

Revelations that President Donald Trump is personally liable for more than $400 million in debt are casting a shadow over his presidency that ethics experts say raises national security concerns he could be manipulated to sway U.S. policy by organizations or individuals he’s indebted to.

New scrutiny of Trump, who claims great success as a private businessman, comes after The New York Times reported that tax records show he is personally carrying a staggering amount of debt — including more than $300 million in loans that will come due in the next four years.

AP

Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters

Former aides say that in private, the president has spoken with cynicism and contempt about believers.

One day in 2015, Donald Trump beckoned Michael Cohen, his longtime confidant and personal attorney, into his office. Trump was brandishing a printout of an article about an Atlanta-based megachurch pastor trying to raise $60 million from his flock to buy a private jet. Trump knew the preacher personally—Creflo Dollar had been among a group of evangelical figures who visited him in 2011 while he was first exploring a presidential bid. During the meeting, Trump had reverently bowed his head in prayer while the pastors laid hands on him. Now he was gleefully reciting the impious details of Dollar’s quest for a Gulfstream G650.

Trump seemed delighted by the “scam,” Cohen recalled to me, and eager to highlight that the pastor was “full of shit.”

“They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.

The Atlantic

Trump’s Taxes and Finances

It was revealed that Mr Trump paid just $750 (£585) in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected, and the same amount in his first year in the White House. In ten of the previous 15 years, meanwhile, he paid no income taxes at all, on account of having lost more money than he made.

In other ways, however, the news of Mr Trump’s meagre tax exposure merely brings the US up to speed with what has long been evident in Scotland. If anything, the overarching legacy of the New York Times exposé will be to lend even greater urgency to questions surrounding the Trump Organisation’s finances.

One thread has remained constant. In that entire time, not a single one of Mr Trump’s companies has paid a penny in corporation tax to authorities in the UK. The reason? Not a single one has ever turned a profit.

The Scotsman

They wanted disruption in 2016. Now they’re Trump defectors

The more Jensen learned about Trump, the less she liked. For the first time in her life, she was uncomfortable with a Republican.

Over the course of Trump’s first term, as Jensen grew more alarmed by the president’s actions, her stance on many issues started to shift. She began to read different news sources, scour new types of books. She watched MSNBC along with Fox News, and read about media bias and immigration.

Everything she thought she believed was in question. She’d loved George W. Bush and was a strong critic of Barack Obama. Now? She found herself warming to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat from the Bronx, which was about as far away from suburban Texas as you could get.

AP

How Trump Is Losing His Base

Focus groups with working-class and rural voters show the deep health care crisis in America, and trouble for Trump’s re-election.

The heartbreaking health care crisis that is ravaging working-class and rural communities threatens to cut short Donald Trump’s political career, and demands a forceful response from opposition Democrats. It will teach big lessons about how to reach working people who are struggling, regardless of color.

The American Prospect

Trump’s Tariffs Failed Miserably. (Like Everything Trump Touches.) More Jobs Go Overseas.

“Trump pledged to eliminate the trade deficit and end job outsourcing, but the overall 2020 deficit is on track to be larger than when he took office, and his Labor Department has certified more than 300,000 American jobs were lost to outsourcing and imports during his presidency.”

new figures released by the Commerce Department on Thursday—nearly four years after Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election—show that the trade deficit soared to a 12-year high in July due in large part to a surge in imports, bringing the total negative trade balance in the first seven months of 2020 to $340 billion.

Common Dreams

Trump Calls U.S. War Dead “Losers”, “Suckers”

A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as “losers” and “suckers.”

AP

In one account, the president told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserved what they got.

Washington Post

Trump Encourages Voters to Commit Voter Fraud & Violates North Carolina Law

Trump suggested Wednesday during his visit to Wilmington, North Carolina, that people who vote by absentee ballot should “check their vote” by attempting to vote in person as well.

WECT

Law-Breaking Trump:

The following is a message to North Carolina voters from Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections:

Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.