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Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:22 PM

 

Seth Abramson on how Stormy Daniels impacts the Russia investigation -- good stuff

Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
(THREAD) The BREAKING NEWS that Trump cheated on Melania with porn star "Stormy Daniels"—then used his lawyer as a "fixer" to pay six-figure hush-money a few weeks before the 2016 election—is relevant to the Russia inquiry. I hope you'll read on to see how, and share with others.



ALSO:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/951918597076602880.html

1/ First, here's a link to an article about this breaking news in THE HILL (the news was originally reported by THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, which is behind a paywall):

2/ Second, understand that I'd don't care about Trump's private life—his sex life or otherwise—except to the extent it affects national security. Unfortunately, when you're a public figure—particularly the POTUS—the possibility of blackmail is real and a national security threat.

3/ Third, understand that this breaking news comes from a conservative publication whose editorial page is wildly pro-Trump. This is a real, well-sourced story, by all accounts. Trump will not be able to claim that this report comes from CNN, MSNBC, or another "fake news" outlet.

4/ Fourth, understand that not only will Trump, Cohen, and Daniels deny the report, but that's the *point* of a) paying off Daniels, and b) Trump using his lawyer to do it. Cohen has attorney-client privilege; Daniels fears a lawsuit, any threats Cohen made, and losing her money.

5/ The reason this matters is that after BUZZFEED published the Steele Dossier, those of us who agreed with the FBI and CIA that it appeared credible on its face and came from a credible source—the former top Russianist at MI6—were told it *couldn't* be true for several reasons.

6/ The main reason Trump's allies said the 35-page dossier had to be false is because they insisted that its *first page*—which alleged that the Kremlin was blackmailing Trump—couldn't be true and wasn't true. All of the reasons they gave just died—all at once—with this WSJ news.

7/ They said he couldn't be blackmailed. Why? He loves bad press. Or has no shame. Or everyone already knows all his dirt. Or his wives had implicitly allowed him to cheat (a tacit Steele Dossier allegation). Or people feared lawsuits. Or him. So don't worry about it, they said.

8/ But now we know that Trump *can* be blackmailed. And he can be blackmailed *easily*. Stormy Daniels, a porn star, got $130,000 from a man who hardly parted with a dime to become POTUS—and apparently got that money as soon as she asked for it. Imagine what the Kremlin could do?

9/ And in fact, this isn't even the first hush-money the WSJ has reported Trump paid in the run-up to the election.

Not even the first hush-money Trump paid to cover up *cheating on Melania with someone in the adult media industry*.

See this story:
The National Enquirer Covered Up Story of Donald Trump's Extramarital Affair: Report
The National Enquirer bought the rights to a former Playboy model's story about her 2006 affair with Donald Trump and declined to publish it
http://time.com/4559610/donald-trump-national-enquirer-karen-mcdougal/

10/ That's right: Trump appears to have used a pal at the National Enquirer to pay $150,000 to cover up *another* affair. So now we're looking at $280,000—over a quarter of a million dollars—in the run-up to the election. And that's just what we know of.
National Enquirer protected Trump from model's affair claim
The owner allegedly convinced the model to sign a life-long contract prohibiting her from sharing the story.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/national-enquirer-protected-trump-model-affair-claim-article-1.2858989

11/ This tells us the Stormy Daniels incident isn't a one-off incident—Trump has multiple skeletons in his closet, and he can be blackmailed over them as POTUS, and if blackmailed he will engage in clandestine payments to ensure the blackmail material never sees the light of day.

12/ Trump defenders also said Trump didn't care about sex claims, because everyone already knew his business and he had no shame and he had an understanding with his wives and he thinks Americans like a man who has attractive mistresses and—you get the point. But all that was BS.

13/ But Trump defenders *also* said the Steele Dossier's claims about events at the Ritz Moscow in November 2013 couldn't be accurate because (a) Donald Trump is very careful about ensuring no one can get blackmail on him, and (b) there's no reason to think he'd cheat on Melania.

14/ But of course those defenses are gone now, too—Donald Trump took no care whatsoever to ensure no one would be able to blackmail him, other than waiting until blackmail demands were made and then acceding to them. And apparently his marriage is no obstacle to his malfeasance.

15/ Trump pleaded the Fifth Amendment nearly 100 times *in a single deposition* to avoid admitting to adultery—that's how scared he is of his adulteries being found out. So what could Putin get from him if he had *embarrassing video* of adulterous conduct?

‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?’ Trump said — years after invoking it himself
Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment in 1990 during his bitter and public divorce from Ivana Trump.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/23/if-youre-innocent-why-are-you-taking-the-fifth-trump-said-years-after-invoking-it-himself/

16/ Remember that Clinton was impeached for Perjury. And what did he lie about? Adultery. So yes, Trump's adulteries are very serious, especially when—as was *never* the case with Clinton—the CIA told the BBC that the Kremlin has tapes of these adulteries.
Trump 'compromising' claims: How and why did we get here?
Paul Wood examines the background and fallout concerning the allegations about the president-elect.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427

17/ What we have here, too, is Trump using his personal lawyer to engage in illicit behavior: specifically, to cover up the sort of conduct Trump has repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment—the right against self-incrimination—to hide. Guess what—the Steele Dossier says this, too.

18/ The Steele Dossier's claim that Trump uses Cohen as a fixer for illicit conduct are now confirmed. And Cohen's claims on his own and Trump's involvement in a 2015 Trump Tower Moscow deal and a 2017 Moscow-orchestrated sanctions deal are now *all* thrown into serious question.

19/ And the WALL STREET JOURNAL story now *requires* that the media ask Trump day after day—until they/we get an answer—who else has he paid, who else has tried to get him to pay, and who else could one day try to *make* him pay. We've a right to know if POTUS can be blackmailed.

20/ It's time for an end to claims that this is "salacious" material we can't discuss or that these are "private" issues or that the fact Daniels can't and Cohen won't speak about this means the payment never happened. Trump can be BLACKMAILED—and it's a national security threat.

PS/ I'm hearing from folks involved in the adult film industry—certified Twitter accounts—that $130,000 would be considered a lot of money in an industry where most workers are wildly underpaid. So please don't think the amount of cash involved here suggests the scandal is small.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Seth Abramson on how Stormy Daniels impacts the Russia investigation -- good stuff (Original post)
RandomAccess Jan 2018 OP
Eliot Rosewater Jan 2018 #1
RandomAccess Jan 2018 #2
Eliot Rosewater Jan 2018 #4
RandomAccess Jan 2018 #8
Eliot Rosewater Jan 2018 #11
RandomAccess Jan 2018 #24
Pepsidog Jan 2018 #18
RandomAccess Jan 2018 #25
Ilsa Jan 2018 #15
Daphne08 Jan 2018 #32
pansypoo53219 Jan 2018 #29
procon Jan 2018 #3
doc03 Jan 2018 #5
bettyellen Jan 2018 #6
Ccarmona Jan 2018 #9
PJMcK Jan 2018 #7
IluvPitties Jan 2018 #10
Farmer-Rick Jan 2018 #12
Corgigal Jan 2018 #13
womanofthehills Jan 2018 #33
uponit7771 Jan 2018 #14
gratuitous Jan 2018 #16
Ilsa Jan 2018 #21
mgardener Jan 2018 #17
sinkingfeeling Jan 2018 #19
YOHABLO Jan 2018 #20
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2018 #26
Hamlette Jan 2018 #22
orangecrush Jan 2018 #23
zentrum Jan 2018 #27
residentcynic Jan 2018 #28
jayschool2013 Jan 2018 #30
floWteiuQ Jan 2018 #31

Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:26 PM

1. If this came out about a democrat, you would have to build a spaceship

and fly it to MARS which is where the democrat would be hiding as nowhere on planet earth would it be safe for them

Deplorables would hunt them down and kill them

Chief Traitor does it and they say NOTHING

I am so fucking tired of this

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:29 PM

2. Sigh. Me too.

 

In fact, like so many others, I'm worn out.

I took Christmas Day off and just purposely watched old Xmas movies. It was a delight to be away from it all, be entertained, have not a care in the world. I'm tempted to take a vacation day a week, or something. I really need a respite.

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Response to RandomAccess (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:32 PM

4. Two nights ago watching RAchel I started to get angry, then I started to feel

physically sick.

My wife told me to turn the god damn shit OFF and watch one of my sitcoms, so I did.

Saved my life.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:47 PM

8. It really is taxing

 

I have found myself resentful, confused and even somewhat disoriented that we -- we the American people -- have to put up with this atrocity of governance, foisted upon us by a mere 30-something percent of voters (and Russia of course), along with the Republicans in Congress who refuse to take care of things and follow their oaths of office.

It makes me wonder if what I'm feeling isn't somewhat akin to what people would feel who have been conquered and invaded, or something.

Am I making any sense??

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Response to RandomAccess (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:54 PM

11. Yes, in fact this makes sense. I feel like i have been violated, mentally and physically

by the least deserving people on earth.

The people with the least amount of credibility.

The dumber you are, the meaner you are, the more the GOP will value you.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:55 PM

24. "the least deserving people on earth" --

 

that certainly resonates.

Trump to me is like a very cruel joke someone foisted upon our country.

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Response to RandomAccess (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:57 PM

18. I feel like that everyday. Dispiriting and depressing

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Response to Pepsidog (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:57 PM

25. Well, it's not ALL bad news-- we have to focus a bit on the good

 

news. Like when the courts step up to the plate and slap him down. When Dems in Congress find their voices and speak up. When news of Mueller's activities surface. ELECTIONS that go our way.

It's not like it's all just bleakness. I try to really savor the wins.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:15 PM

15. I limited my exposure to news, even DU news,

just before and after Christmas. I figured everything would be calm anyway. It was a good break to take, and I'll probably do it more (Friday after Rachel through Monday afternoon) for better relaxation.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 04:48 PM

32. This happens to me as well.

I begin to feel ill when I become very angry and have to turn off all news.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 04:05 AM

29. IOKIYAR. time for that to die.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:31 PM

3. Republican keep saying we should judge Trump by what he does,

not what he says. OK, I'm good with that, and he's still an asshole.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:36 PM

5. This comes from the WSJ, I would be very suspicious about this story

may be fake news to set up the news media.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #5)


Response to doc03 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:50 PM

9. While I See Your Point That You Are Suspicious of a Murdoch Owned Media Outlet

Laying a trap for others to get caught in, I don’t think the WSJ would sacrifice its reputation as a legitimate news organization. While It’s editorial page is extreme, they play it straight when it comes to its news sections.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:46 PM

7. The postscript is interesting

A few years ago, I was sorta friends with a woman who worked in the adult entertainment industry. Our acquaintance came about when I met her at a music industry event. Truly, it was a completely innocent relationship!

Since I've always been vaguely interested in porn, (snark), I asked her how the business works. Here's what she told me. Women actors get about $1,000 - $2,500 per day for filming a scene. Almost always, they do not receive any royalties from sales or performances of the film. If they're famous, they can have their own line of films which gives them a small percentage of earnings. However, most of the women make most of their money dancing in strip clubs which can be lucrative if they have a film and internet presence.

If what I was told is true, then the postscript makes sense. $130,000 would be a significant payment. And Trump has probably made numerous such payments.

Seth Abramson is absolutely right: This is a national security concern.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 06:53 PM

10. Very interesting!

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:10 PM

12. 21/ They didn't have what most people consider sex

He and she were doing the golden shower thingy that he so loves. That's what he paid her to shut up about. Trump's a cheapskate. If he could pay her the going rate, $1,000.00 or so, he would of. He's paying for extra special silence er sex...no...silence.

Now, we know why Malaria is always so angry.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:11 PM

13. No reason to think he would cheat on Melania?

No woman in America thought that, including a Melania. His history was all out there.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 05:30 PM

33. In "Fire and Fury", Woolf wrote that Trump said it was a good idea to marry women a lot younger

than you because ---- they don't get as upset when you have an affair. ( I have no idea what the logic of this is except maybe we know she married for money.) Actually, she was probably glad he was doing someone else and not her.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:14 PM

14. AH, WSJ article show Nazi Don ... CAN ... be blackmailed

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:17 PM

16. About the point number 4

Assuming everything is true, Trump and Daniels had a tryst 12 years ago, Trump paid her $130,000 16 months ago* to keep her mouth shut, and she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get the dough. Violating the non-disclosure agreement would mean that Daniels would have to pay back the money she got. Might even be a penalty in there. What if Daniels determines that she could get a LOT more than $130,000 for telling her story, and that she has some kind of documentary or digital evidence that the story is true?

The pipes at the White House and Mar-a-Lago are in for a beating from all the bricks that are going to be shat.

*Meaning, this ain't ancient history.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:29 PM

21. Excellent points! I wonder if the

Hustler magazine owner would take care of Daniels as you suggest?

I also wonder if she could become such a huge liability for DOTUS that Putin silences her.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 07:21 PM

17. Oh I think he could be blackmailed.

And by things that most Americans would consider abhorrent. Not sure how republicans would feel but most Americans would be very very upset by Russian mob ties and money laundering.
And that would open him up to be time blackmail.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:04 PM

19. I don't think he had/has affairs. More like one night stands or weekend flings

to have variety.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:14 PM

20. There's a lot of dirt out there on Trump. When we going to see the alleged ''pee pee'' tape?

This guy is so bent. Why would someone with his past ever think about becoming President? It's all coming out.

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 09:07 PM

26. When Putin decides it'll cause maximum disruption in US, limiting further ability on world stage. nt

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:36 PM

22. Trump wouldn't care if adultery came out. He's being blackmailed over shady money dealings.

I suspect if you went over his business records you'd find all kinds of crimes. Laundering, bribery,illegal sales, lying to financial institutions. . . things that are felonies. The only thing he loves is money and he has cut lots of corners.

You think Melania didn't know he was a hound dog when she married him? Or that he cares if she leaves him? He doesn't love her, only himself.

He has done stuff far worse than sleeping with a porn star and his supporters, including the GOP and evangelicals, could give a shit. And they wouldn't care if it came out he laundered money or engaged in other illegal financial dealings but prosecutors would.

Maybe he's an arms dealer or a drug dealer. If anyone is involved in human trafficking, its Trump. Maybe out of a pizza parlor?

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 08:52 PM

23. K&R

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 09:12 PM

27. Have to laugh

……about the effect of all this not the Bible-thumping Pence.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 09:14 PM

28. Franken resigned over a comic photo

...and Donnie gets away with this. That's the way evangelicalism works, my friends.

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 04:06 PM

30. Does Stormy

Does Stormy look a little like Ivanka?

(Sorry about that)

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Response to RandomAccess (Original post)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 04:42 PM

31. News organizations...

Should demand to see her tax returns to see if she is lying.

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