With final counts almost finished in Tuesday’s voting for the special Congressional election in Pennsylvania, the razor-thin county shows Democrat Conor Lamb leading Republican Rick Saccone in what appears to be a major upset in a district where Donald Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016.
If the results hold, the outcome is another repudiation of Trump by voters. He campaigned hard for Saccone and, as happened in Alabama and Virginia earlier this year, came up short.
The “Trump magic” fell short with voters who bought into his act less than two years ago. They turned away from the former reality show host in droves.
Tuesday’s election came on a week when Trump fired his Secretary of State and another trusted aide was escorted out of the White House over “security issues.” Trump’s personal aide, Johnny McEntee, his security clearance revoked, was led off the premises of the West Wing and told that his personal belongings would “be mailed to him.”
And the scandal of a payoff to a porn actress to keep her quiet about an affair that threatens marriage to First Lady Melania Trump will not, like other revelations of his sordid lifestyle, won’t go away.
Stephanie Clifford, aka “Stormy Daniels,” says she is willing to return the $130,000 that a Trump lawyer gave her in October of 2016 — just before Trump’s upset win for president — and she says that will free her from any future attempts to silence her about her affair with the man who is now an embattled president.
Clifford has taped an interview with 60 Minutes and says she is ready to talk about bedding Trump and has witnesses who listened in on phone calls with him and hints that she may also have photos and video.
Plus the continuing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Trump’s obstruction of justice, witness tampering and money laundering continues to close in on the president and his family.
“Trump is pretty much in the dumps,” says a GOP consultant close to the White House. “He keeps rolling snake eyes.”
Former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort, indicted by the special counsel investigation, faces more than 130 years in federal prison and those close to the investigation say presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner — his top-secret security clearance gone — is facing indictment and prisoner time.
Earlier in the special counsel investigation, Trump publicly warned Mueller to “leave my family alone” and stay away from his finances. Mueller ignored the warnings and has ensnared Kushner, his wife Ivanka Trump (the president’s daughter) and Donald Trump Jr. The special counsel’s investigators are combing Trump’s financial records — including the tax returns that he refuses to release to the press or public.
The first rule of investigating presidential scandals is “follow the money.” Doing so brought down Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace as he faced impeachment and threatened Bill Clinton during investigations by special counsel Kenneth Starr in the “Whitewater” probes and his dalliances with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The money trail tells a compelling story, one that shows Trump’s collusion with Russia’s bankers and Kremlin officials that predates his presidential run.
That money trail is traveled by a tarnished president who plays fast and loose with the truth, considers the law a hindrance to his desire to add wealth to his personal fortune and ethics or morality unneeded obstacles to his rape of America.
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