In the “Lumpy rug” thread below, valued commenter Sab pointed out that one reason GOP senators are so reluctant to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial is that they’ve got their own dirt to conceal. Right on cue, The Tampa Bay Times published a story about a conversation Trump had with Lev Parnas about Florida Senator Rick Scott.
The story is based on the 80-plus minute recording where Trump was heard making a thuggish-sounding order to “take out” a U.S. ambassador. At the same event, Trump also talked to Parnas about then-Governor Rick Scott, who was running against a long-time incumbent Democrat for the senate seat:
About halfway through the recording, Parnas mentioned he lived in Florida, prompting Trump to ask how Scott, then Florida’s governor, was faring in his U.S. Senate campaign.
“Rick Scott’s good,” said Parnas, who was indicted in October on charges that he and his business partner, Igor Fruman, steered hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from foreign donors. Both are now key figures in Trump’s impeachment proceedings.
“Is he going to win?” Trump asks.
Parnas responded: “It’s going to be close, but I think we’re going to pull it out.”
He repeatedly referred to Scott’s election effort as “we,” suggesting an intimacy or involvement with the campaign. Parnas also told Trump: “We’re doing a fundraiser” for Scott in May and mentioned having lunch with former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, now one of Trump’s impeachment defense lawyers.
The article reviews the federal indictment of Parnas and fellow Giuliani-adjacent goon Fruman for illegally dropping hundreds of thousands of foreign-sourced dollars on Republican candidates. It recounts how the pair also contributed heavily as individuals and through their company to Scott and the current GOP governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.
Coincidentally, DeSantis also had “no recollection” of meeting Parnas when the feds scooped Rudy’s pals up. DeSantis donated the funds he received from the pair to charity, as did Scott in the wake of the indictment. The article notes recent WSJ reporting that indicates Parnas turned over texts between himself and DeSantis to the House Democrats. I mean, who among us hasn’t carried on text conversations with complete strangers, right?
Meanwhile, Parnas’s attorney, Joseph Bondy, is tweeting out photos of his client with various GOP bigwigs and encouraging Republican senators to vote for witnesses and a fair trial. Here’s one from this morning:
This @PamBondi, with Lev Parnas? https://t.co/OXj9J9012H pic.twitter.com/Wuqfmlomsk
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) January 28, 2020
Parnas, the Forrest Gump of Republican corruption, seems to have a lot of receipts. So yeah, good point, Sab. Any guesses on which Republican will get the next attack of amnesia?
Gin & Tonic
This guy Bondy seems OK, in my book.
We know the NRA was a front for illegal foreign campaign contributions. That seems to have fallen down the media’s memory hole. They suddenly had an extra 30 million to throw around.
There are a ton of compromised people out there.
Rule of law….what a quaint concept.
@Edmund Dantes: That’s why we need a democratic attorney general.
Al Gore once took a donation from a Buddhist temple so bothsides. Oh and he’s fat.
just weary listening to this endless cynical onslaught of lying, parsing what constitutes a crime and what truly offends… reports claim that Trump wants to put heads of those disloyal to him pikes, be it literal or not, when a Dem repeats that claim… that’s offensive, not the original statement, but the fact that a Dem reports it as being said, as if anyone in the GOP talks that way and here we are, the very next day hearing the Chief of Staff making threats about the potential repercussions to those Senators that vote against the President and at the VERY SAME Fucking moment, we have the Bernie Bros protesting other Dem candidates regarding their lack of purity about agreement on their health plans.
I hope like hell if we ever transition from our current proto-fascist state of affairs that someone takes a good long look at what Vlad has done and makes the choice to take him off the board. I really don’t like being the person who advocates that kind of “solution set” to how I would like to live my life and how I would just as soon allow others to live theirs but its becoming painfully clear that he’s a man with a vision and that vision pretty much makes the rest of us inconsequential or even superfluous to needs as long as his team is not just ascendant, but getting to decide who lives and how they do so…
We really need to know who Lev Parnas works for.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
is Bondy the competent and ethical Michael Avenatti we’ve been waiting for?
One question is whether Trump has been deterred in any way whatsoever by the whole impeachment process. I’m guessing ‘NOT’. Every one of his flat, unconditional denials of all the accusations seems to me to have an unstated ‘and I’m still doing it’ attached.
Gin & Tonic
@Cheryl Rofer: Dmytro Firtash.
Fat Al flies a Fat Airplane, lives in a Fat House and kowtows to Swedish teenagers. What a loser.
@Cheryl Rofer: Cheryl – great question. Someone needs to follow the money upstream to see which Russian oligarch (or maybe Pooty Poot himself) was bankrolling these turd burglars. Thanks for this post, Betty, provocative and funny, as usual!
Because of course it does! Mary G had the right idea. I want off this ride too.
@Gin & Tonic: So really, by extension, Putin.
What is with all these doiks and the “thumbs up” thing? I understand doing it when you’re posing with the mango manbaby, you don’t want him to throw a tantrum and start smearing his feces on the walls. But away from him? It looks completely fucking stupid and they must know that.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Yutsano: What is ‘all roads lead to…’? I’ll take Things Nancy Pelosi Said for 400, Alex.
Joseph Bondy seems to hint today at Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho.
Trump is using RNC money to pay his lawyers. WaPo Link
“Dead Sea? With a TRUMP Casino and Resort on the shore I’ll make it the Live Sea, believe me! Also, check out my TRUMP Gazapaloosa Resort with a footprint so large it takes up all of Gaza. No more rockets from there, you can trust me on that!”
I don’t think it’s likely, but I would love for a picture to come out of Parnas standing between Moscow Mitch and Elaine Chao.
LOL I think the same thing. It’s just so stupid.
@trollhattan: “Totally not a Soviet shitpile Trump trash mobster crime family laundromat!”
Does it ever stop? Ever? Day after damn day of this. Damn!
@Gin & Tonic: Firtash is definitely the source of some of Parnas’s money. But there’s a lot more we don’t know about. Looks like Roman Nasirov was part of it too. And I’ll bet there are more.
The Forrest Gump of Republican corruption – oooh, I like that. He does seem to be everywhere with everybody – with pictures too!
@Joey Maloney: I assume Parnas insisted on having these goofy photos taken with everyone to document the relationships, and suggested the thumbs up as a subtle f*** you. “Proof of life” in a sense. And the republicans were stupid enough to go along with it.
I saw him on a plane last year and he’s not at all fat. He’s pretty hawt for his age, to be honest.
Lord Fartdaddy (Formerly, Mumphrey, Smedley Darlington Mingobat, et al.)
I don’t know how Republican senators can hold it together. I really don’t. Every fucking day, there’s some new shit that oozes out. They talk about “acquitting” Trump, but there isn’t any way to do that. Even after this, more and more shit is going to come out, and it’ll keep coming out for the next 80 years. Shit, we’re going to be learning new things about these criminals in 2090.
I know they’re all going to vote to shut down witnesses. I don’t care what anybody says. What Bolton says, what Kelly says, whatever anybody else says, they aren’t going to do shit about it. I just can’t understand how they can keep from having strokes waiting for the next inevitable thing that leaks out.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yeah, I thought that was common knowledge.
Remember, Lev has been the Forest Gump of criminals. Man has been EVERYWHERE with the GOP. He has photos with EVERYONE. He has been hanging on, and in the GOP cesspool for a very long time. And, Bolton has worked for every Republican since Reagan. They don’t know how the line of questioning would proceed once started.
tsunami warning for Jamaica and Cuba
@zhena gogolia: Even in these crazy times, I don’t think anyone foresaw zhena proclaiming Al Gore’s a hottie. ?
@rikyrah: Where was the earthquake?
A very Trumpian way to phrase it. “On?”
“So when did the Republican party start becoming a pile of Russthuglican mobster trash?” would be a good start. And it’s very open ended.
We can clean up our own house instead. Change laws on slander and libel, modify rules on “press” immunity for publishing things that are known to be lies.
There will always be players like Putin, some in a powerful country, some in a (*ahem) shithole.
Wow, this video is very satisfying to watch.
West of the Rockies
He speaks like an arrogant and stupid 7th grade boy with a personality disorder.
@zhena gogolia: :)
Nonprofits need to file an information return with the IRS, form 990, and have it available for public inspection, such as on their website.
They also need an annual audit, which should also be available.
I have no idea the level fraud the NRA, and their accountants, have committed on the 990 filing and audit for the last few decades. But that is legitimately something that needs to be investigated
@West of the Rockies: What’d arrogant and stupid 7th grade boys with personality disorders ever do to deserve this comparison?
OT, but I just laid into an old friend who approvingly reposted a tweet about sitting out the general if Biden wins… because they were a self-identified BernieBro, held their noses and voted for Hillary in 2016 and “…I wasn’t praised for it”.
This was a potentially friendship ending blowup, and it makes me really angry with the whole thing. These fuckers should know better, especially given the other stuff we’re seeing in just this thread with Republicans.
Have a Keebler semi delivered to their house! JFC!
@mrmoshpotato: Right. I know they’re pissed, and some of them are angry at the “BernieBros didn’t vote for Hillary” accusation which is… debatable.
But this was literally saying I wasn’t praised enough, so I’m going to try and doom our country if my guy doesn’t win the nomination. And when I called that out as “fucking childish”, I was the bad guy. And who he then proceeded to lecture me about my “enthusiastic support” (!) for Biden making him disappointed in me as a person, and so on.
I like this guy as a gaming buddy, but JFC I’m just about done with him.
West of the Rockies
@Lord Fartdaddy (Formerly, Mumphrey, Smedley Darlington Mingobat, et al.):
Their voters demand unyielding devotion to Trump.
Thanks to right-wing media promoting pro-Russian conspiracy theories, they will be provided with sufficient alternative facts that they can feel confident to either defend Trump or engage in some “what-about-ism”.
Good thread by Tom Nichols.
That’s putting it nicely. I can’t believe this shit is still happening given the intentional disaster of the past 3 years. “Waahhh, I still don’t have free healthcare and a unicorn!”
Did you tell this dude at least he hasn’t had his kids kidnapped by the government or been murdered by white supremacists? (Ya, I know neither of those would happen, because this guy’s most certainly white as snow.)
@West of the Rockies: ?
Bernie supporters, at the 2016 DNC, booed a bunch of Democratic speakers, like Elijah Cummings.
There are more Democrats, than Bernie supporters. Some us still resentment to Bernie and his supporters, for the way they acted in 2016.
Bernie needs to understand, if he is the nominee, he needs Democrats to be onboard, in order to win.
And a lot us have lingering resentment, which he does not seem to understand
@mrmoshpotato: Dude’s actually a 3rd generation American by way of Mexico. Can pass as white-ish but has a mexican surname.
He’s also heavily dependent on the state for medical treatment and income, but has a history of making self-destructive choices. Like insulting his entire (conservative) family about their beliefs shortly before needing to move back in with them for a year or so.
He’s a smart dude, but self indulgent and angry at the world. I’m showing my own biases here, but it seems like he’s a good fit for Bernie’s demographic.
@danielx: I was thinking Zelig. But I’m a classics kind of guy.
@West of the Rockies:
I’ll wager I was a real jerk in seventh grade, and I certainly knew quite a few Donnys who were far worse. But, we had no autoritah. If you gave the keys to the Pentagon to a middle school, start writing your obit. That’s how I feel every day.
@gene108: It’s been said here repeatedly by commenters who are smarter than me: Bernie doesn’t seem to have an interest in uniting the party or bringing people in. He’s antagonistic towards the people he really needs, and the best he’s done is benign neglect.
One of the big reasons I’m not voting for him in the primary is that he hasn’t shown any interest in reaching out or leading a coalition. It’s probably enough to get him elected for one term, but not enough to get much done as President.
Sounds like vegans demanding praise for their lifestyle choice, which they just spent twenty minutes detailing for you.
Thank you for saving me this delicious steak.
Yeah, he’s better than the Democratic Party and is here to save them from themselves. “And if we don’t think we need fixing?”
@trollhattan: “Fire all the missiles! They make a big boom!”
Gin & Tonic
@MisterForkbeard: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: if Wilmer is the nominee, Trump gets 400+ EV’s.
@Gin & Tonic: At least he’ll unite the country.
We’re gonna start with all the Catholic schools. I hate those fuckers!
@trollhattan: I don’t think you understand. You said giving the keys to the Pentagon to a middle school, not firing all the missiles at a middle school.
@Baud: I’m just going to sit here glaring at you. Don’t mind me.
@zhena gogolia: What TV hit was that?
Sun City was quite the posh resort in apartheid-era South Africa.
It’s not enough to get him elected. Period. He’ll lose in a landslide to Drumpf.
@Mnemosyne: Well….ummmm….. huh?
Was it also a front for the mob? Scrub a dub dub the money’s now free of blood.
@rikyrah: 7.7 off the coast of Cuba. Yikes. That could cause a big wave.
“Love” of one middle school for the next. Always take out your rivals first.
@zhena gogolia: Mondale! but worse.
@zhena gogolia: I think he has a decent chance of winning, but I’m a lot less sanguine about his chances than any of the other top-tier Dem candidates.
Seriously, I think Bernie is a bad choice but not a catastrophic one.
I honestly don’t think they understand this. They really seem to think that there are an additional 65 million voters who didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton who will come out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie.
I’m pretty sure that they’re huffing their own farts, but I really think they’ve convinced themselves that Democratic voters are irrelevant and they can do it all with non-voters.
Gin & Tonic
@Mnemosyne: Still is.
@West of the Rockies:
As is always true with these comparisons, this Is unfair to arrogant and stupid 7th grade boys with personality disorders.
We all know those non-voters are just itching for someone to vote for. Also, pugs will fly, and Upchuck Todd will realize one of the two parties deeply hates most of the electorate.
The LA Times reported this morning that Sanders is now leading in California. I’m trying to figure out how to vote strategically in our primary to try to block him. Warren or Biden?
If he wins the Democratic primary then he has a good point.
@MisterForkbeard: I’m not one of the folk here that think any Democratic candidate will beat Trump, Bernie will be buried by Trump. They can just scream “Socialist” and “he’s going to raise your taxes”, and they will be enough to move a sufficient number of “independents” in quite a few states.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Agreed. You’re in California. Who do you think is the best bet to prevent him winning here?
@FelonyGovt: I haven’t seen any recent poll, probably whoever is second.
J R in WV
JUST where we want to go on vacation, Middle East Trump target zone, because of course it is!!!
I seriously want to visit archaeological sites in Egypt, Jordan, Iran, and places like that, oh yeah, The Silk Road Tour that AIA* runs, yet I fear the outbreak of warfare, the current consistent suicide attacks, the arrest of college students and reporters and tourists throughout the area.
Imagine having a state of the art camera for vacation pics, and getting arrested for taking pictures of the State Museum?! But is our fearless dolt leader working to make it safer to visit the birthplace of civilization? Hell no he isn’t!!!
AIA = Archaeological Institute of America, great small group tours with PhD guides to old stuff. Comparable to National Geographic cruises, etc. Bucket List stuff…
James E Powell
I don’t get it. What’s the bait we’re not supposed to take?
James E Powell
The field is going to shift & consolidate before the campaign reaches California.
I’ve only been contacted by one campaign: Bloomberg. A text asking if I’m thinking of voting for “Mike” in the primary. I wanted to answer “Only if he gives me some of that money” but decided to behave professionally and simply said “no.”
@James E Powell:
Well, that’s what the thread is about, but here’s part of it:
@Gin & Tonic: Yup. Doubt that he’ll bring his name up.
@James E Powell: Got a text from Bernie’s campaign. I politely declined and asked to be taken off the list.
I really don’t see a path that would allow him to win the primary and the general; I also believe that if he’s the nominee we’re cooked.
It’s almost as if they can’t count…
@zhena gogolia: Princess Complicity even piped up on Twitter about the Wilson clip on CNN, so yeah, the Trumps are using it to gin up outrage. It’s all so stupid.
Ivanka was meeping about Wilson mocking Southern accents, FFS. Wilson is a Southerner, and Ivanka’s own stupid NYC-born father has mocked drawls.
I have little use for Nichols, but I think he’s right that people who’d be outraged about what Wilson said are already Trump voters. What I’m confused about is who he’s urging to avoid taking the bait. Are Democrats calling Wilson out? I’d be surprised if that was the case, at least in any widespread way.
Slogan of the era. Nominate yourself.
@Gin & Tonic: Who is in cahoots with Putin.
What I want to know is, who’s the cheeky scriptwriter who named the corrupt lawyer “Bondi” and the other lawyer, the one we hope is not corrupt, “Bondy”?
@Chris T.: Cheeky Bastard
Wow. My husband doesn’t read the comments. I told him “That’s me, but she paraphrased me, so I sound better, more succinct.”
@Joey Maloney: I’m beginning to think they’re all tiny little erections. Thumbs up!