Donald Trump Jr. said that one reason his father has yet to receive his tax returns, in a break from four decades of precedent for presidential candidates, was that the complicated documents would provoke too many questions.But isn't that precisely the point?
“He's got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from [his father’s] main message,” Trump Jr. said in a Wednesday interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
I mean especially in the light of this Newsweek cover story. Up front Kurt Eichenwald writes:
A close examination by Newsweek of the Trump Organization, including confidential interviews with business executives and some of its international partners, reveals an enterprise with deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals, although there is no evidence the Trump Organization has engaged in any illegal activities. It also reveals a web of contractual entanglements that could not be just canceled. If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires.The story came up as a topic of conversation between the Junior Trump and The Trib:
Trump Jr., who helped open a Pennsylvania campaign office in Washington County in the morning, said creating a blind trust would prevent the elder Trump from knowing how the company's assets are managed.But the Trump Organization isn't like anyone else's that's the point too. But of course he'd say that - there's millions at stake.
Trump Jr., the Trump Organization's executive vice president, said he and other family members involved in the company would not be part of their father's would-be administration and would not do business directly with foreign governments that might be inclined to give the company preferential treatment to curry favor with a Trump White House.
A Newsweek analysis published Wednesday said a blind trust would not work because “the Trump family is already aware of who their overseas partners are and could easily learn about any new ones” — an assertion Trump Jr. dismissed, saying it would work “just like it has for everyone else who's had a business and run for office.”
Then there's the lies about Clinton's "lies":
“This isn't a one-time thing. It's time and time again. … There's the lies, and the lies about the lies, and then there's the lies about the lies that were lied about,” Trump Jr. said before arguing that some of the former secretary of State's lies “have cost people their lives.”Ah...Benghazi. Surely Donald Trump Jr knows how to read, right? Surely he knew how to read this past June when the New York Times published this:
When asked for an example, Trump Jr. said, “I'd say talking about Benghazi, inaction in Benghazi (where four Americans died in attacks by Islamic militants in 2012). … I think (lying) after the fact is a big enough deal in a situation like that when you have Americans abroad.”
Trump Jr.'s father has not had a great track record in telling the truth on the campaign trail, according to the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-check website PolitiFact. The website has investigated about 250 claims Trump and Clinton each made. The website found that his claims, 70 percent of the time, were found to be at least mostly false or worse, while hers were false or mostly false 28 percent of the time.
“I would argue that PolitiFact is a very liberal organization,” Trump Jr. said.
Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.And yet he gets to say, unchallenged I might add, about "inaction in Benghazi" or some such.
The 800-page report delivered a broad rebuke of the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi, and especially for maintaining outposts there that they could not protect.
The committee, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, also harshly criticized an internal State Department investigation that it said had allowed officials like Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, to effectively choose who would examine their actions. In addition, it included some new details and context about the night of the attacks on the American diplomatic compound and reiterated Republicans’ complaints that the Obama administration had sought to thwart the investigation by withholding witnesses and evidence.
The report, which included perhaps the most exhaustive chronology of the attacks to date, did not dispute that United States military forces stationed in Europe could not have reached Benghazi in time to rescue the personnel who died — a central finding of previous inquiries.
And I'm wondering if, after whatever part of the conversation produced this paragraph:
He criticized Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over continuing questions surrounding the Clinton Foundation, including allegations that her donors received undue political influence.If Jr Trump was asked about this from that other liberal organization, Fortune Magazine:
Until a few weeks ago, the Clinton Foundation was a magnet for controversy, while the tiny Donald J. Trump Foundation remained in the shadows. Suddenly, a damaging expose in the Washington Post and the disclosure of an illegal campaign contribution paid by the Trump Foundation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who subsequently decided not to pursue an investigation of scandal-plagued Trump University, has unleashed a storm of criticism and rendered the once obscure charity a major drag on the Trump campaign.Or this story from the Washington Post:
In 2007, Donald Trump spent $20,000 that belonged to his charity — the Donald J. Trump Foundation — to buy a six-foot-tall portrait of himself during a fundraiser auction at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.But this is the Trib, so...
Hey, you know who DID ask that question?
Super Bob Mayo of WTAE:
And so when faced with an actual question about some actual shady happenings at a foundation where he was a director, he did what every boy does: He lied and said he had nothing to do with it.
Bob, next time I see you I'm going to want to shake your hand.