49 Questions That Will End the Terrible, Untruthful Tenure of the 45th President

 

What Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About Obstruction, and What It Means;

The questions show the special counsel’s focus on obstruction of justice and touch on some surprising other areas.

By Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt, of the New York Times
April 30, 2018

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently provided President Trump’s lawyers a list of questions he wants answered in an interview. The New York Times obtained the list; here are the questions, along with the context and significance of each. The questions fall into categories based on four broad subjects. They are not quoted verbatim, and some were condensed.

Questions related to Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser

Michael T. Flynn in December 2017.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America
• What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?

These questions revolve around whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice to protect Mr. Flynn from prosecution. His phone calls with Mr. Kislyak are at the heart of that inquiry.

During the calls, Mr. Flynn urged Russia not to overreact to sanctions just announced by the Obama administration. But Mr. Trump’s aides publicly denied that sanctions were discussed and, when questioned by the F.B.I., Mr. Flynn denied it, as well. Mr. Mueller wants to know whether Mr. Flynn was operating on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Prosecutors may already know the answer: Mr. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying and is cooperating with investigators.

• What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017?

In January, the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius revealed Mr. Flynn’s phone calls with Mr. Kislyak. Mr. Ignatius questioned whether those conversations had violated a law prohibiting private citizens from attempting to undermine American policies. In February, The Washington Post revealed the true nature of Mr. Flynn’s conversations with Mr. Kislyak.
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Mr. Mueller wants to know, among other things, whether Mr. Trump feared that his national security adviser had broken the law and then tried to shield him from consequences.

• What did you know about Sally Yates’s meetings about Mr. Flynn?

Ms. Yates, the acting attorney general for the first weeks of the Trump administration, twice warned the White House that Mr. Flynn was lying, and those lies made him vulnerable to Russian blackmail. No one from the White House has ever said how much Mr. Trump knew about those warnings.

• How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?

Eighteen days after Ms. Yates’s warning, Mr. Flynn was asked to resign. The White House said that Mr. Trump lost confidence in Mr. Flynn because he had lied. But the White House has never fully explained why, after learning about the lie, officials waited so long to act.

• After the resignations, what efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?

The Times recently revealed that, when Mr. Flynn began considering cooperating with the F.B.I., Mr. Trump’s lawyers floated the idea of a pardon. Mr. Mueller wants to know why.

Questions related to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director

• What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?

The questions about Mr. Comey relate to whether Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey last year to shield Mr. Flynn, or anyone else, from prosecution. Mr. Trump has denied that, saying he fired Mr. Comey because of his mishandling of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

This question is important because, if Mr. Trump truly was upset about the Clinton investigation, he would have shown an early distaste for Mr. Comey.

• What did you think about Mr. Comey’s intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, 2017, about Russian election interference?

The briefing revealed that American intelligence agencies had concluded that Russian operatives meddled in the election to hurt Mrs. Clinton and to boost Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on these conclusions and said he believes the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, who denies any interference.

• What was your reaction to Mr. Comey’s briefing that day about other intelligence matters?

This question addresses documents written by a retired British spy, Christopher Steele, who said that Russia had gathered compromising information on Mr. Trump. The documents, which became known as the Steele Dossier, also claim that the Trump campaign had ties to the Russian government. Mr. Comey privately briefed Mr. Trump about these documents.

• What was the purpose of your Jan. 27, 2017, dinner with Mr. Comey, and what was said?

A few weeks after his briefing, Mr. Comey was called to the White House for a private dinner. Mr. Comey’s notes say that Mr. Trump raised concerns about the Steele Dossier and said he needed loyalty from his F.B.I. director. This question touches on Mr. Trump’s true motivation for firing Mr. Comey: Was he dismissed because he was not loyal and would not shut down an F.B.I. investigation?

• What was the purpose of your Feb. 14, 2017, meeting with Mr. Comey, and what was said?

That was a key moment. Mr. Comey testified that the president told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Mr. Trump has denied this.

• What did you know about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Flynn and Russia in the days leading up to Mr. Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017?

Mr. Comey’s testimony publicly confirmed that the F.B.I. was investigating members of the Trump campaign for possible coordination with Russia. Mr. Mueller wants to know what role that revelation played in Mr. Comey’s firing.

• What did you do in reaction to the March 20 testimony? Describe your contacts with intelligence officials.

In the aftermath, The Post reported, Mr. Trump asked the United States’ top intelligence official, Daniel Coats, to pressure Mr. Comey to back off his investigation. Mr. Mueller wants to ask Mr. Trump about his contacts with Mr. Coats as well as the C.I.A.’s director at the time, Mike Pompeo, and the National Security Agency’s director, Michael S. Rogers. The conversations could reflect Mr. Trump’s growing frustration with Mr. Comey — not about the Clinton case, but about his refusal to shut down the Russia inquiry.

• What did you think and do in reaction to the news that the special counsel was speaking to Mr. Rogers, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Coats?

It is not clear whether Mr. Mueller knows something specific about Mr. Trump’s reaction to these interviews, but the question shows that Mr. Mueller is keenly interested in how Mr. Trump responded to each step of his investigation.

• What was the purpose of your calls to Mr. Comey on March 30 and April 11, 2017?

Mr. Comey said that Mr. Trump called twice to ask him to say publicly that he was not under F.B.I. investigation. In the second call, Mr. Comey said, the president added: “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal. We had that thing, you know.”

• What was the purpose of your April 11, 2017, statement to Maria Bartiromo?

While the White House ultimately said Mr. Comey was fired for breaking with Justice Department policy and discussing the Clinton investigation, Mr. Trump expressed no such qualms in an interview with Ms. Bartiromo of Fox Business Network. “Director Comey was very, very good to Hillary Clinton, that I can tell you,” he said. “If he weren’t, she would be, right now, going to trial.”

• What did you think and do about Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony?

In this Senate appearance, Mr. Comey described his handling of the Clinton investigation in detail. Mr. Comey was fired soon after. Mr. Mueller’s question suggests he wants to know why Mr. Trump soured.

• Regarding the decision to fire Mr. Comey: When was it made? Why? Who played a role?

Over the past several months, Mr. Mueller has asked White House officials for the back story, and whether the public justification was accurate. He will be able to compare Mr. Trump’s answers to what he has learned elsewhere.

• What did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on May 10, 2017, that firing Mr. Comey had taken the pressure off?

The day after Mr. Comey’s firing, Mr. Trump met with Russian officials in the Oval Office. There, The Times revealed, Mr. Trump suggested he had fired Mr. Comey because of the pressure from the Russia investigation.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

• What did you mean in your interview with Lester Holt about Mr. Comey and Russia?

Shortly after firing Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump undercut his own argument when he told NBC News that he had been thinking about the Russia investigation when he fired Mr. Comey.

“I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

• What was the purpose of your May 12, 2017, tweet?

After The Times revealed the president’s private dinner with Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump responded on Twitter.

Mr. Comey appeared unworried. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Mr. Comey said. The White House ultimately said that, no, there were no tapes.

• What did you think about Mr. Comey’s June 8, 2017, testimony regarding Mr. Flynn, and what did you do about it?

After he was fired, Mr. Comey testified about his conversations with Mr. Trump and described him as preoccupied with the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia. After the testimony, Mr. Trump called him a liar.

• What was the purpose of the September and October 2017 statements, including tweets, regarding an investigation of Mr. Comey?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said that Mr. Comey had testified falsely to Congress and suggested that the Justice Department might investigate. Mr. Trump followed up with tweets suggesting that he should be investigated for rigging an inquiry into Mrs. Clinton. Such comments reinforced criticism that Mr. Trump views the Justice Department as a sword to use against his political rivals.

• What is the reason for your continued criticism of Mr. Comey and his former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe?

Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe are among Mr. Trump’s favorite targets. Mr. McCabe is a lifelong Republican, but Mr. Trump has criticized him as a Clinton loyalist because Mr. McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for office in Virginia and received donations from a Clinton ally. This question suggests that Mr. Mueller wants to know whether Mr. Trump’s criticism is an effort to damage the F.B.I. while it investigates the president’s associates.

Questions related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

• What did you think and do regarding the recusal of Mr. Sessions?

Mr. Trump has criticized Mr. Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation. The Times reported that Mr. Trump humiliated him in an Oval Office meeting and accused him of being disloyal. Mr. Sessions ultimately submitted his resignation, though Mr. Trump did not accept it. Along with the next two questions, this inquiry looks at whether Mr. Trump views law enforcement officials as protectors.

• What efforts did you make to try to get him to change his mind?

The Times has reported that Mr. Trump told his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, to stop Mr. Sessions from recusing himself. Mr. McGahn was unsuccessful, and Mr. Trump erupted, saying he needed an attorney general who would protect him.

• Did you discuss whether Mr. Sessions would protect you, and reference past attorneys general?

Mr. Trump has spoken affectionately about past attorneys general who he said were loyal to their presidents. He cited Robert F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr. as examples. “Holder protected the president,” he said in a Times interview in December. “And I have great respect for that.”

• What did you think and what did you do in reaction to the news of the appointment of the special counsel?

In a twist, Mr. Mueller’s very appointment has become part of his investigation. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denounced the inquiry as a “witch hunt.” Mr. Trump blames the appointment on Mr. Sessions’s recusal.

• Why did you hold Mr. Sessions’s resignation until May 31, 2017, and with whom did you discuss it?

Mr. Trump rejected Mr. Sessions’s resignation after aides argued that it would only create more problems. The details of those discussions remain unclear, but Mr. Trump’s advisers have already given Mr. Mueller their accounts of the conversations.

• What discussions did you have with Reince Priebus in July 2017 about obtaining the Sessions resignation? With whom did you discuss it?

Mr. Priebus, who was Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, has said he raced out of the White House after Mr. Sessions and implored him not to resign. Mr. Mueller has interviewed Mr. Priebus and would be able to compare his answers with those of Mr. Trump.

• What discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel, and what did you do when that consideration was reported in January 2018?

Again, Mr. Mueller’s investigation intersects with its own existence. The Times reported that, in June 2017, Mr. Trump ordered Mr. McGahn to fire Mr. Mueller. Mr. McGahn refused. Though Mr. Trump’s own advisers informed Mr. Mueller about that effort, Mr. Trump denied it: “Fake news,” he said. “A typical New York Times fake story.”

• What was the purpose of your July 2017 criticism of Mr. Sessions?

Mr. Trump unleashed a series of attacks on Mr. Sessions in July.

Campaign Coordination With Russia

Donald Trump Jr. arranged a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.
• When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?

This and other questions relate to a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who offered political dirt about Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., arranged the meeting. He said he did not tell his father about it when it happened.

• What involvement did you have in the communication strategy, including the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails?

When The Times found out about the meeting, Mr. Trump helped draft a misleading statement in his son’s name, omitting the true purpose of the meeting. After The Times obtained the younger Mr. Trump’s emails, he published them on Twitter.

• During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?

The Trump Tower meeting was arranged through the Russian singer Emin Agalarov, his billionaire father, Aras Agalarov, and a music promoter. Mr. Mueller is scrutinizing the nature of connections between the Agalarovs, Mr. Trump and Russian officials.

• What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?

Mr. Mueller is referring to a failed effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Mr. Sater, a business associate, proposed the idea to Mr. Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer to Mr. Trump. Emails show that Mr. Sater believed that the project would showcase Mr. Trump’s deal-making acumen and propel him into the presidency.

• What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin? Did you discuss it with others?

Journalists and lawmakers have uncovered several examples of Russian officials trying, through intermediaries, to arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. Senior campaign officials rejected some overtures, but Mr. Trump’s involvement has been a mystery.

• What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding Russian sanctions?

Even as the Obama administration stepped up sanctions on Russia, Mr. Trump struck a laudatory tone toward Mr. Putin.

• What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?

A portion of the Republican platform was changed in a way more favorable to Russia.

• During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?

This is a key question. Mr. Trump praised the release of hacked Democratic emails and called on Russia to find others. Mr. Mueller’s investigation has unearthed evidence that at least one member of Mr. Trump’s campaign — George Papadopoulos — was told that Russia had obtained compromising emails about Mrs. Clinton. But Mr. Trump has repeatedly said there was “no collusion” with the Russian government.
• What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?

This is one of the most intriguing questions on the list. It is not clear whether Mr. Mueller knows something new, but there is no publicly available information linking Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, to such outreach. So his inclusion here is significant. Mr. Manafort’s longtime colleague, Rick Gates, is cooperating with Mr. Mueller.

• What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or WikiLeaks?

Mr. Stone, a longtime adviser, claimed to have inside information from WikiLeaks, which published hacked Democratic emails. He appeared to predict future releases, and was in touch with a Twitter account used by Russian intelligence. This question, along with the next two, show that Mr. Mueller is still investigating possible campaign cooperation with Russia.

• What did you know during the transition about an attempt to establish back-channel communication to Russia, and Jared Kushner’s efforts?

Mr. Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, has testified that the Russian ambassador proposed getting Mr. Flynn in contact with Russian officials to discuss Syria. In response, Mr. Kushner said, he proposed using secure phones inside the Russian Embassy — a highly unusual suggestion that was not accepted.

• What do you know about a 2017 meeting in Seychelles involving Erik Prince?

The meeting was convened by Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. It brought Mr. Prince, an informal adviser to Mr. Trump’s team, together with a Russian investor close to Mr. Putin.

• What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?

Mr. Cohen, the lawyer, hand-delivered to the White House a peace proposal for Ukraine and Russia. This unusual bit of backdoor diplomacy is of interest because it involved a Ukrainian lawmaker who said he was being encouraged by Mr. Putin’s aides. Mr. Cohen has said he did not discuss the proposal with Mr. Trump.

Matt Apuzzo is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter based in Washington. He has covered law enforcement and security matters for more than a decade and is the co-author of the book “Enemies Within.”

Michael S. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent for The Times who covers national security and federal investigations. He was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018 — one for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues and the other for coverage of President Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia.@NYTMike

A version of this article appears in print on April 30, 2018, on Page A16 of the New York Times New York edition with the headline: The Questions, With Context.

 

What “Paternity Information” Could Stormy Have That’s So Powerful It Forced Trump Into Kim Jung Un’s Arms?

Is the “Paternity Information” that Stormy Daniels may have on Donald Trump driving him into Kim Jung Un’s arms? Did Trump get Stormy pregnant? Pay for her to have an abortion?

 

On the eve of the Special Election in Pennsylvania’s 18th CD, where virulent anti-abortion GOP Rep. Tim Murphy resigned in 2017 over reports that he asked his mistress to get an abortion, is Trump facing the same “choice?” If not, just what “Paternity Information” is he afraid of in the non-disclosure agreement that his attorney Michael Cohen paid Stormy $130,000 to keep quite about?

 

Is Trump’s “audacious diplomatic overture” to North Korea as the New York Times described it, just another huge, Reality TV driven distraction from the tightening noose of bad news swirling around him? Is he running to Kim because the North Korean dictator is less scary than Stormy’s “paternity information?”

 

In typical Trump fashion — while he is cornered on every legal and political front; when the criminal investigations against him and his associates are getting closer and closer to Trump and his family; when his own lawyer has admitted Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels which they tried to coverup with $130,000 of hush money; when his terrible Tariff decision is already backfiring even causing Grover Norquist to label it “tax,”; and when his “best people” are jumping ship faster than rats, Trump pulls down his pants to get people’s attention. It’s a tried and true Reality TV trick: when all else fails, do something ridiculously outrageous. Eat bugs, or stuff worms down your throat. Anything for attention.

 

So what is he trying to distract us from? Is the “Paternity Information” in the StormyDaniels’ illegitimate non-disclosure agreement disguising information of an illegitimate child? Does the phrase mean that he fathered a child by her? That he, perhaps, made her pregnant, and then paid for her to have an abortion, while he was married to Melania?

 

Up until the “PATERNITY INFORMATION” phrase emerged in Stormy’s Non-Disclosure Agreement, and the Pennsylvania Special election in the 18thCD drew closer — an election made possible by an abortion demand made upon his mistress by an anti-abortion GOP Congressman — I hadn’t given much thought to information about rumors of a surreptitious sexual encounter Trump had that I came across in writing my book.

 

In the course of researching Chapter 8 on Trump and the Mafia, in my book Tightrope: Balancing a Life Between Mario Cuomo & My Brother, several sources told me that Trump made a Queens, N.Y. woman pregnant and, for years, paid hush money — cash in suitcases — to keep her quiet.

 

I pressed those sources to go on the record with the information, but they would not, so I turned away from what they said was an “open secret” throughout Queens, NY. If I couldn’t get the information confirmed on the record by at least two sources I wouldn’t use it. So, I didn’t. But then, the perfect Stormy hit.

 

I hadn’t thought about the rampant rumors of Trump fathering an illegitimate child in Queens — and paying hush money to his mistress — until this week’s revelation that “PATERNITY INFORMATION” was part of what was covered in the NDA with Stormy, and what Trump and/or his personal attorney Michael Cohen were among the things they were paying her to keep quiet about.

 

So, what better way to distract the world from the growing storm over Stormy and what he doesn’t want her to reveal, than to rush into a rash, dangerous meeting with Kim Jung Un? For at least 24 hours, Trump’s latest trick has taken the mainstream media’s attention off of the “Paternity Information” which Stormy has on Trump, and overshadowed the 18 criminal counts lodged against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in a Federal District Court in Virginia by the Special Prosecutor.

 

Could Stormy have ever imagined that her fling with Donald, might result in Trump fathering a child (or at least a fetus) with her, AND a possible peace agreement (or photo op) with Kim Jung Un? Was THAT the “Paterntity Information” the Non-Disclosure Agreement referenced?

 

I’m reminded of the secret code words whispered to Harry Truman when his staff learned that the tests were successful for the atomic bombs which would be dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki to end World War II. “Babies Satisfactorily Born,” his aides told him. Is Trump afraid that Stormy might spill that same secret code in public, or worse, tell Christian fundamentalists that in fact, the baby wasn’t born, but aborted? And that their beloved leader, Donald Trump, paid for the abortion?

Stay tuned.

Which Side Are You On? The War Hero, Robert Mueller’s? Or the Pig, Donald Trump’s?

Whose side are you on: #Mueller‘s or the #Pig‘s? I’ve carefully read and outlined the 37-page indictment of the Russian Plot to overthrow America and want to bring a few things into focus for you, directly from the Pages of the Indictment:

 

1. “US law bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities;”

 

2. “The Russians were posing as US persons, creating US false personas, and using stolen identities of real US persons.”

 

3. Count #1 of the Indictment vs. the Russians: “Conspiracy to Defraud the US, together with others known and UNKNOWN (NB: Trump), to the Grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally consipred to defraud the US. (How long before the “unknown parties soon become known? Is that in Michael Flynn’s testimony?)

 

4. The Object of the Conspiracy was : “impairing, obstructing, & defeating the lawful government fuctions of the US by dishonest means.” Right up Trump’s back alley.

 

5. “Defendants & their co-conspirators (Russian Spies) traveled to the US under false pretenses…” They fraudulently secured travel visas through the US State Dept, to go to Nevada, CA, NY, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas & Georgia.

 

6. The Russians used dozens of stolen identities of real Americans: stolen SS#’s, stolen dates of birth, addresses, fake pay pal accounts & fake drivers licenses.

 

7. Five pages of the 37-page indictment deal with direct overt acts of violations of US Law; One Russian spy was caught bragging to her family members on email: ” We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues. I created all thse picture and posts and the Americans believed it was written by their people.” (Russia, if you’re listening…)

 

8. Count Two: Conspiracy to Commit Wire & Bank Fraud: (Read this carefully Trump, this one’s for you and your entire team in the coming indictments): “to knowingly having devised & intending to devise a scheme & artifice to DEFRAUD, and to OBTAIN MONEY AND PROPERTY by means of FRAUDULENT PRETENSE, REPRESENTATION & PROMISES, transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communications in interstate & foreign commerce…for the purpose of executing such a scheme in violation of Title 18 US Code, Section 1342.

 

9. Fraudulently opening bank accounts at US Financial Institutions with stolen SS#’s, home addresses, birthdates;

 

10. Counts 3-8: Aggravated Identity Theft.

 

If #Trump thinks ANY of this exonerates him, he is more of a moron then we’ve given him credit for being.

Which side are you on: Robert Mueller’s, American Hero, who defended the US during War and cyberwar, or the Pig’s, who defends himself against allegations by Stormy Daniels by paying her hush money?

 

Russian Mobsters, Bankers & Putin Own Trump, AND Want to Kill the FBI

Forget “Fire & Fury.” Luke Harding’s book “COLLUSION: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win” lays out all the evidence of why Trump is terrified of—and financially beholden to—Russian mobsters, bankers & Vladimir Putin. WHY do you think he refused to implement the new sanctions law passed nearly unanimously by both houses of Congress? The Russians own Trump.

 

The World’s White Supremacists Are Emboldened Out of Their Shitholes

 

On the eight Anniversary of the catastrophic Earthquake in Haiti which killed more than 230,000 Haitians and prompted many Americans–and our houses of worship–toward humanitarian responses to those who survived, Donald Trump decided to breathe new life into White Supremacy and the hatred of Haitians and people from impoverished lands, seeking a better life, and the “American Dream.”

 

Trump’s ignorant, hateful, racist comments were consistent with his own family’s history of White Supremacy, and the United States history of racial discrimination dating back to the founding of a nation half free and half enslaved, and an immigration system designed to keep out “undesirable” non-whites dating back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Italian immigrants–considered to be a subhuman race from the “shithole” nation of that time, and numbering nearly four million by the early 1920’s–became the explicit target of America’s White Supremacist’s Anti-Immigration Law of 1924.

 

And, as Princeton Law Professor James Q. Whitman documents in his recent book Hitler’s American Model: The United States & the Making of Nazi Race Law, Adolf Hitler and Nazi jurists expressed admiration for that specific Anti-Immigration law, and used it–along with the Jim Crow laws of 30 American States–as the basis for the Nuremberg Laws, which discriminated against Jews, and were used as legal justification for mass murder.

 

Haiti, as a French colony, supported the American Revolutionary War effort against England, sending supplies to the colonists and troops to fight alongside Americans. In 1804, while slavery was still thriving in the United States, and propping up the economy of the South, Haiti became the first Republic in the Western Hemisphere to overthrow slavery, and become a nation free of it. That would not happen for another 60 years in the United States, after 750,000 people died fighting a war over the White Supremacists inhumane practice of Black enslavement.

 

As the New York Times pointed out in its editorial of January 13, 2018, entitled “So Much for the Beacon of Hope:”

“No one is denying that Haiti and some of these countries have profound problems today. Of course, these problems are often a direct result of policies and actions of the United States and European nations: to name a few, kidnapping & enslaving their citizens; plundering their natural resources; propping up their dictators and corrupt regimes; and holding them financially hostage for generation.”

Dr. Paul Farmer, in his brilliant book AIDS & Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame clearly demonstrates that Haiti was victimized by Westerners (Americans and Europeans) spreading HIV and other diseases in its major urban areas and not the other way around, as Trump falsely claimed when he said several months ago that “Haitians all have AIDS.” It was the same pernicious lie spread by White Supremacists about Haiti for decades. Dr. Farmer’s study points out:

 

“As a US-trained physician, it is clear to me that, even today, many health professionals have distorted views about AIDS & Haiti. These distortions are even more grotesque among the lay public, as many North Americans still believe that AIDS came to the U.S from Haiti, and not vice versa.”

Having worked at the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center in the heart of Brooklyn the the late 1990’s, one of the epicenters of the Haitian population in the United States, I witnessed–and worked with– a large number of highly-trained medical professionals from Haiti and other Caribbean nations who devoted their lives to serving the healthcare needs of 2.6 million Brooklynites. They were colorblind in their care for patients, and extraordinary in their degree of professionalism. The house in which I was born on Hawthorne Street in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from the Medical Center, was now meticulously cared for and lived in by a Haitian family.

 

But the Trump family, whose real estate empire began in Brooklyn, wanted the color of its’ tenants skin to be anything but Black. The Trump Organization, which built working class housing in Brooklyn with federal tax dollars, actively sought to keep African & Caribbean Americans out. Fred & Donald Trump’s company was found guilty by the Federal Government in 1973 for discriminating against Black’s, and the Trump’s–despite being represented by mobbed-up lawyer Roy Cohn– were forced to integrate their housing.

 

It wasn’t the first time the Trumps were caught practicing their own brand of White Supremacy. In May, 1927, as reported in the New York Times, Fred Trump was arrested at a KKK Rally in Queens. The Klan was at the peak of its power in the North at that time, was virulently anti-immigrant, as well as anti-Black, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic. White Supremacists were instrumental in denying New York State’s Catholic Governor Al Smith the nomination for President at the 1924 Democratic National Convention, and in beating back an anti-Klan resolution.

 

The Klan amassed 50,000 protestors to march through Washington, DC that same year–1924–the year when Congress passed the sweeping anti-Immigration Act, which took special aim at Italian immigrants, and immigrants from non-“Nordic” nations, and became a model for the Nazis Nuremberg Laws. Fred Trump knew exactly what the White Supremacist organization was advocating when he attended their rally in 1927. Three months later, the Italian political activists Sacco & Vanzetti were executed in Massachusetts in a climate of virulent anti-Italian immigrant hatred, and a national hysteria over “radical” elements.

 

The Times points out (January 13, 2018) that throughout his lifetime, we have seen Donald Trump’s White Supremacist prejudices rear their ugliness again and again:

“We knew it in 1989, when he took out a full-page newspaper ad calling for the execution of five black & Latino teenagers…(later exonerated by DNA and other evidence)…We knew it again when he built a presidential campaign by demonizing Mexicans and Muslims, while promoting the lie that America’s first Black President wasn’t born here…And, again, last summer when he defended marchers in a neo-Nazi parade as ‘very fine people.’”

Now, on the Anniversary of the National Holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King–a holiday which many of the very same White Nationalists supporting Donald Trump fiercely campaigned against creating–it’s instructive to recall a powerful sermon given by Dr. King, two months before his assassination, 50 years ago this April. The sermon, which he entitled, “The Drum Major Instinct,” was delivered from the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on February 4, 1968:

 

“Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. And they have said it over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes…And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man’s inhumanity to man.”

“Where’s My Roy Cohn?”

 

Where’s my Roy Cohn?

 

Disbarred, my child, disbarred…

For lying & cheating & stealing clients’ loot;

For never paying taxes, stuffing coke up his snoot.

Soul scarred, my child, so scarred.

 

Where’s my Roy Cohn?

 

Disgraced, my child, disgraced…

For framing Jews as Russian spies, for attacking people’s Race;

For trafficking with Mobsters,

For lying about gays…

Disgraced, my child, debased himself, in oh, so many ways.

 

“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” the flailing baby cried…

 

He’s gone, my child, erased himself…

Abandoned by leeches like you, while dying of AIDS,

His power unmade,

He died. And you did, too.

 

“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” the lost boy moans,

 

His mind stuck back in time 40 years;

No Cohn, or Stone, or Bannon or Flynn,

To impale others & usher you in.

The Reckoning nears—the sum of your fears,

And Ethel & Julius have shed all their tears.