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“Is the Real Scandal the Clinton Foundation?,” TRNN, July 8, 2016.

Michael Hudson says the media has failed to look beyond the emails and into potential conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

PAUL JAY, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

On Thursday morning, the media fest and political fest around Hillary Clinton’s email scandal continued, as the head of the FBI, James Comey, spoke at a congressional House oversight committee. Here’s a little clip of what was said there. But let me just foreshadow–maybe the emails aren’t the real issue that should be in front of these hearings. Now, here’s the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, questioning James Comey and a bit of his answer.

JASON CHAFFETZ: It seems to a lot of us that the average Joe, the average American, that if they had done what you laid out in your statement, that they’d be in handcuffs. And I think there is a legitimate concern that there is a double standard. Your name isn’t Clinton, you’re not part of the powerful elite, that Lady Justice will act differently.

JAMES COMEY: I believe this investigation was conducted consistent with the highest traditions of the FBI. Our folks did it in an apolitical and professional way. There are two things that matter in a criminal investigation of a subject. And so when I look at the facts we gathered here–as I said, I see evidence of great carelessness. But I do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that Secretary Clinton, or those with whom she was corresponding, both talked about classified information on email, and knew when they did it they were doing something that was against the law. So give that assessment of the facts and my understanding of the law, my conclusion was, and remains, no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. No reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence.

JAY: Now joining us from New York is Michael Hudson. Michael’s a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His latest book is Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy. Thanks for joining us, Michael.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Good to be back here, Paul.

JAY: First, let’s talk a little bit about what we just heard. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee says, is there a double standard here? Somebody else might be in handcuffs, and Hillary Clinton’s not being charged. I guess a lot of people are asking that question. The FBI director says this doesn’t rise to the level of criminality; it’s carelessness. I don’t know the law well enough. I’m certainly not a lawyer. But it seems to me that the deliberate, willful decision to use a private server–and some people have said one of the reasons could be to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests–and I don’t know if that rises to the level of criminality. But it’s sure wrong.

HUDSON: Well, it’s obvious that Hillary wanted to keep some information from the public finding out. The information that she wanted to keep from the public probably didn’t concern national security so much as her own private dealings. Nobody, I think, in American history has merged their public service as secretary of state or president with their private gains to the extent that Hillary really has. And by that I mean the Clinton Foundation, overall.

Here’s the problem, you can imagine. She’s going to Saudi Arabia, she’s going to Europe, she’s going to the Near Eastern countries. Saudi Arabia has asked her–and this is all very public–we want more arms. We want to buy arms in America. We know that Saudi Arabia is one of the major contributors to the Clinton Foundation. On the other hand, Hillary’s in a position to go to Raytheon, to Boeing, and say look, do I have a customer for you. Saudi Arabia would love to buy your arms. Maybe we can arrange something. I’m going to do my best. By the way, you know, my foundation is–you know, I’m a public-spirited person and I’m trying to help the world. Would you like to make a contribution to my foundation?

Well, lo and behold, the military-industrial complex is one of the big contributors to the Clinton Foundation, as is Saudi Arabia, and many of the parties who are directly affected by her decisions. Now, my guess is what she didn’t want people to find out, whether on Freedom of Information Act or others, are the lobbying she’s doing for her own foundation, which in a way means her wealth, her husband’s wealth, Bill Clinton’s wealth, and the power that both of them have by getting a quarter billion dollars of grants into the foundation during her secretary of state.

JAY: As far as we know, there’s no direct evidence that she did precisely what you’re saying. And

That they actually say–“Give money to the foundation; I will facilitate such-and-such a contract.” There’s no evidence of that, correct?

HUDSON: That’s right. And partly there’s no evidence because her private emails are not subject to [inaud.]. They’re not subject to finding out this. We don’t have any evidence one way or the other. So certainly there is no evidence. There is only the appearance of what looks to me to be an inherent conflict of interest with the foundation.


JAY: And there’s no direct evidence that any abnormal amount of money has gone to Bill Clinton, in terms of fees and expenses. One can assume he’s well-compensated. But it does have charitable status, it has to file a 990. They are under charitable law regulations, and so far I don’t know of any reporting that says that they have violated the–.

HUDSON: You’re right. The advantage of being under charitable law is it’s in a foundation that–you can look at it in effect as your savings account. And you can treat it–you can do with a foundation whatever you want.

Now, if you or I had a quarter billion dollars, what we’d want to do is influence policy. Influence the world. Well, that’s what they want to do. They want to use the foundation to support policies that they want. And here we’re not dealing with unexplained enrichment. This isn’t money that comes into them that goes into an offshore account in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands. It’s hidden in plain sight. It’s all the foundation. It’s tax-exempt. It’s legitimate. So she’s somehow been able to legitimize a conflict of interest, and what that used to be called corruption in office. Or at least the appearance of what could be corruption in office.

And the fact is, that is what there has been a blacked-out screen painted over it, and we don’t have any idea what she’s been saying to these affected parties that not only has she been dealing with, the secretary of state, but it turned out to be major contributors to her and Bill’s foundation.

JAY: Now, the reason the emails rose to such prominence is because it was the potential of criminal charges. That seems to have ended now. The Clinton foundation certainly has been reported upon in various places in the mainstream press. It never rose to the same level of attention as the emails. But why do you think that is? Because you think there’s enough fodder there that that could have been quite a media fest. Feast, I should say.

HUDSON: Well, there’s no direct link between the foundation that says it’s existing to promote various social purposes, and Hillary’s actions as secretary of state. But there’s such overlap there. I can’t think of any public official at cabinet level or above, in memory who’s ever had an overlapping between a foundation that they had and had control, personally, and their public job. So there’s never been so great a blurring of categories.

JAY: So why isn’t this a bigger issue in the media? Corporate media?

HUDSON: I don’t–I think the media are supporting Hillary. And that’s a good question. Why are they supporting her so much with all of this? Why aren’t they raising this seemingly obvious thing? I think the media want two things that Hillary wants. They want the trade agreements to essentially turn over policy to, trade policy to corporations, and regulatory policy to–.

JAY: You’re talking about TTIP and [TTP].

HUDSON: [They’re neocons.] They’re the agreement of politics. If the media agree with her politics and says, okay, we want to back her because she’s backing the kind of world we want, a neocon world, a neoliberal world, then they’re going to say, this is wonderful. We can now distract attention onto did she leak a national secret. Well, the secrets that are really important aren’t the national classification secrets. They’re the personal, personal, the big-picture secrets. And it’s the big picture we don’t have a clue of as a result of all of these erasures.

JAY: Okay, thanks very much for joining us, Michael.

HUDSON: Good to be here.

JAY: And thank you for joining us on the Real News Network.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    It.s hard to believe that anyone with an I,Q. over 20 would vote for the evil – corrupt- OLD

    Hillary Clinton… Look at all the disgrace they brought to the White House… Selling the

    Lincoln Bedroom, Firing the Travel Office people (that kept their jobs during different

    Administrations.. Monica and the disgraceful “attack by Bill on the Kelly woman…then there

    was Juanita, Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, etc. etc. and the furniture from the White House

    that Old Hillary stole ..and was forced to return…..I am sure Old Hillary kept some…. and I am

    wondering ..isn’t there at least ONE HONORABLE DEMOCRAT THAT HAS THE COURAGE TO


  2. THIS.

    From the beginning.

    It’s not about the security level of the e-mails. It’s about the content. THAT is why she hid/deleted them.

    You want special consideration from the US, pay my husband $300,000 to give you a speech.
    I’ll make sure it happens.

  3. I’m hoping wikileaks has copies and decides to release them. I’m hoping the Russians or the Chinese have hacked them and choose to release the contents, because I am sure that they constitute a smoking gun documenting the unprecedented corruption discussed. This, and the war crimes issue render her fit for the crossbar motel rather than the whitehouse.

  4. brabantian says: • Website

    Fascinating exchange on the 4chan /pol/ site, involving someone who claims to be an insider US government FBI analyst – Department of Justice staffer, deeply involved in the criminal investigations affecting Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump etc

    The key take-away from this ‘FBI analyst’ is that, though Clinton & Trump are both corrupt, Trump’s corruption is minor relative to the Clintons & their ‘Foundation’… and that a Clinton presidency – which he thinks will not happen – would involve global war with Russia & China

    Whereas, the ‘FBI analyst’ says, honest US officials hope for a Trump presidency, which will begin a pull-back on US war-making & a clean-up of US corruption including indictment of Hillary Clinton

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that USA ex-President Bill Clinton will likely be dead this year

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that the big crimes related to the ‘Clinton Foundation’, are not just bribery etc relating to the US, horrid personal crimes by powerful individuals, but also regarding issues of war & relations among nations

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that Trump is also ‘corrupt’, sufficiently so that he could be criminally charged … but much less so than Clinton

    Here is the 4chan discussion with this ‘FBI analyst’ in a photo-image … the comments by the ‘FBI analyst’ are highlighted in peach-orange coloured boxes


    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that if Clinton would become President there would be war with Russia & China, and a nightmare of corruption involving string-puller George Soros etc

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that, US Justice Dept staff are in general in fear of being killed, for taking any actions regarding the immense wall of corruption which they comprehend, which is much larger than most anyone would guess

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that, for all his failings, if elected, Trump will actually do some house-cleaning in the US regime, criminally prosecute Hillary Clinton & do much against US corruption

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that, the difficulty is, there is so much corruption that if it were all exposed, US government would collapse, there would be civil war inside the US, & perhaps global military alliance against the US

    This ‘FBI analyst’ says that, amidst the difficulty, a somewhat ‘controlled’ and step-by-step unveiling of the corruption – as Trump would do – is likely the best route to serve the public

    Also in favour of the ‘secretly good Trump’ theme, despite his horrid pro-torture etc statements, are Trump’s astonishing policies favouring the end of Nato, easing tensions with Russia & China, withdrawing from war-making, & closing down US military bases overseas

    Very possibly, the tainted oligarch Trump, has come to the same radical illumination that struck US President John F Kennedy before they killed him in 1963, or US President Richard Nixon before he suffered the ‘impeachment’ farce & forced resignation in 1974

    Both Kennedy & Nixon had engaged in significant war crimes & killing many people … but both came to see that the war complex was impoverishing & destroying the USA … Nixon even put in the US environmental protection & was even considering the socialist basic minimum income for all Americans

    That ‘FBI analyst – Justice Dept leaker’ on 4chan, does not try to deny that Trump was involved in sex with underage girls, various kinds of business corruption & political bribery etc … but he nonetheless says that Trump is disgusted with the Soros gang of globalists & wants to preserve a semi-decent USA

    The ‘FBI analyst’ credits Trump with an utterly masterful use of ‘confirmation bias’ psychology, saying whatever it is that US people want to hear … Trump’s words fit the audiences he needs to satisfy

    Possibly the ‘FBI analyst’ is also a masterful psy-op to fool us … hope springs eternal, but as the ‘FBI analyst’ suggests, this is somewhat the last hope as the USA is close to the end of the road

  5. The FBI director says this doesn’t rise to the level of criminality; it’s carelessness.

    Although that statement is likely a lie, we prols peasants and peons would be punished severely for such carelessness would we not?

    What makes that disgusting, degenerate hag so special?

    • Replies: @empty
  6. woodNfish says:

    Everyone in government is above the law – Clinton, Comey, Lynch, Lois Lerner, judges, prosecutors and cops who assault and murder unarmed citizens. Prosecutions are rare and only happen in extraordinary circumstances. The system is corrupt and rigged. It is past time to get rid of it and start over.

    • Agree: Jacques Sheete
  7. Greg G says:

    Tell me with hundreds of Whistleblowers now out (most educated with MBA’s or better) ask yourself a single question? Are they ALL LIARS? Remember that it only takes one (1) to tell the TRUTH???

  8. tbraton says:

    I raised this point many months ago on a different thread, but why doesn’t some Republican Congressman introduce a law that would curb the use of a private foundation by a former President since it is such an obvious scam? The law could take various forms. One would be the outright prohibition of any current or future former president from establishing any charitable organization. Another way would be the prohibition of contributions by foreign governments or foreign organizations and the limitation by U.S. organizations to annual contributions of $5000 or less. Any violation would result in forfeiture of the presidential pension and lifetime secret service protection. Congress clearly has jurisdiction in this area since that is why we have our current presidential pension system. As a U.S. News article stated a few years ago: “In addition to a pension, the 1958 Former Presidents Act provides past presidents with support staff, office space, travel funds, and mailing privileges. The legislation aims “to maintain the dignity of that great office” and to prevent an expresident from engaging “in business or [an] occupation which would demean the office he has held or capitalize upon it in any way deemed improper.” ” Congress clearly has an interest in ex-presidents not engaging in enterprises which demean the office formerly held and avoiding the appearance of impropriety. While we are at it, there should also be a restriction on ex-presidents receiving any money from a foreign source for delivering a speech once out of office (as happened with Reagan, btw) and requiring any money received from a domestic source for such a speech be turned over to a recognized public charity with no strings attached.

  9. Barbara says:

    It is and always has been about money. 6 despotic criminal corporations control our country. They control all of the media and Americans are sitting in front of their boob tubes all day soaking up lies. They buy their corrupt rep. (puppet) and install them in our White House with promises of full control of the world. A psychopaths dream come true. 1984 predicted exactly what’s happening today. The ministry of information cranks out the newspeak and they take their blue pills.

    These blue pill takers will vote for these puppets because they’ve been instructed to. The only way we can take back our country from this corporate mafia is to convince them to vote for someone else. The only one they’ll vote for is someone with huge name recognition that they got through the boob tube. A patriot smart celebrity, Judge Jeannie, or ? (I don’t know celebrities) must do their duty as a citizen. 60% voted in the last election. If the 40% who didn’t show up, show, it’ll only be for celebrity, and they’ll take the election. Paper voting. We can then come up with a new form of governance that doesn’t allow any of this self-serving unmitigated greed and desire for global dominance. Corporations need the utmost containment. Their “rights” of personhood, lobbying, dominance of everything, running our government and everything else, must be stripped.

    Criminals such as kissinger, soros, rockefeller, rothschild, goldman sachs, etc… should not be able to control the entire globe just because they’ve benefited from criminal enterprises (mafia). We should nationalize that wealth (some say more than 1/2 the wealth of the world), along with the clinton “foundation” etc… and use the money to rebuild the many countries they’ve destroyed to rape their resources. We need to print our own money. We all need to do our duty as citizens to stop this insane madness. Tweet out names of websites telling the truth, like this,,,,, etc… I have tons of ideas for governance but it won’t fit in this box.

  10. bunga says:

    [1]”But if rebels could be vetted and trained effectively, it would be helpful in a number of ways. First, even a relatively small group might be able to give a big psychological boost to the opposition and convince Assad’s backers to consider a political solution,” she wrote.
    Clinton argued that the U.S. was sacrificing the chance to bring order to the flow of weapons coming to Syria from various Arab states. Those weapons often went to competing armed groups or found their way into the hands of extremists.
    The key, she said, was “vetting the rebel fighters to ensure we first weeded out the extremists.”
    [2]Clinton and Petraeus did not intend for such a force to be trained to overcome the regime. “Rather, the idea was to give us a partner on the ground we could work with that could do enough to convince Assad and his backers that a military victory was impossible,” Clinton wrote.

    [3]Ultimately, Mr. Obama signed off on U.S. arming and training of Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. But when White House spokesman Joshua Earnest was asked about the program’s failures last week, his answers made it sound as if the president never had much faith in the program

    [4] Earnest said he didn’t think Mr. Obama believed all 15,000 Syrian opposition fighters could be trained and equipped within the space of a year.
    Clinton, however, remains convinced that the program could still work.

    1 There is no way and was never there was anyway to vet a future rebel fighter .There is no way to tell who the moderate and who the extremist when the decision has been made about creating a sectarian war (
    .Only psychopathic liar like Clinton will say so and only a mesmerized unclued and unconcerned but war prone citizen will agree . Extremism is the essence of the sectarian war .

    2 Petreus and Clinton wanted blood shed to continue If they wanted otherwise ,they would have not asked for his resignation and Petrues would not have started pushing for supporting Al Quiada
    who is blamed for 911 attacks and whose ties with Sadadm was used to attack Iraq and tie Iran in Axis of Evil by the murderous regime of Bush ) They would have recognized the legitimacy of Assad’s role after the election . The track record of Clinton doesnt inspire any confidence that she ever believed in anything let alone non -military resolution of any Middle east problem , other than voluntary complete subjugation of her “adversary” or “enemy” defined by her because of possible bribes or for votes .

    3 and 4 This is war participating in civil war is still war How did they chose those 15000 Where did they come from ?

    There is difference between moderate factions and IS or between Al quiada and IS But by talking up the difference, these people want to hide their own hands in creating IS, bolstering IS and maintaining IS In the process creating a demon out of air polluted by their own illegal wars

  11. mikem says:

    Since 1988 we have had a bush,clinton,bush,Obama confluence. Time to end it. She is the weakest link.

  12. Clinton and Trump, both desperately fighting for their lives. One becomes president, the other goes to prison.

    • Replies: @dahoit
  13. ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

  14. Connecting the dots; BLM are the ‘useful idiots’ for Obama’s and Soro’s excuse for their bigger plan:

    Obama Administration and UN Announce Global Police Force to Fight ‘Extremism’ In U.S.

    Pamela Geller 2 Oct 2015

    (‘Extremists’; constitutionalists, conservatives, Christians, Tea Party, complaining about anything the government does, gun owners and the NRA, property owners, home schoolers, gardeners, etc.)

    “The Sheriff is the last hope for America.”

    GPF will be Obama’s tool to end the Office of the Sheriff

    Gun ban (for law abiding citizens only) through Federalization of Local Police… and the plan is in the works.

    (Coinciding with importation of many hundreds of thousands of, mostly, military aged Muslim males and open borders for Mexican drug gangs and ‘other’ illegal invaders).

    The Federalization of Local Police

    Ultimate goal: “… Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis released a document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalism and Recruitment,” which listed war veterans, anti-abortion activists, small-government advocates, and those concerned about immigration as terrorist risks.

    “Thousands of police chiefs and sheriffs who understand their role as public servants and protectors of the Constitution will be powerless to oppose these edicts, and if they dare, they will simply be fired by the federal or international body that has already assumed control of personnel decisions. The Second Amendment would be dead. Which amendment would be next?”

    As envisioned by the UN and the internationalists in the U.S. government, PPP will dissolve local police departments and county sheriffs’ offices, replacing them with pseudo-private agencies made up of a mish-mash of federal agents and bureaucratic overseers adhering to global government regulations.

    Police Consolidation: The End of Local Law Enforcement? usnews/ crime/ item/ 1293…

    Sep 25, 2012

    Once the USA is ‘toast’, the rest of the world will be a ‘piece of cake’.

    The County Guard: Defenders of the Constitution and Common Law!

    The U.S. Constitution guarantees natural rights, and that the People of the several … As Sheriff Richard Mack states it, “The Sheriff is the last hope for America. … CSPOA members understand that the Office of Sheriff exists to protect citizens.

  15. Michael is one of my heroes, but he’s wrong here. This sort of conflict of interest is common. John Foster Dulles’ law firm represented United Fruit. United Fruit didn’t like the Arbenz land reforms, so Arbenz was overthrown in a CIA coup organized by Dulles’ brother, Allen Dulles.

  16. empty says:
    @Jacques Sheete

    Andrew Napolitano writes ( …)

    “The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.”

    if this is so, it seems that there could be no wiggle room … but still there seems to be … hmmm

    • Replies: @empty
    , @another fred
  17. empty says:

    If prosecuted, she would be found guilty, according to the statutes … and the facts

    but there is no one willing to prosecute? is that so?

  18. @empty

    The absolute blatant lie in Comey’s appearance was when he said that there was no way to prove that Hillary knew what she was doing was wrong.

    As Judge Napolitano has pointed out in one of his postings on the matter, in order to get access to classified material and serve in her post she had to sign a document that acknowledged her responsibilities under the law.

    To prove she knew, all he had to do was introduce that piece of paper with her signature on it.

    The fix was in.

  19. bunga says:

    New York Times correspondent Mark Landler, author of the new book Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power, told me her aides have told him she favored shipping lethal defensive military equipment to the government of Ukraine after the Russian invasion, something Obama rejected.

    She pushed for U.S. intervention in Libya. She proposed similar action in Syria.
    Landler, who covered Obama and Clinton for The New York Times, sees a clear difference between her approach to foreign policy and that of the president she served. Obama believes “the United States resorts too readily to military force to defend its interests,” he writes. Clinton thinks “that American intervention does more good than harm, and that the writ of the United States properly reaches, as George W. Bush once declared, into ‘any dark corner of the world.’

    In 2004, their presidential nomination went to John Kerry, who was strongly critical of George W. Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. In 2008, they chose Barack Obama, largely because he had opposed that war. This year, 12 million people cast ballots for Bernie Sanders, who voted against it.
    According to Gallup, 68 percent of Democrats think the Iraq War was a mistake—compared with just 31 percent of Republicans. Two in three reject the use of ground combat troops against Islamic State.

    America has gone to war ,regime change,and has imposed sanctions on other countries beacuse their leaders failed to heed to popular demands, because leaders of Brazil or Argentina or Venezuela or Ukraine or Lebanon or Kirghistan or Libya or Syria have not acted on popular wishes or have not given in to the expectations of the citizen.
    She has supported each and every intervention abroad related to these developments . At home she has sided against the fundamental wishes of her own constituency . She has shattered the basic demands and ignored the aspirations of the citizen. This is not paradox This is the way warmongers work with corporate and with foreign lobby ,with money changers, with defense and war industry

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @dahoit
  20. If the Clinton Foundation’s sources of income are suspect, what about its spending? Where does the money go?

  21. @bunga

    There was no Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

  22. Killary C. has done AIPAC’s holocausts for greater Israël. What can be worse?

    Vote Jill Stein, to realize a Full Employment economy, using the Central bank’s money creation to finance public programs (jobs) interest-free.

    To ensure J.M. Keynes ‘s economy of bliss.

  23. TG says:

    Yes, an excellent point. It does seem like the technical violations of email security procedures has been given such prominence in order to obscure the (for me) far more powerful charges of selling out the national interest for personal gain.

    There is a long-standing legal principle called “spoilation of evidence”, where if someone deliberately destroys important evidence, the legal presumption is that this evidence would have hurt their case. I don’t see why we can’t apply that here. The presumption should be that Hillary destroyed those emails to cover up malfeasance in office. Saying ‘oh we can’t know what was in the emails’ is lame and not really standard legal practice. I think we know pretty darn well what was in those emails and it wasn’t about yoga classes.

    As far as the Clinton Foundation goes: yes, it’s to influence policy… but if Hillary can use it to pay for her jet travel and lodging and meals etc.etc., and do favors for powerful friends (hiring their relatives as consultants etc.) that’s starting to look more like a personal benefit. And of course, don’t forget Husband Bills speaking fees, those DID go directly into their personal bank accounts.

  24. dahoit says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Sheesh;Can you illuminate Trumps crimes for us?The only financial criminals in jail are B Madoff and the squirt from the WS company,both fall guys for public opinion.
    The hell bitch is a traitor,much worse than any financial misdeeds from Trump,if there are any at all.

  25. dahoit says:

    Excuses for The POTUS in chief is ridiculous posting.
    He is a puppet of zion,just as she is.

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