Earlier in the week, my colleague, Leon Wolf, posted on an inadvertent bit of self-awareness shown by Donald Trump at a college rally in Wisconsin:
“And you’ll find that when you become very successful, the people that you will like best are the people that are less successful than you, because when you go to a table you can tell them all of these wonderful stories, and they’ll sit back and listen,” he said. “Does that make sense to you? OK? Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you. Do you understand that?”
I noted yesterday, the unaccomplished nature of his foreign policy team.
We’ve reported on how his campaign staff is mishandling the delegate process to the extent that even though he beat Ted Cruz in Louisiana, Cruz will have ten more delegates than Trump. Trump’s legal team is arguing that this happened at a “secret meeting.”
After being shut out of important Republican National Convention committee slots in Louisiana, Donald Trump’s campaign argued on Monday that the posts were chosen at a “secret meeting” to which Trump delegates weren’t invited. “The problem we’re having here is that there was a secret meeting in Louisiana of the convention delegation, and apparently all of the invitations for our delegates must have gotten lost in the mail,” Trump adviser Barry Bennett said Monday during an interview on MSNBC.
One big wrinkle: Mr. Trump’s two Louisiana state co-chairmen both attended the “secret meeting” – which was in fact a gathering at the Louisiana state GOP convention March 12, according to Jason Doré, the state party’s executive director.
He is already being out-hustled in Colorado.
So when Trump met yesterday with RNC chairman Reince Priebus to snivel about the unfairness of it all, the conversation centered on Trump’s cretinous campaign staff:
When the discussion turned to the wrangling of delegates to the party’s nominating convention in Cleveland this July — an issue that has dogged Mr. Trump and his skeletal campaign organization for months — Mr. Priebus explained that states all had different rules governing how they were selected.
Mr. Trump has found himself at a disadvantage in some states, as his aides have allowed rival campaigns to peel some delegates away. Mr. Trump mentioned Louisiana, where he won the primary, but where Senator Ted Cruz is likely to come away with more delegates after exploiting peculiarities in the state’s system, according to those briefed on the meeting.
The situation in Louisiana infuriated Mr. Trump, who threatened this week to sue the Republican National Committee over it.
But when Mr. Priebus explained that each campaign needed to be prepared to fight for delegates at each state’s convention, Mr. Trump turned to his aides and suggested that they had not been doing what they needed to do, the people briefed on the meeting said.
No sh**. If you hire people who are basically morons you have no right to be surprised when they perform as, well, morons. Naturally, the Trump campaign disputed this because even though Trump, in an unguarded moment, admitted what has been patently obvious for months, that he hires dolts, he has to maintain the image that he only hires the best.
After the account of the meeting was published on Friday morning, Mr. Lewandowski and Mr. Glassner confirmed that the issue of Louisiana had been raised, but said the reports about Mr. Trump expressing aggravation with his team were untrue.
“Mr. Trump specifically asked the R.N.C., ‘Do I have a good delegate team, headed by Ed Brookover?’ They said, ‘Yes you do, he is one of the very best,’” Mr. Lewandowski said. “He said, ‘What else should I do?’” From there, he said, the R.N.C. listed some other types of staff additions he could make.
Yes. The same Lewandowski.
So, now with a contested convention an actual possibility, who does Trump have overseeing it? Via the douche-ilicious Roger Stone:
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) March 29, 2016
Paul Manafort? Paul Manafort? Where have I heard that name?
A senior aide to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump helped a scandal-plagued Ukrainian oligarch with ties to political and criminal figures in Russia park millions of dollars in offshore real estate investments, according to documents released as part of a federal racketeering suit.
The lawsuit, brought by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort of complicity in a complex scheme of retaliation against Tymoshenko and her political allies for impeding the business interests of Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash.
Tymoshenko claimed that CMZ and other Manafort-run firms were backed not just by Firtash but also by Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian national deeply involved in Russian organized crime. Tymoshenko’s lawsuit referred to Mogilevich as a “silent partner” in Group DF.
Mogilevich is “involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale,” according to the FBI.
In a meeting with the American ambassador to Ukraine in late 2008, Firtash “acknowledged ties to Russian organized crime figure Seymon Mogilevich, stating he needed Mogilevich’s approval to get into business in the first place,” according to a State Department cable released by Wikileaks.
“Firtash acknowledged that he needed, and received, permission from Mogilievich when he established various businesses, but he denied any close relationship to him,” according to the cable.
Firtash is currently wanted by the FBI, which has sought to extradite him to the U.S. on bribery charges since his 2014 apprehension in Austria.
The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about its knowledge of Manafort’s work for Firtash, or the latter’s alleged criminality or ties to the Russian mob. Efforts to reach Manafort were not successful.
In 1989, Manafort was hauled in front of a congressional panel for allegedly working to steer funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development into a slum-like New Jersey real estate development. Manafort, caused a stir then on the Hill with a tart defense of his profession. “You might call it influence-peddling,” he said, according to reports. “I call it lobbying.”
This is the perfect addition to the Trump team. A political fixer with strong ties to the Russian mob and various dictators. What could possibly go wrong?