How Ukraine Came to Mistrust Candidate Trump

This post, although fine to read by itself, is a reference point for my complete deconstruction of the GOP narrative (in progress. including this and this.) about Ukraine interference in the 2016 US election.

Listed here are the public statements of candidate Donald Trump that would lead some Ukrainian leaders to disapprove of a Trump presidency. This is how Ukraine came to mistrust Donald Trump. Their opinions weren’t created in a vacuum. They did not conspire with the Clinton campaign, they didn’t even conspire with each other. Individuals voiced their dislike of Donald Trump, in the same fashion people did the world over, including, most vehemently, in the US.

These quotes and references begin from his early candidacy up to the GOP convention when he was the GOP nominee. I have inserted some opinion pieces that Ukrainians may have read to form their opinions. Be aware, as the months went by, a groundswell of disapproval for Trump becomes more and more apparent. With a consensus that Trump would be a dreadful president in general, awful for Ukraine, and excellent for Russia in particular.

Taking these points in totality, it is clear, Donald Trump had little to no interest in Ukraine at best. At worst, he signaled Russia should not be held to account for invading Ukraine, the US should not be in the business of protecting Ukraine, and Russia had a strong, greatly admired leader that never did anything wrong.

July 13, 2015: Maria Butina. Trump would get along great with Putin, and the sanctions resulting from the invasion of Ukraine aren’t necessary.

July 31, 2015: Ukraine is Europe’s problem.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. should only step in on Crimea if European countries ask for help and, until then, it remains “Europe’s problem.””Let me explain first of all — this is Europe’s problem much more than ours, OK?” Trump told CNN during a trip to Scotland.

Aug. 16, 2015: Trump doesn’t care if Ukraine joins NATO…or not.

In the same “Meet the Press” interview with Todd, Trump expressed ambivalence about allowing Ukraine into NATO.

“I would not care that much to be honest with you. Whether it goes in or doesn’t go in, I wouldn’t care. If it goes in, great. If it doesn’t go in, great. Look, I would support NATO,” Trump said. “Why isn’t Germany, Chuck, leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we’re like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?”

Many might agree with Trump’s general point, but it very much matters whether Ukraine is a member of NATO: One of the organization’s founding principles, codified in Article 5 of the treaty, specifies that member countries must take “such action as it deems necessary,” as “an armed attack on one … shall be considered an armed attack on all.” Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and subsequent meddling in eastern Ukraine could have obligated the United States to come to Ukraine’s defense, were the country a NATO member.

Sept. 9, 2015: CLINTON takes opposite views of Russia/Ukraine

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state who is now a leading contender to be the next president, has called for a stronger response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria, saying Moscow’s objectives were “to stymie, to confront, and to undermine American power whenever and wherever.”

In thinly veiled criticism of President Barack Obama’s administration and its current approach to Russia, Clinton said that Washington should be doing more in response to Russia’s interference in Ukraine.

“I have been, I remain convinced that we need a concerted effort to really up the costs on Russia and in particular on Putin. I think we have not done enough,” she said following a speech on September 9 at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

“I am in the category of people who wanted us to do more in response to the annexation of Crimea and the continuing destabilization of Ukraine.”

Sept. 20, 2015: Trump would love meeting with Putin.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump could meet with Vladimir Putin next week — and if it was arranged, Trump says he’d “enjoy doing it.”

“Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me,” Trump told NBC News on Saturday. “And certainly I am open to it. I would love to do that if he wants to do that.”

Sept. 30, 2015: Trump says Putin gets an “A” for leadership.

The GOP contender gave the Russian leader a high grade on his skill as a leader, contrasting it to what he considers President Obama’s poor performance.

“I will tell you in terms of leadership he is getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well,” Trump said. “They did not look good together.”

Oct. 8, 2015: “Russia Today”, the Kremlin’s media arm reports- Russian placed mayor in Yalta, invites Trump to come to the new Russian Crimea, because Trump is an extraordinary person.

We are following the elections process in your country with great interest,” Yalta Mayor Andrey Rostenko wrote in an open letter to Trump published on the city’s website. “We like your election program and we like you as an extraordinary person.”

The mayor added: “After your victory in the election you plan to establish friendly relations with President Putin – and this is an excellent decision.”

Oct.13, 2015: Trump wonders why the US has to deal with the Ukrainian situation

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump believes European countries like Germany – an “economic behemoth” that is selling the United States “a Mercedes Benz a second” – should lead the pushback against Russian aggression in Ukraine. “I think Ukraine’s a wonderful place. I’ve been there and I think it’s great,” Trump told “Face the Nation” in a recent interview. “But Germany and all these countries should be doing something. Why is it always us? What do we have to do with Ukraine? It’s wonderful. We have NATO, we’re going to work with them.”

Oct. 15, 2015: Trump says he doesn’t believe there’s any proof Russia shot down airliner over Ukraine

Donald Trump doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to blame pro-Russian separatists for last year’s downing of a commercial airliner over Ukraine — despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence community believes “with confidence” that pro-Russian separatists shot it down.”That’s a horrible thing that happened,” he said. “It’s disgusting and disgraceful but Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.”

Oct, 17, 2015: Kremlin states preference for Trump presidency

Kremlin mouthpiece Konstantin Rykov said Wednesday in a Twitter post that Trump won the first Democratic presidential debate, held Tuesday in Las Vegas. In that tweet, Rykov linked to a Russian language, pro-Trump website with a Russian domain, www.Trump2016.ru, that he is likely behind. Until a few weeks ago, Rykov’s Twitter home page featured Trump and his 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

November 11, 2015: GOP candidate debate. Question to Trump: Russia has invaded Ukraine, what will you do when you’re president. Answer: avoid answering, Yay for Russia!

Q: Now, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and has put troops in Syria. You have said you will have a good relationship with Mr. Putin. So, what does President Trump do in response to Russia’s aggression?

TRUMP:

Well, first of all, it’s not only Russia. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that’s one of the worst deals ever made…. yada yada yada. Word salad…

But, as far as the Ukraine is concerned, and you could Syria — as far as Syria, I like — if Putin wants to go in, and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.

But, you know that.

But, if Putin wants to go and knocked the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it…

Read this part of his word-salad answer, he turns concern for the airliner downed over Ukraine by Russia, into a Russian plane shot down by Ukraine-

TRUMP:

…They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He’s going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany — tremendous economic behemoth — why are we always doing the work?

We are — I’m all for protecting Ukraine and working — but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren’t doing anything. They say, “Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us…”

Dec.18, 2015: “The Federalist” reports (When the Federalist used to admit what Trump is) that Putin has in effect, endorsed Trump.

Vladimir Putin just weighed in on the U.S. election and basically endorsed Trump, calling him “a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt.” But what is really disturbing is that Trump endorsed Putin right back: “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” And Trump went way beyond endorsing Putin. He continued: “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

Dec. 18, 2015: MSNBC, Trump’s response to the fact that Putin invaded Ukraine and kills journalists- “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

Dec. 22, 2015: “National Review” report of Trump-Putin bromance, and Trump’s statement- no proof Putin had any journalists killed.

When it comes to Russian politics, Donald Trump is a useful idiot.

There is powerful evidence that Vladimir Putin is guilty of the murder of journalists, but it is impossible to “prove” his guilt because there is no police force in Russia that will investigate him and no court where he can be held to account.

Under these circumstances, Donald Trump’s statement (to critics who took exception to the mutual praise between the two men) that there is no proof that Putin is guilty of murder is an absurdity. Proof presumes the existence of a state based on law.

Jan. 26, 2016: Trump defends Putin yet again, against charges he had someone assassinated, former KGB agent this time.

“Have they found him guilty? I don’t think they’ve found him guilty,” Trump said in a Tuesday interview with Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo. “They say a lot of things about me that are untrue, too.

“If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it,” Trump said. “You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Maria, in all fairness to Putin — and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’ — the fact is that he hasn’t been convicted of anything.”

“Some people say he absolutely didn’t do it,” Trump added. “First of all, he says he didn’t do it. But many people say it wasn’t him. So who knows who did it?”

Feb 12, 2016: The European Council on Foreign Relations report on what a Trump presidency would mean. Entire document is prophetic and 100% accurate.

March 21,2016: Trump says, the US spends too much money on NATO, and Ukraine is more of a EU issue than a US issue.

March 24, 2016: “Russia Today” tags bizarre US conspiracies against Trump, while promoting him for President.

Although it is a delicious sight watching America’s movers and shakers tremble at the mere mention of Trump’s name, it nevertheless speaks volumes about the condition of US democracy that Americans had to wait for a rich, charismatic real estate developer to come along and save them from the cold-hearted wretchedness of the dual-party, borderline-fascist system.

March 27, 2016: Trump says, NATO is obsolete, terrorism is the real problem, not Russia.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Donald Trump says that the Cold War-era alliance headquartered in Brussels has been revealed as “obsolete” following devastating terrorist attacks in that city this week.

“NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism,” Trump said. “NATO’s not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia is not a threat,” Trump explained. “But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism.”

April 6,2016: Europe to US, Ignore Trump, we need NATO

The idea that Europe is free-loading “is a mis-categorization,” Stavridis, who is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said. He said Trump’s comments were “nonsensical,” and Obama’s criticism comes from a position of knowledge.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Trump’s views are akin to “turning our alliance into a protection racket, [and] would reverse decades of bipartisan American leadership.”

April 16, 2016: Why Everyone Should Fear Trump’s Foreign Policy

Trump focuses on the economic costs of the U.S.’s role as the world’s only remaining superpower, with little regard to the benefits of the country’s willingness to assume international leadership (not to be confused with being the world’s policeman), or the potential costs of the U.S. retreating from that role. This narrow-minded economic perspective is particularly evident in his recent statements on NATO. He questions whether NATO serves a useful purpose in a post-Cold War world and suggests that the U.S. is spending too much money stationing American troops in Europe while propping up European countries, who should bear a greater share of the military costs of their own defense.

While the U.S. should pressure the Europeans to spend more for their own defense, to question the utility of NATO when Russian imperialism is on the rise and Vladimir Putin has taken over the Crimea, effectively seized other parts of Ukraine, and established a military base in Syria, demonstrates a stunning lack of political awareness.

April 19, 2016: New York Book Review- With the insertion of Carter Page as foreign policy advisor, a Trump presidency’s EU interests will be guided with Russia in mind.

More extraordinary still, Trump has indicated, in his selection last month of Carter Page as a foreign policy adviser, that American policy to Europe will be guided by Russian interests. Page, heretofore known as an adviser to Russia’s state gas company, has been among the prominent Americans spreading Russian propaganda about Ukraine’s revolution in 2014 and the Russian invasion that followed. In his writings he has questioned Ukraine’s status as an independent state, which is precisely the line that Moscow took to justify its invasion. He maintains—preposterously—that Ukraine is like Quebec inside a Russia that is like Canada. Quebec is a province and Ukraine is a country. He has referred to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, a signal violation of international law, as the “so-called annexation.”

Finally, and most importantly:

July 21, 2016: GOP nominee Trump removes the inclusion of US providing “lethal defense weapons” to Ukraine from the GOP platform.

Russia Invades Ukraine Dec. 14-15

Since the Russian created tensions in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine, the US and NATO have done little to rectify the Russian seizure of Ukrainian vessels and abduction of 24 Ukrainian sailors.  The sailors have since been moved to Moscow where they are being treated as prisoners of war.

The Trump administration, in response to complaints that Donald Trump does nothing in response to Putin’s aggression, often points out how tough Trump is because of actions that the federal government has taken in response to Putin’s hostilities, as if they are one and the same.  They are not the same.  This is a case-in-point.

Donald Trump’s statements regarding Russian aggression have been, “I’m not happy,” and “They need to figure it out.”   In other words, he doesn’t give a fuck and he’s not going to do anything.  But will the US?

The US diplomatic corps, in the persons of U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, have voiced their opinions that Russia’s aggression is in violation of international law.
NATO head, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, also demanded an immediate release of the sailors and a concern as to what the Russians have in mind as they amass troops along the eastern border of Ukraine.

This is a time when luke-warm pronouncements from Sec. State Mike Pompeo is not going to cut it.  Trump needs to speak out now and in no uncertain terms.  We need leadership now that would cause Putin concern and forcibly shape his actions.

According to Ukrainian news outlet Radiolemberg, The Russians are preparing to invade Eastern Ukraine in order to acquire a land bridge from Western Russia to Crimea and complete their control of the Azov Sea.  Radiolemberg even has a date for an invasion: December 14th or 15th. 

In a strange interplay of propaganda and fake news, the Russian’s are declaring that Ukraine plans on blowing up their own industrial complex in Mariupol, Ukraine on Dec. 14th and blaming it on Russia and Russian backed separatists in order to start a direct military confrontation with Russian troops.  Who would do something that crazy?  Who would kill their own people in order to start a war with someone else?

Putin would.

All evidence points to Putin’s orchestration of the 1999 apartment bombing in Russia which killed over 300 russian civilians.  These bombings were the catalyst for a fabricated second Chechen war from which Putin consolidated power and ascended to the presidency of Russia.

Alternately Radiolemberg offers the following day, Dec.15, as a likely date for Russian to invade Ukraine as this is the day of the convening of the unification council for the creation of anautocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church to separate itself from the Russian orthodoxy.

Do we think Russia will actually invade Ukraine in December?  I doubt it, but that’s not the whole point of this exercise, is it.  The continuing and ongoing effort of Russia is to undermine, confuse, confound, and divide…and it’s working.  Russia will continue to arm rebels in eastern Ukraine and eventually they will have their land bridge around the Azov Sea through their separatists, then they will act as overlords of that sea.  Once that is complete, if no one halts their incremental progress, they will continue to chip away at Ukraine until nothing is left.

The administration says, “No one is tougher on Russia than Trump.  No one.”  But if you search, you will not find a single instance in which Trump has directly spoken out against Russian aggression or Putin’s long term plans to recreate the Soviet Empire, despite whatever the US government may have done.

This is the time when we need a US President to stand up and say, “We see what you are doing Russia.  This is not acceptable to us.  Withdraw your forces from the Ukrainian border, cease your hostilities, and end your clear support and involvement in Ukrainian unrest.”  Putin needs to know this is the truth, but he has absolutely no reason to believe that at this time. 

Putin will keep pushing unless he has reason to believe it is not in his best interests to do so.

Moron-in-Chief sets groundwork for hostilities

Shortly after Trump announces the utterly idiotic unilateral decision to remove the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal, news outlets are reporting that US military officials are concerned that Iran is considering some sort of military strike on Israel, possibly in the Golan Heights.

Now I’d parse that information out bit by bit.   Considering it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Netanyahu is hoping Iran decides the agreement is now null and void, so that Israel can go ahead and start bombing Iranian sites.  Considering Israel already has their forces at the ready, well before fucking idiot Trump announced his decision.  Considering, Iran didn’t suddenly, after Trump made his statement, decide to start planning to attack Israel; their plans have been ongoing and long-term.

In other words, this is a set-up to make space for Israel to act in advance of anything overt Iran might do.

I have no doubt that Netanyahu will make an announcement soon, that “due to credible sources,” a preemptive attack by Israel is now necessary.

Everything is falling into place as outlined in my earlier post.  There’s no endgame in mind…aside from creating the condition for all-out war.  I can’t imagine that Russia wants any part of that, but they sure are happy to see the price of oil steadily rising.  This is great for Russia.  If the US somehow manages to find a way into these forthcoming hostilities…I don’t know what to say.  We have a moronic madman running our country.

 

UPDATE:  Here we go…

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/05/08/iran-military-base-in-syria-attacked-sources-say.html

It’s already started.  This move is particularly problematic, because we have fucking troops there.  The chances of this spinning out of control just increased dramatically.

March 26, 2018

The US in coordination with the EU, expels record amounts of Russian diplomats from their nations.

“The United States and more than 20 other countries took coordinated action Monday to expel Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom over the nerve-agent attack against a former Russian spy in England.

Russia denies any involvement in the March 4 poisoning, which British authorities said involved a nerve agent called Novichuk, which was developed by the Soviet military.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s response will be up to iPresident Vladimir Putin. “We will be guided by the principle of reciprocity as before,” Peskov said.”

The US alone expelled 60 diplomats and shut down the Russian’s Seattle complex.

We are surprised.  We are delighted.  This is the type of coordinated effort that really never seemed like it would be possible again, due to all the damage Donny boy has done to our relations with the EU and with his apparent affinity for all things Russian.  I assume we shall discover to what extent Trump was involved with this measure, if at all, but that cannot tarnish the fact that this is possible.  This is exactly…exactly, the type of response that Putin never assumed would be possible either.  Dude has been winning left and right for years now and was certainly feeling he could not be stopped.

I had opined earlier that Putin, in feeling his oats, was going to make some big, bold, brassy moves this year.  The attempted hit in the UK was a sign he had some big plans coming; assuming he would get away with it.  Well now, he’s got some thinking to do.  Time to restrategize there comrade.  He’s overplayed his hand a bit.

The US expelling 60 diplomats does nothing to address Putin’s 2016 election interference, but it shall have at least a small effect on rolling out there plans for the 2018 election.  Let’s face it, diplomats are agents of espionage as much as they are anything else.  Losing those guys in Seattle is gonna hurt.

If you’re like me, we’re wondering how Donny can mess this action up.  He can’t really.  He can stumble through some inane narrative about how Russians are actually good people and we want to be friendly with them, and we just have a feeling in our stomach he’s going to try to mess this up, isn’t he.  Isn’t he?

He’s been noticeably muted by all the shit going on in his little fucked-up world.  He seems to be at a loss.  He can’t even do his troll twatter routine well.

Are we turning the corner here?

Thank God, we still have the diplomatic corp and relative agency employees to orchestrate this very large action with our real friends; our real partners, in the EU.

This is a good day.

 

March 20, 2018

Well.

We always knew the pace of insanity would accelerate the longer this political climate is allowed to fester.  News is coming at a dizzying pace…and again, I will state, it’s going to get worse.

Rather than discuss each individual new piece of news, I’d like to revisit some earlier predictions and make some current ones.

“Seems to me like this is a set-up for a criminal case.  Or at least, the threat of a criminal case on several fronts.  The inclusion of the statement about campaign funds and liberal smatterings of coercion lead me to infer something else is going on here and it’s likely something else is going to happen.

It is somewhat possible that Stormy and her lawyers are about to ignore the original terms of the agreement and set up a big payday tell-all on National Television despite the terms of the original NDA.  I think it is somewhat more likely though, that other charges are being prepared in a different court regarding misappropriation of campaign funds.”

From my March 6 post, the day the case was filed by Stormy’s lawyer.  Although misappropriation or illegal use of campaign funds is not yet evident, it is clear that some other case has been filed that Stormy and her lawyer would have certainly been aware of, and that Stormy is to one extent or other, lining up her big payday despite the NDA.

I haven’t read anything about the forthcoming interview to be aired on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday, but I presume that Stormy isn’t about to go into details of the love affair itself.  To me, it seems more likely she is going to be talking about coercion and hinting at exactly what materials she has in her possession.  If she talks about the affair in it’s in entirety and in detail, I’d be surprised as hell.

I don’t think this is the big payday.

I believe this is entirely a full-court press in the court of public opinion being orchestrated rather fucking masterfully by Stormy’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti.  There’s no clear or immediate resolution to this case.  Trump’s lawyer did attempt to move the case to a different court, as I suggested they might in my original post.  Now Avenatti must attempt to avoid arbitration in a Federal Court or fight to keep it in a State court.  For his needs, any court would be fine so long as it can be a public event.

It is possible that Avenatti is going to go after Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, for something along the lines of coercion or at the least go after his license to practice in the course of affairs.  I believe anything is possible, so long as Avenatti can string this case along, keeping it front and center, until such a time as more cases are brought to court regarding NDA’s, past Trump indiscretions, and sexual abuse charges.

I do not believe this had any affect on the NY case of Summer Zervos that I’ve been following for months (here and here and here).  The defamation case that is apparently now GOING FORWARD. (unbelievable).  I can’t believe Avenatti could have known this was about to avoid being stayed, but what we have here is a confluence of cases building a very strong and unavoidable narrative that Trump is the cretin that he told us he was and also by implication, outlines how easily Trump can be manipulated and coerced.  Manipulated and coerced because of his weakness; because he’s a fool.  Manipulated and coerced.

The court still hasn’t filed it’s decision in the Zervos case online.  When it does I am absolutely going to go over it.  By the way, Zervos’ attorneys are seeking all documentation regarding all other women and their allegations of sexual abuse at the tiny hands of Trump, from Trump’ lawyers.  All of it.  Think about that. : )

My belief is that Stormy’s big payday is yet to come.  I wonder how many Hollywood execs, and NY publishers are already in touch with Avenatti.  Hmmm?

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From my March 4th post.

I believed it highly probably that Russia would begin to implement some new programs.

Expanded involvement in Syria, Overt interference in EU politics and elections, a new campaign of interference in Ukraine, or a hit on Bill Browder.

“Expect increased counter lobbying efforts by Putin at best, and at worst- Browder suddenly and mysteriously deciding to jump off of a tall building or accidentally ingesting a deadly toxin.”

I couldn’t have known that the very day I posted that, Russia would attempt to poison an ex-spy as was reported the following day.  HONEST.  This is along the lines of what I would expect though.  I expect more.  If I were Browder, I’d be really fucking concerned.

I do expect whatever Russia has up it’s sleeve, we shall soon get an inkling, now that the sham of an election is behind Putin.

****************************************

I believe that in studying the pace of Mueller’s investigation, that within weeks, we shall see new subpoenas or possibly indictments for US companies and individuals.  I don’t believe the investigation is anywhere near over, but I think it’s reasonable to expect that the groundwork for the final investigative phase shall soon be apparent.  I have always expected Cambridge Analytica to be embroiled in this whole affair, whether or not they are ever indicted…don’t know.

Look for the Podesta Group, Mercury, or related lobbying firms to receive subpoenas.  There could be US firms or individuals we have no knowledge of.

 

Added: Michael Avenatti was playing it perfect…until this sloppy mess.

 

Not something to be proud of.  The use of a faulty analogy and a prop as his main argument to try to muscle Cohen’s lawyer…not good.  Doesn’t further the cause and reduces his game to showmanship.

Don’t. Do. That.

I can’t even believe Cohen’s lawyer agreed to this.  outlandish.  This is like the prelude to a wrestling match, which is right up Trump’s alley.

This could have been a stellar coup de grace for Avenetti, but he wasted an unusual opportunity.  He should have sat back and let Cohen’s lawyer talk smack and then undermined him with facts…but all ya gots was bravado and silliness.  boo.