Saturday, July 23, 2016

By Trump's edits shall you know him

Josh Marshall details various ways that Trump's current business is dependent on funding from Russian oligarchs and operatives dependent on Putin, then notes Putin's hand in the GOP platform:
The Trump Camp was totally indifferent to the platform. So party activists were able to write one of the most conservative platforms in history. Not with Trump's backing but because he simply didn't care. With one big exception: Trump's team mobilized the nominee's traditional mix of cajoling and strong-arming on one point: changing the party platform on assistance to Ukraine against Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine. For what it's worth (and it's not worth much) I am quite skeptical of most Republicans call for aggressively arming Ukraine to resist Russian aggression. But the single-mindedness of this focus on this one issue - in the context of total indifference to everything else in the platform - speaks volumes.
This sparked a recent memory.  Tony Schwartz, Trump's "co-author" of The Art of the Deal (actually its sole author, as the publisher verifies), recounts the sum of Trump's input:
It took Schwartz a little more than a year to write “The Art of the Deal.” In the spring of 1987, he sent the manuscript to Trump, who returned it to him shortly afterward. There were a few red marks made with a fat-tipped Magic Marker, most of which deleted criticisms that Trump had made of powerful individuals he no longer wanted to offend, such as Lee Iacocca. Otherwise, Schwartz says, Trump changed almost nothing.
Now the powerful individual Trump doesn't want to offend is Putin. Make America great!

Is Trump a witting or unwitting tool of Russian interests? The question is meaningless. In Trump's mind, if you praise him or fund him, you're good, and you're right.  If you praise him and fund him, you're golden. Putin is platinum.

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