Flash: When Clinton Was Secretary of State People Wanted to Meet With Her

In a rare moment of clarity, recently at least, for the Washington Post, Paul Waldman writes in today's "Plum Line" that a raft of emails released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that donors to the Clinton Foundation wanted some kind of access but didn't get it. Waldman highlights three communications between Clinton Foundation executive and Clinton aide Huma Abedin:

  • A sports executive who had donated to the foundation wanted to arrange for a visa for a British soccer player to visit the United States; he was having trouble getting one because of a criminal conviction. Abedin said she’d look into it, but there’s no evidence she did anything and the player didn’t get his visa.
  • Bono, who had donated to the foundation, wanted to have some kind of arrangement whereby upcoming U2 concerts would be broadcast to the International Space Station. Abedin was puzzled by this request, and nothing was ever done about it.
  • The Crown Prince of Bahrain, who had donated to the foundation, wanted to meet with Clinton on a visit to Washington. Abedin responded to Band that the Bahrainis had already made that request through normal diplomatic channels. The two did end up meeting.

That, apparently, is it. As Waldman notes, if there were more, Judicial Watch, who brought the FOIA request, would certainly have shared. Read the full article here.

It's Official. Russia Trying to Influence US Election, Favoring Trump

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall sent up early warnings of the "seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin." In his most recent examination of Trump's various dependencies on Russian connections Marshall observes that as Trump's debt load has nearly doubled over the last year, and no major US banks but one will do business with him, Trump has increasingly relied on Russian oligarchs " many with ties to Putin — for cash. In addition Marshall cites Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's history defending ousted pro-Russian former Ukrainian President Yanukovych, and Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page's ties to Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom.

More Democrats Want Clinton to Be Their Nominee (Duh)

Responding to a Sanders supporter's tweet that Clinton campaign "strategy" would be to declare victory after the New Jersey primary on June 7, FiveThiryEight.com's Nate Silver tweeted:

Clinton "strategy" is to persuade more "people" to "vote" for her, hence producing a "majority" of "delegates."

Investigative Reporter Calls Clinton Email Story "Nothing Burger"

Echoing Talking Point Memo's Josh Marshall, investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Kurt Eichenwald, who now writes for Newsweek, in his May 27 piece labels the hub-bub over Clinton's emails a "nothing burger."

The recent report released by the inspector general of the State Department shows that, on the topics it analyzes, there is no Clinton email scandal.

Josh Marshall: Trump's Campaign Rhetoric Sounds Like Domestic Abuser

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall asks why Trump is trying to paint Hillary Clinton as "culpable in some way for her husband's acts of infidelity against her," and concludes:

Trump is doing this for the simple reason of brutalizing Clinton and showing that he can do so. Whether it makes any sense as a literal argument is really beside the point. It is at the root of the "bitch slap" mentality that power is demonstrated by inflicting harm on others and showing they can't fight back.

Trump's Ties to Organized Crime

I've had my quibbles with Politico but a recent report by Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston should be required reading for every voter. Johnston quotes presidential historian Douglas Brinkley comparing Trump's candidacy to Warren G. Harding. The Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s during the Harding administration resulted in a cabinet official going to prison, and is regarded as a paradigm of government corruption.

Trump's mob associations began shortly after he graduated from Wharton in 1968, when he approached Roy Cohn (of McCarthy Hearing infamy) to be his lawyer. At the time Cohn's clients included noted mob figures "Fat Tony" Salerno, boss of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, head of the Gambino family. According to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett, Trump reportedly met Salerno at Cohn's townhouse. A federal indictment of Salerno later concluded that Trump paid inflated prices to a firm Salerno and Castellano owned through front corporations, for ready-mix concrete used in building Trump Tower.

Uncle Bernie's Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Month

To some it may have seemed at first like an April Fool's joke. Bernie Sanders, who traveled from relative obscurity to mount an attention-grabbing challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton based largely on the issue of "breaking up" large financial institutions seemed not to have an actual plan to do so when questioned by the editorial board of the New York Daily News.

Sanders Campaign Bogus Momentum Claims

Despite the Sanders campaign's desperate claims of momentum, as former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe blogged recently, "Hillary Clinton has strengthened her hold on the nomination in the most recent contests. Because for every state that holds a contest, more delegates come off the board, and the percentage of remaining delegates Sanders has to win grows larger."

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