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He Walks Among Us

At Trump rally that started a few moments ago in California Trump kicked off the rally with a women who thanked God for sending Trump to earth to be our President. Watch.

The Emails

A brief note on the State Department IG Report on the Clinton email issue. The ledes of a lot of stories present this as a rough hit for Clinton, bad news blah blah blah. Let's focus on the essential point: Despite the fact that there are some real questions about the impartiality of the IG, the report says the issues with the management of the Secretary of State's emails are of longstanding and go back with the last five Secretaries of State. The report also singles out Colin Powell, who had a similar set up. The criticism is there. It definitely wasn't a good arrangement. But to see this as a damaging report after the hyperbolic and frequently insane coverage of this issue is crazy. This was never more than some poor judgment overlayed by a big bureaucratic pissing match all slathered over by a thick layer of partisan game playing and media derp.

Like most Clinton scandals, if there there hadn't been months, maybe more than a year of weird conspiracy theories, expected perp walks and general nonsense, one might read this and say, wow, that's disappointing. But after all that, it's just a big nothingburger. Like it almost always is.

Stop And Read This

This story has been all over the news in a general sense. But it's worth slowing down and seeing and stating precisely what happened. Donald Trump threw a big vets fundraiser to get out of a debate. He claimed that he was personally contributing $1 million to veterans groups and repeatedly took credit for doing so. But he never did. He was going to take credit and then never follow through. It was only when he got positively caught by The Washington Post that he rushed out and made the contribution. Here's the timeline of what happened.

Weaver Gets Ambassadorship to Mansplainia

Quite apart from the specific facts of what happened at that crazy convention in Las Vegas, did Jeff Weaver sit out the last 35 years of gender politics in this country? He took a nap? A woman says she felt threatened in what was at least a pretty raucous situation. And you come back with, 'I'm sorry, but logically you could not have felt threatened.' Senator Boxer responds.

Big Fibbin'

We now know that Donald Trump tried for four months not to contribute any of his own money for that vets group fundraiser he put on in January as an excuse to ditch that Fox debate. Only when the Post finally cornered him and basically proved that all his and his aides shifting explanations were false, did he finally agree to put in some of his own money. He was in essence trying to skim a million off the top of the fundraiser for the vets he used as a prop to skip out on the debate. This comes on top of the fact that he's still leaving himself the option of having high-dollar GOP donors reimburse him for his primary campaign to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Remind me again why we think Trump is worth even a billion dollars let alone $10 billion?

A Huge, Huge Deal

Here and there we've reported on the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. As you probably know, Hogan won the case and won a massive judgment of $115 million dollars and an additional $25 million in punitive damages. While it is widely believed that the verdict is likely to be reversed on appeal or at least the judgment dramatically reduced, Gawker had to immediately place $50 million into escrow. The anticipated need to produce that sum forced Gawker to sell an undisclosed amount of the company to a Russian oligarch named Viktor Vekselberg. Simple fact: It's hard to feel too much sympathy when a publication gets sued for publishing excerpts of someone's sex tape. But some new information emerged this morning that, in my mind, significantly changes the picture.

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Fibber Don

I've been working on a piece about the different threads of information that make me think Donald Trump is dramatically less rich than he claims (probably why he's afraid to release the tax returns). But damn, trying to skim a bit off the veterans. It may be worse than I imagine.

In all seriousness, Trump seemed to go to great lengths not to follow through on his personal donation to a vets group after that debate skip fundraiser. The other billionaire contributors had given their contributions weeks earlier. Only getting pressed by The Washington Post forced Trump to cough up the money.

When asked if he'd only given the money after being pressed by reporters, a stung Trump told the Post's David Fahrenthold: "You know, you’re a nasty guy. You’re really a nasty guy. I gave out millions of dollars that I had no obligation to do."

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