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What Did Trump Promise To The President Of Ukraine? Or Russia? Or, You Know, Whomever?

Wednesday night, the Washington Post confirmed some of the worst fears we've all had about the story Liz (your Five Dollar Feminist) has been covering all week, of the intelligence community whistleblower who came forward through the proper channels to report that SOMETHING VERY BAD had happened, something he or she found of grave enough concern to take it to Joseph Atkinson, the inspector general of the entire IC, who took it to acting DNI Joseph Maguire, who then, instead of following the law, took it to Trump's Roy Cohn at the Justice Department, who immediately fired up the cover-up machine on all cylinders.

It's about Trump. Just after we learned that the CIA had to extract our most valuable asset in the Kremlin in 2017, partially out of worry that Trump would burn the source's identity to Putin, we now learn that Trump made a "promise" to an unnamed foreign leader that was so off the chain that it's set the intel community on fire:

Trump's interaction with the foreign leader included a "promise" that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president's handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.

The sources are two "former US officials," which is interesting, since whatever Trump did, he did it very recently, so either these are two very recently "former" US officials -- Hey, former DNI Dan Coats! You make friends with a Washington Post reporter? 'Sup, Sue Gordon? -- or people on the inside are freaked out and leaking to veterans on the outside to get the news to the people.

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36 Karens Agree: Requiring Schoolkids To Be Vaccinated Is EXACTLY Like Jim Crow

This weekend, we brought you the story of the anti-vaxxer lady who threw a menstrual cup filled with blood at California lawmakers in hopes that this would convince them to let people send their unvaccinated children to school. It should not have gotten more ridiculous then that, but here we are! Because apparently, this protest has now reached the point where all of the very affluent white ladies are comparing their "struggle" to that of the Civil Rights movement — to the point where they are walking down hallways actually singing "We Shall Overcome."

Via Politico:

A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song "We Shall Overcome" in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor's office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting "No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!" Some wore T-shirts that read "Freedom Keepers."

But this wasn't about racial equality. In the nation's most diverse state, protesters opposed to childhood vaccine mandates — many from affluent coastal areas — had co-opted the civil rights mantle from the 1960s, insisting that their plight is comparable to what African Americans have suffered from segregationist policies.

This is bad. This is very bad. It gets worse if you click on the Politico link and see the picture of these ladies carrying a large banner that reads "This Is The New Civil Rights Movement."

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Those Russian Spy Houses Trump REALLY Wants To Give Back To Putin? Spied On The FBI And CIA. YEP!

Not long after Vladimir Putin helped steal the 2016 election for Donald Trump, the Obama administration responded by levying new sanctions against Russia, kicking 35 Russian "diplomats" out of America, and confiscating two of their spy houses, or dachas, in Maryland and New York, which had been "suspected" of being used for espionage. But they weren't real clear on exactly what that meant.

Earlier this week, Yahoo! News came out with one of its bigass longform pieces that fills in some of the blanks of what those dachas were really used for, and if you can suffer through their 11,000 words of lugubrious prose, you might find yourself saying WOW. (You know, if you are still awake.) But worry not, Wonkette suffered through it! (Seriously, Yahoo! EDITORS. They exist. And if you hired a couple, this story might not still seem fresh THREE DAYS AFTER IT WAS PUBLISHED, because somebody might've read it!)

Before we get into this, though, we'd like to remind you that not long after Donald Trump was inaugurated, he decided he wanted to try to give the dachas back to Russia, in exchange for nothing. We note this because, if the Obama administration knew what was going on at those dachas, then the Trump administration did too, which presumably means Trump really wanted to let the Russians get back to the hard work of stealing our secrets and surveiling the FBI and the CIA. Gotta watch the Deep State somehow!

America started to figure out most of this around 2012 or so:

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Dear Democrats: THIS Is How You Handle A Full-Of-Sh*t Clownshow Liar Like Corey Lewandowski

Tuesday, after one million Democratic congressmen and slightly fewer Republicans had finished volleying back and forth five-minute segments questioning Corey Lewandowski, a piece of shit who behaved so rancidly in his testimony he could have been jailed on the spot, a fight broke out among leadership on the House Judiciary Committee. GOP ranking member Doug Collins was furious furious I SAY I SAY I SAY, FURIOUS that Democrats passed a rules change last week allowing committee staff to question witnesses after members of Congress were finished. He took particular issue with the fact that attorney Barry Berke, who was technically a consultant but who according to committee chair Jerry Nadler fit the definition of "staff," would be allowed 30 minutes to #lawyer Lewandowski. Indeed, every Republican congressman in the room at that moment turned the hearing into an absolute fuckin' clownshow, as they stalled and hurled their own freeze-dried poo at each other. Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz played with a lot of poo, as you'd expect.

The entire tantrum was previewed in this video from Doug Collins, which actually came much earlier in the hearing. We can't transcribe it, because we don't think that's humanly possible, so you'll just have to watch it:

We can now see why Collins and the Republicans were upset about what was about to happen to the witness they were trying to protect.

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Culture

Uh Oh! Did Fox Just 'Cancel Culture' Taylor Swift?

She's a woman so it doesn't count.

For the last week, at least, the Right has raged online over Saturday Night Live's firing of terrible comedian Shane Gillis — who was reportedly only hired in the first place as a desperate attempt to appeal to conservatives, and was thus able to forego the usual audition process — for having simply made the "mistake" of doing a bunch of obviously racist jokes about Chinese people. Oh! How they have felt the pain of this poor white man having his entire future ruined just for one little mistake that is reportedly the kind of thing he does all of the time. How they have railed against the destruction of freedom of speech! The slippery slope of holding people accountable for the things they say! How could he have known, way back in the mists of 2018, that making fun of Chinese people would be a thing people considered "racist" in 2019? And even if it were a bad thing he did, he might have changed, if only he never had to face any consequences for what he did. Now he'll probably have to be a racist who tells bad jokes forever! Don't we want people to change?

Oh how sick they were of this terrible, anti-freedom of speech culture in which you keep seeing people say things like, "Oh hey, that guy is very racist, so I don't want to watch a show with him on it or buy his albums or hear anything else he has to say." After all, what is even the difference between saying something sexist or racist and having a favorite color? They are both simply opinions, and all opinions are equally valid.

That is, until, this morning, when the gang over at Fox and Friends questioned whether or not good American citizens should continue buying Taylor Swift's albums and such, now that she has come out of the closet as someone who is not only a Democrat, but as someone who voted for Barack Obama and liked having him as a president. What? So controversial!

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Science

16-Year-Old Badass Schools Congress On Climate Change

Greta Thunberg is a hero.

On Wednesday, Greta Thunberg bluntly told Congress that it's time to step up and actually do something about climate change. "You're not trying hard enough. Sorry," said the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist.

Thunberg and four other student activists were invited to speak to the House Climate Crisis Committee and a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee about climate change. Rather than read her prepared remarks, Thunberg submitted the UN's 2018 report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Why? "I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists."

"This is not political views or my opinions," said Thunberg. "This is science."

Everything Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Said Before Congress | NBC New York www.youtube.com

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Featured

Stephen Miller Reportedly Doing Coitus

Probably just don't read this post.

Forget about the whistleblower story about Donald Trump probably committing literal actual treason, because there is more important news out there, and it is that unfuckable Trump sycophant mini-Hitler baldhead dork who makes "34" look like a really rough "60" Stephen Miller IS REPORTEDLY BONING A HUMAN PERSON! And this reportedly human person is ALLOWING THAT.

Truly, the very last thing we expected to learn in the news today, or any other day, was that Stephen Miller is allegedly sexually active, unless it involved pending criminal charges or a cease-and-desist letter from 4H.

The news came in a tweet from Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff, atop a story about how Mike Pence had "tapped" (get away from Stephen's lady friend, Mike!) a former DHS press spox as his new press secretary:

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popular

Donald Trump To LOCK HER UP San Francisco For Homeless Pollution

Yep, it's that crazy.

In today's episode of Shit Poppy Says, Donald Trump has #Thoughts on homeless people. Apparently, the city of San Francisco is in BIG TROUBLE, MISTER for allowing its homeless population to throw used needles into the storm drains willy nilly. So Donald Trump's EPA, which cares so very deeply about the health of our planet, will be issuing a violation toot sweet for the city's flagrant violation of A LAW. What law he thinks San Francisco is violating, the Derp Leader didn't say. But it's a big one, that's for sure!

Please, White House Pooler, tell the good people that Your Wonkette hasn't gone entirely off the deep end and made up this crazy shit that Trump barfed out last night on Airforce One.

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2020 democratic primary

Tom Steyer Won't Tell You Where His Money Comes From So Please Make Him President

He's now our least favorite Tim Ryan.

Billionaire Tom Steyer's vanity campaign for president is coming along nicely. He's bought his way onto the stage for the next Democratic debate. Sure, he doesn't propose stopping hurricanes with mental telepathy but he's still not remotely qualified for the job. We've tried electing rich white guys with no political experience. We don't think it'll work out better even if Steyer's significantly less racist.

One big issue -- and there are so many -- with Donald Trump is that he keeps his skeevy finances on the QT and very hush-hush. Turns out Steyer doesn't want to tell us where his money comes from, either. He gave a "broad view of his extensive assets and sources of income," but he won't go into detail about "significant segments of his investment portfolio" because of confidentiality agreements and other reasons that benefit rich guys.

Steyer's down low assets have a reported worth between $370 million and $742 million. That's quite a range. And the total could be even higher. It's at the point where you don't even bother counting the money any more. His financial advisers could be stealing from him and he'd never notice, like barnacles on a whale.

The Office of Government Ethics was repeatedly told to fuck off by Steyer in the most polite legalese. Regarding his holdings in 43 different "investment vehicles," Steyer stated that "underlying assets are not disclosed due to a preexisting confidentiality agreement." But don't worry. He pledges to fully divest from them all if he's elected president. Wait ... why can't he do that now?

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Russia

What Did Trump Promise To The President Of Ukraine? Or Russia? Or, You Know, Whomever?

If Wonkette's right about this, MUST CREDIT WONKETTE.

Wednesday night, the Washington Post confirmed some of the worst fears we've all had about the story Liz (your Five Dollar Feminist) has been covering all week, of the intelligence community whistleblower who came forward through the proper channels to report that SOMETHING VERY BAD had happened, something he or she found of grave enough concern to take it to Joseph Atkinson, the inspector general of the entire IC, who took it to acting DNI Joseph Maguire, who then, instead of following the law, took it to Trump's Roy Cohn at the Justice Department, who immediately fired up the cover-up machine on all cylinders.

It's about Trump. Just after we learned that the CIA had to extract our most valuable asset in the Kremlin in 2017, partially out of worry that Trump would burn the source's identity to Putin, we now learn that Trump made a "promise" to an unnamed foreign leader that was so off the chain that it's set the intel community on fire:

Trump's interaction with the foreign leader included a "promise" that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president's handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.

The sources are two "former US officials," which is interesting, since whatever Trump did, he did it very recently, so either these are two very recently "former" US officials -- Hey, former DNI Dan Coats! You make friends with a Washington Post reporter? 'Sup, Sue Gordon? -- or people on the inside are freaked out and leaking to veterans on the outside to get the news to the people.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

36 Karens Agree: Requiring Schoolkids To Be Vaccinated Is EXACTLY Like Jim Crow

Please stop this.

This weekend, we brought you the story of the anti-vaxxer lady who threw a menstrual cup filled with blood at California lawmakers in hopes that this would convince them to let people send their unvaccinated children to school. It should not have gotten more ridiculous then that, but here we are! Because apparently, this protest has now reached the point where all of the very affluent white ladies are comparing their "struggle" to that of the Civil Rights movement — to the point where they are walking down hallways actually singing "We Shall Overcome."

Via Politico:

A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song "We Shall Overcome" in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor's office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting "No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!" Some wore T-shirts that read "Freedom Keepers."

But this wasn't about racial equality. In the nation's most diverse state, protesters opposed to childhood vaccine mandates — many from affluent coastal areas — had co-opted the civil rights mantle from the 1960s, insisting that their plight is comparable to what African Americans have suffered from segregationist policies.

This is bad. This is very bad. It gets worse if you click on the Politico link and see the picture of these ladies carrying a large banner that reads "This Is The New Civil Rights Movement."

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Guns

Who Murdered The President's Gun Background Checks Which He Totally Wanted Very Much?

BETOOOOOOOOOO.

Donald Trump is really, really bad at governing, and every single Republican in DC knows it. Yesterday he dispatched Attorney General Bill "Everyone Dies" Barr and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland to wander around the Senate flogging a plan for expanded background checks. To the untrained eye, an endorsement by the chief law enforcement officer in the land and the guy whose actual job is to get the president and members of Congress on the same page might suggest that Donald Trump himself was behind the proposal.

BUT NO! White House spokesliar Higgledy Piggledy is here to set the record straight, telling Politico, "That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to the contrary is completely false." How dare anyone suggest that Trump has actual principles and uses his staff as something other than cannon fodder! The very nerve!

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White Nonsense

Justin Trudeau Falls Flat On His Blackface

OH NO TRUDEAU.

It's Thursday, so it's time for another blackface scandal. We've covered a variety of Al Jolson sightings while on the blackface beat, but this is our first with an international dateline. We learned last night that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore blackface to an "Arabian Nights"-themed party at the private school where he was a teacher. A photograph of Trudeau insulting multiple cultures appeared in the West Point Grey Academy yearbook. This happened in spring of 2001. Trudeau was 29.

Google

The media is calling this a "brownface" incident, but Trudeau wasn't cosplaying as the second Aunt Viv on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." He went full original recipe Viv. Joy Behar once put on "darker makeup" to look like an African queen for Halloween. That's "brownface." That was also the 1970s. Trudeau's face is blacker than Fred Astaire as Mr. Bojangles.

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lawsplainer

Apple To European Tax Commission: Eat Me

I see what we did there.

Apple is not a fan of paying taxes.

Apple's European headquarters is in Ireland. In 2014, Apple paid Ireland just 0.005% of its revenue in taxes. This is par for the course, not just for large corporations generally, but also for Apple specifically. As noted by Gizmodo, "last year Apple paid $0.00 in federal tax in the US despite making $11.2 billion in profit."

The EU said, "Not in our jurisdiction," and the European Commission ordered Apple to pay €13 billion ($14 billion USD) in back taxes. Naturally, Apple balked. So now it's taking the European Union to court over the order. Because taxes are for poor people. Or something.

Incredibly, Ireland is taking Apple's side.

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Russia

Those Russian Spy Houses Trump REALLY Wants To Give Back To Putin? Spied On The FBI And CIA. YEP!

Gotta keep an eye on the Deep State somehow, obviously!

Not long after Vladimir Putin helped steal the 2016 election for Donald Trump, the Obama administration responded by levying new sanctions against Russia, kicking 35 Russian "diplomats" out of America, and confiscating two of their spy houses, or dachas, in Maryland and New York, which had been "suspected" of being used for espionage. But they weren't real clear on exactly what that meant.

Earlier this week, Yahoo! News came out with one of its bigass longform pieces that fills in some of the blanks of what those dachas were really used for, and if you can suffer through their 11,000 words of lugubrious prose, you might find yourself saying WOW. (You know, if you are still awake.) But worry not, Wonkette suffered through it! (Seriously, Yahoo! EDITORS. They exist. And if you hired a couple, this story might not still seem fresh THREE DAYS AFTER IT WAS PUBLISHED, because somebody might've read it!)

Before we get into this, though, we'd like to remind you that not long after Donald Trump was inaugurated, he decided he wanted to try to give the dachas back to Russia, in exchange for nothing. We note this because, if the Obama administration knew what was going on at those dachas, then the Trump administration did too, which presumably means Trump really wanted to let the Russians get back to the hard work of stealing our secrets and surveiling the FBI and the CIA. Gotta watch the Deep State somehow!

America started to figure out most of this around 2012 or so:

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Hanging On The Telephone! Wonkagenda For Thurs., Sept. 19, 2019

Trump phone sexes Not America, some gun humping, and 2020 shenanigans! Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture

Ben Shapiro Is Wrong And Stupid About Pronouns, By A Doktor Of Rhetoric

Yes, and about everything else, but we decided to focus on the one thing.

Ben Shapiro, the rightwing thought leader who thinks stupid things, has just about had it with you killjoy liberals and your insane social engineering schemes to turn America into the worst place on Earth. And that's why he's taking a very principled stand against the latest liberal outrage against all that's good and holy: pronouns. Yes, really. Sorry, Ben, you're almost two months behind Peggy Noonan on this one. Not to mention a few years behind much of the rest of America, even universities in the South, where referring to people the way they'd like to be referred to is considered polite to trans people and everyone else, not a sign of coming tyranny. (Everything is tyranny for these guys, except for when they want to lock certain people up forever.)

Still, it's a sin to waste a Ben Shapiro snit, so let us observe Mr. Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings and his mighty, fact-based brain at work:

First off, in this age of deepfakes and other video trickery, we should demand proof that this is actually Ben Shapiro talking all staccato and spitty-like, and not an AI simulation that's been snorting digital Adderall. That's some unnaturally fast bullshit delivery there.

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White House

Get A Load Of Robert O'Brien, Trump's Newest NSA Assh*le

Mediocre? Not when you consider his talent at tonguing Trump's ass!

Can we just cut the shit here? There is no National Security Advisor. It doesn't matter if Trump appoints John Bolton, or Jon Bon Jovi, or whatever sycophantic white dude he's picked out today. Remember when Joe Scarborough asked candidate Trump who his foreign policy advisers were and he said ME CUZ I'M SO GOOD AT DEALZ 'N' STUFF?

I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things. I know what I'm doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I'll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.

He meant it! He really does think he knows better than the generals because one time he talked to a waiter at the 21 Club. (That's not even a joke.) He's not listening to ANYBODY. Donald Trump is gonna do whatever crazy shit he's gonna do, and everyone around him will either clap like trained seals, or they'll find themselves tweetfired and humiliating themselves on national television.

Giphy

(Trust the wardrobe guys, Sean, they only have your best interests at heart!)

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News

Shorter CNN: 'Lie To Me, Corey Lewandowski! LIE TO ME, LIE TO ME, LIE TO ME!'

STOP. BOOKING. HIM. GODDAMMIT.

September 17, 2019, in the afternoon: House Judiciary Committee lawyer Barry Berke gets Trump campaign manager/enforcer/dipshit Corey Lewandowski to admit to Congress, multiple times, that he has lied to the media, multiple times. It is like his anti-drug, lying to the media, not that we're saying he would have any use for an anti-drug, allegedly.

September 18, 2019, AKA the very next morning:

WHAT THE FUCK, CNN? WERE YOU BORN YESTERDAY, SOMETIME IN THE HOURS AFTER THE LEWANDOWSKI HEARING IN CONGRESS ENDED?

You know, usually, in a sane world, when you find out a man uses your TV show for nothing more than lying and winning dick-measuring contests with himself, you might say, "Know what? Let's not book that guy anymore." But not CNN, which apparently is rolling around on its back with a doggie boner like "LIE TO ME! LIE TO ME! LIE TO ME!" (Yes, we just compared a cable news network to a dog that gets a boner when you lie to it, because that is probably a thing in furry communities, at least. Fuck if we know, don't question our methods.)

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Guns

Holy Hell, This 'Back To School' Ad For The NRA Era

Trigger warnings, in all senses of the term.

The massacre-prevention group Sandy Hook Promise, founded by parents of some of the kids murdered in Newtown, rolled out an absolutely horrifying public service announcement today. The online ad, titled "Back-To-School Essentials," is a dark twist on back-to-school supplies, featuring kids enjoying the nice things their parents got them for school. In the midst of a school shooting.

Content warning: This one is not something you want to watch if the subject is difficult for you. It's not explicitly gory, but includes sounds and visuals of a dramatized school shooting. You might want to skip the next three paragraphs, too. In fact, those of us who do watch it may decide to have a nice big glass of bourbon and lie down on this nice kitchen floor for an hour or two or all day.

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