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After three decades, the bromance between Donald Trump and his longtime pal and actual billionaire businessman Tom Barrack is on the rocks. Donny and Tommy are on a break, and Politico has the DL on their tough split.

Trump was "really upset" to read reports about Barrack's role in allegedly making it easy for some foreigners and others to try to spend money to get access to Trump and his inner circle and whether some of the inauguration money was misspent, according to a senior administration official.

"The president was really surprised to read all about the inauguration and who was trying to buy access and how, because the president doesn't get any of that money," said the official.

BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You bet, fellas! Donald "Russia If You're Listening" Trump, the guy who refuses to say he won't accept foreign help in 2020, is "really upset" that Tom Barrack besmirched his honor by allegedly taking inauguration donations from disreputable foreign sources. It's got nothing at all to do with Barrack's cooperation with the multiple federal inquiries into the campaign PAC and inauguration, or his characterization of the House Judiciary's inquiry as "important work."

Although the part about Trump losing his shit that he only netted a piddly $1.5 million in room rentals when the inauguration was raking in cash sounds legit. Ditto for Politico's reporting that Barrack's requests to be appointed roving ambassador to everywhere -- literal quote, "Tom wanted to be special envoy to the Middle East and then special envoy in South America and then he was going to be the ambassador to Argentina and then he didn't want that and then he was going to be ambassador to Mexico" -- grated on Trump's nerves.


Particularly after the House Judiciary Committee worked out that Barrack encouraged Trump to greenlight the sale of nuclear technology to the Saudis, while simultaneously positioning his company to profit from the deal and attempting to get himself appointed Middle East envoy. From the New York Times:

The report says that at the same time Mr. Barrack was seeking to become the administration's Middle East envoy or ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, he was exploring the possibility that his private equity firm, Colony Capital, would be part of a deal to purchase Westinghouse Electric Company, the sole American manufacturer of large-scale nuclear reactors — partly with capital from Saudi Arabia or its close ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The idea was that Westinghouse would then be well positioned to bid for Saudi government business building nuclear power plants. Because the United States carefully regulates the transfer of nuclear technology to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, any such deal would require the approval of Congress and the administration.

Dude, you're supposed to be making bank on the DL, not waving a giant flag that says HEY, CONGRESS! INVESTIGATE HERE!

But the most credible explanation seems to be from the former White House official who told Politico simply, "Barrack is the kind of guy who would tell him things he didn't want to hear, so Trump stopped talking to him." Because Fox News is wrong. And the Federal Reserve is wrong. And Anthony Scaramucci is wrong. And the generals are wrong. And the pollsters are wrong. And science is wrong. And the FEC is wrong. And Tom Barrack is wrong. But the Stable Genius with the Very Good Brain is ALWAYS ALWAYS RIGHT.

[Politico / NYT]

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