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Surprise, everybody! As we suspected, the Trump administration knew about the horrifying family domestic abuse stories in Patrick Shanahan's history, and they were trying to push through his Defense Secretary nomination anyway. We didn't assume they knew because the Trump administration is so very good at vetting people -- it clearly isn't. But, considering the enormity of the story, the question that kept bothering us yesterday when the Shanahan news broke was HOW IN THE HELL DID THEY THINK THIS WOULD STAY SECRET?

CBS News reports:

President Trump said as he departed for Florida Tuesday that he had only learned of Shanahan's family issues for the first time "yesterday."

But that is apparently a lie, or at least we should assume it's a lie, because we should always assume Trump is lying about each and every thing he says, in general. Anyway, whether El Dipshit was personally told, Trump admin people say ayup, they knew all about it:

One senior administration official told CBS News the White House was aware of the incident involving Shanahan's son, but didn't know about the 2010 confrontation. Another official said the White House knew about the 2011 incident dating back to when Bill Shine was White House communications director.

In case you need a quick refresher, the "2010 confrontation" is alleged domestic violence between Shanahan and his ex-wife, whose name is now Kimberley Jordinson, which was detailed in their divorce papers. (The ex-wife was arrested, not Shanahan.) The "2011 incident" is the one where Shanahan's 17-year-old son beat the shit out of his mom -- that same ex-wife -- with a baseball bat and left her in a pool of her own blood, and Daddy appears to have gone to great lengths to cover it up.

As CBS reports, some senators have been very curious as to why they were never informed of this way back in 2017, when Shanahan was nominated to be the deputy secretary of Defense. (He was confirmed.) Did the White House know then? Did Shanahan conceal it from everybody? Is that where the White House vetting process -- which is, again, just awesome, obviously -- went all wrong?

Or does the Trump administration just not think the nominee getting mutually fisticuffy with his wife, and trying to mount a coverup for his son when that son bludgeoned that wife with a baseball bat, is so bad, especially when you are trying to staff your administration with The Best People?


Last night, Rachel Maddow did one of the things she does very well, adding context and recent history we've already forgotten to a breaking news story, so we can all get a more bird's eye view of what's going on. In her "A" block, she put together the whole list of Trump nominees and officials who have been JUST GREAT YOU BETCHA, right up until we all found out about all the wife-beating. (ALLEGEDLY.)

Here's the list, in the order Maddow ticked them off:

  • There was Andy Puzder, Trump's Labor secretary nominee, whose alleged domestic violence history was featured on an episode of Oprah in 1990 when his ex-wife told the story, wearing a disguise. Puzder's ex-wife has since retracted the allegations.
  • There was Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary who couldn't get a security clearance because UH OH, just a bunch of allegations that he beat all his ex-wives.
  • There was the speechwriter, David Sorensen, who had to quit because he beat his ex-wife, allegedly.
  • Oh yes, and then there were the domestic violence allegations, since retracted, against Steve Bannon, during his divorce. Maddow noted that Bannon was charged not only with the domestic violence, but also with witness intimidation. The charges died when Bannon's ex-wife didn't show up for the trial.

And those are just the former Trump nominees and officials with that specific scandal in their past.

Want more? Here's an article in The Atlantic about the White House's little domestic violence issues, that also loops in Trump's first campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has also had experience with being charged for being violent towards a woman, if you'll remember. And of course, this is all against a backdrop of a president who's been credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and whose first wife once accused him in graphic detail, and in sworn testimony, of a violent spousal rape, but later sorta kinda retracted it after the divorce papers were signed.

Here's that Maddow segment:

Another Donald Trump W.H. Vetting Failure Ends In Scandal, Resignation | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com

So really, senators might think Wonkette is kidding, because we are known on the internet as a kidder, but we are deadly serious when we say that from now on, it seems only reasonable to ask any and all Trump nominees -- cabinet, judicial, Russian handlers, etc. -- for the date upon which they stopped beating their wives. In every other presidential administration, and in every other life situation, really, that would be a "Gotcha!" question, but apparently in the Trump administration, it's just a good idea to find out whether nominees stopped beating their wives five years, five months, or five minutes ago. You know, ALLEGEDLY.

They'll just claim executive privilege, of course, and Attorney General Bill Barr will probably open a sham investigation accusing Hillary Clinton of being the actual wife-beater, but it's worth getting these assholes on the record.

[CBS News]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.

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