An author who literally wrote the book on Donald Trump’s shady financial history went off on detractors who failed to heed his warnings even prior to 2016.
Pulitzer winner David Cay Johnston told CNN’s Ana Cabrera Saturday that the laws governing the release of presidential tax returns are “incredibly clear” — and noted that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is “really sticking his neck out” and risking jail time in his refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking to get them.
“Why would he be willing to potentially go to jail, potentially be removed from office by rejecting this request from the house ways and means committee?” Cabrera asked Johnston.
“Because Donald Trump appoints people who either lack moral character or who are willing to pledge personal loyalty to him,” the biographer said.
He then launched into a passionate rant about the man he’s been covering for years.
“I’ve been warning people as the person who’s covered Trump longer than anybody else, for more than 30 years, from before the time he took office, if Donald got in the White House he would act like a dictator because he does not know what’s in the Constitution and he doesn’t care,” Johnston said.
“He believes in his own mind that he should run the country and he tells us all the time he’s smarter than all of us, everyone else who stands in his way is an idiot or a fool or a traitor or something else,” he added. “That’s the language of dictators, not of someone who under our constitution is there to faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed.”
As for the reason Mnuchin and Trump’s continued refusal to provide the public with the president’s tax return, Johnston said the answer is simple.
“Donald Trump is not a billionaire,” he said. “His biggest concern is that he’ll be exposed for the fraud he is, in finance but he’s also concerned it will get into money he likely laundered for people who were not just Russians but in the Middle East and elsewhere in real estate transactions.”
‘They sense weakness’: Former senator says the world is ‘smirking’ as Trump flails away at latest China tariffs
Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) appeared on CNN Friday to discuss how President Donald Trump has completely mishandled his long-running trade war with China.
While talking about trade with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Baucus said that China timed its new announcements of tariffs against $75 billion worth of American goods specifically to humiliate the president.
"They sense weakness," explained Baucus, who has also previously served as an American ambassador to China. "And I think that they see a weakness in the United States today. Trump has been weakened because of the weakened American economy and they're retaliating against the tariffs that Trump imposed after there was a truce there would be no tariffs."
Trump aide Cuccinelli snaps after CNN’s Camerota shows him pictures of caged kids: ‘I’m not going to take that’
A CNN interview with acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli took a contentious turn on Friday morning after host Alisyn Camerota showed him pictures of immigrant children being held in cages and asked him why he would want to hold them even longer based upon a recent policy change he instituted.
As the CNN host pressed the Trump administration official on plans to hold children indefinitely, she put pictures of the kids in cages up on the screen which angered Cuccinelli.
"On one level it protects children, but it also exposes children to the overcrowding. Here's some of the roll we've been playing for months," she began, only to have the White House official cut her off.
Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.
"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.
"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."