Donald Trump worried about what Ghislaine Maxwell might say (updated)

Gilead

Gun nuttery


Fig. 1. Foxtrot comic strip by Bill Amend, August 21, 2022, via GoComics, fair use.

Andrew Chung, “U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to ban on gun ‘bump stocks,’ Reuters, October 3, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-supreme-court-rejects-challenge-ban-gun-bump-stocks-2022-10-03/

Robert Moran, “Judge bars Philadelphia from enforcing Mayor Jim Kenney’s ban on guns at rec centers and playgrounds,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/gun-violence-ban-kenney-rec-center-lawsuit-executive-order-preemption-20221003.html


Jeffrey Epstein

Martin Pengelly, “


Fig. 1. “Donald Trump with his future wife Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in February 2000.” Photograph credited to Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images, February 2000,[1] fair use.

According to a new book by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, [Donald] Trump asked “campaign advisers … ‘You see that article in the [New York] Post today that mentioned me?’

“He kept going, to silence. ‘She say anything about me?’” . . .

The story which seemed to worry Trump, according to Haberman, appeared in the celebrity-focused Page Six section of the New York tabloid on 4 July 2020.

It quoted Steve Hoffenberg, an Epstein associate, as saying: “Ghislaine thought she was untouchable – that she’d be protected by the intelligence communities she and Jeffrey helped with information: the Israeli intelligence services, and Les Wexner, who has given millions to Israel; by Prince Andrew, President Clinton and even by President Trump, who was well-known to be an acquaintance of her and Epstein’s.”[2]

Martin Pengelly, “‘She say anything about me?’ Trump raised Ghislaine Maxwell link with aides,” Guardian, October 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/04/trump-ghislaine-maxwell-epstein-maggie-haberman-book-confidence-man


Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[3] fair use.

“The Ukrainian armed forces commanders in the south and east are throwing problems at the Russian chain of command faster than the Russians can effectively respond,” said a Western official who requested anonymity to brief reporters about sensitive security information. “And this is compounding the existing dysfunction within the Russian invasion force.”[4]

I get Telegraph newsletters. I have access because, yes, I subscribe. And despite their cringeworthy—somehow not nearly a strong enough word—early embrace of Liz Truss (the shine has come off now and, yeah, that was fast), they often have coverage I haven’t found elsewhere. I wish I could reproduce more of their newsletters for you; one of them includes “dispatches” from Ukraine, which tell something of what’s happening on the ground there.

It’s safe to say that Vladimir Putin has well and truly fucked himself. His conventional forces are largely helpless, lacking the leadership to respond effectively to Ukrainian strategy, tactics, and maneuver.[5] Even his nuclear threats are really rather hollow.[6] He makes decisions and gives orders from desperation and delusion.[7]

This is not by any means the picture of a winner. The only remaining question is how ugly a loser he is.

Michael Horovitz, “Medvedev asserts Russia’s ‘right’ to use nukes to defend its territory,” Times of Israel, September 27, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/medvedev-affirms-russias-right-to-use-nukes-to-defend-its-territory/

Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Male Fragility,” Puck News, September 27, 2022, https://puck.news/putins-male-fragility/

Anatol Lieven, “Putin’s regime may fall – but what would come next?” Guardian, September 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/27/putin-regime-fall-ukraine-west-negotiate

Agence France-Presse, “‘Full chaos’: Over 100,000 Russians flood neighboring countries to flee army call-up,” Times of Israel, September 28, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-chaos-over-100000-russians-flood-neighboring-countries-to-flee-army/

Bloomberg, “Putin Raises Gas-Cutoff Threat as He Moves to Annex Ukraine Regions,” September 28, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-27/putin-raises-gas-pressure-as-he-moves-to-annex-ukraine-regions

Jennifer Hansler, “US Embassy warns Americans to leave Russia,” CNN, September 28, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/28/politics/us-embassy-russia-warns-americans-leave/index.html

Meg Kelly and Michael Birnbaum, “E.U. warns of ‘robust’ response against sabotage after Nord Stream blasts,” Washington Post, September 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/28/nord-stream-russia-methane-leak-baltic-sea/

Times of Israel, “Suspecting Nord Stream sabotage, EU vows ‘robust’ response to energy network attacks,” September 28, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/suspecting-nord-stream-sabotage-eu-vows-robust-response-to-energy-network-attacks/

Sarah Cahlan et al., “Russians rebel as Putin drafts more people in battle for Ukraine,” Washington Post, September 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/29/russia-putin-mobilization-protests-fury/

Drew Hinshaw, Matthew Dalton, and Laurence Norman, “NATO Formally Blames Sabotage for Nord Stream Pipeline Damage,” Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-formally-blames-sabotage-for-nord-stream-pipeline-damage-11664449396

CNN, “The turning points in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” September 30, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2022/09/europe/russia-territory-control-ukraine-shift-dg/

Ann M. Simmons and Yuliya Chernova, “Russia Announces Annexation of Four Regions of Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-prepares-treaties-to-annex-ukrainian-land-11664536196

Eli Stokols, “U.S. sanctions Russia after Putin annexes parts of Ukraine,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-30/u-s-sanctions-russia-after-putin-annexes-ukraine

John Gambrell and Adam Schreck, “Russia withdraws troops from once-occupied Lyman as Ukraine recaptures more territory,” Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-10-01/ukraine-encircles-strategic-eastern-city-of-lyman-in-counteroffensive-against-russia

Luke Harding, “Humiliation for Vladimir Putin as Ukrainians liberate key city of Lyman,” Guardian, October 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/01/humiliation-for-vladimir-putin-as-ukrainians-liberate-key-city-of-lyman

Isabelle Khurshudyan et al., “Russian troops withdraw from Lyman, a day after annexation claims,” Washington Post, October 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/01/ukaine-russia-lyman-donetsk-annexation/

Liz Sly, “Russia’s annexation puts world ‘two or three steps away’ from nuclear war,” Washington Post, October 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/01/europe-putin-nuclear-threats/

Lewis Page, “Why Putin would be a fool to go nuclear in Ukraine,” Telegraph, October 2, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/10/02/why-putin-would-fool-go-nuclear-ukraine/

Farida Rustamova, “Vladimir Putin is making rash and secretive decisions in face of defeats, Kremlin insiders warn,” Telegraph, October 2, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/10/02/vladimir-putin-making-rash-secretive-decisions-face-defeats/

Josie Ensor, “Nuclear weapons convoy sparks fears Putin could be preparing test to send ‘signal to the West,’” Telegraph, October 3, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/10/03/nuclear-weapons-convoy-sparks-fears-putin-could-preparing-test/

Luke Harding, Isobel Koshiw, and Peter Beaumont, “Russia no longer has full control of any of four ‘annexed’ Ukrainian provinces,” Guardian, October 3, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/03/russia-has-no-full-control-of-any-of-four-annexed-ukrainian-provinces

Dominic Nicholls, “Russia’s bloated military has finally been properly tested – and the results are not good,” Telegraph, October 3, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/10/03/ukraines-lyman-victory-shows-skill-trumps-numbers-when-comes/

Mary Ilyushina, Emily Rauhala, and Isabelle Khurshudyan, “Ukraine hammers Russian forces into retreat on east and south fronts,” Washington Post, October 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/04/russia-retreat-kherson-lyman-ukraine/


Twitter

It appears Elon Musk may honor his original deal after all.[8] This about covers it:

“This is a clear sign that [Elon] Musk recognized heading into Delaware Court that the chances of winning vs. Twitter board was highly unlikely and this $44 billion deal was going to be completed one way or another,” wrote Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. “Being forced to do the deal after a long and ugly court battle in Delaware was not an ideal scenario and instead accepting this path and moving forward with the deal will save a massive legal headache.”[9]

Of course, buying a company that everyone, including that company’s employees, knows you had decided you didn’t want is “not an ideal scenario” either.

Emily Bary, “Twitter stock jumps after report says Elon Musk now wants to buy Twitter at original offer price,” MarketWatch, October 4, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-stock-jumps-after-report-says-elon-musk-proposed-to-buy-twitter-at-original-offer-price-11664900696


  1. [1]Martin Pengelly, “‘She say anything about me?’ Trump raised Ghislaine Maxwell link with aides,” Guardian, October 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/04/trump-ghislaine-maxwell-epstein-maggie-haberman-book-confidence-man
  2. [2]Martin Pengelly, “‘She say anything about me?’ Trump raised Ghislaine Maxwell link with aides,” Guardian, October 4, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/oct/04/trump-ghislaine-maxwell-epstein-maggie-haberman-book-confidence-man
  3. [3]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  4. [4]Mary Ilyushina, Emily Rauhala, and Isabelle Khurshudyan, “Ukraine hammers Russian forces into retreat on east and south fronts,” Washington Post, October 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/04/russia-retreat-kherson-lyman-ukraine/
  5. [5]Luke Harding, Isobel Koshiw, and Peter Beaumont, “Russia no longer has full control of any of four ‘annexed’ Ukrainian provinces,” Guardian, October 3, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/03/russia-has-no-full-control-of-any-of-four-annexed-ukrainian-provinces; Mary Ilyushina, Emily Rauhala, and Isabelle Khurshudyan, “Ukraine hammers Russian forces into retreat on east and south fronts,” Washington Post, October 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/04/russia-retreat-kherson-lyman-ukraine/; Dominic Nicholls, “Russia’s bloated military has finally been properly tested – and the results are not good,” Telegraph, October 3, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/10/03/ukraines-lyman-victory-shows-skill-trumps-numbers-when-comes/
  6. [6]Lewis Page, “Why Putin would be a fool to go nuclear in Ukraine,” Telegraph, October 2, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/10/02/why-putin-would-fool-go-nuclear-ukraine/
  7. [7]Farida Rustamova, “Vladimir Putin is making rash and secretive decisions in face of defeats, Kremlin insiders warn,” Telegraph, October 2, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/10/02/vladimir-putin-making-rash-secretive-decisions-face-defeats/
  8. [8]Emily Bary, “Twitter stock jumps after report says Elon Musk now wants to buy Twitter at original offer price,” MarketWatch, October 4, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-stock-jumps-after-report-says-elon-musk-proposed-to-buy-twitter-at-original-offer-price-11664900696
  9. [9]Emily Bary, “Twitter stock jumps after report says Elon Musk now wants to buy Twitter at original offer price,” MarketWatch, October 4, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-stock-jumps-after-report-says-elon-musk-proposed-to-buy-twitter-at-original-offer-price-11664900696

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