Trump: "It's a criminal enterprise (the Clinton foundation). Saudi Arabia giving $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women's rights? So these are people that push gays off business -- off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money. So I'd like to ask you right now, why don't you give back the money that you've taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don't you give back the money? I think it would be a great gesture."
You may recall that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia last week for official meetings in advance of Donald Trump's visit this weekend. We just learned that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have pledged $100 million to Ivanka Trump's proposed foundation.
While there is reason to be concerned about how foreign government gifts to foundations might influence American government officials, I don't automatically assume these gifts are, ipso facto, bad. You have to look at it case by case. What's bad is the unabated stench of hypocrisy wafting from the Trump administration.
WASHINGTON — President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that the president dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
The comments represented an extraordinary moment in the investigation, which centers in part on the administration’s contacts with Russian officials: A day after firing the man leading that inquiry, Mr. Trump disparaged him — to Russian officials.
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.
A friend who happens to be a psychologist told me that his son's high school psychology teacher was pissed at him because he challenged her assertion that gender is entirely a social construct. Who knows what the teacher actually said, and who knows what she means by the terms gender and social construct, but I'm not interested in discussing the argument itself. Not now, at least.
My friend told his son that some defensiveness is usually contained in beliefs about sexuality because sexuality is fraught with anxieties. And people get rattled when you challenge their defenses directly.
Me: Did he understand what you were saying?
Him: He gets it. He likes these meta-observations.
It reminded me of a comment one of the presenters made at a recent conference. He was talking about testosterone, brain development and brain function, and prefaced his comments by saying: "Outside a setting like this, I'd be in trouble for saying this, but..."