The Trump 2016 campaign gave UAE and Saudi Arabia an advance copy of the candidate's energy speech, and made edits at UAE's request (via shady campaign chair Paul Manafort).
What else did he outsource to Middle Eastern autocrats, especially while POTUS?…
Thomas Barrack chaired Trump's inaugural (which is suspected of being a channel for grifting and bribes), and his indictment says he was an agent of the UAE during the Trump presidency.
How did this affect Middle East policy? Or Jared Kushner's loans?
It was apparent to many at the time that the Saudis and Emiratis had considerable influence with the Trump administration. Trump backed the misguided Qatar blockade and covered for MBS after the Saudis killed Jamal Khashoggi, among other things.
How much was flat-out corruption?
I don't know the answer to these questions. Some Trump Middle East policy was likely based on conceptions about American national interest (whether I agree or not).
But some looked awfully shady at the time, and evidence indicates suspicion was right.
It'd be good for us to know.
We know that Paul Manafort:
-Had ~$17m in debt in 2016
-Worked for the Trump campaign for free
-Gave proprietary campaign data to a Russian intel contact
-Got a Trump energy speech changed at UAE officials' request
How can anyone think that's above board?

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More from @NGrossman81

18 Jul
Hey everyone having politicized arguments about vaccine hesitancy/refusal:
Are you sure you’re talking about the same people? Let me explain.
Broadly three categories not getting shots:
1) Ideological antivaxxers. Includes many lefty woo woo “all natural” types.
Ideological antivaxxers were committed to that position before COVID, and are probably unconvincable. If tons of studies debunking myths about vaccines and autism won’t convince them, I doubt more information about COVID-19 vaccines or public encouragement could either.
2) Hesitant. For a variety of reasons, such as lazy and don’t think it matters that much (mostly young healthy people), generally cautious, poorly informed, or distrusting of govt and other public authorities (many poor people and POC fit here).
These are the gettable ones.
Read 16 tweets
18 Jul
In a hotel that, heretofore unbeknownst to me, is hosting a bodybuilder competition. Lobby packed with all types of buff people. Some dudes look like they have to turn sideways to get through a doorway. Women in heavy stage makeup. Everyone’s tanned within an inch of their life.
Finding myself among a subculture I’m not usually a part of is one of my favorite things in life. Bonus points when it’s accidental.
Gym merch is everywhere. Bags, shirts, posters, pamphlets, booths selling stuff.
Heard one guy in an elevator say “now, time for some calories.” He never eats before competing.
Competitors mostly finishing up now, and everyone I’ve chatted with seems to enjoy that I’m interested.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
No, I'm not going to calm down about dangers to US democracy. It matters to me and to millions of others, and the facts warrant concern.
Look at my record and you'll see prudent warnings that mostly panned out, not hysteria or conspiracy theories.
In November 2018, after Democrats broke Republican control by winning the House in the midterms, I explored various risky future scenarios, including the possibility Trump lost in 2020, rejected the results, and tried to rile up his supporters.…
Feb 2020, after the Senate voted against removing Trump for trying to corrupt the election with his Ukraine scheme, and AG Bill Barr intervened to give special treatment to people whose shady activity helped Trump win in 2016, I warned that he'd try more.…
Read 8 tweets
10 Jul
The argument that we need to go back to a past time in which ideas flowed freely, when people didn't impose social sanctions in response to speech they found offensive or immoral, back before liberalism was succeeded by an illiberal ideology, is ahistorical nonsense.
Yes, but "I read about some people getting fired for really silly reasons, it looks like there's a pattern, that's bad" is quite different from claiming that Enlightenment liberalism was the dominant ideology in the West for centuries until about 2018.
Social media is new, and it's affected society in all sorts of ways. One is by facilitating deliberate, and sometimes inadvertent, pressure campaigns.
A specific claim like that I wouldn't challenge. It's the much larger, more sweeping claim I find absurd.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jul
“Academia needs more Republicans,” you say? OK, but which ones?
Supply-siders, religious traditionalists, NatSec hawks, Burkeans, and more sounds good.
But Trumpists? How?
Academia is in the truth business. Not sure how to accommodate a political movement committed to post-truth.
I tell students North Korea still has nukes threatening the US and allies. Do we need to hire someone who teaches that they don’t?
Or one who says Russia didn’t conduct an intel op targeting the 2016 US election?
Do med schools need to teach that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID?
I strive to make classes welcoming to students of a great variety of backgrounds and worldviews. I think all professors should.
“All arguments are welcome as long as you back them up with evidence,” I say.
To the extent Trumpism is a philosophy and pedagogy, it says the opposite.
Read 5 tweets
1 Jul
The Constitution does not say "when in doubt, making it harder to donate to political campaigns is wrong but making it harder to vote is okay."
That principle derives from ideology-filtered interpretation, not a common sense reading of the text of the law.
FTR, gutting campaign finance restrictions was Constitutionally correct—if Congress can't make law restricting political speech, Congress can't restrict dissemination of political speech—and gutting voting rights protections was Constitutionally wrong (power is in Art 1, Sec 4).
Voting Rights provisions weren’t struck down as unconstitutional; they were struck down by SCOTUS majority deciding the measures aren’t needed anymore, even though Congress renewed the VRA in 2006.
“Is this Constitutional law still needed?” is a question for Congress, not courts.
Read 4 tweets

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