本帖由 ccc 于 2017-08-02 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
(CNN) When Dr. Harold Bornstein described in hyperbolic prose then-candidate Donald Trump's health in 2015, the language he used was eerily similar to the style preferred by his patient.
It turns out the patient himself wrote it, according to Bornstein.
"He dictated that whole letter. I didn't write that letter," Bornstein told CNN on Tuesday. "I just made it up as I went along."
The admission is an about face from his answer more than two years when the letter was released and answers one of the lingering questions about the last presidential election. The letter thrust the eccentric Bornstein, with his shoulder-length hair and round eyeglasses, into public view.
"His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary," he crowed in the letter, which was released by Trump's campaign in December 2015. "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
The missive didn't offer much medical evidence for those claims beyond citing a blood pressure of 110/65, described by Bornstein as "astonishingly excellent." It claimed Trump had lost 15 pounds over the preceding year. And it described his cardiovascular health as "excellent."
The White House didn't respond to a request for comment about Bornstein's claim.
Later, as questions mounted over the health both of Trump and his rival Hillary Clinton, Bornstein offered a more businesslike assessment, listing things such as Trump's height, weight and prescription medications.
He later told CNN's Drew Griffin he'd dashed off the first letter as he was seeing patients.
"I was just rushed for time," he said in September 2016. "I had people to see."
He insisted then that the words were his own.
"Did I really write that letter? Yeah," he said.
Now, as Bornstein re-enters the spotlight claiming Trump's ex-bodyguard Keith Schiller robbed his office when Schiller retrieved Trump's medical records, the story behind the letter is becoming clearer.
"That's black humor, that letter. That's my sense of humor," he said. "It's like the movie 'Fargo': It takes the truth and moves it in a different direction."
He said Trump read out the language as Bornstein and his wife were driving across Central Park.
"(Trump) dictated the letter and I would tell him what he couldn't put in there," he said. "They came to pick up their letter at 4 o'clock or something."
"When you are a star, you can do anything..."
Paul Ryan appeared at a financial conference to warn that, if Democrats win control of either the House or the Senate in the November elections, “you’ll have gridlock, you’ll have subpoenas.” The gridlock part is true, but it is basically the case already. The Republican legislative agenda has come to a halt, and neither the party nor even its intellectual class has any ideas about which kinds of bills they ought to pass.
What really would change with Democratic control of a chamber is the subpoena part. But it’s worth spelling out just what it is Ryan is warning will happen — and what, by implication, he is confessing.
Ryan’s House has been run essentially as a subordinate arm of the Trump administration. Ryan and his party have quashed votes to compel release of Donald Trump’s tax returns, and they have used their investigative power not to oversee the presidency but to harass and intimidate the Department of Justice into falling into line behind the president’s whims, to the point where the acting attorney general had to bluntly accuse House Republicans of trying to “extort” him. Trump and his family have used their power to enrich themselves personally, with no hearings or oversight whatsoever from the House. His Cabinet members have likewise misspent funds and abused their authority without any accountability from the committees that are putatively tasked with the job.
Paul Ryan doesn’t like to talk about this part of his job, because he cherishes his reputation as an idea maven. But Ryan has played an invaluable role covering up and enabling Trump administration scandals. When he says his party needs to keep control of the House to prevent subpoenas, he is both promising the cover-ups will continue if his party keeps its control of government, and expressing his clear belief that he opposes any level of independent oversight of the Executive branch.
Washington (CNN) White House lawyer Ty Cobb is leaving his position, and a lawyer who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment process is joining President Donald Trump's legal team as it adopts a more adversarial posture toward the special counsel's investigation.
Cobb has been discussing his retirement for several weeks and let chief of staff John Kelly know he would be retiring at the end of May, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. She later confirmed reports that Emmet Flood, who represented Clinton in the late 1990s, is joining the White House staff.
"I've done what I came to do in terms of managing the White House response to the special counsel requests," Cobb told CNN. "I'm extremely grateful to the President and Chief Kelly for the opportunity to serve my country."
The New York Times first reported the news.
A source familiar with Cobb's departure said the former federal prosecutor, who joined Trump's legal team in July 2017, had been clashing with the President in recent weeks over Trump's combative posture with the special counsel's investigation. Trump has intensified his public attacks on Robert Mueller's probe in recent weeks, and on Wednesday, suggested that questions by Mueller's team about whether he obstructed justice amount to a "setup & trap."
Two sources told CNN that Cobb was uncomfortable with Trump's tweets against Mueller, with one source describing a "rancid" atmosphere between Mueller and the White House.
"Ty was uncomfortable with the Mueller tweets," the source said. He was not going to be "part of a mud-slinging campaign," one of the sources added.
Cobb had tried for weeks to counsel the President against threatening the Mueller investigation, the sources said. The lawyer made it clear on multiple occasions with the President and other members of the legal team that he "can't go down that path," one of the sources added.
Flood steps into 'chaotic atmosphere'
A source familiar with the developments told CNN that one reason Flood took the job was because he is likely to replace current White House counsel Donald McGahn in months.
It's not immediately clear what Flood's job will be on the legal team and if he will attend meetings with Mueller.
Another source familiar with the matter told CNN that Flood had been under "serious consideration" for some time, and that a transition period is expected, as Flood leaves his law firm to join the "chaotic atmosphere" of the White House. This source expects Flood will get along well with McGahn and called the new White House lawyer "very smart, battle-tested, high integrity."
McGahn could leave the White House in the coming months, according to sources familiar with the discussions. He has an interest in issues such as the judiciary and deregulation but the schedule is at times grueling and he is one of the President's longest-serving staffers. According to one source, one thing that could keep him in the White House is a Supreme Court retirement -- which would give him the opportunity to help shape the court with another conservative jurist -- but he could also decide to return to electoral politics in the coming months. Another source tells CNN that McGahn is expected to rejoin the campaign when he leaves the White House.
Flood's arrival at the White House gives the President options should McGahn leave. McGahn, says one source, worked hard to get Flood to the White House.
CNN reported in March that Flood was among several high-profile lawyers to have previously turned down invitations to join Trump's legal team. One of the sources told CNN on Wednesday that Flood was not willing to work with Trump's original lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.
Wednesday's developments are the latest of several recent changes in Trump's legal team.
Last month, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined Trump's outside legal team and said at the time that he would communicate with Mueller to bring the probe to an end. Sources told CNN last week that Giuliani met with Mueller to discuss a potential presidential interview.
Marc Mukasey, a longtime ally of Giuliani, is in talks to possibly join Trump's legal team, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Adding Mukasey to the President's roster of lawyers outside the White House is under consideration, but sources cautioned that a final decision has not been made. Mukasey declined to comment. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow declined comment as well.
Trump in March announced he had brought on lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, but his lawyer, Jay Sekulow, acknowledged in a statement that conflicts prevented the pair from joining Trump's team.
Toensing said Wednesday the shake-up of Trump's legal team is just due to the investigation changing over time.
"There is a time to sow and a time to harvest. For the first months of this investigation, it was a time to cooperate and turn things over. Everyone knew this day would come when you had to decide whether the President was going to decide to sit down with Mueller or fight a subpoena. This isn't any different, it's just because of the timing," she said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
The shakeup of Trump's legal team comes as his lawyers prepare for a legal showdown with Mueller, sources familiar with their thinking have told CNN.
Trump's legal team is bracing for the dramatic possibility that Mueller would subpoena the President, setting up a collision that could force a lengthy court fight and test the legal limits of the President's power all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Mueller has raised the possibility of a presidential subpoena in at least one meeting, according to two sources. But some of the President's legal advisers are gambling that Mueller would not go that far.
Shortly before the news of his departure broke, Cobb spoke with ABC News and said Trump sitting for an interview with Mueller is "not off the table." He also said it is "an open question" if Mueller could compel Trump to testify.
Shock as Rudy Giuliani says Trump REPAID Michael Cohen $130,000 hush money to Stormy Daniels - contradicting President's claim that he didn't know about payment
Rudy Giuliani told Fox News that President Trump repaid Michael Cohen $130,000
Cohen gave porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money before the 2016 elections
Daniels has claimed that the money was mean to keep her from revealing an alleged affair she had with Trump over a decade ago
Giuliani's comments contradict claims by Trump that he had no knowledge of the payment
Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Giuliani's comments were a 'stunning revelation' and that Trump 'participated in a felony'
By Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com and Reuters and Associated Press
Published: 22:06 EDT, 2 May 2018 | Updated: 22:38 EDT, 2 May 2018
Rudy Giuliani has said that Donald Trump re-paid Michael Cohen $130,000 after the personal attorney made the initial hush money payment to a porn star who claims to have had an affair with the president over a decade ago.
Giuliani, who has joined Trump's legal team in recent weeks, made the statement during an interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel late Wednesday.
The statement, if true, contradicts Trump's denial last month that he had any knowledge of Cohen's initial payment to Stormy Daniels.
Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Giuliani's comments were a 'stunning revelation' and that Trump 'participated in a felony.'
Fox News Channel is considered a powerful and staunchly pro-Trump media organ.
Cohen faces a criminal probe into his business affairs by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, including over the $130,000 payment, which he has called legal.
Rudy Giuliani (above) has said that Donald Trump re-paid Michael Cohen $130,000 after the personal attorney made the initial hush money payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with the president over a decade ago
The payment was made to Daniels, an adult film actress who was paid to never speak about an alleged affair with Trump.
Daniels has since sued Trump and Cohen claiming that the non-disclosure agreement she signed was invalid.
Trump has historically claimed that he had no knowledge of the $130,000 payment to Daniels.
He has claimed that Cohen made the payment on his own without his knowledge.
Giuliani told Hannity that the $130,000 payment was 'a very regular thing for lawyers to do.'
Giuliani told Hannity that the $130,000 payment was 'a very regular thing for lawyers to do.' Daniels is seen left and Cohen is seen right
'Having something having to do with paying some Stormy Daniels woman $130,000 – I mean which going to turn out to be perfectly legal,' Giuliani said.
'That money was not campaign money, sorry.
'They funneled through the law firm and the president repaid it.'
Giuliani continued: 'Everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. I wasn’t...
'When I heard Cohen’s retainer of $35,000, when he was doing no work for the president, I said, "That’s how he's repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes, for Michael".'
Giuliani said that the president 'didn’t know about the specifics of it (the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels), as far as I know.
'But he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this.'
Daniels claims she had sex with Trump in 2006, months after his third wife gave birth to his youngest child.
She was paid $130,000 by Cohen before the 2016 election to keep quiet about the allegations.
Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called the comment 'a stunning revelation.'
'Mr. Trump evidently has participated in a felony and there must be serious consequences for his conduct and his lies and deception to the American people,' he said.
Cohen’s payment to the president’s accuser in the weeks leading up to the presidential election could be cast as an illegal contribution but not if he were acting on the president’s behest and with his money.
After Giuliani's interview with Hannity, Laura Ingraham, who hosts the 10pm show, said: 'They better have an explanation for that. That’s a problem.'
Last month on Air Force One, Trump said he didn't know about the $130,000 payment his personal attorney made to Daniels, issuing a firm denial in his first public comments about the adult-film actress who alleges she had an affair with him.
Asked aboard Air Force One whether he knew about the payment, Trump said flatly: 'No.'
Trump also said he didn't know why his longtime lawyer had made the payment.
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump responded 'No' to a question about whether he had known Cohen paid Daniels, and insisted he had no knowledge of where the money came from.
Asked why Cohen wrote the six-figure check, Trump said: 'You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney.'
But the president ignored a question about whether he had set up a fund for Cohen to draw on for such purposes.
Cohen has said that he took out a home equity line of credit to withdraw the money, and that he never told then-candidate Trump about it.
Washington (CNN) Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump's longtime personal physician, is a comic character. From his long hair to his odd personal manner and pronouncements, he is someone that is hard to take seriously.
So when Bornstein told CNN on Tuesday that Trump had personally dictated a 2015 letter ostensibly from Bornstein touting the then-presidential candidate's historic good health, the first reaction of many people was to laugh.
Of course he did! The language was totally Trumpian! "His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary," "Bornstein" wrote of Trump. "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
But to dismiss this whole situation as a joke is to miss the broader points. And, yes, there are some broader points here. Here are four.
1. The President of the United States, as a candidate, faked a letter from his doctor to settle health and age questions.
Trump's willingness to bend the truth is, by now, de rigeur. But, consider what he did here. At 70, Trump is the oldest person ever to be elected to a first term as president. His diet and exercise regimen are not what anyone would describe as particularly healthy.
Those factors led to questions about Trump's physical and mental fitness for the job during the 2016 campaign. Trump's pushback was the Bornstein letter. Sure, Bornstein looked and sounded a bit kooky, but he had been Trump's doctor for more than two decades, right? Because no one could prove the letter was a sham -- which it has turned out to be -- the only option for reporters was to take it, generally speaking, at face value. Trump knew that -- and he exploited it to the nth degree.
2. Trump repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton as not being healthy enough to be president.
From the start, Trump sought to make Clinton's stamina and endurance -- both code words for her overall health -- an issue in the campaign. That effort ramped up bigly in the wake of video capturing a decidedly wobbly Clinton leaving a September 11 memorial in New York City.
"They say pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very, very badly a week ago, and even before that, if you remember," Trump said on CNBC shortly after Clinton's near-fainting incident. "This wasn't the first time. So, it's very interesting to see what is going on."
In the first general election presidential debate, Trump was more blunt. "She doesn't have the look," he said of Clinton. "She doesn't have the stamina, I said she doesn't have the stamina, and I don't believe she does have the stamina." At an event in Pennsylvania in early October, Trump mocked Clinton's shaky-knees stumble in September; "She's supposed to fight all of these different things and she can't make it 15 feet to her car? Give me a break. Give me a break," he said.
He did all of these things knowing that he had written his own doctor's note and then used it as a bulwark against questions regarding his own health.
3. Trump will say or do absolutely anything to win.
In Trump's mind, everything -- and I mean everything -- is justified if you win. The means are always justified by a successful end. Saying that Ted Cruz's father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Yup. Claiming there were Muslims celebrating on New Jersey roofs on the night of September 11, 2001? Yup. Suggesting that Mexico was purposely sending criminals and rapists to the US? Yup. Casting white nationalist violence through the lens of both-sides-ism? Yes.
In light of all of those things, faking a letter from your doctor saying how incredibly healthy you are was likely, in Trump's mind, a no-brainer. Who cares? After all, he knew he was totally healthy -- among the healthiest people ever to run for president -- so what difference did it make if an actual medical doctor said it or not? He knew it, therefore it must be true.
In a world in which everything is justified by self interest, nothing can be off limits. And that, at the moment, is the space that Donald Trump willingly occupies.
4. Trump eventually turns on everyone.
Bornstein should have never allowed Trump to dictate a letter about his own fitness. But, he did so because he had a long relationship with Trump and wanted to stay in the presidential candidate's good graces. Trump routinely rewards total loyalty -- see Cohen, Michael -- and Bornstein undoubtedly thought he would reap some sort of gains from his willingness to put aside medical ethics in order to please Mr. Trump.
History, however, suggests that those who pledge total fealty to Trump are almost never repaid in kind. You are liked and valued by Trump only as long as you are providing some sort of material service to him. When that service stops or, God forbid, you draw negative headlines to Trump, you will be cut loose with the quickness. (I'm looking at you, Michael Cohen.)
In interviews on Tuesday, Bornstein clearly felt betrayed when Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller came and took the President's medical records from Bornstein's office. Bornstein shouldn't feel that way. This is what Trump does. It is who he is.