The stress is starting to get him

The stress is starting to get him

by digby

We don't know exactly why Trump seems to be losing his shit right now, but he is more agitted and freaked out than usua;l. The eection may have arttled him. He is delusional so he may have actually believed his own hype and thought there was a "red wave" coming. (There was --- it's called a bloodbath.) Or maybe he's freaking out because he knows something bad is about to happen in the Mueller investigation. He's also said to be very surprised that picking a know nothing hack for Attorney general hasn't gone over well.

All of those things could be pressing on him. But this Wall Street Journal scoop about the hush money payoffs might be the thing that's got him going. It appears that some of his formerly closest pals and business associates have flipped on him.

Josh Marshal did a nice recap:

Among the new anecdotes revealed by the Wall Street Journal:

In 2015 after announcing his presidential run, Trump met with AMI CEO David Pecker — a longtime friend whose company owned the National Enquirer — and asked him how Pecker could help the campaign. Pecker, according to the Journal, offered to use the magazine to kill the stories of women who sought to come forward with allegations about affairs with Trump.

When McDougal was thinking in May 2016 about going public about her alleged affair with Trump, her attorney Keith Davidson reached out to an executive at AMI, according to the Journal. The exec and Pecker then tipped off Cohen, who in turn told Trump, prompting Trump to call Pecker for assistance.

Trump was kept up to speed about developments in the McDougal situation, which included AMI first refusing to buy her story for that much because she didn’t have documents backing it up, but then offering her the $150,000 contract because she was also in talks with ABC News about coming forward.

Pecker studied campaign finance law as his company negotiated buying the rights to McDougal’s story, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It was Pecker who called off an agreement discussed by Cohen and Trump to buy the rights to McDougal story from AMI, the Journal reported. Pecker, who was advised by his attorney not to go through with the deal, told Cohen to tear up the agreement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

When Pecker was visiting Trump in early 2017 during the transition, Trump thanked him for killing the McDougal story, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pecker had also been asked by Cohen to buy off Daniels’ story, but refused because, according to the Journal, “he didn’t want his company to pay a porn star.”

Cohen told Trump in mid-October 2016 that they would have to handle it themselves, and Trump told Cohen to “get it done” — an account that Cohen has relayed to federal prosecutors, according to the Journal.

There was a lot of fretting over who would actually pay the $130,000 in return for Daniels’ silence, according to the Journal, and Cohen’s request that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg front the money was refused.

The ultimate way Daniels was payed off, through Cohen, ended up costing Trump twice as much than had Trump paid off Daniels himself, because Weisselberg authorized a reimbursement scheme for Cohen that covered the tax hit he took and also a $60,000 bonus, according to the Journal.

Trump, Pecker, who visited Trump in the White House in July 2017, and Cohen are no longer speaking to one another, the Journal reported.

This was apparently in a prepared indictment which the SDNY never filed because Cohen cooperated. They aren't going after the president, despite clear evidence both in testimony and documents including audiofiles that he committed a crime, because of the DOJ finding that a sitting president can't be indicted.

I suspect Trump doesn't care much about that honestly. He doesn't see it as a big deal to pay off porn stars and playmates and obviously, his supporters don't care either, especially the deeply religious among them who have proven don't really care about personal morality after all.

What he cares about is the fact that Weisselberg is involved in all this. He's the man who knows everything about the Trump Organization's schemes. And Pecker knows a lot of other things.

I'm sure he wants Whittaker to shut this down as much as he wants him to shut down Mueller. But they are leaking. And he can't control that.