The Thinker: Rich Galen


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More Chaos

Rich Galen

Thursday April 19, 2017

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  • Just a week ago, as we used to write in the dark ages - before the Internet - in this space I wrote a column about everything that had happened just between Monday and Thursday.

  • Then things really got crazy.

  • We found out that Donald Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, had two other clients: One, a former Republican National Committee finance co-chair, Elliott Broidy, who paid a woman over $1 million dollars because his affair with her had led to a pregnancy.

  • Cohen negotiated the payoff on behalf of Broidy.

  • Second, Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity.

  • The news about Briody was greeted with a national shrug. RNC Finance co-chair involved with a woman? Wasn't Steve Wynn the RNC Finance chairman before he had to resign under yet another #MeToo cloud?

  • And, for that matter, hasn't Michael Cohen his ownself been a big macherat the RNC as a senior money raiser?

  • But Hannity. That was big news. We know Sean Hannity. He is on of the most watched hosts on night-time cable news. He has been the most fervent supporter of Donald Trump and of - wait for it - Michael Cohen.

  • I am not much of a fan of Sean Hannity, but this sudden outpouring of righteous indignation that he owed his three million FNC viewers a disclosure of a relationship that Hannity claims falls short of a typical client and attorney is a bunch of stuff.

  • Our nation's capital is awash in conflicts between pundits, campaigns, campaign committees, lawyers, fund raisers, lobbyists, Members of the House and Senate, members of the Executive Branch and hotel concierges - to name but a few.

  • No one sitting around those tables would like to have their personal interrelationships matched up with their on-screen statements about those same people.

  • Since the FBI seized records from Michael Cohen's office, home and hotel room (where he has been staying while remodeling is going on at his home) we have all become experts on attorney-client privilege.

  • Just because someone you're talking has a law degree, doesn't mean your conversation is privileged. Even if you give that lawyer five dollars to "hire" him or her.

    New Topic:

  • Barbara Bush died.

  • I never knew her personally. President H.W. Bush might recognize who I was if someone told him my name; but Mrs. Bush would not have.

  • Nevertheless, when the news of her death scrolled across the bottom of the screen, I was standing at our kitchen counter and I began to cry (as I am again typing this); and didn't stop until I turned the TV off having watched CNN's two-hour eulogy led by Anderson Cooper.

  • As friends and family described her as "The Enforcer," I remembered a time when her granddaughters, Jenna and Barbara Bush - daughters of W. and Laura - got caught drinking at a bar in Austin when they were underaged.

  • It was reported they knew they were trouble with their parents, but what they really worried about was THAT phone call from their grandmother that would surely be coming.

    Next Topic:

  • Larry Kudlow was appointed to be Donald Trump's senior Economic Advisor a couple of weeks ago. He had been an economics pundit on CNBC forever.

  • Anyway, it was announced that Trump told Kudlow that Kudlow reported directly to Trump; meaning he didn't have to go through that pesky Chief of Staff, General John F. Kelly.

  • Over the weekend, on one of the Sunday shows, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Nikki Haley, announced that the United States was about to announce new sanctions on Russia.

  • It is unlikely she made that up.

  • Donald Trump was watching on TV and exploded that he had decided no such thing.

  • Larry Kudlow went out to say that Amb. Haley must have been "momentarily confused" when she got out ahead of the White House.

  • Amb. Haley - a former Governor of South Carolina - thus having held an office for which she had actually successfully run, wasn't taking that from a guy whose total political background was that he had been a free trader until Trump appointed him and then because a protectionist.

  • Amb. Haley responded coldly: "With all due respect; I don't get confused."

  • Which caused Larry Kudlow to immediately understand that when Donald Trump said he didn't have to go through the Chief of Staff didn't mean Kudlow was the de facto Chief of Staff and could say anything he wanted. See, also, Anthony Scaramucci.

    Last Topic

  • We bombed Syria.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Michael Cohen/Sean Hannity story; to the Larry Kudlow/Nikki Haley story; and, to an obituary for Mrs. Bush via

    The Mullfoto is of a license plate and is presented as a public service.

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