Friday, July 22, 2016

Republicans nominate a lying litigious thin-skinned narcissistic bully

If you can come up with a better string of descriptors, I invite you to submit them and I will get them posted here.

But I digress. Yes, they did this Thursday evening. But the story for today is the legal action Trump threatens against his ghost writer for The Art of the Deal Steal.

The New Yorker has a revealing piece about Trump's way of reacting to criticism.

When Tony Schwartz, Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for his 1987 memoir, “The Art of the Deal,” decided to tell the public about his concerns that Trump isn’t fit to serve as President, his main worry was that Trump, who is famously litigious, would threaten to take legal action against him. Schwartz’s premonition has proved correct.

On Monday, July 18th, the day that this magazine published my interview with Schwartz, and hours after Schwartz appeared on “Good Morning America” to voice his concerns about Trump’s “impulsive and self-centered” character, Jason D. Greenblatt, the general counsel and vice-president of the Trump Organization, issued a threatening cease-and-desist letter to Schwartz. (You can read the full letter at the bottom of this post.) In it, Greenblatt accuses Schwartz—who has likened his writing of the flattering book to putting “lipstick on a pig”—of making “defamatory statements” about the Republican nominee and claiming that he, not Trump, wrote the book, “thereby exposing” himself to “liability for damages and other tortious harm.”

One of the claims in Greenblatt's letter was that Schwartz continued to seek additional work from Trump.

... Asked last night to provide any evidence that Schwartz had ever sought work from Trump after the publication of “The Art of the Deal,” Greenblatt said he could provide none at that moment, but would try to find some soon. Speaking by phone from the Republican National Convention, in Cleveland, he added that “Mr. Trump is a bit busy tonight,” so would not be available to back up his allegations with any specifics, either. Instead, he cited Schwartz’s agreement, earlier this year, to a plan to issue an audio version of “The Art of the Deal.” (Schwartz has pledged to donate all royalties from the book in 2016 to charity.) Other than that, Schwartz reiterated to me that he has had almost no contact with Trump, and until a few months ago had kept almost silent about him.

You can read lots more of the back-and-forth between the lawyers in the New Yorker article. My point here is that this last paragraph quoted above is characteristic of Trump's bullying tactics. Not only does he use the court system to bludgeon his opponents, he does so based on lies and misinformation - and sometime the lack thereof.

Recall, please, from this earlier post quoting a Charles Pierce essay.

Here's the example of Trump using the courts to bludgeon writers and business associates or rivals.

Mr. Trump is also the beneficiary of miraculously well-timed memory lapses. In suit after suit, the man who claims to possess one of world’s best memories suddenly seems to have chronic memory loss when asked about critical facts or events.

Such was the case when Mr. Trump filed a libel lawsuit against Timothy L. O’Brien, the author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.” Among other things, Mr. Trump asserted that “TrumpNation” cost him a “deal made in heaven” with a group of Italian investors, men he had met and who were on the brink of signing a business partnership that would have made him hundreds of millions of dollars. Their names? He could not recall. “TrumpNation” also cost him a hotel deal with Russian investors, he said. He could not remember their names, either. He was certain the book also ruined a deal with Turkish investors. Again, he could not recall any names. Polish investors also got cold feet after they read Mr. O’Brien’s book. Their names escaped him, too. The book also scared off investors from Ukraine. Alas, he could not think of their names either.

Mr. Trump’s lawsuit was dismissed.

Schwartz continues: “I fully expected him to attack me, because that is what he does, so I can’t say I am surprised,” Schwartz noted. “But I’m much more worried about his becoming president than I am about anything he might try to do to me.”

All this might be portentous about how a President Trump will manage America's affairs, foreign and domestic. Problems with Putin grabbing another Baltic state? Sue him. Issues over territorial claims in the China sea? Sue China. Don't like the NY Times report? Sue the newspaper.

Trump is the wrong guy, for the wrong position, at the wrong time.

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