Bad Optics

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - John Cole)

In other news, Buzzfeed News reports that special prosecutor Robert Mueller's team is following the money to the Trump Tower meeting. They're looking at millions in suspicions transactions that occurred in the days immediately before the meeting.

Documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News show that $3.3 million began moving on June 3 between two of the men who orchestrated the meeting: Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump, and Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime Agalarov employee once investigated for money laundering. [...]

Although the documents do not directly link the $3.3 million to the meeting, they show that officials at three separate banks raised red flags about the funds. Many of the transfers seemed to have no legitimate purpose, bankers noted.

Meanwhile, NBC News has confirmed earlier reports that Trump's former henchman Michael Cohen is telling Mueller's team everything he knows about Trump. That reportedly includes Trump's financial ties to Russia.

Finally, an extensive review by NPR found that Russia's professional interference trolls at the so-called Internet Research Agency often copied propaganda from the National Rifle Associate (NRA) word-for-word, but they also found that the NRA sometimes copied the Russian trolls word-for-word.

The National Rifle Association, on at least 90 occasions, promoted Twitter content similar to that of the Internet Research Agency, in some cases after the IRA had gone first.

On at least 62 occasions, the Internet Research Agency shared the same content as the National Rifle Association after an original NRA post.

Here are some other stories I didn't get to this week:

Documents obtained from New York's lawsuit against the Trump regime's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census shows that, once again, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross totally lied about reason for adding the question.

Nike has sold out 61 percent more of their products since their ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick began.

French fascist leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered to undergo a psyche evaluation.

The Michigan attorney general's office has launched an investigation of the Catholic church for possible sexual abuse dating back to 1950.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's former lawyer John Dowd offered to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates.

In both cases, the president’s advisers objected to the lawyer’s actions over concerns it could appear aimed at stopping the two former aides from cooperating with investigators.

John Dowd, who at the time was heading Mr. Trump’s legal team, at the start of the year told associates of the president he wanted to direct money from the legal defense fund set up for White House officials and campaign aides to the lawyers for Messrs. Manafort and Gates, according to people familiar with the matter. The pair had pleaded not guilty to charges of tax, bank and lobbying violations in the fall of 2017.

Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) has abruptly dropped out of his campaign for reelection after his daughter went public with accusations that he's been inappropriately touching her since she was 9 years old.

Astronomers have discovered that the planet Vulcan is real. They found a planet located where it would be in the Star Trek universe.

No one is saying that any pointy-eared aliens live there, but astronomers have discovered an exoplanet orbiting 40 Eridani A, a star known to "Star Trek" fans as the host star of Spock's home planet, Vulcan.

The newfound exoplanet is 16 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Eridanus. It orbits its host star — a sunlike star with the formal designation of HD 26965 — just inside the habitable zone, where water could exist in liquid form and where life as we know it could be possible.

"It came as a total surprise to us," Jian Ge, a professor of astronomy at the University of Florida and co-author of a new paper about the discovery, told NBC News MACH in an email. "We did not have an intention to look for Vulcan orbiting HD 26965."

An internal poll commissioned by the RNC found that Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is actually more popular than Trump is and she would win in a hypothetical election between the two of them. Whoops?

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell says Trump told him Europe should build a border wall across the entire Saharan Desert (3,200 miles), because Trump is a fucking idiot.

Have a good weekend.