Tonight marks the final presidential debate before the election and after bombing the first and skipping the second, Donald Trump desperately needs it go well. Unfortunately for the president’s handlers and those hoping he can pull off a second term, as of Wednesday, Trump had reportedly done little debate prep and famously listens to no one, and therefore would be unlikely to listen to advice like, “Try not to come off as such a horrible person.” But according to new reports, Trump does have one trick up his sleeve:According to the New York Post, whose Joe Biden coverage of late has been panned by New York Post employees, Tony Bobulinski received a May 2017 email that supposedly came from a business associate of Hunter Biden outlining “renumeration [sic] packages” for a Chinese venture. The email laid out how equity would be divided, with “10” going to “H” for “the big guy,” which Bobulinski claims referred to Joe Biden. Naturally his claim has not been substantiated.While Trump’s 2016 debate stunt featuring Bill Clinton accusers Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and Paula Jones as guests made an impact for being outrageous and gross, it seems unlikely tonight’s gambit will have the same effect, given that (1) Trump and company have been pushing the baseless Biden family-corruption plotline for sometime and it appears to have made no difference to voters and (2) no one has ever heard of this guy and won’t have any idea who the camera may or may not pan to at the debate. But Trump, whose brain just plays a continuous loop of Fox News and QAnon conspiracy theories, apparently thinks this is his ticket to a second term. Per the New York Times:
The president has signaled he intends to focus on Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings, after an unsubstantiated New York Post report on that subject. But some advisers fear he will not be able to control himself and will attack the younger Mr. Biden in a way that engenders sympathy for the Biden family, a dynamic that unfolded in the first debate when Mr. Trump mocked Hunter Biden’s history of battling drug addiction.
“The president, in order to have a successful debate, has to go on offense without being offensive,” Brett O’Donnell, a Republican strategist, told the Times. “The American people care more about their own family than they do about the family of Hunter Biden. Especially during the pandemic.” That point, of course, is entirely lost on the president and is unlikely to be found in the hours prior to the debate:Trump won Kansas by 20.5 points in 2016So this…doesn’t bode well for him:Goldman Sachs is sorry about the bribesIt won’t happen again!
Goldman took $174 million in compensation from executives and agreed to pay nearly $3 billion to officials in four countries to end a yearslong investigation into its dealings with a Malaysian investment fund at the heart of a global bribery ring. Its check to the U.S. government is the largest such fine ever paid.All told, Goldman’s dealings with the fund, known as 1MDB, will cost it more than $5 billion in financial penalties and a reputational black eye. The fund launched a decade ago with grand plans to jump-start the Malaysian economy, but instead, prosecutors say, it became a piggy bank for government officials, investment bankers and an international cast of high-rolling hangers-on.
The tens of millions of dollars the bank is clawing back from executives will come from, among others, current CEO David Solomon and ex-CEO Lloyd Blankfein, with a possible plan to recoup money from former Goldman president turned Trump White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who left the administration in 2018. Which might sound harsh if not for the fact that Solomon was paid $27.5 million and Blankfein and Cohn are worth roughly $1.3 billion and $600 million, respectively. So they’ll probably be okay.Report: Jared Kushner has an idea for the worst company in the worldElsewhere!U.S. has already hit 89 percent of total 2016 early voting (Washington Post)New Poll Confirms That High Youth Turnout Would Doom Trump (Intelligencer)“Biden was simply seen as the better human”: Why Trump needs to tone it down in the debate (Politico)Bernie Sanders makes a play for Biden Labor secretary (Politico)Pelosi Says “Just About There” on Stimulus; Senate Hurdle Awaits (Bloomberg)Barrett Nomination Clears Panel With Democrats Boycotting (Bloomberg)Rich New Yorkers flee to Hamptons, sparking $1 billion real estate boom (NYP)This Trump-Loving Network Could Become the President’s Fallback Plan (Bloomberg)There’s Drama in the Queer Penguin Community (The Cut)More Great Stories From Vanity Fair— Progressives Are Going Rogue to Flip Pennsylvania for Biden— White House Reporters Fume Over Team Trump’s “Reckless” COVID Response— Why Anti–Trump Attack Ads Might Actually Be Helping Him— Tax Mess Aside, Can Trump Pay Off His $1 Billion in Debt?— News Media Begins to Contemplate a Post–Trump White House— The Kimberly Guilfoyle Sexual Harassment Allegations Get Even Darker— As Trump Falters, Democrats See an Expanding 2020 Senate Map— From the Archive: Inside Trump’s Twisted, Epic Battle for Mar-a-Lago— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.Read More