Fraud claims aimed in part at keeping Trump base loyal The indictment of bank officials and bank officials on federal charges looks to be an attempt to suppress dissension in the president’s favor.

Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of discussion about how President Donald Trump is perpetuating negative public sentiment around the world, and how he may feel it’s his obligation to keep those things in mind during his next trip abroad. The biggest one — or one of the most central ones — is an alleged conspiracy to commit bank fraud, specifically a scheme to kick back the Trump campaign funds that he used to help defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

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Eight people who were associated with Trump and/or his team were arrested Wednesday in a federal indictment that charges 14 individuals with fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. The complaint suggests that there was some resistance to Trump in the building of the investigation, but the FBI was able to stay ahead of it due to extensive investigative work. At the same time, one of the things Trump and his team have been hinting at, others have been vocally denying and denouncing, and the most recent smear might just be able to make the president feel better about the whole thing. In a statement, the president said the charges “look like a politically motivated witch hunt.” (emphasis ours)

Most of the charges could focus around $100 million in allegedly fraudulent debt associated with Trump and his company. There is a very strong indication that there is heavy debate among Trump’s close advisors, former Trump campaign and administration staffers over whether the president really did set up the bank scheme. That’s probably a good thing: He had plenty of time to figure it out and complete his transactions quickly.

One of the ways the president and his team have been bending over backwards to avoid being seen as co-conspirators is the fact that he doesn’t seem to have an actual means to pay his own lawyers or accountants for his debts and other misdeeds. They’ve done it all by using an obscure legal loophole: “Strategic Debt Restraint,” which lets companies like Trump avoid paying thousands of dollars a month to their creditors. Trump’s lawyers have even volunteered for a public briefing with the FBI about it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Now, those allegations about payments and nonpayments are surprising because the president has denied them even once, in a somewhat cryptic tweet directed at Manchester United. (That tweet was deleted shortly after its original post, though.) While giving an interview with Mike Graham this week, President Trump slammed the league as a “disaster” and “losers,” before upping the ante a bit and saying that football fans should support the American Dream instead. He also mentioned the “total disgrace” of Manchester United — for all his aggrieved opinions about their alleged high-finance dealings — and Trump said that he used to watch it when he was a kid.

No one, Trump except now, seems likely to have any sympathy for the football team, for the way their coach and owner run the league. They are pretty much national garbage, after all. They play like losers. They insult fans by gambling during their games. And they are notoriously bad at sharing their building space with their neighbors.