On Sunday, the Hill published an op-ed by former Bill Clinton aide Mark Penn urging an end to the Mueller investigation.
“Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties,” Penn wrote. “It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds,” he writes.
President Trump doesn’t have any advanced security features, or protection on his cell phone because it’s too “inconvenient,” according to Politico.
Nate Jones, the former director of counterterrorism on the National Security Council said that Trump’s denial to listen to his aides, “could pose significant risks to the country.”
It seemed odd when Trump decided to intervene on behalf of a questionable Chinese tech giant, particularly given the company’s flouting of Iran sanctions, and even more particularly given that his new National Security Advisor John Bolton was suggesting that Europe might be sanctioned if they didn’t join Trump in violating the Iran deal. But nothing is odd with Trump. The normal would be odd. The rational would be odd. The ethical would be odd. Defending the national and public interests would be odd. Proving a hypocrite on Iran is not odd. Pissing off important traditional allies is not odd. This is Trump.
But still people wondered why Trump would step up to protect a Chinese conglomerate. And it didn’t take long for an obvious answer to appear. And with Trump it was the most obvious of obvious answers. Because Trump cares not only first and foremost but exclusively about Trump. If there’s a quo, there must be a quid. A very big quid:
A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker.
“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” Trump announced on Twitter Sunday morning. “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”
Trump did not mention in that tweet or its follow-ups that on Thursday, the developer of a theme park resort outside of Jakarta had signed a deal to receive as much as $500 million in Chinese government loans, as well as another $500 million from Chinese banks, according to Agence France-Presse. Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, has a deal to license the Trump name to the resort, which includes a golf course and hotels.
In any other administration that would have been a political bombshell. In any other administration, that would have dominated the news not only for days, but for the rest of what likely would have been its political death spiral. Had a president Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama so obviously violated not only the emoluments clause of the Constitution but such basic standards of ethics, the Republican Congress would have immediately begun impeachment hearings. But with Trump, it’s just another shrug. Because the Republican Congress has no basic standards of ethics. The Republican Congress doesn’t care a whit about the Constitution.
Trump started out denying that he even knew Stormy Daniels, then he denied having a sexual relationship with her, then he said he didn’t know about any payoffs to her. Monday, he filed his required federal financial disclosure form in which he effectively admitted making the $130,000 payment to shut her up just before the election in 2016.
He opened the American embassy in Jerusalem, a move he had been warned would result in fighting and deaths in the Middle East — and sure enough, dozens of Palestinians were killed on the day the embassy opened during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip.
Trump’s former secretary of state gave a commencement speech at VMI in which he made repeated veiled criticisms of Trump’s lying and warned gravely “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”
A major story in Buzzfeed on Thursday detailed work by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on a 100-story Trump skyscraper in Moscow during 2015 right through the Republican National Convention in 2016. It was revealed that Trump signed a “Letter of Intent” on the Moscow project on the day of the third Republican primary debate on Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colorado. ABC News reported last week that Trump has denied having deals in Russia “hundreds of times in the past 18 months.”
A Qatar deal was announced. The revelation follows a report that during the transition in 2016, a Qatari diplomat was asked by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for a $1 million “fee” in return for arranging connections to the Trump family. The government of Qatar bought a $6.5 million apartment in Trump World Tower on the east side of Manhattan recently.
He promised to get rid of Obamacare “on day one.” He failed. Obamacare is alive and well and enjoyed record registrations last year.
He claimed that “nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have.” He has refused to enact most of the sanctions on Russia passed by Congress.
Last week he claimed he raised military pay for “the first time in 10 years.” President Obama raised military pay in every year of his presidency.
The Washington Post recently reported that the lies he has told in office now number more than 3,000.
Wow. Watching Trump revisions on the Russia story is like watching a Slinky descend a staircase, flipping over and over and over and over.
He has reached the ground floor with Russia and everything else. You can lie at rallies, you can lie to the media, you can lie to voters, but lies don’t work when they come up against laws. That’s where Trump finds himself today. He’s a lying, thieving traitor who conspired with a hostile nation to steal the presidential election of 2016 and he got caught. Not even his bone spurs will get him a deferment this time. He’s going to be drafted for the farm team at Leavenworth. He’s going down.