Trump At War With Media, US Intelligence, FBI, Judiciary Branch, Mexico, Australia, Immigrants…But Remains Fine With Russia
Every new day brings another target of President Trump’s ire and attacks. Let’s briefly review:
- As President Elect, he attacked the intelligence community when they briefed him and then President Obama on evidence of Russian election hacking and (unsubstantiated) reports that Russians spy’s have compromising information on him.
- When CNN reported the existence of the intelligence dossier even though they were clear that it was as of yet unsubstantiated, Trump began his “fake news” attack against CNN and since then several other mainstream news outlets. He has upped this rhetoric by now labeling any mainstream media outlet that reports on any story that reflects negatively on him as “fake news.” In an unprecedented action by any prior administration, he blocked CNN, NY Times, LA Times and other news outlets from being in the White House briefing room to participate in a Q and A news event called a gaggle.
- Trump attacked Mexican immigrants and a US born Judge of Mexican descent, calls for a wall that Mexico will pay for during the campaign and has upped his rhetoric against Mexico in addition to large scale ICE raids a deportations. He argued with the Prime Minister of long time historical ally Australia over a previously standing refugee agreement. Trump signed a controversial travel ban that caused world wide travel chaos and separated families. The ban was overturned by the Federal Judiciary.
- Trump reacted to the Judiciary upholding suspension of the ban by attacking the Judiciary referring to one federal judge as a “so called” judge.
- News broke in the aftermath of the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (due to his unauthorized discussions with the Russian Ambassador regarding the lifting of sanctions) that members of the Trump campaign had regular contact with Russian intelligence officials throughout the campaign. The Trump administration requested that the FBI publicly state that the reports are false and there is nothing behind these allegations. The FBI refused to comment on an ongoing investigation.
- Trump reacted to the FBI’s refusal by attacking them on Twitter while his surrogates insist there was no breach of ethics in the administration’s correspondence with the FBI on this matter.
Throughout all of the attacks and wars that candidate Trump, President Elect Trump, and President Trump has engaged in against the international ally’s, the free press and several branches of the United States Government, two things remain consistent:
1.) Trump refuses to state anything negative about Russia, even in the face of GOP congressional members publicly acknowledging the evidence of Russian hacking and supporting President Obama’s new sanctions. As candidate Trump he invited Russia to engage in espionage to hack the e-mails of then candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As President Trump, in an interview with Bill O’Reilly, when asked if Vladamir Putin was a murderer in light of his role as head of the former Soviet Union’s KGB, unlawful invasions of sovereign nations, and mass civilian casualties in Aleppo, Trump compared Putin’s actions on a moral equivalent of the actions of the United States.
2.) While Trump has his daily new war du jour, Russia continues to remain in the background of his campaign, transition, and early presidency. His connections to and affection for Russia are in fact the only consistent aspects of Donald Trump.
This should deeply trouble Americans because this leaves key questions that the American people still do not know about their new President and his Russian ties:
- Does he have business interests in Russia that drive is reluctance to hold them accountable for anything?
- Do the Russians truly have compromising information on the President that they are using as leverage against him?
- Did his campaign willingly participate and/or coordinate with Russian hackers to influence the election in his favor?
- Is it some or all of the above?
Without Trump’s tax returns made public, the American people may never know the answer to the first questions. It is hard to imagine a Jeff Sessions led Justice Department or a Republican majority Congress to investigate the second and third questions.
While Trump’s formidable but minority base continues to remain fiercely loyal to him, there is a growing number of college educated and moderate Republicans, as well as independents that may have voted for him growing increasingly impatient with the administration’s chaos and its constant wars with institutions. This could very plausibly lead to a shift back to a Democratic Congressional majority in the 2020 midterm elections, which could lead some truths to surface that may prove very inconvenient to the Trump administration.