Week #47 opened with the stunning news that Michael Flynn has been convicted of lying to FBI Agents and would be cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of The Russian Collusion scandal.
Trump’s handlers snapped into red alert at the White House for the ensuing Presidential Tantrum, while Trump Campaign and Administration insiders quietly made sure they were current in their payments to their criminal lawyers.
It would not be until the dead of night before Trump got some good news, when on 2AM on Saturday morning the Senate pushed through their punitive tax bill, with all sorts of barely legible earmarks written in (!) Sharpie along the margins. Senators were given an hour to read the 500-page document.
On Saturday Trump made a brief stop in his hometown, and was greeted in Manhattan by hundreds of protesters screaming “Lock him up! Lock him up!”
Which of course led to his early Sunday AM Tweets denying he asked Comey to let Flynn off the hook. The next day Trump stated “the FBI is in tatters,” the same law enforcement agency that boasts a 95% conviction rate and was now investigating him and his cronies.
It would be a day or two before a unified White House response to the Flynn news emerged, a two-pronged attack with Trump leading the way telling (what else?) lies about (who else?) Hillary Clinton, saying she lied to the FBI many times (never happened) while claiming the FBI was being “unfair to Flynn,” who had “acted lawfully” while working in the White House. Other than the crime for which he was convicted, that is. Mere details…
Secondly, the attacks on Mueller’s integrity by Trump’s minions began in earnest, and quickly became a universal right wing talking point, omitting the fact that Mueller is a Republican himself and considered a principled man impossible to smear, respected by those on both sides of the aisle. Didn’t stop the talking heads from trying.
In the one area where Trump provided clarity and an unambiguous message, he formally endorsed accused pedophile Roy Moore for the Senate, swiftly followed by the Republican National Committee, which began providing funds to the Alabama Republican Party to help Moore’s campaign.
But he wasn’t done swinging the sledgehammer.
Out of the blue, Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, gleefully pouring gasoline on the fire in the Middle East. He could not have done a crazier thing to shred what little of a peace process remained.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson felt compelled to jump in swiftly to say that Trump “is still committed to Mideast Peace.” He didn’t specify which century this peace might occur after Trump’s reckless sabotage but, as his boss would say – ‘hey, this is the Middle East we’re talking about, they’re always at war anyway, am I right?’
Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon jumped back into the public arena, declaring himself and his Breitbart News organization to be the Private Sector enforcement arm of the Trump Administration.
Bannon has attacked and targeted Republican legislators deemed insufficiently cruel to keep their jobs, ridiculed potential 2020 rival Mitt Romney, and campaigned in Alabama for Roy Moore, providing countless photo ops showing two of the creepiest men in America together on stage, for those who might enjoy that sort of thing.
Democratic Senator Al Franken became the latest target of sexual harassment charges and offered to resign from the Senate, pointing out the irony of Trump publicly attacking him while standing accused of sexual misconduct himself by over a dozen women, and saying nothing but nice things about Roy “Sixteen Candles” Moore.
Meanwhile, Republicans in both the House and the Senate were trying to soften their tax plan from catastrophic to merely disastrous in order to reconcile the 2 versions of the bill, especially since it was revealed that in their headlong rush to finally get something (anything!) done, they had accidentally eliminated a huge tax loophole for the very wealthy, an unconscionable act of tyranny against that tiny minority of blameless souls.
As the Holiday Season opens, Trump went into Scrooge Mode, throwing a White House Hanukkah party that excluded Democrats and prominent rabbis that had criticized him, a slap at both Judaism and Americanism.
Trump’s sour mood was not helped with the news that his eldest son testified for 8 hours before the House Intelligence Committee about his knee-deep involvement in the Russia Scandal, where Donald Junior tried to claim “lawyer-client privilege” when he is not a lawyer, and refused to answer questions about conversations with his father.
Not only that, while Junior was trying to hoodwink Congress, the news broke that he and his father’s campaign were in direct and regular communication with Wikileaks after having denied it repeatedly, and that he was in contact with a Russian attorney who promised to provide him dirt on Hillary Clinton for months after having testified it was a one-time minor encounter.
Then there was the news that Trump’s Son-In-Law and Senior Advisor was the one who had ordered Flynn to contact the Russians clandestinely about setting up “a backchannel line of communication” with the White House, more commonly known as “espionage.”
And so Week #47 ends where it began, with Michael Flynn and the Russian Collusion investigation or, as ordinary Americas are optimistically calling Mueller’s inquiry; The Shape Of Things To Come.