Turns out the President was the big winner in Week #78. The President of Russia, but still…
Yes, this was the week where Trump dropped all pretense about who he is truly working for as he openly pursued the agenda of his boss, Vladimir Putin. He is due to report to Putin in Helsinki in a few days and desperately needed something positive to show him, and his Bull in a China Shop performance at the NATO meetings in Brussels could have been scripted in the Kremlin.
The week began on Friday when Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced he will present evidence at Paul Manifort’s trial tying his crimes to the Trump Election Campaign. It seems that when Manifort was Trump’s Campaign Chairman, a banker lent him $6 million in exchange for a job on the Trump campaign, and the money trail from Russia to the National Rifle Association to the Trump campaign and RNC coffers is being exposed to the light of day.
This news not only upset Trump, but a number of his Republican coconspirators in the House of Representatives, whose apoplectic rage over being exposed exploded in a public Congressional hearing later in the week.
On Saturday Trump further undermined Obamacare by using a faulty reading of a law as an excuse to halt Federal payments to Health Insurance companies, which threatens millions of working Americans with skyrocketing Health Care Insurance premiums or loss of coverage.
On Sunday, the recently quiet Rudy Giuliani opened his yap in public again, once again acting like the lawyer from hell, spilling the beans about the White House trying to prevent Robert Mueller from interviewing Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly. Then he (!) publicly dared Michael Cohen to snitch on Trump, the man who was Trump’s fixer, enforcer, Trump Organization executive, mob connection and occasional attorney for over 20 years.
Cohen is a man whose arrogance made him so sloppy and careless that even cub reporters could follow his money trails when he was Trump’s bagman for hush money to a porn star and when he took millions in bribes from major corporations and Russian billionaires alike in exchange for presidential access, and who has been incriminating himself and others on wiretapped phones for months. That’s the guy Giuliani dared to squeal.
Speaking of gangster behavior, North Korean officials accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “making Gangster-like demands,” which of course Mr. Pompeo denied, explaining he merely made them an offer they can’t refuse. North Korea responded by not bothering to show up at a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone about recovering the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War, which makes it kind of awkward for Trump since he claimed that 200 American bodies had already been returned home to their families, a crazy and hurtful lie he had no reason to tell except for idle boasting, oblivious to the pain he was inflicting on Gold Star families eager for closure after 65 years.
Monday was reserved for Trump’s Celebrity Supreme Court Show, turning the selection of a Supreme Court Justice into a tawdry season finale of a bad Reality TV show. After a week of ridiculous “teaser” pronouncements, Trump picked longtime Republican Party insider and party hack Brett Kavanaugh, who is on record as saying that (surprise, surprise!) a sitting president can’t be prosecuted for a damned thing.
This was rumored to be a deal made with retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who offered Trump another Supreme Court appointment on the condition that he choose Kennedy’s former law clerk Kavanaugh, who faces opposition from every Democratic and several Republican Senators. The expectation is that the dissenting Republicans will talk tough about policies, values and principles, then cave in and vote for Trump’s nominee.
On Tuesday, in anticipation of the mayhem they were certain Trump would cause on his trip to the NATO meeting in Brussels that day, the Senate did find the nerve to pass a motion in favor of supporting NATO by a margin of 97-2. Right off the bat, at the NATO breakfast, Trump rewarded the Senate’s faith in his boorish behavior, immediately attacking Germany and claiming they were “controlled by Russia.”
Trump was a humiliation and a disgrace in Brussels. In other words, he was himself; insulting, bullying, telling embarrassingly amateurish lies and alienating everyone who crossed his path.
Trump claimed he “won NATO,” as if it was a collection of dangerous rogues instead America’s closest allies. Even though no NATO country agreed to pay more than the previously agreed-upon 2% increase in their dues, Trump bellowed about forcing NATO members to pay their arrears as if they were deadbeats overdue on a debt (they are not, and all are current with their payments) and that “the money was pouring in, numbers like we’re never seen before.” Complete nonsense.
He managed to enrage an entire continent and still had his UK visit to go. With that in mind, on Wednesday the US Embassy in London warned Americans in the UK and to “keep a low profile” during Trump’s visit, maybe tell people you’re Canadian for a few days, eh?
Small wonder, since Trump’s appearance in the UK was met by hundreds of thousands of protestors against Trump and all he stands for, featuring a hilarious “Baby Trump” blimp, a giant floating caricature of Trump as a diaper-wearing baby.
Trump spent his time in the UK interfering in their politics, insulting their Prime Minister and threatening the country, trying to play the UK against the EU in trade negotiations. One cannot help but admire Vladimir Putin’s masterful touch, using Trump as his blunt instrument by proxy to divide NATO and sow discord between all of Europe and the USA, all without firing a shot.
Cementing his reputation a loose cannon, Trump gave an abosolutely insane (even for him) interview with a Rupert Murdoch-owned British newspaper, claiming he “doubled and tripled” the size of the US economy, then said he had better poll numbers than (!!) Abraham Lincoln (who died 70 years before the first political poll) and was the “most popular Republican ever.”
One might think that having Trump wreaking his havoc overseas would leave America relatively peaceful in his absence, but no.
Filling in for Trump in the Domestic Mayhem Department were GOP members of Congress, who turned the testimony of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok at a kangaroo court of a “hearing” into a shouting match as the Republicans desperately tried to discredit the criminal investigation into their president. At best this was a shameful display of crude partisan politics, at worst an open admission that they were part and parcel of Trump’s treason.
Agent Strzok handled himself well in the face of an incredible and unforgettable display, featuring one bug-eyed tirade after another by panicky middle-aged White guys seeking desperately to discredit the Mueller investigation, absolutely jaw-dropping to witness. Not one of them were able to rattle Agent Strzok or prove that his work for the FBI was anything but completely professional and done strictly by the book.
Then, to go along with the trade hole Trump dug for America in Europe, trade talks with China broke down, while in the story that won’t go away, 3,000 refugee children remain captives of a Federal Government that has no idea how to reunite them with their families except to invite them all on the Maury Show and let him sort it out.