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Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #79 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 7/13/18 TO THURSDAY, 7/19/18

Move over, Black Tuesday, Black Monday is the new standard for American national catastrophes.

Week # 79 of the Trump Era began appropriately enough on Friday the 13th, and this was one Friday the 13th that lived up to the hype. As frightening, lurid and unsettling as it was, however, Friday the 13th was merely the setup for America’s worst day since Pearl Harbor, Black Monday; July 16, 2018, the day Trump officially surrendered America to Russia.

And what a week it was. Every day something happened that would have been the worst thing to happen in America for decades if there was another person in the White House.

But there’s not another person in the White House, there is Donald J. Trump, a man who, by the way, still has (and no one is sure how many) small children locked in cages with no plan to reunite them with their families, lest we forget that amid this week’s monumental insanity.

Let’s start with Blockbuster Friday the 13th, with Trump still in the UK humiliating our nation and aggressively alienating our closest allies. As a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers by name and rank for interfering with our 2016 presidential election. Also on Friday, National Security Director Dan Coats warned of a heightened cyber threat from Russia aimed at sabotaging our November Midterm elections, as well as targeting our legal system.

These shocking developments set off a furor in America, and demands from every quarter that Trump cancel his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Of course Trump declined to do so.

On Saturday, a Federal Judge ordered the Federal  Government to pay the costs of reuniting the families it tore apart. Trump’s response was playing a round of golf at his financially strapped golf resort in Scotland, where he was busy not preparing for his meeting with Putin. His response to being greeted in Scotland by thousands more protestors chanting “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” was boldly promoting his failing resort, Tweeting how Scotland was happy over the Brexit vote, and how the Scots love him since his mother was born there, when in fact Scotland voted overwhelmingly against leaving the EU and, judging by their very creative world class insults of Trump, most of them hate his guts.

Also on Saturday he denied everything he said in an interview slamming British Prime Minister Theresa May, even though it was broadcast on TV and radio and preserved on videotape. That inane attempt at a backtrack was only a warmup for his verbal calisthenics later in the week, with both sides of his mouth getting a rigorous workout.

In an interview Sunday Trump called called the European Union our “foe” while calling the free press and Democrats “the enemies of the people” while doubling down on his crazy lies from the previous week.

Then came Black Monday, beginning with a 2 hour one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki, with only their interpreters present, and culminating with a shameful mouthful of treason by Trump to the assembled press corps from all over the world. Again and again he denied the findings of all 16 US intelligence gathering agencies and most of his Cabinet by siding with Vladimir Putin when he denied interfering with the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.

Then he praised Putin’s “incredible offer” to form a “joint cybersecurity task force” with Russia (letting the fox guard the chicken coop),  and to allow Robert Mueller to come to Russia to “observe” while Russian authorities questioned the 12 indicted Russian military officers. 

In exchange, Putin asked Trump to (!) turn over 11 American citizens to the infamous GRU (today’s KGB) for questioning about a fabricated “scandal,” including the former American Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (long an outspoken critic of Putin and his corrupt, murderous ways and a thorn in his side) and businessman Bill Browder, who made the mistake of making big money in Russia without kicking back sufficient bribes to Putin and his oligarch buddies.

The worst part of Putin’s offer was that Trump was seriously considering it. This set off not only a national outcry, but a global fire alarm. Almost every branch of government and every politician on both sides of the aisle sharply contradicted Trump, with the exceptions of the fawning and clueless Vice President Pence and Trump’s hand-picked partisan Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who, while admitting Russia interfered with our election and will try to do so again this November, said “I haven’t seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party,” in spite of the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

So “incredible” was Putin’s offer that, in a country so politically divided that there can be no unanimous consensus on the color of the sky, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously later in the week to condemn the idea of sending American citizens to be interrogated by Russian authorities, forcing Trump to announce he is turning down Putin’s generous offer.

Then came the news that Trump was briefed by American intelligence agencies about Russia’s corruption of our election two weeks before his inauguration, to which he “reluctantly agreed.” This exposed a year and a half of his denials of Russia’s treachery and his lavish praise of Vladimir Putin as the farce it always was, with even Trump’s sycophantic alter-ego John Bolton saying it’s hard to believe Putin didn’t know about the cyberattack.

Trump returned to Washington on Tuesday and immediately began denying what he said about almost everything, in some cases denying his denials and then denying his denials of his denials, and quadrupling down on his “enemy of the people” accusations of America’s free press, causing more cases of mental whiplash among political observers that can be counted.

He also doubled and tripled down on his NATO lie about money “owed to us,” and tried to backtrack on his own treasonous comments by changing the word “would” to “wouldn’t” in one of his comments, saying he “misspoke,” an explanation no one but his most diehard supporters bought. After all, he has said the same things hundreds of times before.

Then he revised (in his own mind, anyway) his servile behavior in Helsinki by saying how tough he has been on Russia, and admitted for the first time that he agrees that Vladimir Putin was responsible for the election hacking, but still equivocating (“…it could be a lot of people, there’s lots of people out there.”), and then disparaging the people of (!) Montenegro, calling them “strong people, very aggressive” who (!) may ignite World War 3, an assessment of Montenegrins shared by exactly nobody. It was obvious Trump knows nothing about Montenegro other than it is one more NATO member nation he can’t find on a map (more people live in Charlotte, North Carolina than Montenegro, a tiny Adriatic nation in the Baltics).

Wednesday was no better, with Trump announcing there is ”no time limit” for North Korea to denuclearize, and that (of course!) Putin was now involved in the mix somehow. Perhaps Kim Jong-Un meant to say he “wouldn’t” denuclearize rather than he “would?” Hard to say, and Trump’s answer is subject to revision moment to moment.

This was the day that New York State announced they would pursue criminal charges against the Trump Foundation for fraud and money laundering, and other States of the Union sued the Federal Government for withholding Federal funds from States who are not all in on his cruel immigration policies.

Trump did take decisive action in the case of Russian spy Maria Butina, arrested and held without bond for infiltrating the National Rifle Association and funneling over $30 million from Russia through the NRA to the Trump Campaign and other Republican candidates, as well as compromising a number of important Republican politicians. Trump responded by deciding that (!!) the NRA can keep their donors list secret.

Ms. Butina is the high profile “Russian gun rights activist” (gun rights are a non-issue in Russia) who somehow wormed her way into the NRA’s heart, Trump’s Inauguration (with a dozen other Kremlin operatives) and his National Prayer Breakfast as well as a prominent place in American politics. She reported directly to Alexander Torshin, a man of importance in both Russian politics and the Russian Mafia, and used sex, lies and videotape to openly try to subvert American politics on behalf of the Kremlin. While her arrest is unrelated to Mueller’s investigation, it dovetails perfectly with the allegations of widespread Russian election interference coupled with American collusion (as yet “unnamed American citizens”).

With all this bad news on his plate and with no ego-boosting political rallies to attend, Trump got his desperately needed praise fix on Thursday in a bizarre meeting of business leaders at the White House, who were ostensibly there to sign a pledge to provide training and apprentice programs for young workers, a pledge none of them are expected to honor. 

Hosted by First Daughter and Surrogate Wife Ivanka Kushner Trump, the president was lavishly lauded in an astounding round-robin forum as he stood before each executive and received their tributes one by one. No one present mentioned that American workers’ wages are steadily falling while profits for the wealthy steadily rise. The business leaders poured it on thick in an attempt to get Trump to make their tax cuts permanent and maintain this trend.

Then to top off The Trump Week From Hell, the president blindsided his own Cabinet by instructing his National Security Advisor John Bolton to invite Vladimir Putin to visit the White House this coming Fall, which coincidentally, is when he plans his controversial military parade through the Streets of Washington, D.C., further shocking and infuriating an already  shocked and furious nation. National Security Director Coats received this news in the middle of a TV interview, visibly shaken to his core.

The specter of Trump and Putin side by side in the reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue watching this $30 million ego boost is almost too much for Americans to bear, begging the question, “When will enough be enough?” Most of the nation wants to bid farewell to this hyperactive oaf hellbent on destroying America to boost his flaccid ego and fatten his own bank account as soon as humanly possible (*desperate shoutout to Robert Mueller!).

On the plus side, the weather was pretty nice in most of the country. Or it “wasn’t”…

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