Norway, I hope you’re listening!
Yes, this was the week that President Trump confirmed he is still in the collusion trade, and he’s open for business, in spite of his endlessly repeated mantra of “No collusion, no collusion, no collusion!”
In a nationally televised interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump was asked if he would accept damaging information on a rival presidential candidate from a foreign government, and he said yes, he certainly would. When asked if he would inform the FBI about the contact, he scoffed at the idea, saying “in my whole life I never called the FBI,” and would only report the foreign interference “if something was wrong.”
More wrong than conspiring with a foreign government to affect the outcome of an American election? One can only wonder. Stephanopoulos gave him a chance to qualify his statement, but he doubled down on being open to colluding with foreign governments, even citing (!) Norway as a potential source of damaging information, and when Stephanopoulos explained that’s illegal as well as unethical, told him , “this is the real world, George, it doesn’t work that way,” and “no one calls the FBI.”
That would actually be the “real world” of a gangster, whose reality is committing crimes and conspiring to commit more crimes. The FBI is the last phone number such a thug would call. Or such a president, unless he was firing someone who was investigating his crimes.
On the contrary, however, lots of people do call the FBI, people like President George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, both of whom called the FBI to report overtures from foreign operatives offering them help in their presidential campaigns, never for a moment considering betraying their country for personal gain. Our current president has no such scruples, or seemingly any scruples at all (see: Children’s Concentration Camps, something even a gangster would not consider).
Week #126 was one of those Trump Era weeks where it seemed everything was happening all at once, none of it good or welcome news, a barrage of the absurd, the dangerous, the vulgar and the idiotic, nonstop and overlapping to the point where few could keep track.
He began the week on Friday by backing down from his threat to impose tariffs on Mexican imports, citing a “secret agreement” that Mexico denied existed, and boasted again of his dealmaking prowess, when in fact Mexico had agreed months before to help stem the flow of refugees from Central America through their country, an agreement worked out not by Trump, but by mid-level functionaries in both countries’ State Departments.
Turns out the “Deep State” Trump tries to demonize constantly is simply dedicated career civil servants serving their country and doing their jobs well, exposing Trump’s use of the old tinpot dictator trick of creating a crisis out of nothing, then riding in on his white horse to solve said crisis because “only I can fix things.” In other words, acting like an insufferable asshole and then looking for accolades for acting like slightly less of an asshole, but instead winding up looking like the needy, high-maintenance mega-asshole he’s always been.
Then he threatened Turkey with taking their American made fighter jets away because they bought missiles from Russia, irritating an important NATO ally and its volatile President Recep Erdoğan by conducting sensitive international diplomacy in public and on his by now official form of presidential communication, Twitter, a state of affairs that never ceases to be a national embarrassment.
Speaking of embarrassing himself and our country on Twitter, this was the week Trump declared that Mars was (!!) part of the Moon (yes, Earth’s Moon, believe it or not), repeatedly obsessed about and viciously insulted former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential opponent in the 2020 Presidential Election, and boasted about his meeting with “Many heads of State” as well as (sic) “The Prince of Whales,” so determined was he to bask in the “glory” of last week’s disastrous trip to the UK, Ireland and the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in France.
And speaking of acting like a needy, high-maintenance mega-asshole, Trump decided he should be lavishly praised for the speech he gave at the D-Day commemoration, and that it was “the best speech ever given by an American President in Europe.”
No one in his sycophantic inner circle had the nerve to remind him of John F. Kennedy’s immortal “Ich Bein Ein Berliner” speech at the height of the Cold War, or Barack Obama’s powerful speech in Normandy on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, or Ronald Reagan’s elegant speech on the 40th Anniversary, none of whom ruined their speeches immediately afterward by publicly attacking their own countrymen and the American government itself.
All of these presidents knew more about D-Day and its ramifications and results, as evidenced by Trump’s own description of the Normandy Invasion to an interviewer about that pivotal day in history:
”This is one of the true, in terms of war, in terms of, probably you can also say, in terms of peace, because this led to something very special.”
Yes, that is an exact quote from the President of The United States. Well okaythen! By all means, let’s start chiseling his face on Mount Rushmore immediately!
Trump’s White House also tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in his congressional testimony. He testified anyway, but Trump did exercise his right not to have the testimony entered into the permanent Congressional record because (!!) “the science did not match the Trump administration’s views.”
Let that sink in awhile, and also ruminate on the fact that his administration announced that it is moving the Department of Agriculture’s climate change research center out of Washington DC to Kansas City, supposedly to save money, but in reality a blatant move to marginalize and break up the team of researchers whose scientific findings also run counter to Trump’s imbecilic claims that Global Waning is a phony crisis invented by the Chinese to gain a competitive edge, the same China he claimed that his tariff policies have “wiped out” (!) 150% of their economy (presumably he considers simple math fake news too).
Then the (self-proclaimed) “best friend the gay and lesbian community ever had” ordered American Embassies around the world not to fly the Pride Flag beside the American Flag in honor of Pride Month, an order ignored by a number of embassies, an act of defiance Trump said “borders on insurrection,” to which the nation responded “good, more of the same please.”
It was a week where Trump condemned the CIA for recruiting his buddy Kim Jong Un’s brother as an America intelligence asset to gain information on North Korea, for which Kim had his own brother murdered, and vowing that “this will never happen on my watch.” What never happened on any other President’s watch was an America President siding with a murderous dictator over his own intelligence agencies, something Trump has done repeatedly, starting with his love affair with his sponsor Vladimir Putin, even boasting of his treason to two of Putin’s emissaries in the Oval Office, where they all had a good laugh about Trump firing the head of the FBI because he was interfering with their open collusion.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Advisor and a man hellbent on starting a war that he and Trump can call their own, took advantage of an attack on two merchant ships in the Gulf of Hormuz to blame Iran and beat the war drums, and claiming Iran tried to shoot down an America drone that caught them in the act. The fact that the drone’s film footage of the attacks has not been released casts doubt on their certainty.
Iran vehemently denied launching the attacks and the Japanese owners of one of the ships in question backed up Iran’s claims, explaining that it was not Iranian mines that damaged their ship, but missiles launched from an unknown source. While Iran may very well be the culprit, the Trump Administration’s reputation for lying for sport and profit at every opportunity puts a Boy Who Cried Wolf spin on Washington’s reaction to the attacks, and widespread suspicions that this is another Trump-invented crisis.
We also learned that Trump is losing the person who most aggressively defends his crazy lies when it was announced that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders will be leaving her job at the end of the month to “spend more time with her family,” leaving us to wonder for whom we should feel more sorry, Trump or her family.
Another of his staunch defenders and a fact-challenged spin doctor, Kellyanne Conway, was recommended to be fired by the Office of The Special Counsel, a different Special Counsel’s office than Robert Mueller’s now defunct investigatory body, and a permanent Federal agency charged with overseeing the ethical conduct of our government (and one that must be busy as a thousand beehives with this ethics-challenged administration), because she has been in constant violation of The Hatch Act, which forbids a Federal employee from engaging in political activities and negative commentary about American government officials, but that has been her only job description from Day One.
Conway has never been known to have any input on executive decisions or policy formulation, and her White House position remains as undefined as that of First Daughter Ivanka Trump-Kushner. Trump has refused to fire Ms Conway, a reliable liar who can keep a straight face and does as she’s told.
There was more this week, much more, even more incomprehensible mayhem and nonsense than usual, things like the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury being cited for Contempt of Congress, another death in Trump’s refugee Concentration Camps, more lies about the Medieval border wall being built when exactly no new border wall exists, Trump coming up with his own designs to paint Air Force One like the flag he loves humping, more pouty Twitter insults than an entire cheerleading squad, more subpoenas of Trump’s associates by Congressional investigators, Donald Jr. being forced to explain his lies under oath to the Senate and his father furiously defending his crime, Trump’s delusional claim that Queen Elizabeth (!) enjoyed his company more than anyone she has met in her 92 years (she personally knew a Who’s Who of great men and women during her 70-plus year reign) when his own wife doesn’t even like being in his company, and slandering his own former White House Counsel sprinkled in with his regular incessant slander of Robert Mueller, the man who chronicled his crimes in a report Trump alternately denies completely and celebrates as his deliverance, often in the same breath.
As yes, this was only one week.