Bearing Witness to Trump Week 16

Week of May 7 – 13, 2017

A near constitutional crisis brews over the firing of the FBI head as he was investigating the influence of the Russians on the election and Russian ties with the Trump administration. His firing occurred just days after he requested more resources for the investigation, and the day before he was to testify to Congress. Ever so telling, only hours later on the same day after Trump fired Comey, the president hosted a visit to the Oval office by the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador. And to show his displeasure at the American free press, he only allowed the captive Russian press agency Tass to be present to take a photograph. You can’t make things like this up, even in a movie.

A member of the U.S. news media was arrested this week when he kept asking Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to answer his question about health care reform. This is what we now do to our free press under Trumpism.

Meanwhile, a host of actors in the administration have all given many conflicting stories about the why and when decision for letting Comey go. In an interview Trump says one of the reasons he fired him was that Comey was always “showboating and grandstanding” and he could not be trusted. Yes, of course, there is room for only one carny huckster in the administration that cannot be trusted, and that is at the very top. It was reported that Trump asked Comey for his personal loyalty, as if a dictator, and instead Comey only offered to be honest.

Trump fired FBI Director Comey, but he does not do it in person, or even in a phone call. Comey learns about it from the media while on a trip. For being such a smart businessman he has fired a lot of senior people in very poor ways: Comey, Yates, Flynn, Bharara, Reid, Christie, Bannon, and even the White House head usher. The excuse they use is that Comey mishandled the Clinton investigation which may have caused her to lose the election. Yes, of course,. Trump wants Comey’s head because he kept Clinton from winning. Not because Comey was closing in on the Russian influence and penetration of the Trump campaign and White House.

Trump’s Pentagon asks for thousands of more troops in Afghanistan. Yes, that’s right, just a few more thousand troops and maybe another 10-20 years, and I am sure we can win a war that has been going on now for 15 years, the longest in our history. Meanwhile, we keep military operations going along in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and who knows where else they are not telling us. Congress remains MIA.

The former AG Yates testifies that the incoming Trump administration was warned about short-lived national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties with the Russians. So what did Trump do first? Fire the Attorney General of course. Second? Blame the press. He eventually fired Flynn, but the probe of Russian influence in the administration and election continues.

Over the weekend extended Trump family members were in China hawking a new real estate deal, not in China but in New Jersey, to Chinese investors. Actually, it seems they were more or less selling U.S. green cards as part of a golden visa program where wealthy Chinese who invest $500K in U.S. real estate developments can get a fast track path to residency. Yes, that’s right. Trump closes the door on political refugees and others who seek help in the U.S. while he opens it wide up for the global elite who can pay.

Trump, who filed for reelection shortly after being sworn in, is now running a series of advertisements across the country. More propaganda from someone who may never think he will leave office.

The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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