Bearing Witness to Trump Month 16

Week of April 29 – May 5, 2018

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s head of the Consumer Finance (un) Protection Bureau disclosed what we all knew. He only talks to people who pay him.

The tree gifted by France President Macron on the White House Lawn was missing within the week after it was planted. We can only guess it was because of Macron’s candid speech to the Congress after the day he met with Trump?

The bombings and killing in Afghanistan continues with 3 dozen more dead, including journalists, in a suicide act in Kabul, the capital that is still not even safe after 15 years. In Syria more dozens die in attacks.

Not to have enough conflict and wars in the Middle East, Trump continues to attack Iran and threatens to pull out of the nuclear peace deal. In a speech during the week he proclaims the need for a new military branch, the space force. Just so we can bring carnage, arrogance, and conflict into space no doubt.

In a campaign rally Trump says he wants everything made in America. He goes on to tell his base on immigration that “he may have to close the country up to get this straight.”

Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation. Trump’s new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in an interview with Fox news seemingly lets it slip that Trump did reimburse Cohen for the hush money he gave to Daniels. This of course after so many statements (lies) from Trump that he knew nothing and did nothing payments to either Daniels or Cohen. So much lying even they cannot keep it straight.

More departures in the administration as Trumps nominee to head ICE, Thomas Homan, has quit after only six months.

Special prosecutor Mueller has given questions to Trump’s legal team that he was threatening to subpoena the President for. Trump responds with ratcheting up his attacks on the Justice Department while his talking heads claim that the president is above the law and does not have to testify. Trump’s apologists in Congress threaten to impeach Rosenstein for not playing nice. Trump hires yet another new lawyer, Emmet Flood, who defended Clinton during his impeachment. He replaces Ty Cobb in the revolving doors. Trump says the whole system is being rigged against him. Yes, of course, pity the poor victim.

Trump’s personal physician before he was elected claims that Trump had a team sent to his office to seize Trump’s medical records by force.

All week long Trump has said the release of 3 Americans held by North Korea was imminent. He went on to blame Obama for 2 of the 3 being held by the Koreans. Another lie as they were taken during Trump’s tenure, not Obama’s.

Week of May 6 – 12, 2018

Trump abandons the Iran Nuclear deal to the dismay of all the countries who supported it around the world. It creates unrest in Iran and uncertainty in geopolitics. In his announcement he continued to exaggerate, mislead, and lie to the nation on the facts. When Iran responds by saying it may restart its programs, Trump threatened and blamed them as if they had broken the terms of the agreement that he just withdrew the U.S. from. Trump of course is masterful at blaming all the victims of his bullying, especially women for making him abuse them. All we need is another failed state in the Middle East to deal with. Why would North Korea ever do a deal with a country like the U.S. that will not keep its deals whether with Iran or on the Climate?

A Trump White House aide says that Senator McCain’s opinion no longer matters because he is almost dead. No one from the administration apologizes for this attack on a war hero and another civic norm is lost.

The Senate Intelligence Committee reports that the Russians tried to crack voter systems in over 18 state. No one from the administration says this attack on American democracy is a priority.

Reports on the history of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen are made for a movie thriller. His ties to Russian oligarchs, his peddling of offering insights and influence for millions of dollars to U.S. and foreign-connected businesses, and his family’s mob connections, all make a payment to a porn star look rather innocent. Trump’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, claims that it is certain that Trump didn’t know about Cohen’s deals.

Trump ends the week in a tweet promising to help a Chinese electronics firm get back into business despite his own U.S. tariffs. He says too many jobs are being lost in China. Another norm is broken with a U.S. President getting directly involved with regulatory matters of a single foreign business.

Week of May 13 – 19, 2018

As the U.S. opens its new embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli troops and sharpshooters using live ammunition kill 60 civilian Palestinian demonstrators at the Gaza border. The U.S., typical of life under Trumponian ethics, blames the victims for being killed. Much of the rest of the world condemns the unnecessary brutality. Trump calls it a great day for Israel.

The Trump administration Dept. of Health and Human Services continues to promote an unrealistic abstinence-only educational approach to teenagers for family planning. This from a President who has been married three times, had a child out-of-wedlock while cheating on his first wife, and is having to defend himself against claims from prostitutes. The HHS acted this week to bar family planning clinics, like those run by Planned Parenthood, that receive federal funds from referring women to options for abortions.

Trump files a revised financial disclosure agreement that acknowledges he reimbursed Cohen for paying off a prostitute. How many times did Trump by tweet or on camera on-board Air Force One deny any knowledge of payments to Stormy Daniels or reimbursing his attorney Cohen?

Trump’s pick to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, says her days of conducting torture and secret rendering centers are behind her. Does she not understand that no one believes anything that comes from the Trump administration?

Ex-head of State Rex Tillerson shows some courage in a commencement address by warning Americans that they are on a pathway to losing their freedom if our leaders continue to lie to us or conceal the truth.

North Korea threatens to pull out of the approaching summit after national security adviser John Bolton said the US. may pursue the Libyan model for denuclearization. But he forgot that this ended rather badly with the death of Qaddafi which sends a rather unpleasant message to the Koreans. The next day the administration walks it all back. It is obvious there is no strategy.

During a visit to California, Trump rants about illegal migrants saying these people are animals. What must his wife, an immigrant, and her family, think? In the same speech Trump threatens California mayors saying they should be charged with obstruction of justice.

Word leaks out this week that the FBI did what the FBI does when they investigate a large scale criminal organization, they put informants into them. Trump of course claims that he was the victim and was spied upon.

Jared Kushner’s company, drowning in debt for real estate deals gone bad, has been bailed out by foreign investment funds with ties to Qatar. Just like his father-in-law was likely bailed out by the Russians.

The week ends with yet another school shooting that took the lives of 10 students and teachers, and wounded just as many. It occurred in Texas, less than a month after both Trump and Pence attended the NRA meeting in Dallas to proclaim they would do little to stop this carnage. This was the 22nd school shooting this year so far. A country that cannot stop something as straightforward to remedy like this has truly lost its way. All those legislators who offer hollow thought and prayers but then take no action should be prosecuted for dereliction of duty in protecting our mot important right to life.

Week of May 20 – 26, 2018

Trump’s conservative Supreme Court rules that employers can require arbitration instead of participating in group class actions. Always great to have our troops dying all over the world to protect American democracy, then our politicians working to restrain our rights that others died to protect.

The new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues the sabre rattling by threatening Iran with sanctions that will kill its economy. Yep, sounds like a great strategy to create another failed state harboring terrorists. In another failed state U.S. inspector generals reported that our strategy in Afghanistan is showing few gains after 17 years of fighting in America’s longest war.

At least Pompeo had the courage and honesty this week to affirm that Russia did indeed try to help Trump in the 2016 election, something that the President does not want to talk about and calls a witch hunt. Other countries have started to demand that Russia be held responsible for the death of nearly 300 civilians in the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine. yet Trump’s White House remains silent on the issue of confronting Russia.

Trump continues his war against the FBI when news breaks that they had used an undercover informant to investigate the Russians attempt to communicate with and influence the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Well duh, that is what the FBI is supposed to do; infiltrate criminal enterprises that threaten the country.

The U.S. Customs Agency after being dressed down by Trump to do more has now taken to stopping people who are speaking Spanish far away from a border and detaining them to demand that they prove they are citizens.

The Trump administration sought to censor twitter foes from following and posting negative tweets in response to the President’s. Thank goodness a Judge ruled otherwise that the White House could not block citizens from his twitter.

After so much PR, the Trump trade negotiators and China have called off any more talks about trade sanctions and seemed to have called a truce without anything of substance changing.

At the end of the week Trump calls off the summit with North Korea, and continues to blame the victim for his own decisions, saying this time it was the hostility of North Korea that forced him to take this action.

Week of May 27 – June 2, 2018

Over a year with the ever-tumultuous White House leaves the public dizzy and fatigued, along with U.S. allies. Tariffs and a trade war with China is on. Then it is off. Then it is on hold, then it is back on, kind of. The wall with Mexico is on, then off, then back on, kind of. A summit with North Korea is on, then off, and now back on. Sessions is in, then on the way out, then who knows.

Trump puts into effect new tariffs that hurt our best allies and trade partners in Canada, Mexico, and Europe more so than China. They can’t believe we are calling them hostile nations to fit into the Presidential powers to enforce new tariffs. U.S. allies promise retaliation of their own. Don’t Trump supporters understand that when you import far more than you export, you end up getting hurt the most.

Trump begins to desensitize the nation from being outraged with pardons by starting to pardon others and offering to commute the sentence of others. This is obviously his way of signaling to all those that are facing criminal charges among his family, staff, and other cronies. When it happens we will just shrug and think it normal. How sad that another norm of behavior falls victim.

Trump continues to lie about his lies. This week denying that he said he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. Trump’s attorney Giuliani calls them a lynching mob. Yes, that’s right, poor Trump, a rich white man, is being hunted down like a poor black man being lynched of bygone years.

In Missouri a once rising conservative, gun loving, tax hating Governor Eric Greitens resigns after months of news about his affair with a hairdresser, alleged blackmailing threats, and reported use of non-profit donor lists to fund his dark money campaign work. Greitens does what all Republicans seem to do, blame everyone else for his problems and never taking responsibility, as if these were not conservative values.

The nation seems shocked when Trump supporter and actress Roseane Barr has a late night twitter attack on a successful black woman with obviously racists remarks. ABC fires her, then predictably the President takes aim and fires on ABC.

Safeguards to limit risky trading by banks were relaxed this week. More run of the same free market deregulation thinking that precipitated the last great recession. The EPA continued the roll back of federal fuel and car emission standards which is expected to lead to a state’s rights showdown with California. Just another fight that Trump likely wants to provoke in the constant chaos of America.

The Trump administration continues to hammer away at federal policy, rules, and funding that supported women’s reproductive health and choices, most importantly family planning and birth control. Meanwhile, more women are running for office all across the nation than ever before.

At the end of the week Trump’s attorneys began socializing the strategy that the President cannot be guilty of anything, because he controls investigations, can pardon himself, and cannot be forced to testify. That he is indeed above the law; a King, Autocrat, Oligarch, Dictator wannabe.


The above news has 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.