Bearing Witness to Trump Month 18

Week of July 1 – 7, 2018

Even conservatives like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce begin to blast Trump for the trade war he has started with China, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Can you imagine if a Democrat had done this?

Even Trump’s ex-personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, is starting to wear down and break, claiming that his loyalty is to his family first, not Trump.

And a bit of good news in that Environmental Destruction Agency head Scott Pruitt resigns after months of his scandal-plagued cabinet head. It wasn’t because he wasn’t fast enough with deregulating industry, but apparently, even for Republicans his behavior to exploit the office for his own personal benefit was too egregious.

Trump adds the WTO to the long list of organizations that he has threatened. This time claiming that they have treated the U.S. very badly.

Trump continues to show his disdain for the American press by refusing to have flags lowered after the mass shooting last week at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper.

The Trump administration under court order to reunite immigrant families asks for more time, and that families undergo DNA testing because the two agencies involved did not share records or else lost them. The number of children in custody has now grown to 3000 with at least 100 of these under 5 or even infants. Either their systems for tracking families is so bad, or their intentions are even worse for use of the genetic tests. Either way, it’s a tragedy.

Never to miss an opportunity to be tone-deaf, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Club filed for permission to hire several dozen foreign workers, likely from the same country that Trump rails against as sending America the worse criminals.

News comes out this week that the U.S. Army has been discharging immigrant recruits who enlisted under the expectation of citizenship in exchange for their service. Why should we be surprised; as we know Trump is a liar who cannot be trusted to keep his word much less any deal he signs.

It appears that last year Trump started asking his staff about taking military action in oil-rich Venezuela to remove President Maduro from office. Apparently Trump went so far to test the idea with other South American countries. Can there be any doubt that when the legal noose starts tightening around Trump’s neck that he will concoct some emergency or war to distract the nation?

Trump in public continues to refer to the U.S. government as “my government” and the U.S. military as “my military”. I doubt he even thinks this is odd.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns from his visit to North Korea claiming success with addressing many unresolved details that went without progress in Trump’s made-for-TV meeting with Kim Jong Un last month. However, the North Koreans claim the opposite that the American attitude was regrettable and that there is not a timetable for denuclearization. Trump’s other statements after his meeting have not yet come true, such as the return of bodies of U.S. service men from the Korean war over 60 years ago.

Trump’s administration continues to hack away at the insurance market that provides for millions of Americans by announcing the administration will not subsidize insurance providers as provided for in the ACA. If he can’t get Congress to kill off Obamacare, he will do it by hacking it to death. And in the process Americans will suffer needlessly.

The White House names Bill Shine, a former Fox news executive, as the deputy chief of communications. What more could we expect that they rely on a Fox news propagandist to help run White House propaganda?

Week of July 8 – 14, 2018

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Justice to replace outgoing Justice Kennedy. He is another conservative, IVY league grad, and Catholic just like the majority of other sitting justices that most certainly do not represent America’s diversity. Kavanaugh is known for his writing in support of presidential powers such as reluctance to distract a sitting president with criminal investigations of his behavior especially during a time of a national security crisis. Hello, we know how this story will play out. The Republicans demand a fast track approval, unlike the process they obstructed with the equally qualified Merrick Garland that left a seat open for almost a year under the Obama term. Democrats demand that the process not be started until after the next elections, just like the Republicans demanded with Garland. But the hypocrisy of the right has no shame as they say of course this is different!

The crackdown on immigrants continues by the Trump administration with ICE staking out homes, work places, and shops to arrest those without documentation. Countless immigrant families hide in the shadows of the economy, some afraid to venture out of their homes. Meanwhile for those families they have separated from their children, federal agencies like the HHS are ever so slow to find ways to reunite them even under court order.

Trump’s former driver has sued the president for thousand of hours of overtime never paid and says he was cheated out of vacation time, sick days, and expenses. Is anyone surprised?

Trump winds up his norm of pardoning criminals. This time it was Oregon ranchers who took over federal lands and wildlife refuge in an armed occupation.

Weeks after meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un there is little hard evidence of progress in denuclearization. Instead NK is back to denouncing the U.S. as a gangster nation after Secretary of State Pompeo’s last visit. And they left the U.S. standing at the border waiting for the promised return of US servicemen which never happened.

Our trade war and support of industry over health leaves no vulnerable people unaffected. This week U.S. officials attempted to weaken a World Health Organization’s international resolution supporting breast-feeding. Like many international agreements these days, the U.S. was the lone dissenter of over 100 countries who supported the effort. Widespread condemnation of the US followed from around the globe.

In Europe Trump continues to wreck international alliances and norms made over decades that have helped to keep the world and U.S. safe and free from more wars. He has criticized the leaders of many European countries, except Russia of course, such as the UK’s Prime Minister May, Germany’s Merkel, and even went after London’s Mayor Khan. Then he does what he does best; lies, distorts and denies he said what was reporte, and blames the UK press who promptly release a recording of what he said. He went on to say that the EU is a foe of the U.S., calls out Germany for being captive to Russia, and lectures NATO to spend more on arms and war preparations or the US would go its own way. WTF? Britons turn out in protest of Trumps visit. Trump blames the U.S. and foreign media for his problems and refuses to take questions from organizations such as CNN.

The week ends with the Justice Dept. indicting 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking into Hillary Clinton’s email servers and interfering with the 2016 election. At least one of those indicted is said to have been in communication with the Trump campaign. The indictment states that a hack occurred the very evening after Trump said during an election campaign speech “Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” The indictments come as Trump is in Europe just days before he is to meet with Russia’s Putin. We wonder will Trump defend America, or Russia?

The week has alarmed and exhausted Americans in what should be the quiet days of summer vacation.

Week of July 15 – 20, 2020

Americans are in shock, outrage, ashamed, and beyond disbelief. Trump standing next to Putin on the world stage, after a private 2 hour meeting with him, refuses to hold Russia accountable for attacking the integrity of the 2016 US election. We are dismayed that instead Trump goes on the attack of his fellow countrymen. Standing next to Putin he blames fellow Americans, the press, Clinton, email servers, Obama, Mueller, the Justice Dept. instead of Putin and Russia. Putin does not even blame his own countrymen! He refuses to defend U.S. intelligence agencies. When directly asked he refuses to hold accountable the Russians for anything. Trump goes on to later say it would be a good idea to allow Russians to meet with and interrogate US citizens and former State Dept. officials and ambassadors. Can we believe what we just heard? What must the Russians have on Trump?

Putin returns home claiming a great victory. Trump returns home to the biggest crisis of his perpetual-presidency-in-crisis with most of Congress including the GOP utterly dismayed that a U.S. President would cower to a Russian thug as if there is some moral equivalency. Some go so far to say Trump was treasonous in not defending his country. His cabinet members and national intelligence heads are left in the dark as to the details of Trump’s private meeting with Putin, which in itself was unusual and suspect.

NATO allies, which have already seen the havoc Russia can afflict with the downing of civilian airlines over Ukraine, are equally shocked and worried about the loss of their American ally. During the week Trump backed off saying that the U.S. may not honor NATO’s mutual defense treaties, opening the door for further Russian adventures.

Upon returning home Trump does what he does best, lie and blame others. Under pressure to correct the record, he says he misspoke and when he said “would” he meant “wouldn’t” and other nonsense comes out of his mouth. In a tweet he claims that the relationship with Russia had never been worse over our history until he met with Putin, another lie. Russia responds by agreeing with Trump. Not surprising since Putin claimed before the world that he did indeed hope that Trump would win the election. finally someone telling the truth. Protesters gather outside the White House with chants of “welcome home traitor.”

During the week a besieged White House continues to manipulate, lie, distort, distract, and blame others for the events of the past week. Later in the week the White House confirms an offer made to Putin to visit the U.S. this fall. For what, to see how the elections go or how well their investment in Trump is paying off? It takes days for the White House to kill the idea that Russia intelligence agencies would have access to interview Americans in a judicial process.

A Russian spy Maria Butina in the U.S. is arrested and charged with trying to advance Russian interests with the Republican Party, NRA, and other government circles during and after the 2016 election. When Trump is asked if he believed Russia was still targeting and meddling in U.S. internal affairs and elections, he says “no”. Then the White House tries to walk it back.

The Federal Reserve is one of the few government entities not to be attacked by Trump, but that changed this week when Trump did what no other modern-day Presidents have done by criticizing the central bank for raising interest rates.

Not to be satisfied with the lack of defending Americans, the Trump administration has proposed easing protections that defend endangered species. He obviously wants to dismantle, plunder, pillage, destroy, wreck, as much of America as possible before we finally have had enough and drag him out of the White House.

Trump is probably happy that the week ends with news about something else than his performance in Europe. His ex-attorney Cohen is said to have made tapes of his discussion with Trump about paying off a former Playboy model to kill a story just before the 2016 election, which Trump has of course denied having anything to do with.

In good news the economy roared with a 4.1% growth in GDP during the last quarter. However, it was juiced by tax giveaways and federal spending that resulted in one of the largest quarters of deficit spending as receipts from business taxes fall.

Week of July 21 – 28, 2018

Trump’s terrorism of diplomacy and the world continues in his midnight tweet exchange with Iran. Trump taunts Iran by saying that Iran, if it threatens the U.S. will suffer consequences like few others in history have ever experienced.

With continuing fallout from the disastrous Helsinki meeting with Putin, Trump threatens U.S. citizens and former heads of intelligence agencies with the loss of their security clearances. Check another box in the norms of thuggish autocrats and dictators to silence their critics with threats like these.

After meeting with the EU to agree that tariffs are bad, Trump goes on the road in need of adoration in the Midwest. In a taxpayer paid campaign style rally, he promises farmers who have been hurt in the trade wars he created with a $12B package of aid. He of course goes on to lie about who did what to whom first saying that tariffs are good for the country and economy, opposite of what was said the day before.

In a speech to the VFW Trump claims to veterans that “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening”, again claiming that the press is the enemy of the people. He went on to personal attacks of Democrats saying that had very low IQs.

Trump’s former attorney Cohen leaks a recording he made with Trump discussing the payoff to keep his affair with an ex-Playboy model from being published. Of course this is a transaction that Trump previously said he knew nothing about. In the recording Trump and Cohen discuss whether the payment should be made by cash or check as if just normal business.

During the week the First Lady responds to reports about her TV-viewing habits of CNN that irritates her husband because she watches what she wants to watch, including on Air Force One. The White House banned a CNN reporter from a Rose Garden news event during the week to punish her for “inappropriate” questions.

As the country suffers through one weather-related disaster after another, this week with fires in the west, record heat in the southwest, and flooding in the northeast, the Trump administration still lacks a science advisor. Climate scientists warn the world that extreme weather events are and will occur more frequently. Atlas shrugs.

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.

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