Bearing Witness to Trump Month 27

Week of March 21 – April 6, 2019

Trump picks two largely unqualified nominees for the Federal Reserve Bank that he complains is too tight with money and interest rates. The first pick Stephen Moore is said to be a tax cheat who filed fraudulent tax returns and still owes the IRS $75K. The qualifications of his second pick Herman Cain as the former chief of the Godfathers Pizza chain who had quit the 2016 race after allegations of sexual harassment. During the week Trump calls for ever lower interest rates to juice the ball and once again blamed the existing federal reserve bank for being too tight with money despite years of record low-interest rates that have inflated inequality of income and wealth. Obviously he has learned from his many problems with bankers in his own businesses that he wants to control and own the bank this time, and not the other way around. I am sure he must think of it as his bank, just like his military and his supreme court.

A whistleblower in the White House has come forward to allege that dozens of security clearances were improperly vetted and then given to those with disqualifying issues in their backgrounds. They includes Trump’s daughter and son-in-law.

A Chinese woman entered the Mar-a-Lago club last weekend and was apprehended while carrying multiple passports, a laptop computer and a device containing malware while Trump was in Florida. Trump is one of the few Presidents to vacation so frequently at locations difficult to secure and work out of, unlike that of previous presidents who used secure and lower cost locations like Camp David. We can all rest more easily because it was not the Secret Service or Resort Security that challenged the intruder, but a front desk clerk whom Trump said did a very good job.

A new book titled “Commander in Cheat” profiles what type of golfer the President actually is. It is said he is as much of an habitual cheat and liar on the golf course as he is in the course of business, politics and personal affairs. In a review of financial statements, journalists have found that Trump routinely misrepresented or lied about the value of his assets, mostly real estate investments.

Trump threatens to close the border completely with Mexico, but then backs off only after he finds out the carnage that would to the economy. He threatens to put tariffs on Mexican cars imported into the U.S. claiming that Mexico will pay for it. No they won’t. The cost of tariffs is born by the businesses and consumers of the importing nation, an inconvenient truth that Trump continues to lie about to his gullible base.

Trump threatens to use the courts to revoke the ACA and propose his own health plan, but then backs off once his Senate Republicans likely told him they have no better ideas and it is best to not screw over the American people until after the 2020 election. Trump threatens to cut humanitarian aid to central American countries, but he is too clueless to yet figure out that will only enlarge the crisis and bring more refugees to the U.S. While Trump claims there is a national emergency at the border and immigrants are hurting the economy and that our country is full and can’t take any more, his administration quietly doubled the number of H2 visas for summer workers like those needed in his resort properties.

Ironically, a former driver and security guard at a Trump business, who entered the country years ago on a H2 visa, has been arrested and placed in ICE custody as a victim of the crackdown on immigrants without documentation. The man’s wife and children who he has been separated from are legal US Citizens. He was detained on the spot after being invited in to meet with immigration officials to discuss his application, invoking scenes of Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews in the early days of the Third Reich.

With detention centers overflowing and families separated, never to be satisfied with only a little cruelty, Trump drops his nominee for the head of ICE, Ron Vitiello, saying that he wants someone tougher.

This week Trump lied about the birthplace of his father who he claimed was from Germany. It was his grandfather. Trump’s mother was from Scotland. His wife Melania is from Slovenia who entered the country on a H2 visa. His family is made up of immigrants. Can anyone see some similarities to an Austrian misleader from the mid 20th century?

Trump claimed this week that wind turbine noise produces cancer. Be afraid Americans, be very afraid of… energy!

Congress is still waiting for the full release of the Special Prosecutor’s report on Russian interference in US elections and possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign team. Members of Bob Mueller’s team are saying that AG William Barr has misrepresented their 400 page report in Barr’s 4 page summary clearing the President.

A new battle is brewing as the House has requested Trump’s tax returns for the last 6 years. The administration says not a chance. Trump is the first president in a half century not to release his tax returns to the American public.

Week of April 7 – 13, 2019

The entire Trump administration Homeland Security leadership is in chaos as Trump purges out Cabinet head Kirstjen Nielsen followed by the acting deputy secretary Claire Grady and then the head of the Secret Service Randolph Alles. Trump says she was not being tough enough at the border, even though she had taken to separating families and putting children in fenced cages, and the arrest of over 100,000 this month alone. Other DHS organizations are missing leadership including the heads of FEMA and ICE. Some 15 cabinet posts have now turned over during the 2 years of Trumplandia. More than a quarter of top administration jobs are acting officials not confirmed by the Congress.

Trump continues to threaten closing the southern border which only precipitates more migrants who fear the border will close before they can make it up and across. Then he threatens to send and release migrants to sanctuary cities. He is reported to have told Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAlleenan that he would grant him a pardon if he was sent to jail by closing the border or blocking asylum seekers from entering the border or separating families in defiance of court orders. Meanwhile, reports surface of Trump hotels and resorts are quietly getting rid of undocumented workers some after many years of service.

In beating the drums to more international conflict, the administration declared Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. Secretary of State Pompeo says Iran’s ties with terror organizations should justify U.S. military action. Meanwhile, 3 more U.S. service members died this week in Afghanistan, another failure of political leadership. The International Criminal Court has even given up on the Afghan War, and says after the visa of its chief war crimes prosecutor was revoked by the U.S. it will abandon the investigation into our alleged war crimes including the killing of civilians and use of torture. The whole war now the longest in the history of our country is a crime.

Trump threatens to impose tariffs of $11B on the EU. This is on top of trade spats with Mexico, Canada, and China.

Is there any doubt that Trump is a domestic terrorist intent on disrupting if not destroying everything within his reach?

Even some Republicans are having trouble stomaching some of Trump’s picks. This time pizza chain magnate Howard Cain was announced for a position on the Federal Reserve Bank.

Trump lies about lying when this week he claimed to know nothing about WikiLeaks after Jillian Assange was arrested by Britain once forced out of his refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy. In 2016 he was recorded to saying that he loved WikiLeaks where he had learned so much from after they released Clinton and DCN emails thought to have been hacked by the Russians.

Trump said this week that he was considering yet another summit with North Korea after having two already with not to show for it. Kim Jong-Un also engineered a shakeup of his own government this week and further consolidated his power. Trump probably enjoys this and wanted to reward Kim for being such a strong-man dictator that Trump seems to admire the most.

In the White House’s continued war against regulations that protect Americans it is now requiring independent agencies like the Federal Reserve, SEC, FEC, and Consumer Product Commission to submit all of their proposed rules and policy guidelines to the administration first.

A former oil and gas lobbyist, David Bernhardt, was confirmed by the Republican Senate to lead the Interior Department. Separately, the administration said it was reducing the number of pork inspectors by 40% and said that industry could use its own inspectors.

The Attorney General in testimony to congress defends his assessment that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Then he turns to make his own justice department out to be the villain by suggesting that the FBI “spied” on the Trump campaign. Not ‘investigated” which is what the FBI does when a crime of this magnitude is suspected with good cause. But he intentionally used the word spy just to defend his boss and rile up his MAGA base.

Week of April 14 – 20, 2019

Attorney General William Barr hosts a news conference to release a heavily redacted version of Special Prosecutor Mueller’s report on Russian interference in America’s 2016 elections. He acted more like Trump’s personal attorney be spending most of his time defending the President and little time talking about Russia’s attack on our democracy. Barr continues to defend his conclusion that there was no conspiracy or collusion of the past Trump campaign or present administration with the Russians, nor was there obstruction of justice by the President. Then the report is released to the public and we can read for ourselves how bad it actually was.

The report most definitely did not exonerate the President, and it explicitly stated just that. Instead, it was simply that Trump was not indicted or said to be responsible for a crime in the report’s findings because of a previous DOJ ruling that sitting Presidents cannot be indicted or held responsible for crimes while in office, other than facing impeachment as the prerogative of the Congress, not by the Justice Dept. However, the report documented numerous instances when Trump attempted to influence, derail, end, redirect, and thwart the investigation of Russia’s interference into our elections. Period. Trump fired FBI director James Comey because as Trump said he was threatening his presidency by not clearing him publicly. He tried to have Special Prosecutor Mueller fired and even directed White House Counsel to make it so. He bullied his former AG Jeff Sessions who had recused himself into resigning. He had his Press Secretary and others lie for him on numerous matters. Within five hours of asking the Russians to find Clinton’s emails, the Russian GRU intelligence agency began targeting Clinton’s office. He dangled pardons in front of those who were forced to testify. He sought to prevent disclosure of a meeting between Russians and his Campaign staff. Several dozen associates and officials were indicted for crimes investigated as a result or byproduct of the Special Prosecutor investigation. There were numerous contacts between the Russians and the Campaign, Trump family members, and business associates. Responding to written requests from the Special Prosecutor, because he would not appear live, the President claimed some 30 times that he did not remember or had no recollection to questions asked of him.

Upon the release of the report does Trump convene a national security meeting to deal with the primary conclusion of Russia’s interference in the election that few dispute? Does he try to heal a divided county by looking forward and speaking to the nation? Does he admit he made any mistakes or apologize for any of the bad behavior documented in the report as a White House infected by a culture of lying, chaos, dysfunction, changing stories, misinformation, turnover, misleading, intimidation, bullying, blaming, and deception? No of course not. He goes to Mar-a-Lago again and starts tweeting his anger at his former aides, news media, Congress, Mueller, everyone. He calls it treasonous that his Campaign and Presidency was investigated at all and promises to pursue the prosecutors. This is what autocrats and fascists do.

At the end of the week the House subpoenas the full unredacted report and some members of Congress announce their support for impeachment not as a partisan act, but as an act to honor and defend the constitution and to make this behavior unacceptable by future administrations.

Trump says what Boeing needs to do after two crashes is to simply “rebrand” its faulty airliner by adding some great new features. Yes, or course, that will make flying safe.

Trump vetoes a Congressional resolution that would have ended U.S. support of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen which has killed many civilians using U.S. weaponry. Yemen, Libya, Syria, Niger, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the list goes on and on of our military adventures in Africa and the Middle East.

Not to be satisfied with so much hostility toward the U.S. outside of the America’s, Trump announces a crackdown on Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela by announcing new restrictions and sanctions, and allowing lawsuits to proceed against Cuba for property seized from Americans nearly 60 years ago.

With talks stalled, North Korea test fires a new missile then declares it will no longer speak with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Then Russia announced that Kim will meet with Putin later this month.

In a continued hardline against immigrants this week the Trump administration announced tougher restrictions for asylum seekers.

Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin plans to hire a Fox News commentary as his top communications official. She follows Bill Shine a former Fox News co-president who served as Trump’s deputy of staff for communications.

Week of April 21 – 27, 2019

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed there is nothing wrong with an American political campaign getting help from a foreign government like the Russians.

More prominent Democrats are calling for impeachment of the President. The House already has multiple committees investigating the President.

Resisting subpoenas, Trump sues the Chair of the House oversight committee to prevent their access of his financial records. Basically he is suing the legislative branch of our government from doing the job given to it by the Constitution. It’s headed for the courts like so many other actions, but where the courts have ruled over 60 times against the Trump administration.

Later in the week the White House citing executive privilege says that past and present aides who are subpoenaed do not have to appear before Congress. Yes, he and his entire White House are above the law.

This week Trump’s White House attack dogs went after former White House Chief Counsel Donald McGahn. McGahn was cited in the report as having been asked by the President to basically obstruct justice by getting the special prosecutor Robert Mueller fired.

Both of Trump’s unqualified and controversial picks to the Federal Reserve board are in trouble. Cain withdrew his name and Moore is expected to soon.

During the historical White House Easter Egg Hunt for thousands of children, Trump took questions from reporters to talk about impeachment, the dam wall, and his advisers. Upon returning to his quarters later that date he sent out a barrage of tweets. Happy Easter; he is risen.

Our close ally, Saudi Arabia, that the Trump administration has failed to penalize for the killing of an American-resident journalist had 37 citizens beheaded this week. Yes, beheaded. It was one of the largest mass executions of a minority religious sect of Shiites to ever occur in a single day. It is suspected that the Saudi Royal family felt embolden that they could do no wrong given the pathetic reaction of the Trump administration to their previous human rights violations.

Trump appears before the annual NRA conference and announces he will withdraw as a signatory from the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.  He stoked up fears by claiming the Democrats were going to take their guns away.

The United Nations said this week that allied forces in Afghanistan are killing more citizens than the enemy Taliban is. It is estimated that in 2018 some 4,000 citizens died in America’s longest war that shows no near ending.

After an incident with Mexican soldiers, Trump threatens to send more armed U.S. soldiers to the border of our southern “ally”.

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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