In an unbelievable moment, Trump tells White House reporters with the cameras rolling that in addition to Ukraine, China should investigate his political rival Joe Biden and family. The invitation by a sitting President for a foreign power to interfere with internal American politics makes the previous Russian interference claims rather trivial. What is even more astonishing is the silence from other members of the Republican party as the President indicts himself of an impeachable offense. Trump’s AG William Barr is said to also have urged foreign governments to investigate not only U.S. Citizens but U.S. intelligence agencies including the CIA and FBI.
Trump then goes on a multi-hundred twitter tirade to claim he is a victim of a witch hunt, treasonous acts, fake news, and an attempted coup. In one tweet he goes so far to threaten a civil war from which the country will never heal from will occur if they impeach him. Please stop this nightmare.
Later in the week text messages are released between state department officials and Trump appointees that clearly express their concern the president was seeking a quid pro quo from the Ukrainians to receive military aide they would have to agree to investigate the Bidens. A constitutional crisis is brewing as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refuses demands of the legislative branch for documents and depositions of State Dept. officials.
The Trump administration announced it will restrict visas for immigrants who are uninsured. All while this administration is deconstructing the ACA which helped millions of American citizens to get or keep their insurance. In an act reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s early treatment of Jews, the administration next announces that they will begin collecting DNA samples of all those booked into federal immigration custody.
It was reported that last year after Trump threatened to close the border all together, then asked his aides to investigate the use of bayonets, moats with reptiles, and armed snipers to attack immigrants trying to cross the border. After he did not get his way, Trump began to berate and purge the Dept. of Homeland Security leadership starting at the top with Kirstjen Nielsen quickly followed by her key aides.
Despite the lack of progress from existing tariffs and a slowing global economy, the Trump administration has proposed a new round of taxes on European goods including aircraft industrial products and agricultural products that once again will be paid for by American citizens and American companies.
To show his utter disdain with democratic processes, Trump has tightened his grip on the Republican Party by changing the rules in 37 states to limit the possibility of alternative candidates or even just voices rising up in state party elections and on the convention floor. Does anyone think the 2020 general election is going to end in any normal manner?
A constitutional crisis continues to build as the White House refuses to cooperate with the U.S. House impeachment inquiry nor respond to their requests or subpoenas. In a letter to Congress the White House claims more or less that it is above the law and not subject to checks and balances of the other branches of government because that is “unfair” and thus “unconstitutional”.
Two associates of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani are arrested at Dulles Airport as they were leaving the U.S. on one-way tickets. They had been under investigation for violating campaign laws by scheming to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians to enable a foreign government to influence a U.S. election. This included donations to Trump super PACs.
A second whistle blower comes forward to corroborate that the President was seeking Ukrainian help with attacking Joe Biden. The former US Ambassador to Ukraine. Marie Yovanovitch tells Congress that she was fired after Rudy Giuiliani was not being adequately supportive and loyal to Trump. The editorial boards of major U.S. newspapers begin calling for the impeachment and removal of President Trump citing all the times he has asked for, invited, called on, joked about, approved, then denied, lied, and obstructed justice concerning foreign intervention in U.S. elections.
The same week that Trump astounds the world, other allies, and his own party by pulling Troops from Syria, Turkey immediately invades Northern Syria and attacks former US allies against ISIS, the Kurds. This betrayal of an ally against terrorism is even too much for his normally Republican apologists and lap dogs in Congress who denounce the move. A U.S. outpost comes under fire and then Trump announces an even faster cut and run. With Turkey Erdogan making Trump look foolish, a day later he threatens to obliterate the Turkish economy.
Another shakeup in the cabinet as Trump announces he will replace the acting secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAlleenan Trump reportedly thought he was not loyal enough to the President nor hardline enough on immigrants. He held the job for only 6 months after Trump fired Kirstjen Nielsen for not being tough enough. Every major immigration agency in the DHS, the most important organization responsible for protecting the homeland, is now run by acting heads with little relevant experience at the helm.
The on again off again talks with North Korea are off says North Korea until the U.S. changes its attitude. They obviously all along have been playing Trump, and with impeachment inquiry underway and an election next year, why wouldn’t they wait this out? Well, because Trump borders on acting like a madman and could wake up some morning irate at the whole world and order military action.
One of America’s great exports to the world is the higher education of foreign students in the U.S. who return to their countries with an appreciation of democracy. You would think educating and influencing the future leaders of Iran would be smart diplomacy. But not for the Trump administration that revoked the visas for at least a dozen Iranian students from entering the U.S. for classes at colleges they had already been accepted to.
After Fox News criticized the President and reported on a poll that showed growing support for the impeachment inquiry, Trump sent not his personal emissary to call on Rupert Murdoch in his home but the Attorney General of the United States, William Barr. Earlier the President had tweeted that Fox News doesn’t deliver for the US anymore. The next day the Fox news broadcaster Shepard Smith, who had been most vocal in challenging Trump’s lies, departed from the propaganda channel.
A federal appellate court has approved the release of Trump’s tax returns to the Congress who are investigating the President for campaign law violations.
In the week after Trump gives Turkey the go ahead to invade northern Syria a self-made political, military and humanitarian chaos and crisis is unfolding. Thousands of civilians are being displaced, ISIS terrorists are released from their jails, and hundreds of Kurds are killed after being abandoned by their supposed U.S. allies in the fight against terrorists. To avoid fighting, Trump ordered American armed forces to retreat so fast that their camps had to be bombed to keep from being sacked by advancing Turkish, Syrian, and now Russian forces who have stepped in to fill the gap left by the sudden US withdrawal that shocked the world. Even Trump’s most loyal supporters have called this a grave mistake. Videos later showed Russian forces inspecting abandoned U.S. facilities. Just imagine if that retreat, no more like surrender which dishonors the U.S. military, had happened during a democrat presidency.
A letter Trump send to Turkey’s Erdogan surfaces to head off the conflict must be one of the most bizarre letters to ever come from the White House to another head of state. It starts out by saying “let’s work out a good deal” then goes on to threaten, then cajole, then compliment dictator-like Erdogan. Erdogan is said to have thrown the letter in the trash as he resumed oversight of his invasion of northern Syria. Trump later says that we have had “tremendous success” and after Vice President Pence negotiates a temporary cease fire, claims it is a “great day” for Turkey, the US, the Kurds and for civilization. Turkey agrees and says they got everything they wanted after years of trying to negotiate an end result such as they now have.
President Trump’s Chief of Staff – acting of course – Mick Mulvaney goes in front of the press at the White House to tell the nation that yes the administration did withhold military aide to Ukraine to get them to agree to investigate Democrats. “That’s why we held up the money” he confesses followed by “get over it” as it happens all the time. Yes, it does to corrupt governments. He then does what other members of this administration so often do, lies about never having said what he did or meant what he so obviously meant.
Mulvaney also announces that Trump will host next year’s G-7 meeting at his very own Doral Country Club in Florida. That level of conflict of interest is without precedent in America’s modern history, and is clearly prohibited by the emoluments clause of the constitution. Trump mocks the emoluments clause of the constitution that bans foreign gifts by claiming it is phony. He insisted that the staff had researched many locations across the country and determined, surprise, that Trump’s Doral Resort was the best, the very best facility! After only two days of protest and outrage including that from his own party, the President decides that maybe that is not a good idea at all.
In a gathering at another Trump resort, this time Mar-a-Lago, of Trump supporters a meme video is shown that shows the President pulling out a gun to kill his critics in the news media and ravage political figures such as President Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders. The video was said to be vile and horrific by even some of the President’s most ardent supporters.
Trump’s cabinet is losing another member, this time Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Perry resigned a week after it became clear he had been involved in the Ukraine scandal where it was said to have pressured the Ukrainian government to make reforms favorable to American energy businesses.
Latest numbers from the federal government has confirmed that the annual deficit for this fiscal year will top $1 Trillion, the highest it has been since the years spent bailing out from the great recession. It increased by 26% in just the past year. Despite a robust economy of near full employment, Trump’s $1.5T tax cuts have created huge deficits. Where is the conservative Republican outrage?
A British couple who lost their teenager in a traffic accident involving an American diplomat is invited to the White House where they say they were ambushed by the President who tried to force a meeting with the diplomat
Russia and Turkey reached a deal which would cement the presence of Russian troops along the border with Syria. Russian and Syrian troops are inhabiting former camps of the U.S. armed forces who retreated from the battle field in one of the saddest moments for the U.S. military. While Trump abandoned allies Kurds to protect themselves, he moved troops into, of course, protect oil fields of northern Syria claiming that “oil is secured.” Even Russia calls this for what it is, a form of banditry.
With a cease fire in place that gave Turkey nearly everything they wanted and then Russians far greater influence in the regions, Trump claims that he has brought peace to the region after decades of wars. In yet another unbelievable Orwellian moment Trump says “We have done them a great service and we’ve done a great job for all of them.” He then lifts economic sanctions on Turkey that invaded northern Syria.
During a wild cabinet meeting Trump attacked Democrats and the “phony impeachment” proceedings. He then railed at Republicans to get tougher on the democrats going so far as to call never Trumper Republicans “human scum” that are “more dangerous to the country than the do-nothing Democrats.”
In a U.S. Court of Appeals hearing about the release of Trump’s financial records, the President’s private attorney William Consovoy said that the president could not be prosecuted even if he shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, a claim that even the President joked about.
Trump’s Attorney General Barr has opened up a criminal investigation of his own Justice Department for how they began investigating Russian influence in the 2016 elections and Russian ties with the Trump campaign. Earlier this month Barr claimed that our form of government is only “suitable and sustainable for religious people.” And he works for Trump. You cannot make this stuff up. He seems to be one of many now making the case that America should be a Christian theocracy. Yes, he works for a man that creates so much chaos, disorder, division, anger, and incites violence that a militant Christian theocracy will be required to restore order and morality. Once again, I now see how a country like Germany lost its way as the Nazi party under Hitler rose to power in the 1930’s.
A national editorialist writes that the country is deep into a crisis and if we want Trump to leave office, it will take Americans going into the streets to protest this administration while voting out his fellow Republican conspirators in the Congress. Not twitter, not facebook, but the streets.
A news poll shown on Fox News reported that 51% of voters think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Trump tweeted his displeasure in response saying that whoever their pollster was sucks.
Trump’s own appointed acting ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Andrew, testified to Congress this week that there was a rogue informal channel of U.S. polity making that was making the release of military aid contingent on Ukraine investigating Trump’s political adversary, Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 election. In another bizarre tweet, the same day Trump tweets out that he is being lynched. Yes, he is claiming to be a victim as much as African Americans were who died in the noose of a rope.
What do Trump’s conspirators and apologists do? They can’t blame the facts and testimony so they start claiming that the entire impeachment inquiry is a broken process and abuse of power and even a Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, says yes indeed it is a lynching in every sense.
In a scene from a unstable third world government, several dozen House Republicans pushed back capitol police to break into a secure closed door meeting of the House Intelligence Committee leading the impeachment inquiry. They were chanting “let us in let us in” in this made for TV spectacle. All despite the fact that their Republican colleagues were already inside participating in the inquiry. The proceedings of the day were delayed for five hours in what many would call another obstruction of justice and attempt to intimidate if not silence those presenting testimony such as the scheduled deputy assistant secretary of defense Laura Cooper. When the Republicans refused to leave or deposit their camera phones at the door as required by House rules, a shouting match ensued. The House Sergeant of Arms was called. They obviously do not believe in our Constitution and obviously have they no shame and are now complicit in the crimes of the President.
In one more attack against the free press whom he calls out as fake and enemies of the people, Trump announces that his White House along with all federal agencies will stop receiving the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers.
Retired military commanders, including 4-star generals, are now speaking openly about the threat that President Trump is to our country and destroying the republic. Even the President’s former defense secretary Jim Mattis called out the President.
Air quality in the U.S. has worsened in the past two years under the Trump administration as his EPA loosens environmental regulation and enforcement actions. The increase comes after a steady decades long decrease. White House insiders say that the Trump administration is proceeding with formal notice to withdraw the U.S. out of the Paris Climate agreement.
It was reported this week that far more children were separated from their families at the border than originally reported. Some 5,400 have now been separated in the past two years up until the time a federal judge halted it.
In a historical event the House of Representatives formally voted on a resolution to conduct an impeachment inquiry. The vote was nearly down party lines of 232 to 196 with only 2 Democrats voting nay. The White House responded by saying it was a sham process and witch hunt that was the equivalent of staging a coup to reverse the 2016 election.
Defying White House orders to not appear before congress, a decorated Army office, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, testifies that the Trump administration tried to subvert policy on Ukraine by tying military aid to an investigation of Trump’s political opponent’s family, Joe Biden’s son. And that Vindman thought the White House was trying to conceal and cover up what was an improper phone call that he listened into between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy. He also testified that significant changes were made to the transcript the President released and what Vindman recalls. He was later instructed to keep quiet about the call but being the patriot he is felt compelled to testify in front of the House committee. The White House has no shame and begins to immediately question Vindman’s loyalty to the U.S. and attack his patriotism. That was a step too far for even some Republicans who denounced the slandering of a member of the armed services.
Later in the week a senior National Security Council aide, Timothy Morrison, corroborates the testimony of Vindman. He testifies that the White House that a diplomat working for Trump, Gordon Sondland, told him that military aid to Ukraine to defend themselves against Russia was indeed contingent on the Ukrainians doing what Trump sought with respect to investigating the Bidens. Morrison, a lifelong Republican and Trump political appointee, appeared under subpoena despite the White House instructing him not to, which is itself another impeachable act of obstruction of justice. Not surprising, he was said to have announced to his colleagues that he was leaving his post after his testimony.
A senior State Department official, John Sullivan, said that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was involved in a smear campaign to discredit and oust the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. She apparently had been resisting the President’s overtures to influence the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and had not displayed sufficient personal loyalty to the President.
A FBI investigation claimed that Trump’s ex-campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort had been pushing a narrative that it was Ukraine and not Russia which had attempted to influence and hack the 2016 elections
With so much evidence mounting even Republican senators are rumored to be willing to acknowledge that Trump was indeed offering the Ukrainians a quid pro quo involving a personal political favor. Yet. they still think this was not illegal nor an impeachable offense.
In a rare bit of good news for the Administration, the President announces that U.S. military forces had found and killed the head of the ISIS terrorist organization, al-Baghdadi, who had committed so many atrocities that he become the world’s most wanted man. But even with that win Trump could not help himself from insulting Americans by advising the Russians in advance before he did senior leaders from Congress and his own Cabinet. In his announcement he blustered and bragged about the operation in terms unfitting of a President that likely disclosed classified information. And of course he had to claim it was a bigger deal than when Osama bin Laden was killed during Obama’s term. The irony was not lost on allies of America that the Kurds had helped America to find al-Baghdadi in Syria.
President Trump is going to make his Florida estate his primary legal residence. By leaving New York he will avoid his fair share of taxes, which he has done his entire life. More than likely he may use his out-of-state residency after he leaves office to delay or avoid criminal prosecution for violating New York laws which he is now under investigation.
A White House official says that Paula White, a prominent TV evangelist that proclaims the prosperity gospel, will join the administration. She will work in the Office of Public Liaison, which for Trump must be more like the Office of Public Propaganda and Manipulation.
President Trump announced a new acting head of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf. Wolf replaces former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and will become the fifth person in this job during Trump’s three years as President.
In a visit to Chicago, the President did what he does best, disparage and attack other public servants. This time Chicago’s top law enforcement chief who boycotted Trump’s visit. Neither did Chicago’s mayor or the Illinois’ governor accept an invitation to attend the conference of police chiefs from around the country.
In a rare public outing in Washington D.C. the President and First Lady attended the home town National’s World Series Game against the Houston Astros. As his attendance was announced and his face displayed on the giant video screen the crowd responded with boos, jeers, and chants of lock him up. He reacted surprised as he should be since he rarely gets out of his own bubble at Trump rallies. Trump showed up at the game after the first pitch was thrown by an immigrant restaurateur who provides emergency meals for the needy and who had been critical of the President.
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.