Tag Archives: Donald Trump

POTUS couldn’t attend ceremony honoring WWI fallen?

Let me understand this fully.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, flies to France to honor the fallen soldiers while commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.

Then the rain fell. The president then decided that he couldn’t attend the ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial near Paris because of “inclement weather.” He sent White House chief of staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to represent the United States.

Oh, then there’s this. France’s president attended the ceremony honoring the American soldiers who fell. So did the German chancellor and the prime minister of Canada. Other heads of state and government attended as well.

But … not the president of the United States. He couldn’t attend a solemn ceremony at the American cemetery where our nation’s fighting men are buried after enduring far worse than most of us can even fathom. How might they think of a president unwilling or unable to endure some rainfall at their gravesites to pray for their souls and to thank them for their sacrifice?

Critics cut loose on POTUS

I’ll conclude with this remark offered by the grandson of the legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames, a member of the British Parliament: “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate Donald Trump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen.”

Enough said.

Just why did POTUS fire the AG?

It’s fair to ask this question regarding former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Was he doing a bad enough job as the nation’s top lawyer to be fired for cause?

I keep coming back to this answer: No.

Donald Trump fired Sessions for one reason only. He fired him because the AG recused himself from the Russia investigation. The attorney general had no choice but to step away. He could not possibly ever in a million years take charge of an investigation in which he was a key participant in the matter being investigated.

Sessions was a key adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. He made contact with Russians who were, um, interested in the outcome of the election. The law required him to hand the probe over to someone else. That’s what Sessions did.

The AG’s recusal enraged the president. Sessions doomed his tenure at the Justice Department the moment he stepped away.

Trump wanted Sessions to plow straight ahead and seemingly wanted him to push aside the questions that arose from the Trump presidential campaign’s dealings with Russian operatives who attacked our electoral system in 2016. That the attorney general couldn’t — or wouldn’t — do the president’s bidding simply was more than the president could tolerate.

The only public criticism Trump leveled against Sessions dealt with his recusal and his failure to tell the president he could not deal specifically with the Russia matter.

It’s interesting in the extreme that the president didn’t criticize DOJ’s performance under Sessions’s command. He didn’t lament any perceived disobeying of public policy. Sessions, you’ll recall, announced to the country that the Trump administration was implementing a policy that took children from their parents as they crossed the border into our country illegally. And didn’t he cite Scripture as his basis for doing so?

There will be plenty to say about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker, Trump’s choice to become acting AG.

But for now I am left to wonder out loud what others have asked already: How in the world does the president justify his firing of Jeff Sessions other than to express anger that the ex-AG was being true to the law?

That is no basis for terminating a U.S. attorney general.

Yes, athletes deserve a Presidential Medal of Freedom

Donald J. Trump is going to award some Presidential Medals of Freedom in a few days.

Some of the recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor will be athletes. They are athletic legends at that. I mention this because at times we hear grumbling about whether athletes deserve an honor meant to commemorate individuals’ contributions to American life and culture.

Of course they deserve such an honor.

Among the recipients of the Medal of Freedom this month will be the legendary New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page. By the way, the president also will honor the late Elvis Presley, Sen. Orrin Hatch, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and political mega-donor and philanthropist Miriam Adelson. They’re all worthy.

Back to the athletes. The Bambino, Roger the Dodger and Page will be the 29th, 30th and 31st athletes honored in this manner. Former President Barack Obama honored 12 athletes with the Presidential Medal of Freedom; they included Michael Jordan, Stan Musial and Bill Russell. Others honored have included, oh, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Arthur Ashe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ted Williams.

Every one of those individuals has contributed mightily to the culture of this country. Thus, they deserve the honor bestowed on them by the president.

One of the athletes the president will honor, Alan Page, also distinguished himself in another way. After he retired from football, he went to law school, got his degree and then took his seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court. I am quite sure the president will highlight that achievement right along with the prowess he showed as a member of the Purple People Eaters defensive front line for the Vikings.

And how do you deny the worthiness of Babe Ruth, arguably the greatest athlete ever to play baseball, which many of us still consider to be the National Pastime?

Vote recount = election theft? Hardly!

Donald J. Trump is so adept at tossing out unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations it’s getting difficult to zero in on matters deserving of comment.

But here’s one that does. The president has tweeted an allegation of electoral theft in Florida — without any evidence, quite naturally — because officials there have ordered a recount of ballots in the races for U.S. senator and for governor.

Democrats and Republicans are locked in vise-tight battles for both offices. Trump now has warned of possible theft of the election moments after the recounts were declared.

Hey, he’s a pro at this kind of fear-mongering. Remember how he contended that “millions of illegal aliens” voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, accounting for her nearly 3 million vote lead in the popular vote?

America is still waiting for proof of that allegation, Mr. President.

He once warned of a “rigged election” were he to lose the 2016 presidential contest. Hah! He won that election, but hasn’t said a disparaging word about the allegation over whether Russian interference might have “rigged” the results in his favor.

How about letting the recount proceed, Mr. President. We don’t need to hear another word from you on whether there’s any “theft” involved. If the Republicans end up winning the Senate seat and the governorship, at least they will have ensured that all the ballots are counted. The same thing will hold true as well even if the Democrats emerge victorious.

That’s how the system works.

People suffer from wildfire horror and POTUS says … what?

Nine people have died. Thousands of acres of land have been destroyed. Hundreds of homes have gone up in flames.

And the president of the United States shoots out a Twitter message that says:

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!

Donald John Trump has a heart of stone. Wouldn’t you agree? Don’t answer that. There’s no need.

Once again we see the president lashing out instead of reaching out. Americans are suffering grievous loss of property and, yes, lives.

Why is that? Might it be that — hmm — the victims live in California, one of those “coastal enclaves” that voted in 2016 for Hillary Clinton over Trump?

Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire — which handles forest management — said of the president’s tweet, “It’s disappointing that he says these things.”

It sounds as if McLean is pulling his punches a bit. It is far more than merely “disappointing.” Donald Trump’s demonstration of heartlessness is disgraceful.

However, it’s the kind of reaction we have grown accustomed to hearing from the president of the United States.

Civility now appears farther away than ever

Those of us who lament the lack of civility in our public debate between elected officials are going to be disappointed when the next Congress takes its seat in January.

We’ll have a divided legislative branch: Democrats will control the House of Representatives; Republicans will run the Senate.

The White House, of course, remains in GOP control.

Donald Trump has called — ostensibly — for “peace and harmony.” He said he wants it. He has vowed to work toward it. His performance in the wake of the midterm election suggests he doesn’t mean what he said.

Democrats are gearing up for a subpoena blizzard. The new congressional committee chairs are threatening to summon White House officials left and right to Capitol Hill. They want to question them on, oh, damn near everything under the sun.

Donald Trump now is declaring that the election that produced a Democratic takeover of the House and narrowing of the GOP margin of the Senate is a product of electoral fraud. Sound familiar? Sure it does. It’s the president’s fall-back position when the balloting doesn’t go his way.

Democrats are sure to be angry. Republicans are certain to be defiant.

Donald Trump is a lead-pipe cinch to continue his habit of lying through his teeth.

Peace and harmony are nowhere to be found.

Count me as one American who is continuing to be disappointed in our federal government.

Goodbye, AG Sessions … and, yes, good riddance

I feel the need to set the record straight about former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I have spent some time commenting positively about on this blog for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe into the Donald Trump presidential campaign. He faced a clear conflict of interest when he took the job as AG because of his campaign role as a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump.

He was involved at some level with the Russians who made contact with the campaign. There were questions about an investigation. Sessions had to recuse himself because of the conflict of interest.

I applauded him for that singular act.

However, he shouldn’t have been selected AG in the first place. The man “earned” the nomination because he was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump’s candidacy.

Prior to his becoming a senator, though, Sessions took on a serious blot on his public service record.

He served as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. President Reagan nominated him in 1986 to a federal judgeship. Then questions surfaced about Sessions’s comments regarding the Ku Klux Klan. Witnesses testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions reportedly had given KKK members a pass until he learned that they “smoked pot.” Four Justice Department lawyers testified they heard Sessions make racist remarks.

The committee eventually voted 10-8 against his nomination. It went to the full Senate for a vote and senators rejected Sessions for the federal bench.

What did he do then? He ran for the Senate in 1996 — and won! He served in the Senate for 20 years until Trump tapped him to lead the Justice Department. He didn’t stand out during his Senate years. Sessions, though, did manage to get embraced by Trump.

Am I glad he’s gone from the Justice Department? Yes and no. I am unhappy that his resignation now clears the decks for Trump to nominate someone who endorses his view about Mueller’s investigation.

Overall, though, I won’t shed a tear that he’s gone. His pre-Senate history was a deal breaker from the get-go.

Trump doesn’t ‘know’ the guy who’ll lead DOJ?

Let me see if I have this straight.

Donald John Trump fired the attorney general, Jeff Sessions. He had a No. 2 guy at the Justice Department who under normal circumstances would be elevated into the top job on an interim basis.

But the president went to the No. 3 guy, Matthew Whitaker.

Then the president tells the nation that he doesn’t “know Matt Whitaker.” That’s right. The president of the United States, who has the authority to name the nation’s top law enforcement officer — our top legal eagle — doesn’t “know” the individual who’ll get the job?

He expects us to believe that? He wants to believe the idiotic lie that the president doesn’t know the individual who’ll call the shots at the Justice Department?

I’ll back up for just a moment. The No. 2 legal eagle at Justice happens to be Rod Rosenstein, who selected special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate the Trump campaign’s allegedly improper dealings with Russian agents who attacked our electoral process in 2016. Trump clearly felt he couldn’t pick the deputy AG because, well, he would allow Mueller’s probe to continue without interference.

So that’s why he went with Whitaker, the guy the president now declares he doesn’t “know,” which is a direct contradiction of what he said earlier about his relationship with the new acting attorney general.

Who in the world does Trump think he’s talking to? We aren’t a nation of rubes who cannot connect the dots. Believe me, there ain’t many dots to connect here as it regards the president and the man he wants to lead the Department of Justice.

I am left to wonder once again, with emphasis and more than a hint of hostility: How does this man continue to win the support of his craven followers?

The president is a pathological liar.

Mitt is correct: Let the Mueller probe proceed ‘unimpeded’

I will admit it: I like U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney much better now that he’s no longer running for president of the United States against Barack Obama.

The Utah Republican has said it is “imperative” that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proceed “unimpeded” toward its conclusion. The message to Donald John Trump? Don’t fire Mueller; don’t order the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to do it; let the special counsel’s probe into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election conclude under its own power.

Whitaker is the acting AG, succeeding Jeff Sessions, who Trump fired on Wednesday. Sessions got the boot because he recused himself from “the Russia thing.” Trump wanted the AG to provide cover for him. Sessions refused, citing ethical concerns and the obvious conflict of interest, given that Sessions was a player in the Trump campaign and could not investigate himself.

Whitaker is a known partisan. He has criticized the Mueller probe, calling it a “witch hunt.” Not too prejudicial, eh?

Romney well might become a conscience of Republicans in the Senate. After all, during the 2016 GOP primary campaign for president, Romney delivered a scathing rebuke of Trump, who he called a “phony” and a “fraud.”

He was right then. He is correct now that he’s calling on the president to keep his hands off the Mueller probe.

 

He said, he said … to himself

Donald J. Trump is on record telling “Fox & Friends” that he knows Matthew Whitaker, the nation’s newest acting attorney general.

Then the president contradicted himself by telling us he doesn’t know Whitaker. He made the latter statement after appointing him acting AG upon the president’s firing of Jeff Sessions as the nation’s top lawyer.

So, which is it? Does he know Whitaker or doesn’t he?

I’ll take a guess.

Trump knows Whitaker. He knows that the acting AG is no fan of Robert Mueller’s probe into “the Russia thing.”

Thus, the president lied to Americans about not knowing the acting attorney general.

Imagine that.