Tag Archives: Fire and Fury

What? Trump to meet Rocket Man?

So, how does the president of the United States change the subject from an alleged affair with a porn queen and Republican rage over trade tariffs?

Donald Trump agrees to meet with the leader of a nation deemed in some circles to present an existential threat to the United States of America.

That’s correct. Trump now plans to meet face to face with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The man Trump derided with the Rocket Man epithet, declared North Korea faced “total destruction” if it attacked South Korea and threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States now wants to meet with the source of all this white-hot rhetoric.

Details are to come. The president said he would meet Kim no later than May. The place will be determined later. So, too, will the agenda, or so many of us should presume.

This does beg an important question: Has the tough talk about “fire and fury” and “total destruction” actually persuaded Kim to meet with Trump and begin the arduous task of negotiating a peace treaty with the South?

Trump’s critics — and I include myself in that crowd — have derided the president’s rhetoric as gratuitously provocative. He didn’t need to remind Kim that his “button is bigger” than the North Korean’s nuclear button.

I also have said I’d be willing to eat my words if Trump’s clownish behavior actually produced tangible, constructive results.

An intended meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un isn’t enough by itself for me to dine on my own criticism. There’s too much groundwork to be laid. Too many details to work out. Too much can go wrong between now and when the two leaders actually meet.

What’s more, I am not entirely sure who between these two men is less trustworthy than the other.

Kim keeps provoking Trump, who responds with provocations of his own. Kim has nukes. The United States arsenal is infinitely larger.

However, if this meeting leads to more discussion, well … that’s a major start.

First, we need to learn that there will be a meeting. I am holding my applause.

Suck it up, Michael Wolff, and take the heat

I am well into Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” and am finding it an interesting and entertaining piece of work. Much of it rings true as well.

But when the author goes on these national TV talk shows to discuss some of the more, um, salacious elements of the book, he needs to prepare for the grilling he should expect to get.

He got grilled hard this week on MSNBC by “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, who wondered why he would suggest that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would be engaging in an affair with Donald John Trump.

Wolff took offense at the question. Brzezinski persisted, noting that he implies an alleged Haley-Trump “relationship” near the end of his book.

The back-and-forth continued for a few moments before Brzezinski shut the interview down.

Wolff defamed Haley, according to Brzezinski. Wolff decided to go after the MSBNC co-host in a series of tweets after his appearance on “Morning Joe.”

I won’t comment yet on “Fire and Fury,” as I have a good bit of it yet to read. I do object, though, to assertions he is making about our nation’s U.N. ambassador and the president. This is a serious head-scratcher, given the ubiquitous presence of cameras, recording devices and other gadgets that can detect any kind of, um, “suspicious” behavior.

As for the author’s inability or unwillingness to endure tough questioning from journalists, well, he needs to toughen up.

U.N. envoy now a victim

Nikki Haley might be the latest victim of a culture that many Americans are trying to eradicate.

She is the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations. Haley once served as the Republican governor of South Carolina, where she distinguished herself as a courageous enemy of race-related hate groups.

Donald J. Trump nominated her to the U.N. post, where she has continued to serve with distinction.

Now, though, comes a vicious rumor of an affair with the president. They originate from Michael Wolff, author of the controversial “Fire and Fury” book that is highly critical of the Trump administration.

What we are witnessing is a continuation of the kind of hideous gossip that follows high-achieving women. There are those who are too willing to foment lies about women, using sex as the weapon they deploy to defame them.

Ambassador Haley has been victimized in a highly disgraceful manner. We need to rid ourselves of this form of malice.

Now … it’s time for ‘Fire and Fury’

I am happy to report that my copy of “Fire and Fury” arrived in the mail today.

My original plan was to rush out to the bookstore to buy a book off the shelf. Then I realized I could buy the book for a lot less money if I purchased it online.

So I did. I bought the book from Amazon for about half of what I would have paid at the retail outlet.

Michael Wolff has taken some grief in recent days over the book that details a lot of what many of us have suspected about Donald John Trump Sr., and his presidency. It tells of the chaos, confusion and the narcissism that plagues the White House. There also are those notable observations about whether Don Trump Jr. engaged in a “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” meeting with Russians goons who had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Critics have wondered about his sources. They have accused him of fabricating quotes. Wolff didn’t acquit himself very well when he got quite testy with CNN talk show host Michael Smerconish, who asked him completely appropriate questions about how Wolff ingratiated himself with Trump’s inner circle.

Many pundits, though, have said the book is a serious page-turner. They couldn’t put it down.

I now intend to find out for myself.

I’ll get back to you.

Wolff squares off against CNN host … and loses

I intend fully to read “Fire and Fury” when it arrives in my mailbox in a few days.

My initial intention was to purchase it off the shelf at Barnes & Noble when it was released, then I decided to order it online, via Amazon. It will arrive soon.

There. That said, I watched “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff make an ass of himself on CNN, when host Michael Smerconish sought to ask him what I considered to be a legitimate question.

Smerconish, who told Wolff he “tore through” the book, wanted to know if Wolff misrepresented his intentions to the Trump administration when he gained access to the White House and was allowed freedom to talk to many key aides to Donald J. Trump.

I did not hear any inherent bias in Smerconish’s question. Wolff, though, took extreme offense at the question and the questioner. He ended up saying that Smerconish was “doing the White House’s job” by impugning his integrity.

Actually, Smerconish did nothing of the sort. He asked a perfectly appropriate question in his search for complete context in how Wolff was able to report in his book the statements attributed to the likes of former Trump political strategist Stephen Bannon.

So … Wolff finished the interview. Smerconish has become a sort of media Celebrity of the Moment with his questions and the confrontation they produced with the author of a much-discussed book about the president of the United States.

My advice to Wolff: Settle down, dude. And if you’re going to bristle at questions posed by a middle-of-the-roader like Michael Smerconish, you probably ought to stay away from Sean Hannity and his cohorts at Fox News.

Here’s the relevant portion of the interview. It’s worth your time:

Smerconish vs. Wolff

POTUS shows that ‘Fire and Fury’ is accurate

Michael Wolff wrote a book, “Fire and Fury,” that alleges that the president of the United States is clueless about government and the issues of the day — among other things.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. responds that the book is crap; it’s fiction; it’s fake.

Then he convened an open-mic session in the White House to discuss immigration reform — and manages to demonstrate in real time the accuracy of Wolff’s description of Trump’s handling of affairs of state.

The man is clueless! Really! He doesn’t have a clue!

Trump said he’d sign whatever immigration bill the congressional leadership brought to his desk. Then came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to remind the president that, actually, he cannot make that promise.

Why? Because the GOP base won’t stand for just any old immigration bill, such as something that doesn’t include construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border.

This is deal-making? This is how the “art of the deal” gets done?

Margaret Carlson, certainly no fan of Trump, wrote this in the Daily Beast:

What the White House actually accomplished Tuesday is the opposite of what it set out to do—set the bar low and show a president carrying out presidential tasks competently. If this had been Trump at the first tee, he’d have shanked it 50 yards into the woods. Into the bargain, the White House staff took more mulligans than (Bill) Clinton ever did. Aside from giving in to his Democratic captors, all the king’s men couldn’t keep him from going off script to long nostalgically for the olden days of Jack Abramoff memorial earmarks.

Read the rest of Carlson’s essay here.

Wolff actually stated in “Fire and Fury” that the White House operates in a state of constant confusion, chaos and contradiction.

I believe we have seen a demonstrable example of what Wolff wrote.

Weaken libel laws? No can do, Mr. President

Donald John Trump wants to make it easier to sue publications for libel. The president vowed to change laws he called a “sham” and a “disgrace.”

Really, Mr. President?

He made the vow at the start of a Cabinet meeting in the White House.

Where can I start? I’ll give it a shot.

Trump said journalists cannot write stories that are knowingly false and then smile while they count their money as it pours into their bank account.

True enough, Mr. President. Except that current libel laws ensure that those who publish “knowingly false” stories are punished.

As for whether the federal government can rewrite the law, I need to remind Donald Trump that the U.S. Constitution declares in the First Amendment that there should be a “free press” that is allowed to do its job without government interference.

The founders wanted to ensure that a free press could function without fear of intimidation and, thus, established a high bar for public officials to clear if they decide to sue for libel.

The object of Trump’s tirade clearly is the publication of “Fire and Fury,” the highly controversial book written by journalist Michael Wolff, who reports some mighty scathing remarks from former and current White House staffers who had some disparaging things to say about Donald Trump. The president calls it all fiction; Wolff, of course, stands by his reporting in the book.

National Public Radio reports: And this is hardly the first time Trump has railed against libel laws, which as a matter of practice are made by the states and backed by a U.S. Supreme Court precedent that sets a high bar for public figures wanting to prove libel.

So, what is left for Trump to do? He can nominate Supreme Court justices who are willing to water down the First Amendment. However, he then sets up a proverbial “litmus test” for potential appointees.

Would he dare ask them prior to selecting them whether they would pledge a sort of loyalty to the president by agreeing beforehand to rule favorably on a libel case that comes before the nation’s highest court?

Now that I think about it, I believe he would … to his shame!

Trump’s war on the media keeps getting hotter.

Frightening … and dangerous.

‘Stable genius’? Really, Mr. President?

I know a lot of smart people. I know actual geniuses. I’ve got few of ’em as members of my family.

Not a one of my friends or family members, the really smart ones, ever feel the need to tell anyone how smart they are.

I consider actual geniuses to be like heroes. People who do really heroic deeds — whether it’s in combat or whether they’re responding to save someone’s life — will not boast about their deeds.

So … why is the president of the United States bragging about how smart he (allegedly) is? I decided to include the pair of tweets with this blog post to illustrate the point.

Donald Trump says he’s a “stable genius.” He boasts about his intellectual wattage.

I’m trying to remember if other “smart” presidents felt the need to boast about their IQ. Did we hear such boasts from, say, Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton, or Jimmy Carter? I mention those three men because Obama was head of the Harvard Law Review, Clinton was a Rhodes scholar and Carter is a Naval Academy grad. Did they brag about their smarts? Uh, no!

Donald Trump can’t help himself.

A new book, “Fire and Fury,” by Michael Wolff, calls the president’s mental stability into question. The author quotes people close to Trump who say he, um, isn’t up to the job.

The president could have responded any number of ways. He could simply remain silent; he could make some sort of bland statement about the assertions being “unworthy of comment.” The “stable genius,” though, has chosen to declare he’s really a smart man.


‘Fire and Fury’ heading for the nightstand book pile

Donald Trump has become Michael Woolff’s greatest promoter.

Trump, the president of the United States, calls a book by Woolff “fake” and “trash,” and he sought to block its publication.

The result? Sales of Woolff’s “Fire and Fury” account of the Trump campaign and presidency are exploding. They’re flying through the roof.

I plan this weekend to join the crowd I’m sure has lined up at Barnes & Noble right here in little ol’ Amarillo, Texas. I also hope they bought plenty of copies of the book.

I’m not not usually motivated to buy books on the basis of hysterical publicity. This publication has prompted me to respond instantly.

“Fire and Fury” was published four days earlier than planned. Why? The president’s furious response to remarks attributed to his former chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon, pushed the book to the shelves earlier than anticipated.

What is hilarious are the denials coming from Trump and his White House team. Think about this for a moment. The folks who are trashing this book are the same folks who, according to longtime GOP political operative Steve Schmidt:

  • Have questioned whether Barack Obama was born in the United States.
  • Said “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Said that Trump’s voice on the “Access Hollywood” tape wasn’t really Trump’s voice.
  • Argued that Trump’s inaugural crowd was larger than Obama’s.

Trump now says Woolff didn’t have access to White House staff. Woolff says he did. I believe Woolff. Why? Well, Trump has proven himself to be a pathological liar.

The president also says Bannon was a nobody in the White House, that he was a bit player, that he didn’t play a significant role in crafting Trump’s remarkable campaign victory in 2016. Hmm. What about all those pictures of Trump and Bannon huddled around the Oval Office desk, or of Trump placing his hands on Bannon’s shoulders? Were they Photo Shopped?

Naw. They’re real. Again, I think Trump is, um, lying yet again.

I hope I can find a copy of “Fire and Fury.”

Muddy probe may be getting a lot muddier

Robert Mueller is up to his armpits in issues to peel away as he seeks to learn the truth about allegations that the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 election.

Now comes a book, “Fire and Fury,” by journalist Michael Wolff, in which a former key Trump aide — Stephen Bannon — has tossed out words like “unpatriotic” and “treasonous” to describe a meeting between Don Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer.

And, oh yes, it’s getting a lot muddier than it already has gotten.

Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, is now getting an even fuller plate. He might be buried up to his eyebrows in these issues relating to the allegations of collusion.

The president has issued a “cease and desist” order to Bannon; no more talking about the book, he has ordered. He’s also trying — in a stunning example of prior restraint — to keep “Fire and Fury” from being published.

And the media are continuing to report even more astonishing developments. Such as White House counsel Don McGahn being ordered to talk Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of recusing himself from looking into the Russia meddling matter. Um, who issued the order? Might it have been, ohhh, the president himself?

Trump has torched Bannon for speaking to Wolff. That, too, is fascinating in the extreme, considering that Wolff had been given astonishing access to White House sources.

Bannon’s view of the president? He continues to “support” Trump’s agenda and says there’s no daylight between them on the key issues of the day.

My head is spinning like Linda Blair’s noggin in “The Exorcist.”

I am believing that someone has poured sand into the president’s “fine-tuned machine.”

Moreover, the special counsel’s investigation well might have been given more fuel.

I cannot keep up with it. I need a good night’s sleep.