Tag Archives: Russia sanctions

Trump ‘thanks’ Putin for kicking out diplomats? Wow!

Donald John Trump Sr. sat with reporters today while vacationing in New Jersey and took a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A reporter asked the president to respond to Putin’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation to the sanctions bill approved by Congress and signed by Trump.

“I want to thank” the Russian president for kicking the Americans out, Trump responded, adding that he had planned to cut the U.S. diplomatic payroll and this gives him a chance to make good on that plan.

No, he didn’t say he was joking. There was no apparent tongue in cheek. The president “thanked” the Russian strongman for punishing the United States.

Oh, and the diplomats who are being given the boot? The president doesn’t have their back, either.

How many more ways does Donald Trump need to show that he has no business occupying the most noble office in the land?

Why the ongoing fight with government ‘partners’?

The president of the United States traditionally is part of a team.

He leads the executive branch of government, which works hand-in-glove with the legislative branch.

That’s what tradition would dictate. Yes? No longer. The current president continues to act as though he is a one-man band, a Lone Ranger who can solve all the problems all by himself.

Donald John Trump Sr., you’ll recall, stood before the Republican Party’s nominating convention in 2016 and declared that “I, alone can solve” the myriad problems he said were plaguing the nation.

He is mistaken. On that. On damn near everything!

Trump signed a bill into law this week out of sight of TV cameras or other media. It calls for tougher sanctions against Russia — along with Iran and North Korea. Trump issued a signing statement that tore Congress a new one. He blasted lawmakers for approving the sanctions bill, saying they were undermining the president’s authority to “negotiate” with Russia. The bill prevents the president from reducing the sanctions without congressional approval. That’s no good, Trump said.

He blasted Congress for failing to enact a law that would replace the Affordable Care Act. Hey, wait a minute! Isn’t that also a presidential responsibility? Oh, wait! I almost forgot. Trump said he wouldn’t “own” the failure, even though he is now the leader of the Republican Party, which controls both chambers of Congress.

The longer Trump trudges down this road to nowhere, the more he seems intent on separating himself from the partners he needs to do anything of importance.

The Russia sanction legislation provides yet another example — as if we need any more — of the president’s utter and complete ignorance of how government is supposed to work.

Effective governance, Mr. President, is a team sport. The president cannot govern all by himself. Put another way, one cannot run one governmental branch the way one runs a business. The two things are mutually exclusive.

Resigned, fired; tomato, tom-ah-to

The “resignation” of national security adviser Michael Flynn has taken a curious turn.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today that Donald J. Trump’s trust in Flynn had been waning. Therefore, when questions arose about Flynn’s supposed conversations with Russian government officials, the decline in the president’s trust in Flynn accelerated.

Spicer said the president asked for and received Flynn’s resignation.

Asked for and received …

That tells me Flynn essentially was canned, booted, tossed, fired from his job.

Why be coy about this? Does the president not want to force Flynn to put “fired from national security adviser post” on his resume, as if a future employer won’t know the circumstances of his departure from a job he held for less than a month?

It’s a rhetorical game they play at this level of government.

Whatever the case, this matter isn’t over. We still have some questions to resolve.

Did Flynn tell the president about the conversations with the Russians as he was having them? Did the president dispatch Flynn to talk to the Russians about those pesky sanctions the Obama administration had imposed? Did the ex-adviser lie to the vice president? Did the VP know about the lie and did he inform the president — at the time?

OK, so the president sought Flynn’s resignation. I am going to presume there was an “or else” attached to the request.