Tag Archives: Twitter

Stand firm, Mme. U.N. Ambassador

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has laid down an important marker to Donald J. Trump.

Do not diss me in public; do not subject me to public humiliation; I will not take it quietly.

Haley, one of the few grownups in the Trump administration’s inner circle, spoke out recently in which she suggested the United States would impose additional sanctions on Russia as punishment for its complicity in the gassing of Syrian civilians.

Then she got her humiliation handed to her by Lawrence Kudlow, the president’s newly appointed national economics adviser. Kudlow suggested that Haley got “ahead of the curve” and might have suffered from some “confusion” over a policy that had been changed without her knowledge.

That is not tolerable to Haley. Nor should it be.

She has referred to Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election an “act of warfare.” She has clashed with other senior Trump Cabinet officials. She has stood her ground.

But now she has drawn her own “red line,” letting the president know that she won’t stand for being called out in the manner she was by Kudlow.

I happen to be in Haley’s corner on this matter.

As this nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, she needs to be kept in the loop at all times on all policies being pondered by the Policy Maker in Chief … the president. Then again, the president needs to show at the very least a sliver of discipline as he blunders through this and/or that crisis, or makes this and/or that policy pronouncement.

Whenever he tweets a policy statement, only to take some or all of it back, the president puts the precious few grownups he has brought on board in a serious diplomatic pickle. Heaven knows that the president has brought damn few competent individuals on board.

One of them, Nikki Haley, deserved far better than she got.

Trump tweets us toward warfare?

Donald J. Trump’s use of Twitter to make policy proclamations has become more or less something of a new normal in Washington, D.C.

However, Trump’s tweeting of potential military action takes it to a new level of incredulity.

The president has alerted Russia that via Twitter that he might fire missiles at Syrian military installations. He put the Russians on notice. Indeed, he has alerted them to the point that the Russians say they might retaliate against any military strike against their allies, the Syrians.

Is this how the commander in chief is supposed to manage our strategic military operation?

Is this how we keep our secrets to ourselves? Is this how we now prepare for a military strike, by telling one of our major geopolitical adversaries what we intend to do?

Memo to The Donald: The Russians have nukes, too. A lot of them.

Twitter taunts ain’t the way to conduct matters of high statecraft.

Hey, Mr. POTUS, DOJ is on our side

So sad that the Department of “Justice” and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress. An embarrassment to our country!

I’ll give you just one guess where that statement came from. Time’s up! It came from Donald J. Trump, via Twitter — of course!

Have you or any of us ever seen a president of the United States of America disparage our federal law enforcement community in such a manner? Have any of us seen a president show such utter disregard for the professionals who toil in the trenches or who make command decisions on behalf of the country they all take an oath to protect?

He keeps disparaging Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He continues to undermine the field agents of the FBI, as well as their bosses at the Hoover FBI Building. He torpedoes the work of career prosecutors who work for the Justice Department.

He does so using social media, which if you consider the way he is using it to proclaim his distrust and distaste over policy matters, ought to be renamed. There’s nothing “social” about the way Trump uses — and abuses — this particular medium.

I’m tellin’ ya, the man is a disgrace to his office.

Try to push another cause, Mrs. Trump

I’ve already spoken admirably of first lady Melania Trump’s call to end cyber bullying, even though I recognize — along with millions of others — that she needs to reel in her husband.

I hate suggesting this, but I now fear that the first lady’s effort — noble as it is — has become a lost cause.

She cannot speak on the issue anywhere in this country without being ridiculed by those who insist that Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is a form of cyber bullying. And it certainly qualifies as such!

Mrs. Trump made a mistake when she declared that to be her No. 1 priority for as long as she serves as first lady. She cannot control her husband. Hell, no one can control him!

The president continues to rail via Twitter against foes in this country. He chides his opponents and critics, often with intemperate language that doesn’t measure up to the high standards he should be setting as our head of state and government.

Trump made what sounded like a serious pledge when he said he wouldn’t tweet once he became president. It turned out to be yet another sham, another flim-flam … another outright lie!

And I fear that his lying has undercut his wife’s noble quest to protect our young people against cyber bullying that too often crosses the line of decency. Too many of them have harmed themselves grievously after they have been insulted and bullied via social media.

My request of the first lady: Give up that particular fight and turn to something else.

Donald Trump: Coward in Chief

You might not believe this, but it pains me to suggest the following.

The president of the United States is a coward. He is afraid to confront people who displease him. Thus, he relies on long-distance communications techniques to tell them, “You’re fired!”

I’m sure you remember now Donald J. Trump made “You’re fired” a phrase that took off throughout popular culture. He even developed that snake-like strike gesture with his hand in telling those on “Celebrity Apprentice” that they didn’t make the grade.

How does the man who now has become president handle these duties? He does it through other means.

He fired off a tweet announcing the firing of FBI Director James Comey while Comey was in California preparing to speak to law enforcement officials; he fired off another tweet to give Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the boot; he used the same medium to inform White House chief of staff Reince Priebus that he was out; most recently, he did the same thing while firing national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

What kind of CEO — which the president is — does such a thing?

I’ve always thought the boss summoned someone to his or her office, read the underling the riot act and then dismissed them summarily to their face. That would be a boss who’s worth a damn, someone who has the courage of his or convictions to speak candidly to someone who doesn’t do what the boss expects.

Trump doesn’t seem to operate this way. Now we’re hearing disputes over whether Shulkin resigned or was fired as VA secretary. Shulkin says he was canned; the White House contends he was resigned.

Of course, some politicians are weighing in. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told “Meet the Press” that “It’s not the way I’d do it,” referring to the manner that Trump used to dismiss Shulkin.

I guess Sen. Johnson believes Shulkin’s account of his departure from the VA.

Johnson, moreover, believes Trump’s childish and callous termination methods will affect recruitment of future administration officials. “I think the president does need to understand the effect it has on attracting other people,” Johnson said.

Gee! Do ya think?

Trump will continue to delude himself into thinking he’s running a tight ship, that he’s got everything — and everyone — under control.

He is wrong! He also is a coward!

In this corner, the former vice president …

It has come down to this.

A former vice president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, spoke to a Miami conference and said if Donald J. Trump and he were in the same high school, he would “beat the hell out of him.” The issue on the table dealt with the treatment of women by men.

So, what does the president of the United States do? He responds via Twitter (naturally, yes?) that “Crazy Joe” lacks emotional and physical strength and that he — Trump, of course — would take him out. Here is Trump’s tweet: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

I do not know which is worse: the former VP saying out loud that he would beat up the president or the head of state responding via social media with a “so’s your mama!” retort.

This is the kind of stuff one usually sees occurring between middle-schoolers. It’s a close call, but I’ll give the “raspberry” in this exchange to the president.

He is the one who occupies the office that, in an earlier time, used to command decorum, dignity and discipline. The former vice president is known to be a bit loose of lip at times; but this is the first time I’ve ever heard Biden actually state a desire to do physical harm to another public figure.

Trump, though, actually has extolled the virtue of beating someone up, such as what he has said about demonstrators who showed up at his political rallies. That, however, occurred before he won the election and took the presidential oath of office.

Donald Trump promised many times he would be “more presidential” once he took that oath.

Well, so much for promises.

Won’t respond? Actually, he just did

The lawyer representing former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said it point blank: He won’t respond to every “childish, defamatory, disgusting & false tweet by the President.”

That was part of Michael Bromwich’s tweet that he blasted out today.

Donald Trump has been engaged in another Twitter rant about McCabe, calling his firing this past week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions a “great day for democracy.”

McCabe was just 24 hours from retiring from the FBI. Sessions decided to give him the boot because of allegations that he didn’t tell the truth about matters involving special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into “the Russia thing.”

Sessions acted without a scintilla of class in firing McCabe in that manner. Meanwhile, Trump has been gone into his usual Twitter spasm about McCabe, Mueller, Democrats, Hillary Clinton … you name it.

Bromwich won’t respond to all those “childish, defamatory and disgusting” tweets?

My take goes along this line: Donald Trump deals exclusively in childishness, defamation, falsehoods, as well as disgusting commentary. His tweets fall into that category virtually all the time.

Which means that Andrew McCabe’s lawyer has just responded to all that have been issued to date and all that will come in the future.

What about actual policy, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump has said repeatedly that Twitter is his preferred method of communicating with Americans. He calls it an unfiltered channel through which he can make statements about this and/or that issue of the day.

Lately, and by that I mean for the past several weeks, all we seem to hear from the president of the United States are tirades about special counsel Robert Mueller, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and assorted boasts about how well his administration is operating. He has yapped about firing the secretary of state and has labeled as “fake news” reports of continued chaos in the administration.

I keep waiting for actual policy pronouncements. What about, oh, health care? How about defense spending? Do you have any legislative proposals to offer Congress, Mr. President?

I get that the president has talked via Twitter about gun-violence-related issues. He has flipped and flopped all over the place on any number of proposals. As with other compelling issues, I am waiting for something solid, declarative and final in his pitch to seek a solution to gun violence.

Long ago I quit lamenting the president’s use of Twitter. I get that he prefers that particular social medium as a way to express himself. I would prefer to hear something constructive, something proactive and perhaps even a conciliatory word or two to those — such as yours truly — who oppose his world view.

For that matter, how about using Twitter — or other social media platforms, for that matter — to offer an olive branch to those of us who oppose his occupying the presidency in the first place?

I can declare categorically that I would be open to softening my opposition to Trump if such a gesture were forthcoming from the president. Really! I am not kidding about that! Honest! I would!

Trump: master of impeccable timing? Hardly!

Donald John Trump compiled his pre-presidential notoriety by telling people “You’re fired!”

He parlayed that reputation as a tough guy into a winning presidential campaign. So … how does this guy fire the secretary of state? How does he tell Rex Tillerson his services no longer were needed?

He tweets it. He lets Tillerson hear about it along with the rest of Planet Earth. Classy, yes? Courageous, eh? No and no.

What’s more, the timing of this departure could not possibly have come at a worse time. The president didn’t bother to tell Tillerson that he was going to accept an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Tillerson was visiting Africa when word came from Trump.

The master of chaos has shown one more time — with many more sure to follow — how he seeks to govern. He doesn’t know what the hell he is doing.

Tillerson’s departure comes just as the State Department needs to start laying the groundwork for this upcoming bilateral meeting with Trump and Kim. How in the world does Trump think the State Department is going to prepare adequately for a summit that might be designed to persuade the North Koreans to cease its nuclear weapons development program?

Hell, State has many deputy and under secretary positions yet to fill. Tillerson was operating as a one-man band at the State Department, with damn few key deputy positions filled with capable diplomats.

Trump, meanwhile, keeps yapping and yammering about how “great” he is doing as president. He keeps telling us about all the top-tier minds seeking employment in the Trump administration.

I don’t believe Tillerson was a good choice to be secretary of state. If the president had any pull among top Republicans with actual diplomatic experience, he could have selected someone more qualified for this job than Tillerson.

The two men didn’t get along.

There’s the infamous “moron” epithet that came from Tillerson, directed squarely at the president.

There’s much work to do to get the president ready for this summit. It’s a big deal, given the insults he and Kim Jong Un have traded for the past year-plus.

To think, moreover, that Trump actually expects us to believe he is in command of the situation. This president does not know what he is doing.

AG Jeff Sessions deserves some support

So help me, I cannot quite explain why I am about to write these next few words. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become a sympathetic character in a presidential administration that appears to be unraveling before our eyes.

Donald J. Trump is getting pinched by a special counsel who was appointed by the Justice Department because the AG did the right thing by recusing himself from what Trump has called the “Russia thing.” Why did he do that? Because the attorney general was a key Trump campaign adviser and then moved directly into the Trump presidential transition team that has been ensnared by allegations of “collusion” with Russians seeking to interfere in our 2016 presidential election.

Sessions’s recusal has enraged the president, who’s now taking to disparaging him publicly via Twitter. The men have a frosty relationship, even though Sessions was among Trump’s earliest supporters in the U.S. Senate, where Sessions served before being picked to run the Justice Department.

What can the president do? Does he fire Sessions? Yeah, good luck with that — and with finding someone the Senate can confirm. The word is out about the president: No one worth a damn wants to work for this guy. He’s making a mess of everything he touches. He cannot govern. He cannot administer a political organization such as the White House.

That shouldn’t surprise a single American. Trump had no government experience. He had no political credibility. He cannot keep key White House advisers. I mean, he has just received the resignation from the fourth White House communications director in a little more than a year.

Sessions now stands as a man with a semblance of ethical conduct — and for that he is being punished by the president of the United States, who calls a decision to hire inspector general lawyers to conduct a probe “disgraceful.”

Trump also has said that had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia probe he would have nominated someone with more “loyalty” to the president. Hey, that’s not why these people serve. They serve to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, just like the president.

From my vantage point, the president is doing a pi**-poor job of fulfilling the oath he took.

As for Sessions, as much as I opposed his appointment in the first place, I am fearful of the bloodbath that will occur if he calls it quits and the president tries to pick someone to do his bidding.

Good luck with that, Mr. President.