Tag Archives: George Stephanopoulos

Not interested in hearing what Trump ‘thinks’ or ‘believes’

This thought bears repeating.

I am not the least bit interested in hearing Donald John Trump tell us what he “thinks” or “believes” about the coronavirus pandemic. I am intensely interested, though, in hearing from medical and scientific experts about the data they analyze and what their expertise tells them about what the data reveal.

The president keeps taking the microphone at those daily White House briefings. Having told you already that I don’t listen to him blather on in the moment, I am left to read about what he says later in the day. And he keeps yapping and yammering about what he thinks is going to happen or whether he believes that hospital officials need all the respirators they are seeking.

The president needs to step out of the way and let the experts talk to the nation and the world about what they know, not what they think or believe.

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on “Good Morning, America” today and offered stark, level-headed analysis of the crisis that is developing. GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos noted that Fauci has served six presidents since 1984 and has emerged as the nation’s premier infectious disease specialist. He never fails to deliver the facts in a calm, reassuring way … even when they reveal grim news, as they did today, Stephanopoulos said.

My message once more to Donald Trump? Stop talking.

POTUS interview proved to be a ratings bust? Who knew?

I guess I was one of the few and the proud who decided to watch Donald Trump make an utter a** of himself on national TV. I’m glad I tuned in to the special ABC News “20/20” special with George Stephanopoulos.

Stephanopoulos obtained a 30-hour visit with Trump. He interviewed him at length over a wide range of topics. And, to no one’s surprise, the president managed to make a good bit of news.

  • He revealed he would “look at” intelligence that would come to him from a foreign source that might have “information” about a political opponent.
  •  Trump said he’s leading “everywhere” and disputed the polling data that indicates he is in serious trouble against about six of the Democrats running for president.
  •  The president revealed design plans he has drawn up for a newly reconstituted Air Force One jet.
  •  Trump said something about releasing his “financial records,” but said that decision rests solely with “the lawyers.” He said he wants the country to see the documents, calling them “fantastic.”

Trump keeps demonstrating that he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is doing in the nation’s highest office. I’m certain he lied dozens of times during the hour-long program.

He chastised Stephanopoulos, suggesting he is a purveyor of “fake news,” to which the ABC News anchor didn’t flinch, didn’t blink, didn’t take the bait.

I think my favorite part was when Trump talked down to Stephanopoulos, seeming to lecture him about “oppo research,” which is the material he would “look at” were it to come from a foreign source.

As if Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton campaign and White House aide wouldn’t know what he’s talking about. Good grief!

I was a bit disheartened to hear that the ratings tanked on the “20/20” special. I found it edifying, although I doubt it changed any minds.

The Trumpsters no doubt cheered the president. The rest of us simply jeered him.

Mueller did not ‘clear’ POTUS of obstruction … honest, he didn’t!

Donald J. Trump’s delusion continues to take my breath away.

He said yet again in that remarkable interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that special counsel Robert Mueller cleared him of colluding with Russians during the 2016 campaign and of obstructing justice.

Hold on! Mr. President, I heard Mueller’s comments. I have read his report. I’ve followed the news.

How can I say this more clearly: Mueller did not “clear” the president of any charges that he obstructed justice. Mueller said with crystal clarity that had he found no evidence of obstruction that he would have “said so.”

He didn’t. He did not absolve Trump of obstructing justice. He said he could not issue an indictment because of Department of Justice rules that say a “sitting president” cannot be indicted.

Is that an “exoneration”? No. It isn’t. It leaves the door wide open for Congress to do whatever it deems necessary to repair the damage done by Trump’s repeated efforts to obstruct the investigation into the Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

And yet …

Trump said repeatedly to Stephanopoulos that Mueller cleared him of collusion and obstruction.

This guy is making me want to scream at the top of my lungs!

But the news actually gets worse. Trump has a path toward winning the public relations battle with those of us who dispute his “exoneration” assertion. He has this enormous platform he can use to keep telling falsehoods that somehow become part of the narrative.

I continue believe the man is delusional in the extreme.

And he’s dangerous.

POTUS gives foes the ammo they now need to, um, impeach

Am I allowed to change my mind, to suggest that the evidence now has reached a form of critical mass that qualifies as an “impeachable offense”?

Of course I am!

I believe it has arrived in the form of an interview that Donald Trump granted ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos in which the president said he would accept negative information on a political foe from a foreign government.

Bingo, bango! There you have it. The president then said the “FBI director is wrong” when he said just a month ago that anyone who gets that kind of “opposition research” should report it to the FBI. How does it feel, Christopher Wray, to take a shiv straight in the back?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been fervent in our belief that impeachment is not in the cards, at least not until there is compelling evidence of wrongdoing. Well, it might that the president has provided it that evidence with his reckless pie hole spouting off how he would do precisely what has been alleged that he did during the 2016 election: that he would use information on a foe provided by a hostile foreign power.

I had stood with the speaker in her resisting calls for impeachment.

Today, after digesting what I have heard from POTUS, I am having second thoughts.

This is a dangerous man serving as our head of state.

Trump would do what? He’d take info on foe from foreign power?

Donald Trump has spoken words I never thought I ever would hear come out of the mouth of a president of the United States of America.

He has told a U.S. TV news anchor that if a foreign power brought information to him or his campaign about a political opponent that he would “take it.” Yes, he would accept that information.

Oh, and he also might notify the FBI that someone had delivered him “opposition research” on a political opponent.

Trump sat in the Oval Office and took questions from George Stephanopoulos, who asked him what he would do if a foreign power sought to interfere with a U.S. election the way the Russians did in 2016. Trump didn’t call it “interference.” He compared it to what members of Congress get all the time from groups doing “oppo research” on political foes.

No. It isn’t the same.

This revelation came from the president of the United States. He already has been investigated at great length over whether his 2016 campaign accepted dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton. Trump to this very day apparently sees nothing wrong with a foreign power — in the case of Russia, a hostile foreign power — interfering in our electoral system.

FBI director Christopher Wray said any candidate should report such action immediately to the FBI, Stephanopoulos told Trump. “The FBI director is wrong,” Trump responded.

This is unbelievable! It’s incredible! It’s, um, unpatriotic!

There might be anything illegal about accepting such information from a foreign power. However, isn’t there any sense of whether it is right?

Where is the president’s sense of ethics? No need to answer that. I know where it is. It doesn’t exist anywhere inside the man who occupies the Oval Office.

I guess we might be able to presume that if the Russians are going to repeat their 2016 dirty work in the 2020 election that the president would be just fine with it.


Who are we to believe: Trump or Comey?

I am unable to watch in real time the interview that former FBI Director James Comey gave to ABC News; we have spotty TV reception in our RV park at the moment, so I’ll have to catch up with it in the next day or two.

However, I am able to read much of the interview on the link attached here.. 

I am struck by something about the interview that Comey gave to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. It is that he is recounting one-on-one encounters with Donald John Trump, the president of the United States.

I also am left to wonder: Whose recollections of those meetings should I believe? The former FBI director known to be a meticulous note-taker of such meetings, or the president who has demonstrated time and again to be a serial liar?

Let me think. I believe I’ll go with Comey’s assertion of what transpired in those meetings.

It’s impossible to prove much of Comey has alleged occurred during those meetings, whether the president intended to torpedo Comey’s work as FBI director.

I’m just struck by how Trump responded in advance of the televised interview, the name-calling and petulant tone of his tweets.

Comey said he believes Trump is “morally unfit” for the office of president. He doesn’t believe the president is suffering from dementia or is otherwise mentally unfit. It’s the man’s moral compass that gives Comey such cause. He mentions how Trump treats women like “meat.”

That is the kind of assessment that Comey has concluded after meeting privately with Trump.

It also is going to make the nation ask itself: Who is the more trustworthy man in this exchange?

I’ve made my call.

Hoping to head off Trump Fatigue

I might need an intervention.

News junkie that I am, I usually cannot resist watching cable and broadcast news channels’ discussion of current events, of public policy and, yes, even politics.

Until now.

I awoke this Sunday morning and decided to avoid the weekly news/commentary/analysis talk shows. I didn’t watch George or Chuck on ABC or NBC, respectively. I had no particular desire to listen to the talking heads on “This Week” or “Meet the Press.”

Why? I fear it’s because of the subject matter: Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, the current president of the United States of America.

The guy is starting to wear me out. We’re not even at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Good grief! That means we have another nearly four years to go before the next presidential election!

Heaven help us. Or maybe just me.

I don’t intend to stop commenting on this clown’s tenure as president; I consider contributions to High Plains Blogger to be a form of therapy. I might even be able to fend off the Trump Fatigue I fear is beginning to overtake me.

Maybe I just need a day or two — or maybe three or four — away from the TV set.

Wish me luck. I’ll extend the same to you.

Trump aide sings the boss’s tune

Donald J. Trump clearly has much to learn about being president of the United States.

However, he’s got one task down pat: He has instructed his senior White House staff to utter the same lies the boss does.

Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was in the dock today, telling TV news talk show hosts the lie Trump keeps spouting about massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

Miller failed to provide a shred of evidence to prove what he said, which is that vehicle loads of illegal voters were taken to New Hampshire to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The proof? Miller didn’t provide any. “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos sought repeatedly to get Miller to prove what he alleged. Miller came up empty. He offered nothing.

Indeed, a Federal Elections commissioner has demanded that Trump provide evidence of the allegations he has leveled against state and local elections officials.

Miller has promoted the same falsehoods as the boss. He has continued to delegitimize the electoral process by saying things that either (a) are demonstrably false or (b) cannot be proven.

Absent any proof, many of us are left to conclude that none exists.

Meanwhile, the president continues to perform his role of liar in chief — and his lieutenants are following his shameful example.

‘Take the oil,’ Trump says; how, sir?


Donald Trump said the following over the weekend …

“You know, if you stop transportation, I mean, you’re talking about the blood – the blood of the world and we’re going to have to be very, very strong … We’re going to have to take away the energy, the fuel, the money from ISIS.”

It’s a position he’s stated several times while running for the Republican presidential nomination. I do not yet know the answer to this question: How does a President Trump (perish the thought) plan to “take away the energy”?

The Islamic State is getting it from sources in the Middle East. It’s likely some form of black market transaction process. Or it could be done up front and in the open.

Either way, Trump’s assertion that we must take the oil, seize control of it connotes a serious military involvement that the candidate — so far — has said would be a mistake. In the same conversation he had Sunday morning with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump described the Middle East as a “quagmire.”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard a politician ever suggest it is in the country’s best interests to thrust our cherished young American men and women into a quagmire.

So … how would Trump propose to take that oil?

Talk to us, Donald.


Cliché went missing this morning

This morning began like most Sunday mornings for my wife and me.

We awoke. Got cleaned up. Had some breakfast.

Then I turned on the TV to watch a news-talk show, ABC’s “This Week.”

The discussion was quite lively. George Stephanopoulos interviewed Donald Trump, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee — all of whom are running for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Then he went to the roundtable discussion, which included the usual eclectic blend of pundits on the left and the right. They all weighed in with their views of the week’s political news, which of course was dominated by the Republican joint appearance Thursday night and Trump’s rather ghastly reference to one of the moderators and the question she asked about Trump’s views regarding women.

But as the discussions ended after an hour on the air, I was struck by something I didn’t hear.

It was the sound of the world’s most annoying cliché: “At the end of the day … ”

It’s become the cliché du jour of talking heads and politicians.

My theory about the phrase is this: Public officials, usually politicians, like to say the phrase to set up what they think is the most profound statement they can deliver on a given subject.

“At the end of the day, George … the world is going to spin off its axis and is going to crash into the sun.”

But over the past few years — and it hasn’t been that many years since someone introduced it into our contemporary political vernacular — it’s become overused in the extreme. I’ve heard pols use it multiple times in a single run-on sentence.

This morning, though, the phrase was MIA.

May it never be found.