Tag Archives: Mar-a-Lago

National Archives: Trump broke the law

Whenever I think of organizations prone to be subjected to partisan political pressure, among the last of them I think of is the National Archives, the keeper of all things official that emanate from the federal government.

So … when the National Archives issues a statement that Donald J. Trump broke the law when he hustled classified documents out of the White House and stashed them at his glitzy resort in south Florida, well, that’s a big bit of news.

Furthermore, think of the irony of this revelation. Didn’t the GOP presidential nominee, Trump, accuse Hillary Clinton of similar if not identical crimes while campaigning against her in 2016?

The National Archives has sent the matter to the Department of Justice for review and possible criminal referral.

Hmm. Looks to me like the walls are closing in on the ex-president.

According to The Associated Press:

Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.

No matter the legal risk, it exposes him to charges of hypocrisy given his relentless attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. The FBI investigated but ultimately did not recommend charges.

National Archives: Trump took classified items to Mar-a-Lago (msn.com)

Trump’s carelessness about national security matters have become almost legendary during his time as president and as a candidate for the highest office in the land. Recall, for instance, how he revealed some national secrets to Russians government officials visiting him in the Oval Office.

The former Moron in Chief, though, apparently has invited “Lock him up!” chants if what the National Archives alleges proves true. As for the DOJ probe, my gut tells me that the FBI has plenty of grist on which it can chew.


What? POTUS stays off the golf course?

Am I the only American who has noticed that Donald John Trump is staying close to the house, as in the White House, while we fight this coronavirus pandemic?

There have been no trips to Mar-a-Lago or to Bedminster or to anywhere outside of Washington, D.C., for this president.

Not while the rest of us are staying home, away from others — even extended family.

I just have to say that Trump’s outward attentiveness to the crisis at hand has not gone unnoticed.

Southern White House? Hold on a second, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump has been getting beaten up on social media over his use of the term “Southern White House” to describe Mar-a-Lago, the glitzy resort he owns on the south Florida coast.

He made that reference during a Christmas phone conversation he was having with troops overseas. The Twitter network went nuts.

Why? Because Mar-a-Lago is a for-profit business associated with the resort to which it is attached and which the president still owns. Even though he turned day-to-day operations over to sons Don Jr. and Eric, Donald Trump hasn’t divested himself of his financial interest in Mar-a-Lago.

To be sure, other presidents have used their private residences as “getaway” White House quarters. President Kennedy had Hyannis Port, Mass.; President Johnson had his ranch in Stonewall, Texas; President Nixon had his place in San Clemente, Calif.; President Ford had a home in Palm Springs, Calif.; President Carter had his home in Plains, Ga.; President Reagan had his ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif.; President Bush 41 had his place at Kennebunkport, Maine; President Bush 43 had his ranch near Crawford, Texas.

Presidents Clinton and Obama didn’t have actual residences where they could go, so they would vacation wherever they felt like it.

All of the off-site “White House” residences I mentioned did not serve as business endeavors for the presidents. Therein lies the reason that Mar-a-Lago shouldn’t be referred to as the “Southern White House.”

None of that will stop Donald Trump from speaking carelessly. It’s what this guy does.

Merry Christmas, Mr. President

I had thought about going easy today on Donald J. Trump, given that it’s Christmas and all of that. I am having fun today with my family gathered around. We’re set to have a lot of laughs and good cheer.

Then the president opened his mouth about Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, impeachment and how much his foes hate him. He said that after he spoke from Mar-a-Lago, Fla., to troops stationed overseas, in harm’s way, fighting to protect us against the evil forces that threaten us and the rest of the world.

OK, I won’t wade too deeply into the weeds with this post. I’ll continue to go easier on Donald Trump than I otherwise might be inclined to do.

I just wish the president could set all that partisan bickering nonsense aside for a day. He can’t do it.

I realize I have allowed myself to get sucked into that nastiness sausage grinder on occasion, even during holy holidays.

I’ll just leave it at that.

Today is a joyful day. I intend to keep a smile on my face all day. I might even keep smiling when the sun comes up in the morning.

Merry Christmas, everyone … and to you as well, Mr. President.

After impeachment, then what? An election!

I am quite able to accept the notion that once the House impeaches Donald Trump over abuse of power, violation of his oath, bribery, extortion and assorted other high crimes and misdemeanors that the Senate is likely to keep him in office.

Then what?

The president can campaign for re-election in 2020 as the only individual ever to seek a second term under the cloud of impeachment. How do you think that will play?

It then likely would fall on whoever runs against him to make the case that Trump encompasses, in fact, all the traits laid out in the articles of impeachment. He is ignorant of government; he is self-serving, self-aggrandizing and self-indulgent; he denigrates dedicated public servants; he is corrupt to the core.

Is that what we want in our president, in our head of state, in our commander in chief? Of course not! Then again, I don’t need to be persuaded of any of it. I have believed it since the moment the Reality TV Celebrity in Chief rode down the Trump Tower escalator and declared (a) that he would run for president and that (b) Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers and murderers.

Perhaps the speaker of the House was right all along. Trump won’t be kicked out of office by a Senate conviction because the GOP majority lacks the courage to do the right thing; so it falls on the voters to remove him on Nov. 3, 2020 when they cast their ballots for president.

The impeachment inquiry is going to lead to an impeachment. I have reversed myself on that matter. It should proceed. I have heard enough from the witnesses who have talked publicly to the House Intelligence Committee.

Donald Trump is even more unfit for the presidency than he was when he entered the 2016 campaign. He needs to be defeated. Trump needs to evicted from the White House and sent home to Mar-a-Lago, where his heart has belonged all along anyway.

I say this believing that Senate Republicans will hold firm against the tide that will impeach the president. That’s my view today.

There well might be a glimmer of hope, though, that lightning will strike and that GOP senators can be persuaded by their “bosses” at home that they need to suck it up, step up and stand for the Constitution they took an oath to protect and defend.

It’s only a glimmer but … one never knows.

Trump’s ‘concern’ about Dorian … is it authentic?

It has come down to this, given Donald Trump’s abject failure to perform one of the unwritten roles of his presidency.

A massive hurricane named Dorian is bearing down on south Florida. Trump was set to fly to Poland this weekend to commemorate the start of World War II. He canceled his trip, citing his need to “monitor” the monstrous hurricane which — by the way — is threatening the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

I believe it is fair to wonder whether the president is authentically concerned about the Floridians threatened by the storm or is he more concerned about whether his glitzy palace survives the impact with minimal damage.

Yes, the cynical side of me is wondering what really is driving this president to forgo a monumental foreign trip. He could “monitor” the storm’s progress from across The Pond. He could be on the phone with FEMA managers, with first responders, with Florida government officials.

He’s staying home, though, to “monitor” the situation.

Hey, at one level I am glad he’s decided to stay home. I just wonder, though, how he’s going to respond publicly when Dorian roars ashore. I wonder whether he’s capable of saying the right things, of responding in the proper manner, of performing as “consoler in chief.”

He hasn’t done it yet, no matter the circumstance.

So, just why is Donald Trump staying home? This individual’s demonstrated lack of compassion and empathy compels me to ask.

‘Emergency’ plays second fiddle to golf at Mar-a-Lago

I admit readily that I am a bit slow on the uptake at times.

Such as when the president of the United States declares a “national emergency” and then jets off to Florida for a weekend of fun in the sun and a round or three of golf at his posh Mar-a-Lago resort.

What am I missing? I cannot grasp what he’s doing here.

When a president declares a “national emergency,” doesn’t he remain on his watch, pouring all his energy into solving the problem that causes the emergency? Yeah, I know I’ve declared my lack of angst over all the golf that Donald Trump plays; he’s always on the clock. It’s just that he said he wouldn’t “have time” for golf once he took office as president.

So he says our southern border has become a “point of entry” for hordes of drug dealers, human traffickers, killers, rapists and assorted international terrorists. His response was to declare the “national emergency” that in fact doesn’t exist.

The president betrayed the urgency of the declaration, I am going to presume, when he boarded Air Force One and headed to South Florida for the weekend.

I always have considered “national emergencies” to be, by definition, events that require the president’s undivided attention. President Carter declared such an emergency when the Iranian terrorists took our embassy personnel in 1979. If memory serves, the president acted the way one in his position must act.

Donald John Trump Sr.? He has fabricated a “national emergency” where no such thing exists.

A Thanksgiving plea to POTUS

I want to direct this next blog post to the president of the United States. He likely won’t see it, given that he has several million Twitter followers. But … here’s hoping for the best.

Mr. President, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Really, I do wish it for you and your family. But please, sir, I have a request: Do not do anything stupid, foolish, outrageous, insulting, moronic, idiotic or distasteful on this day … at least! It’s too much to ask that you refrain from such idiocy beyond this uniquely American holiday.

Enjoy your time at Mar-a-Lago. Surround yourself with friends. Give thanks for all that you have. I’m sure you’ve got some nice digs there.

Give thanks if you want to Vladimir Putin for all he sought to do to help you win the 2016 election. Give thanks also to your new BFF, Kim Jong Un, the guy with whom said you are in love. You are entitled to give thanks to Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman (I will not refer to him as “MBS”) for buying all those jet fighters — even though he ordered the murder of that journalist in Istanbul.

Just don’t make any goofy policy pronouncements today via Twitter, Mr. President. I want to enjoy the day here in North Texas with my family and I do not want to get my blood boiling over some stupid remark from your Twitter account.

Tomorrow’s another day. I am sure you will provide millions of us with grist to either condemn or praise. Count me as one who’s likely to be in the former category.

Until then, sir … again, happy Thanksgiving.

This is ‘winning,’ Mr. President?

Happy New Year, White House staff. They’re seemingly filled with anxiety about their future and the future, possibly, of the Man in Charge — the president of the United States.

Donald Trump has returned to the White House from his “working vacation” at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He is sunny, upbeat and ready for the challenges that 2018 will bring him.

I hope he’s really ready for what could be a rough year, as if 2017 wasn’t rough enough.

Sure, he got that tax cut through Congress and signed it into law before Christmas. But … that was it, legislatively. Of course, the president had a different take on it, calling his first year the most successful in the history of Planet Earth.

A new year is now upon us all. The White House reportedly is getting ready for more senior staff shakeups. I guess they’re getting used to it by now. Trump has let one White House chief of staff go; he canned the White House communications director, who replaced the guy who resigned; he fired his first national security adviser; the first White House press secretary quit in a huff.

Deputy Cabinet officials have yet to be named in many departments. The secretary of state might be on the bubble; but then again, maybe not.

And, yes, we have the special counsel’s investigation into that “Russia thing.”

Against all that backdrop, there is a concern among White House staffers about a potential Democratic onslaught in the upcoming midterm election. “They absolutely should worry about 2018,” said Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush. “I do fear a wave election. Democrats are highly motivated to vote against Trump and all Republicans. Trump has got to grow beyond the base, and he has got to make himself less hated among a group in the middle.”

Anxiety abounds

Yet the president keeps talking about “winning” and saying all is good, all is bright, all is just plain peachy within the White House.

I, um, don’t think that’s the case.

White House protests too much

I have a simple bit advice for the White House press office, which seeks to explain the nature of the president’s time away from Washington.

Settle down, will ya?

The Trump family has jetted off to Florida to spend the Thanksgiving weekend at their resort. Fine. Enjoy yourself, Mr. President.

Back at the office, the White House keeps insisting that the president is taking a “working vacation.” Press aides keep telling the media that the president is hard at work while he plays golf, frolics with his grandkids and does whatever he does when he’s not in the Oval Office.

C’mon, gang! I’ve long defended presidential vacations by noting that presidents never are “off the clock.” I know that the current POTUS has squawked about the vacations his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, would take. I called him out when he would insist he would “never” take a vacation were he elected president. I defended President Obama for taking time away from the stressful atmosphere in the Oval Office.

I’ll do so again with Donald Trump. Which brings me back to my point: The president of the United States is supposed to be available to answer the call, whether he’s at his Oval Office desk or on the 18th green.

Message to White House press office? Stop insisting on calling it a “working vacation.”