As Hurricane Harvey’s Cat-4 onslaught worsened Friday across SE Texas, Trump capped a tumultuous week with three poorly conceived political maneuvers that when combined with his bungled handling of Charlottesville earned rebukes from two cabinet secretaries that the president’s values were un-American.
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, Secretary of Defense, both were captured on film saying American values are not being represented by President Donald Trump. These statements came to light after Trump fired Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to Trump, whose conspiratorial rants and checkered past left him unable to earn a security clearance; Trump banned transgender individuals from serving in the military; and his pardoning of racist sheriff Joe Arpaio.
In an interview exchange over the weekend on Fox News Sunday, Tillerson revealed the following:
Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday): “Does that make it harder for you to push American values around the world when some foreign leaders question the president’s values?”
Sec. Rex Tillerson: “Chris we express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over, and that message has never changed.”
Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday): “And when the president gets into the kind of controversy he does and the U.N. committee responds the way it does, it seems to say they begin to doubt whether we’re living those values?”
Sec. Rex Tillerson: “I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.”
Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday): “And the president’s values?”
Sec. Rex Tillerson: “The president speaks for himself Chris.”
Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday): “Are you separating yourself from that sir?”
Sec. Rex Tillerson: “I made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week.”
This is America’s top diplomat speaking on the right-wing friendly Fox News channel saying the crazy stuff that comes out of this president’s mouth, i.e. his transgender ban, Muslim ban, pardoning of Joe Arpaio, supporting KKK and neo-Nazis, denigrating fellow Republicans, and specifically a war hero like John McCain – that is Trump alone and not representative of American values.
How about another example. This is Gen. Jim Mattis addressing troops in Afghanistan:
“You are a great example for our country right now. It’s got some problems. You know it and I know it. It’s got problems we don’t have in the military, and you just hold the line my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, you just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other, and showing it, and being friendly to one another, you know that Americans owe to one another. We’re so dog gone lucky to be Americans.”
What we are finding is that since Trump is incapable of functioning in a presidential capacity and is unable to control his impulses, members of the Republican Party, cabinet secretaries and others in leadership positions are being forced to fill this void of leadership in the White House, and deliver public messages and reassurances to the country about what the president is saying and doing to calm fears or ensure allies that America is not going off the tracks into darkness.
New reporting around the Joe Arpaio pardon revealed the president first asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, but was advised that would be inappropriate, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation.
That request dances perilously close to the line of obstruction of justice.
Instead Trump waited for Arpaio to be lawfully convicted, then used questionable decision making to pardon this bigot when Texas residents were fleeing from Hurricane Harvey’s encroaching waters. Turns out Trump felt he would score better ratings by doing the pardon Friday with everyone tuned in to hurricane coverage.
That decision and the thought process behind it is detestable, classless, and desperately lacking in values accustomed to most Americans.
Adding intrigue to all this was breaking news last night from The Washington Post on the president’s involvement with Russian government operatives. The Washington Post reports Michael Cohen, a top executive from Trump’s real estate company, asked Putin’s personal spokesman for help brokering a business deal with the Russian president to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Cohen’s contact with the Russian government did occur during Trump’s campaign to become president, and the president was informed about the matter directly by Cohen on multiple occasions. “Cohen’s email marks the most direct outreach documented by a top Trump aide to a similarly senior member of Putin’s government.”
This verifiably documents that President Trump, VP Mike Pence, and all the other creeps in and surrounding this administration lied repeatedly about their direct involvement with Russian officials, and that assistance in swaying the U.S. presidential election by Putin was part of the reward.
It’s unprecedented how poorly Trump and his staff are bungling the job of president. Truly troubling is that many of these moves by Trump are calculated and on purpose. Trump continues to build the case for his unfitness to hold office, and the ongoing abuse of power by this pretend Commander-in-Chief slowly inches Americans closer to regaining control of our country from this demented maniac and his disgusting family of miscreants.