It took Richard Milhous Nixon two years of his second term as President of the United States to reach a point where he had to resign his office or be impeached. It may take Donald John Trump less than a year in office to reach the same point.
President Trump seems to be his own worst enemy, continually bringing up issues that diminish him as President of the United States. One issue is voter fraud. Because Hillary Clinton got three million more popular votes than Trump there must have been voter fraud. His thin ego demands that he had gotten the majority of the popular vote. With no proof other than what he feels and knows emotionally to be true Trump is about to begin an investigation of voter fraud in the last election.
To his Voter Fraud Commission, which he has brought about with an Executive Order, Trump has assigned people who, among others, have belonged to hate groups. He has assigned Kris Kobach to help lead this new commission. Kobach is a lawyer who has championed laws to suppress voting and has long represented the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has been named as a hate group by the SPLC. He has also put Ken Blackwell on the commission. He is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group. The probable end result of this will be to restrict the vote among minorities and the elderly which many Republicans feel needs to be done since both those groups generally vote for the Democratic candidate.
But in point of fact from all past investigation, voter fraud is a very small fraction of one percent. It is small enough to be practically nonexistent. But Trump will loudly vent his feelings of outrage at not receiving the popular vote in this direction. And he will follow past Republican practices of trying to suppress the non-Republican vote.
The group that blindly follows him will be egged on by him and will, in turn, egg him on with their cheering at his next rally. Trump has stated that he could publically shoot someone and this group would cheer him on. We’ll never really know, of course; but I suspect that it might be true for a part of his cheering groups, an ever decreasing number of the people who cheer him at his rallies.
For the general public there is just so much idiocy or nonsense that they can take. With Trump it seems that there is no limit as to how much he can dish out. Also he seems to have a short-turn memory and is constantly or day by day contradicting himself or changing his mind. He apparently forgets what he has agreed to or is continently contradicting himself.
Being President is the first political adventure Trump has had. Prior to the 2016 Election he had never held any office, had never been a public servant. He seems to have a limited or no knowledge of the presidents of the U.S. and of the nation’s history. He either doesn’t realize or he doesn’t care that everything he says is instant news and is televised and that the media will show the public that he is constantly changing his mind. Life is completely different than it was when he was just a businessman and could bully his way through almost everything. He can no longer be contemptuous of the legal system and not pay contractors or employees the full amount they were supposed to get, or, for that matter, run a pseudo university for large amounts of student tuition.
Trump, by his own admission, is the world’s greatest negotiator. But outside of business deals or his reality television contract he has never negotiated anything. He feels he can get better deals than any of the professionals at the State Department. He has, by the way, fired the entire upper echelon of the State Department and not hired anyone in their place. I suspect he wants to do all the negotiating by himself or through his Secretary of State. This is something that he cannot physically carry out. But then to him negotiating is very easy and doesn’t take much time.
He is like a bull in a China shop. Whatever he does he is upsetting something. In many cases that something is himself.
We have seen him in action with the President of Mexico. In terms of China he has had the President of China visiting his Florida Resort on a weekend and suddenly, according to Trump, China is no longer trying to exploit the United States even though their trading practices have not really changed. We know he tried to have China bring pressure upon North Korea to stop its atomic and missile development. By inference, since then I would assume that some sort of trade agreement between the two countries was worked out, but no announcements were made as to what they were and President Trump has mentioned more than once that China will help us with North Korea. But North Korea is still developing its missile system.
In essence what President Trump has been doing is learning how to be President of the United States for the last one hundred and twenty some days. Initially he thought he was in charge and thought he could do anything he wanted. He has been limited by the Courts and by Congress. Apparently he doesn’t understand or has never read the Constitution. Knowledge has slowly come to him. It has been a humbling experience and he doesn’t like it. As a businessman he could do anything he wished and largely ignore the law. As President there are Constitutional limits to his power. He seems to be learning more about these limits every day.
At this point of his Presidency, regardless of Trump’s indifference on the matter, it is generally agreed by both the press and most government agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election by, among other things, attempting to influence how people voted by publishing both real and fake news just before the actual election. They also published a large number of WiliLeaks hacked Clinton Emails that tended to negatively impact her campaign. To date no one has accused the Russians of trying to impact actual voter counts.
Also Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, attempted to set up a backchannel line of communication with Russia last December that would bypass US’ national security and the intelligence apparatus. The action was totally illegal.
In addition American government intelligence agencies have conclusive evidence of at least 18 specific contacts between Trump’s people and Russian agents both before and during the 2016 Presidential Election. Whether this evidence included transcripts of the contacts is presently unknown. But evidence does exist.
Trump, himself, has refused to accept this information. He tends to be positive about Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, stating occasionally that any nation could have done that. Consequently he has rejected the idea that Russians interfered in the American election. In fact for some unknown reason Trump has shared with Russian diplomats Israeli top secret information.
This bring us to Trump and the former Director of the FBI, James Comey. Comey announced, early in May, that he had been conducting an investigation into relations between Trump’s people and Russia even before the actual Presidential Election of 2016. Presumably, according to Trump, Comey was doing a lousy job as head of the FBI. Consequently he fired him.
Supposedly, what actually happened is that Trump invited Comey to a dinner which then Director Comey did not really want to attend and there, among other things, asked for his loyalty. The FBI has traditionally been kept separate from the rest of the government. Comey refused to acquiesce. Comey had later asked for more resources to continue the investigation of Trump. Trump fired him, not long afterwards when Comey was on the Westcoast without informing him of the fact.
Since that time it has come out that Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation against his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Flynn not only had contacts with Russian agents and been paid by the Turkish government he also lied about it. Sally Yates, in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee stated that she warned the White House that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia and was therefore a security risk. Eighteen days after this he was fired by Trump for lying to the Vice President and replaced as National Security Advisor.
Flynn had been under investigation by the FB, even before the election. On Tuesday, May 16, the New York Times published an article that Trump early in February, had asked the head of the FBI to drop the investigation against Flynn, stating that “He’s a good guy, I hope you let this go.” Within minutes after the story appeared in the New York Times the White House posted a response to the newspaper’s website denying that the President ever made such a request. According to the Times report, Comey wrote a memo immediately following a February meeting with Trump, when he made this request. In fact Comey wrote memos after every meeting with Trump.
It’s interesting to note that Michael Flynn, after he had been relieved of government office, offered to testify before a Senate Committee if he were given immunity. During the Reagan administration Colonel Oliver North had been given immunity when testifying before a Congressional Committee and subsequently could not be prosecuted for misdeeds he had committed. I suspect Flynn is in the same situation. The committee turned down his offer. What does Flynn know about Trump?
The day prior, Monday, May 15, 2017, Trump had a meeting that lasted over an hour with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, another Russian official, and a Russian photographer in the oval office where he gave the Russians access to top secret information, information that was shared by Israel and was not supposed to be shared with anyone else.
Apparently only the President can instantly declassify materials. This news dropped like a bomb-shell, shocking everyone. Trump denied that what he showed the Russians was secret. But what is generally believed is that Trump shared with them information which had come from one of the United States allies.
Whether it’s true or not isn’t the point here. What is the point is how does this news affect America’s allies? Will they be willing to share information in the future as they have in the past? What does this do to international trust between its allies and the U.S.?
Why would President Donald Trump stand with Russia against all of America’s allies? It would seem that Trump is somehow tied to the Russians. Presumably to the Russian Plutocrats who are in Putin’s intimate circle. Has he been involved in money laundering? In other types of financial dealings? In what? Does he owe money to Russian banks?
It seems that Trump has definite ties with Russia. And these have existed long before he became President of the United States. Currently he is looking for a new Director for the FBI. Will he find someone who will swear allegiance to him rather than the Government of the United States? Will he add on more to all the “Yes, Men” he has in the White House? How long will it take for one or more of the investigations of his ties to Russia to be completed? I suspect, with all the new bombshells dropping daily he may at most last a year in office. Currently he has been President for a over four months. He has another eight to go to make a year.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the controversy about Trump continues. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, has offered to send a transcript of the meeting with Trump in the Oval office. This has been rejected because of the distrust of anything Russian by leading members of the U.S. Congress. Some of the heads of European countries have said they will continue to share their secret documents with the United States. Republican members of Congress have called for a special prosecutor. Toward the end of the day a special Counsel, Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director, was appointed by the Assistant Attorney General to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 Election. It was also reported on the next day by Kevin McCarthy, the House whip that he thinks Putin pays Trump. In addition it came out that the Trump people knew that Mike Flynn was under FBI investigation before Trump hired him.
Every day there is new and exciting news about Trump. He left on the weekend of May 20th for his first overseas trip, where he will probably practice his negotiating skill as the world’s greatest negotiator. One of his stops is Israel. It was top secret Israeli information that he shared with his Russian visitors to the oval office. It has been suggested that as a businessman Trump had never faced any opposition. He had been involved in over 2,000 lawsuits.
The merry-go-round, and round, Trump tends to go round and round. When and where will it stop? Something new and exciting seems to turn up every day. There is a little over seven months to go before his first year as President is up. Will he make it?