Temple Chima UbochiMonday, March 20, 2017
Bonn, Germany




I am sure that challengers will use the president's comments last night as further evidence that the true intent of his executive order is to bar Muslim immigration (Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School)

President Trump and his aides have made some very clear public statements about his two travel ban orders - and sometimes, those statements are later used against them in federal court cases about the bans. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

Trump and his advisers "seem to be validating the court's concerns every chance they get. They seem not to know when they need to keep their mouths shut (Mo Elleithee, executive director of the Institute of Politics and Public Service at Georgetown University)

Trump had an opportunity after he was elected to set a different course but has not. As president, he should have said he was wrong to advocate for a Muslim ban. He's never done that. What it appears he's doing now is trying to do it in a way that squeaks by (Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University)

rump has messed up big time, and everybody is feeling irritated, that even those whose job is to churn out Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, McNuggets etc are reacting. On Thursday, March 16, a tweet from one of McDonald's official Twitter accounts attacked President Trump and longed for the return of his predecessor. The tweet from the company's @McDonaldsCorp account declared:

"@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands".

McDonald swiftly removed the tweet and claimed that it was the work of a hacker or a rogue intern or staffer, but not before it was retweeted more than 872 times and liked by at least 900 people. McDonald released this message: "Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this." Yahoo News then wrote that "but one response above all perhaps best summed up the mood on social media after McDonald's apparent gaffe: "I'm lovin' it!" GQ wrote that of course McDonald's was quick to claim their account was hacked, because of course, that's what everyone does in these situations. Imagine that was your job. Imagine you spent every day spitting out focus-group nonsense about burgers being "bae," while Donald Trump is threatening the civil rights of Muslims. Imagine you watch as day after day more and more Russia connections are exposed in the Trump White House, but your job is to use a Twitter account that reaches 3.39 Million people to say this.

The Daily Beast wrote this: At the end of yet another terrible week for President Donald Trump, in which his new travel ban was blocked, his health-care bill is "collapsing" and even Republicans are turning against him on the whole "wiretapping" thing, Seth Meyers once again asked his supporters, "Are you sick of winning yet? Because if you are, you'd better get to the doctor before Trump takes away your health care."

In response to the president's claim that he has done more in his first 50 days than any other president, Meyers said, "Trump has done more in office the way a toddler helps out in the kitchen. He may be trying, but by the time he leaves there's snot on the fridge and a shoe in the dishwasher."

But nothing seemed to enrage the Late Night host more Thursday night than Trump's new budget, which seeks massive cuts in numerous federal programs, including the EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and even Meals on Wheels.

While cuts to those first two programs were expected from Trump, Meyers made it clear he thought the third was beyond the pale.

"Meals on Wheels?!" the host asked, incredulously. "How dead inside do you have to be to not want old people to get food? Your heart is so small it makes your tiny hands look like catcher's mitts."

"Old people voted for you!" he continued. "Your key demographics were old people and older people. They believed you when you said you cared about them. There's nothing more low-life than lying to the elderly. You should know that. You're 70."

The latest is that President Donald Trump's approval rating has dropped by five points, according to a recent poll. The survey, by Fox News, found 51% of people polled disapprove of the president, while 43% of people approve. This is a drop of five points from the same survey taken just one month ago, with the breakdown of disapproval ratings showing Trump's decisions on immigration and healthcare and the US's relationship with Russia all apparent bones of contention for voters. How do the young feel about Trump? Just 22 percent of young adults approve of Trump's job performance; and a majority of young adults - 57 percent - see Trump's presidency as illegitimate, the GenForward poll found. The worst is that Trump's budget cuts put struggling Americans on edge. The NYT wrote that as news of Mr. Trump's budget begins to sink in, some Americans feel as if their country no longer has a place for them.

The number of people who regret voting for Trump is growing. According to Marie Claire of Yahoo News, a new national poll released this week shows that Trump supporters increasingly feel that he's "going too far," is falling short of their expectations of him for unifying the country, and is "getting sidetracked by things that aren't important." All of which amounts to an uptick in "Trump Regretters" (i.e. people who voted for him but no longer support him) since November.

During the campaign leading to the 2016 presidential election, candidate Trump was ranting and ranting, buoyed by the noise of his supporters, thinking that nobody was actually recording what he was saying, and not envisaging that what he said then will come to hurt him thereafter. The truth is that Donald Trump never knew he will win the presidential election, otherwise, he would have been guarded in his utterances during that period Two judges, one in Hawaii, US District Judge Derrick Watson, and another in Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Federal District Court, have respectively put a restraining order on Trump's new travel ban. That means that the federal judges halted the ban hours before it was to take effect. In quick succession, according to WP, the federal judges blocked President Trump's revised travel ban. They said statements Mr. Trump had made as a presidential candidate, including his call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," helped doom the executive order. The judges said Mr. Trump's promises to impose a "Muslim ban" were too telling and categorical to be ignored. Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Federal District Court in Maryland wrote: "Simply because a decision maker made the statements during a campaign does not wipe them from judicial memory".

In rulings halting both the first and second attempts at a ban, judges have cited comments by Trump and his close advisers as evidence of the administration's intent to target Muslims in a manner inconsistent with the Constitution - even as lawyers for Trump insist that is not the case.

US District Judge Derrick Watson, laid the blame squarely on President Trump and his advisers, who had suggested the policy was aimed at barring Muslims according to NYT. In his ruling, Watson wrote, according to Business Insider, that as President Donald Trump seeks to implement a version of his travel ban targeting some majority Muslim countries, his team's past statements on the matter may keep coming back to haunt him. In his opinion, Watson centers on the historical background and the context of the executive order. "The record before this Court is unique," said Watson in his opinion. "It includes significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order and its related predecessor. The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable".

In his blistering 43-page opinion, Judge Watson referred to those comments as well as a recent Fox News appearance by Trump senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, who said the second attempt at a ban would have "mostly minor technical differences" and that Americans would see "the same basic policy outcome for the country."

Watson offered the following example from CNN's television broadcast of an interview between Anderson Cooper and Trump last year:

"In March 2016, Mr. Trump said, during an interview, 'I think Islam hates us.' Mr. Trump was asked, 'Is there a war between the West and radical Islam, or between the West and Islam itself?' He replied: 'It's very hard to separate. Because you don't know who's who.'

In that same interview, Mr. Trump stated: 'But there's a tremendous hatred. And we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States. . . [a]nd of people that are not Muslim.'"

The judge included an excerpt from an interview with NBC's Meet the Press from October the same year:

"Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?" Mr. Trump replied: "The Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into a[n] extreme vetting from certain areas of the world." When asked to clarify whether "the Muslim ban still stands," Mr. Trump said, "It's called extreme vetting."

In response to the revised travel ban that replaced the first executive order - which was slapped down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February - Watson argued in his ruling that the White House intended to prioritize religion above secularism with its travel ban, citing statements from an adviser to Trump:

"... the President's Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller, stated, 'Fundamentally ... you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome [as the first].'These plainly-worded statements, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order's stated secular purpose. Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court ... that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, 'secondary to a religious objective' of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims."

Apart from the examples judge Watson gave above, I agree with the WP that Trump and his advisers can't keep quiet - and it's becoming a real problem. The Paper explained that a different politician might have expressed disappointment and moved on. But Trump, taking the stage barely an hour later at a rally that Wednesday night in Nashville, let loose on the "terrible ruling" - and doubled down on the sentiments that got the policy into trouble in the first place. Hear him rant:

"The order blocked was a watered-down version of the first order. Let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way."

The episode was just one of numerous examples of Trump and his advisers pushing incendiary language and unfounded claims, even in the face of opposition from federal judges and top lawmakers of both parties. What the Paper meant is that Trump and his aides' language about the travel ban are undermining their cause. Trump boosters say his freewheeling rhetoric, in person and on social media, is a large part of his appeal and has kept him in good stead with his political base. But it is also making governing more challenging.

To be concluded!