PRESIDENT TRUMP: RUSSIA MIGHT BE HIS ACHILLES HEEL (1)
It's dysfunctional as far as national security is concerned. Who's in charge? Who's in charge! Who's making policy? Who's making decisions? I don't know of anyone outside of the White House that knows (Senator John McCain)
The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security. By what authority did Flynn act and to whom did he report? (House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi)
Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we're a nation at war. As a commander, I'm concerned our government should be as stable as possible (Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the military's Special Operations Command said on Feb. 16)
n only about four weeks in office, Americans are asking how and why they got into the mess of Trump as the President. This was not what most Americans bargained for, when they elected him on November 8, 2016.
President Trump has unleashed unprecedented chaos in such a short time. Let's recap few of them here. What we get from Trump are angry tweets about intelligence leaks and low-life leakers who will soon be caught. He loved leakers, during the campaign, when they were hitting Hillary Clinton, but now, for him, they are America's worst enemies. He used the media, during the campaign, but now, Trump sees the media as the enemy of the American people. It has been bad for him, as he forced his NSA to resign, and his replacement rejected the offer, and his labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, withdrew his nomination. One wonders if Trump was out of his mind to nominate such a man as the labor Secretary; a man, a billionaire, just like Trump, who sees nothing wrong with the exploitation of workers, and was even against the payment of the minimum wage.
My people say that a snake seen by only a person usually becomes a python; so let me paraphrase the WP (Washington Post) here:
Trump started by setting off global outrage with a ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries; fired his acting attorney general for refusing to defend the ban and watched as federal courts swiftly moved to block the policy, calling it an unconstitutional use of executive power; angrily provoked the cancellation of a summit meeting with the Mexican president; hung up on Australia's prime minister, authorized a commando raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL member and an American girl; repeatedly lied about the existence of millions of fraudulent votes cast in the 2016 election; and engaged in Twitter wars with senators, a sports team owner, a Hollywood actor, and a major department store chain. His words and actions have generated almost daily protests around the country, and more protests are coming.
Leon Panetta, who served as chief of staff, secretary of defense, and C.I.A. director, during a 50-year career that spanned nine presidents from both parties, was quoted, by WP, as having expressed his frustration thus: "I've never been so nervous in my lifetime about what may or may not happen in Washington. I don't know whether this White House is capable of responding in a thoughtful or careful way should a crisis erupt. You can do hit-and-miss stuff over a period of time. But at some point, I don't give a damn what your particular sense of change is all about, you cannot afford to have change become chaos".
Trump claims that he promised voters that he will disrupt Washington, if elected, and that that's what he's doing, but WP tells him that yet the disruptions have come at a cost: that he has so far made little progress on other legislations such as repealing President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The White House has not proposed a promised infrastructure bill to repair deteriorating roads, bridges and tunnels. And the president's aides have not yet drawn up plans for an overhaul of the nation's tax code. Afraid of the 2018 midterm elections, Thomas M. Davis, a former Republican member of Congress, from Virginia, said: "They have got to produce something. If all you've got is a bunch of executive orders and a Twitter feed, you don't want to go into an election like that". Kevin Madden, who served as a senior adviser to Mitt Romney during both of his presidential campaigns, said Mr. Trump's voters in 2016 wanted him to overhaul an establishment in Washington, which they view as long on promises, long on process but short on action. But, he ended up in these words: "Voters certainly asked for change. They certainly wanted to see disruption. But if change begins to look like confusion and disruption morphs into disorder, you risk losing a certain level of confidence with voters".
During the campaign, and after the election, Trump was accused of having something to do with Russia, as it was alleged that that country did everything to help him win the election. Trump denied having anything to do with Putin of Russia, and he disparaged those who alleged that the Russians helped his election. But now, the picture is getting clearer, as his National Security Adviser (NSA), Michael Flynn, was forced to resign his post on Monday, Feb. 13, after admitting he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the United states, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, even before the inauguration, reportedly assuring him that the new administration would revisit the sanctions imposed after Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, and for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn, according to The NYT, is the third Trump adviser to resign over Russian links. Paul Manafort resigned as Trump campaign chairman, after it was revealed his name appeared in a secret ledger maintained by ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and Carter Page stepped down as Trump's foreign policy adviser in September 2016, amid an investigation into whether he communicated privately with Russian officials.
The House committee has opened an investigation into whether the resigned national security adviser received an improper payment from the Russian government for a trip to Moscow in December 2015. Trump, during a solo press conference, according to Dallas News, did deny that he personally had contact with Russia during the campaign, but refused to say whether the same was true of his top advisers. At several points, he declared that "Russia is fake news." He also defended former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who he fired, in these words: "Mike Flynn is a fine person, and I asked for his resignation" (birds of a feather).
As part of a different, highly convoluted answer, Trump also said he had not directed Flynn to discuss U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador, but added that if Flynn hadn't done so, Trump would have told him to do it. At the same press conference, Trump repeated a false boast about the size of his Electoral College victory. On numerous occasions, he has claimed that his margin of victory was larger than that of any president since Ronald Reagan. In fact, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all won by wider margins. Clinton and Obama did so twice. This will tell you the kind of person Trump is. I think that in one's life, becoming the president of the United States is a rare feat that will make one to have the number of his votes or the electoral college he won registered deep inside his brain, and can't get it wrong, no matter how old or how long such a person has left the White House. But, lo, Trump, just about 4 weeks in White House and still can't quote accurately the number of electoral votes which sent him in there. Nothing short of a disgrace! Let me tell you, money is not everything; a stupid man remains that, no matter the amount of money he has.
The question is how can Trump be innocent, when his officials are guilty? What does Trump know, and when did he know it? There's more to this than meets the eye, and I demand that full investigation should commence on this. This point was noted by former CBS anchorman, Dan Rather, who said on Tuesday, Feb 14, according to NYT, that Watergate was the biggest political scandal of his lifetime, but the current controversy over former national security adviser Michael Flynn's pre-inauguration contacts with the Russian ambassador, and the Trump campaign's possible interactions could eclipse the bungled burglary at Democratic National Headquarters that forced Richard Nixon from the presidency.
A Democratic lawmaker on Thursday, Feb. 16, according to The Hill, explicitly questioned, on the House floor, whether the Trump administration is compromised by Russia. "Are we witnessing the first Manchurian presidency in the history of the United States?" Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) asked. The term "Manchurian," used to describe a compromised political actor, is derived from the 1959 novel "The Manchurian Candidate," which is about an American being unwittingly brainwashed into becoming an assassin for a Communist plot. Payne's escalated remarks came as he called for an independent investigation into the circumstances leading to Michael Flynn stepping down as President Trump's national security adviser. And that's what anybody, who loves America, wants!