What is Up in Trump’s Washington


February 15, 2017

What is Up in Trump’s Washington after 2 weeks of the 45th Presidency

by Thomas L. Friedman

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The Parting of the Ways–“Mr. Patriotism” and his National Security Adviser, Lt- Gen (rtd) Michael Flynn

Thank God for the resignation in shame by Mike Flynn, President Trump’s National Security Adviser. And not just because he misled the vice president and engaged in deeply malignant behavior with Russia, but, more important, because maybe it will finally get the United States government, Congress and the news media to demand a proper answer to what is still the biggest national security question staring us in the face today: What is going on between Donald Trump and the Russians?

Sorry, Kellyanne Conway, I am not ready to just “move on.”

Every action, tweet and declaration by Trump throughout this campaign, his transition and his early presidency screams that he is compromised when it comes to the Russians.

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Who owns this Make America Great Again Guy?

I don’t know whether Russian oligarchs own him financially or whether Russian spies own him personally because of alleged indiscreet behavior during his trips to Moscow. But Trump’s willingness to attack allies like Australia, bluster at rivals like China, threaten enemies like Iran and North Korea and bully neighbors like Mexico — while consistently blowing kisses to Russian President Vladimir Putin — cannot be explained away by his mere desire to improve relations with Moscow to defeat the Islamic State. And the Flynn ouster gives our government another, desperately needed opportunity to demand the answers to these questions, starting with seeing the President’s tax returns.

We need to know whom Trump owes and who might own him, and we need to know it now. Save for a few patriotic Republican senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the entire Republican Party is complicit in a shameful act of looking away at Trump’s inexplicable behavior toward Russia.

If Republicans want to know how they should be behaving on this issue, they should ask themselves what they would be saying and doing right now if a President Hillary Clinton had behaved toward Russia the way Trump has, and had her national security adviser been found hinting to the Russian ambassador to hold tight because a softer United States policy toward Russia was on its way.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan and  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell–Both should consider impeaching Trump when there is inscrutable evidence to do so, instead of looking away from this traversty. Loyalty has its limits.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, what are you thinking by looking away from this travesty? You both know that if the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. had concluded that the Russians had intervened to help Hillary Clinton get elected you would have closed the government and demanded a new election. Now it’s all O.K.? So you can get some tax cuts? Gens. Jim Mattis and John Kelly, our new secretaries of defense and homeland security, you are great patriots who both put your lives on the line in uniform to defend American values from precisely the kind of attack Putin perpetrated. Are you O.K. with what’s going on?

We need to rerun the tape. Ladies and gentlemen, we were attacked on December  7, 1941, we were attacked on September 11, 2001, and we were attacked on November 8, 2016. That most recent attack didn’t involve a horrible loss of lives, but it was devastating in its own way. Our entire intelligence community concluded that Russia hacked our election by deliberately breaking into Democratic National Committee computers and then drip-by-drip funneling embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks to undermine Clinton’s campaign. And what have we done about it? Other than a wrist slap against Moscow, we’ve moved on.

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Turmoil beneath  the beautiful and calm Washington DC

I am not arguing that Trump is not the legitimate President; he won for many reasons. But I am arguing that he is not behaving like one. Trump presents himself as “Mr. Patriotism,” wrapped in the American flag. And yet he has used his Twitter account to attack BMW for building an auto plant in Mexico, Boeing for over charging for a government airplane, the cast of “Hamilton” for appealing to the vice president to reaffirm American pluralism, American newspapers for undercounting the size of his inauguration crowd and the actress Meryl Streep for calling him out for bullying a handicapped reporter. And yet “Mr. Patriotism” has barely uttered a word of criticism on Twitter or off about a Russian President who has intervened in our democratic process.

That’s not O.K. The Russians did not just hack into some emails or break into some banks in America. They attacked the very things that make America what it is — that makes it so special: “its rule of law and its democratic form of choosing and changing leaders,” said Nader Mousavizadeh, who was a senior adviser to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and co-leads the global consulting firm Macro Advisory Partners.

I am not looking to go to war with Russia over this. Back in the 1990s, this column was among the loudest voices warning against NATO expansion — that it would one day come back to haunt us, which it has, by making Russia feel threatened. I don’t care about Putin. His regime will fail because he is forever looking for dignity in all the wrong places, by drilling for oil and gas instead of unleashing the creativity of his people. But I am not willing to settle for evicting a few Russian agents and then moving on. We need to get to the truth, look it squarely in the eye and then act proportionately.

Trump and his senior aides have spent their first weeks in power doing nothing more than telling us how afraid we should be of Muslim immigrants who have not been properly vetted by our intelligence and immigration authorities. Well, Putin was vetted by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A., and they concluded that he attacked our country’s most important institution — and Trump has acted as if he could not care less.

If the rest of us do the same, we’ll get the country we deserve, and it will not be great.


 

18 thoughts on “What is Up in Trump’s Washington

  1. A good piece by Thomas Friedman. Trump needs to realise that he is the 45th President of the United States. As Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, he must ensure that his policies and actions are sound since they affect the rest of the world. He is not a gunslinger in chief like Jesse James in Tucson, Arizona . Get on with the job with responsibility and that goes for his Cabinet as well. –Din Merican.

  2. In just 23 days in, the Trump Administration, whose basis is founded upon the Fake News of Fox, Brietbart and Newsmax, is crumbling under it’s own Fake News.

    Fraud is Trump’s bread and butter and he has brought in those who will lie for him. They are now under the scrutiny of the 4th estate and the Justice Department. Their lies are being torn apart and the result is Epic Ethics Violations. Flynn is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The disgusted Senate Republicans are eventually calling for an investigation. It looks like the cards are falling and they’re falling quickly. A special prosecutor will be appointed to investigate the irregularities and outright criminality of Trump and his administration.

    The anxiety and chaos this administration has caused to the United States in such a short period of time is unprecedented in American history. However, Trump Administration is crumbling, proving that America is much stronger than his will.

    Time to open a bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild to celebrate with my wife. Our public protests in the cold and the rain are worth it.

  3. Trump needs to realise …. yes the operative is “realise”. He has been schooled self thought bully and i am right syndrome. He will not realise anything leave alone that president is a resposibility not an authority.

    Meanwhile its republicans need to come to senses and get ready a kenneth starr type dogged chap special prosecutor to keep president honest
    No other remedy

  4. What can a horny dude like Donald Trump do?Basically,he made his bones and fortune stiffing contractors,like builders,electricians,plumbers painters and even the people,like maids waiters and waitresses working in his hotels and golf courses.He is only good at groping,kissing and raping women,even underage girls by force.Just look at this horn dog.What can he do except create distractions and chaos in his first few weeks in Washington?The worst is yet to come.

  5. Quote:- “What is going on between Donald Trump and the Russians?”

    Nothing, absolutely nothing.

    I can’t imagine a patriot like Pres. Trump would suck up to USA’s arch enemy who happens to be the second strongest nuclear power in our Solar System. Nah, no way.

  6. Jesse James confined his operations to the eastern states like Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Minnesota. Never set foot in Tucson.

    But your drift is correct. Trump must rise above the petty boardroom corporat-type mentality and behave and act Presidential. Nothing he has done or said so far indicates he is capable of doing that.

  7. Working with Russia in order to handle effectively the Islamic State is a reality of that part of the world. Trump has campaigned on confronting squarely radical Islamists and has set eradicating radical Islamists as one of the major goals of his administration. Putin has his side goal at East part of Ukraine and knows full well American president needs his help to not be in the way. Putin wants to achieve his goal at East part of Ukraine and Trump takes it as a matter of negotiation. As much as Trump wants to eradicate radical Islamists, he does not want to pay the price of confronting Russia. Remember, Trump is cheap and he is proud of his Scottish ancestry part of penny-pinching.

    Thomas Friedman is just too deep into the orthodoxy of American left. I think he has lost his marble after writing the World is Flat.

  8. Whether or not Trump ends up being a successful President will be decided by none of what this writer is on about…If Trump can get millions of his unemployed and increasingly desperate fellow Americans into jobs they can feed their families on (and quickly), all his other moves will be mere sideshows…

    He did keep mentioning the country’s neglected infrastructure…but has kept strangely quiet since assuming office… or is he, behind the scenes, planning a New Deal programme…the only way to save his countrymen…

  9. Journalism survives in a few spots in the USA and it is up to the people to pick and choose with their critical thinking. One of them that could still claim professional opinion maker with a sense of fairness is O’Reilly from Fox New as in this talking points about “Russian contact”:

    Hysteria over Gen. Flynn and Russia:
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/5324802501001

    Most leftist people feel outrage for feeling presumably behind what is said, but seldom able to counter point-by-point. They uses labels such as racist and others that does not require you to think critically. As in the link provided by Mr Phua, the referred Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the worst groups to put labels on others; it cannot even tell Muslims are not race, much less the ability to conduct critical analysis.

    One of the person who has the experience and brain to talk about the menace of Islamists (which is a subset of Muslims) is Dr. Jasser as in this video:

  10. What I find really amusing are the folks who continue defending Comrade Trump. So called conservatives are changed for the better. If Obama had told O’Riley that America had its fair share of killers too, the right wing would have gone apeshit.

    To watch these whingeing, whiny ,freedom hating right wingers having to swallow their usual talking points is better than watching porn.

  11. Real New Yorker will tell you the answer – HE IS A PUTZ. We know people like him since we were kids in school – smartass but not really smart.

    The issue really is does The Putz still have a plan? He is killing the only real plan he could have – which is to make a deal with the Russian so that he can focus on domestic particularly infrastructure. That window is closing almost collapsed really.

    This is the same way he got into trouble with his business, the bankers put him on a tight rope, sold assets and he got lucky when the market turned around for him. Luck is not on his side, he already got lucky..

    I will not be surprise if Trump does not serve the full term of his presidency.

  12. Bruno. They are trying every trick inthe Book of Journalism to bring him down. First when became Republican candiadte the news news had to split the screen with the attempted assaination of Governor Wallace. Then when he won the elction the screen was split with the assassination of President Kennedy. Then just before inauguration a Key Anchor in CNN was wondering who would become President if there was an expolsion at the ceremony. They listed the persons before the taking of the oath and after he has taken his oath. Since then there has been transparent calls for you know what to do with him.Tell me what would you do if you were in his shoes. Now follow the rest of the story in MSM.

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