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The beginning of the end of Donald Trump

After seven solid days of madness and scandal, there are clearly leaks in the dike and they could bring down the Trump presidency


 

Eventually, inevitably, there had to be cracks in the dike. The flood of scandals, leaks and self-inflicted crises has inundated the White House almost every single day since Trump moved in. We are drowning in stories. Who can remember what happened even this morning, let alone a few weeks ago? To illustrate that point, let me just go through the last seven days.

May 10: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his infamous Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. The media is forced to rely on photos from the Russian news agency TASS because Trump barred American journalists. It is revealed that the recently dismissed FBI director James Comey was fired right after reportedly asking for more resources for the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election. Meanwhile, in Virginia, federal prosecutors issue grand jury subpoenas to business associates of former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Polls show Trump’s disapproval rating hit a new high of 58 per cent.

May 11: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, furious that the White House was saying Comey’s dismissal was his idea, reportedly threatens to resign. A commission is announced to investigate Trump’s voter fraud claims (which have been proven false repeatedly). It is revealed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had promised to recuse himself from the Russian investigation due to his own involvement, would nonetheless interview candidates to replace Comey.

May 12: Trump threatens to cancel White House press briefings. He then publicly warns Comey he may have recordings of their conversations. Comey replies that he hopes this is true and then leaks the fact Trump tried to have him pledge his personal loyalty. In an interview with Lester Holt, Trump drops a bombshell, stating the Russia investigation was the reason he fired Comey—contradicting several of his own staffers who had sworn that was not true.

May 13: Trump floats the idea of replacing his communications team with Fox News personalities. Comey states he is willing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but only in public. The president passed the day golfing at one of his resorts, where he has now spent approximately a quarter of his time in office.

May 14: There is speculation the ongoing Comey controversy may kill the president’s legislative agenda for the rest of the year. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper says American democracy is now “under assault” by the president. Leaks from the White House suggest Trump is planning to fire several of his most senior staff for incompetence. Once again, the president went golfing.

May 15: The Washington Post reveals that Trump, in a massive breach of intelligence protocol, reveals highly classified information during his meeting with the Russians. Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Republican legislators look at cutting $400 billion from welfare, food stamps and Medicaid to fund their promised balanced budget. North Korea tests a missile and the official White House statement strangely leads with the point that “[Trump] cannot imagine that Russia is pleased”. It is revealed the president avoids exercise because he believes the body contains only a finite amount of energy, and using it up too fast will hasten one’s death.

May 16: Trump concedes he did share intelligence with the Russians, and claims he had every right to do so. This once again contradicts several of his staff, including National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster, who had promised no such thing had happened. Later in the day, White House insiders, in an attempt to defend the president, state that he could not have intentionally leaked secrets to Lavrov because Trump never reads his briefs and doesn’t understand them anyway. That evening, in the biggest scandal of his presidency so far, accusations emerge that Trump encouraged the FBI director to drop his investigation into Michael Flynn’s Russian connections—and to imprison journalists.

Which brings us to now. (Feel free to take a breath here. Pour yourself a drink maybe.)

Is it any wonder the question being asked in capitals around the world, and all across the United States, is: “What can be done about Donald?” The answer is “not much”. The only entity capable of either shifting the president’s behaviour, or shifting him out of office, is the Republican Party. And, to date, the reaction of party members to the daily fire hose of Trump crises and messes is to furrow their brow, say they are mildly troubled, and do nothing.

To outsiders, the GOP reluctance to push back seems inexplicable, even treasonous. But in fact there are some simple reasons. First, the president’s base remains remarkably strong. While his nationwide approval ratings are at record lows for someone so recently elected, Trump’s voters continue to support him enthusiastically. Facing tough midterm elections next year, Republican legislators are not anxious to undermine their own base. Plus, any battle to rein in or remove the president will unquestionably sidetrack the party’s legislative agenda, which they have been waiting eight long years to implement.

But this time, as everyone tries to unravel the implications of the Comey memo and the possibility the president tried to subvert the Russia investigation, it feels different. Most Republican politicians have refused to speak, and only a handful are defending the president. The House GOP Conference Chair told the press she wanted an explanation from the White House as soon as possible. A Republican congressman from Illinois said these were “serious allegations” and it was time for a special prosector. Another tweeted that if the memo is accurate, it marks “the beginning of a new and very sad chapter of scandal and controversy in our country.” And most surprising of all, Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight committee who until now has been a combative defender of the president, immediately promised subpoenas and issued a formal request to the FBI to release this memo and any other pertinent information.

My gut tells me the Republican instinct for inertia is still too strong, that Trump will survive just long enough for another scandal to distract us, and we will lose this one in the daily bramble of presidential chaos. But there are definitely leaks in the dike. And when that happens, the whole dam can begin to give way swiftly. I am now convinced that Trump will not see out his term. If I am right, then the unraveling must begin somewhere. Perhaps tonight is the beginning of that end.


 

The beginning of the end of Donald Trump

  1. Americans got exactly what they voted for.

    An old while male Christian capitalist.

    I have no sympathy.

    • Do you play chess?

      Win, win situation for the base.

      I have pretty much tuned out most of it. Shame because I love politics.

      • No, I find chess old and boring….but this is not a world for chess anyway.

  2. and yet his supporters would argue endlessly that this collection is a total fabrication made up by a massive left wing media conspiracy…or some might barely acknowledge trumps obvious shortcomings but still moan about the media and how nearly everything it reports is an unobjective fabrication while being unaware of the irony of such a position.

  3. Awww .. I hope he sticks around for a while yet. Where will our our source for endless nonsensical entertainment come from?

  4. Who are the U.S. officials that reported this (sometimes called former officials, sometimes current, sometimes current and former)? And at first this story was spun as potentially jeopardizing the ally; but then in later newsprints the MM name the ally as Israel. Seriously, the media named the ally that they say was put in potential jeopardy. That would seem like a counter-productive thing to do if this is all meant to be hush hush. And if we look less at the details and take a snap shot of this story from really high, the MM and deep state keeping this story alive would do more harm than what they are accusing Trump of causing. Jam A. can you help me out with these questions, because I don’t think the author of this article can.

  5. Please, put Hillary in. The wars will start sooner, and for more profit.

  6. Democrats shouldn’t wish to impeach Trump so soon. If he were given the boot now, they would have to deal with President Mike Pence. They would probably prefer that Trump continue limp along to the 2018 midterm elections when they have a shot of taking the House.

    • Justify to clarify, regardless of if and when Trump gets impeached or steps down, the one who would take over would be Mike Pence. Trump could be a millstone around the necks of House republicans in the midterm elections though. So Democrats might prefer that Trump hang on for a while.

      • Aren’t you clever? Dem voters prefer Trump.

        Back to my cave, I’m getting spanked for posting.

  7. I wonder, is there a great enough supply of hats to go around?

    I mean, there appears to be a number of commentators here who will need one to eat eventually.

  8. Comey has a problem. Currently, he is claiming that he was asked to shut down an investigation. That is a felony. However, if it’s true that he was asked to shut down an investigation, and failed to report the request to commit a felony immediately to his superiors at the DOJ, then Comey is also guilty of obstruction of justice.
    These are simple,basic facts. If the felony described actually occurred, he is guilty of obstruction of justice for failing to report it.
    In addition, on May 3, Comey testified to Congress that at no time was he ever asked to suspend an investigation. He either lied then- an offence that at bare minimum would lead to his disbarment from practicing law, just for starters- or he’s lying now about being asked to end the Flynn investigation. Either is very problematic to the narrative being woven by the Democrats and the media.
    The only crimes we know for certain that have occurred are the ones whereby members of the Obama admin “unmasked’ American citizens. That is a very serious crime, and we are fully aware that the FBI is working its way through a rather short list of people close to the former jug ears in chief. We also know that the FBI is still building a case against the Clintons on at least two fronts.

    • A well thought out piece Bill. You’re the only one to comment so far with facts rather than hyperbole.

      • Neither of you have any self-control….stop reinforcing that in each other.

        • You dispute those facts, Em? Well, you ARE profoundly stupid, so color me shocked.
          You are without a shadow of doubt the most egregiously stupid commenter I have come across on these comment boards. I’m continuously amazed that you can even power up a terminal. You’re so stupid, I bet you think rinky dink is a hockey injury.

          • You mean I disagree with you. As any normal person would.

          • Bill,
            You were kinder to Emily than she deserves.

          • Bill and Jerome star in ‘Mansplainin’

  9. Scott Gilmore could take off his Yellow Glasses to confirm this is indeed one big time piece of Smear / Slander / Deliberately Misleading YELLOW JOURNALISM !!

    • yel·low jour·nal·ism
      noun
      noun: yellow journalism; plural noun: yellow journalisms
      journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration.
      “equating murder and dismemberment with smoking pot is the worst yellow journalism”

  10. Can something that is wrong be criminal in nature?
    Of course, but so far, it seems nothing associated with The Donald.
    In other words, the legality of his presidency is assured.

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