Former deputy White House press secretary B. Jay Cooper’s random thoughts in recent days, including thoughts on Donald Trump, North Korea, Roseanne Barr and Rudy Giuliani...
South Korean President Moon is staking his political credibility on North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. I wouldn’t stake my tab for dinner on that pair.
Roseanne Barr made a racist comment and grabbed her crotch, losing her successful TV show. President Trump says racist things and admits to grabbing women’s crotches and his popularity notches upwards.
President Trump and Kim’s relationship has had its ups (summit on!) and downs (summit off!) and never quite seem capable of breaking up. They are no BFF’s but they are BFFN’s (Best Friends for Now).
President Trump met in the Oval Office with North Korea’s top spy. Let’s hope the office was swept for listening devices after that meeting.
President Trump is treating our long loyal allies, like Canada and the European Union, like enemies and our long enemies, like Russia and North Korea, as our best friends. He is looking for ways to pick up North Korea’s hotel tab for the summit and looking for another summit with Putin even as he levies tariffs on Canada and the European Union.
Allies like Canada are a bit dumbfounded by being assessed tariffs by President Trump when, in their view, there is no need, especially since they think a trade war is the result. Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow said it isn’t a trade war but a “trade discussion.” When the President says he is assessing tariffs, that doesn’t sound like a discussion; sounds like the first bullet in a trade war to me.
Our allies are still trying to figure out Donald Trump, who isn’t all that easy to figure out since his positions and rhetoric can change direction on a dime. The question is becoming, will allies like Canada and Germany realize at some point they really don’t need Trump?
Trump’s lawyers are claiming that as President he can’t be indicted, can’t be subpoenaed and, without saying these words, is “above the law.” Constitutional experts have debated those questions often over drinks for decades but never thinking judges might actually have to decide those tricky issues. We may as well go straight to the Supreme Court now to decide those issues because that’s where we’re heading anyway.
Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on TV the other day that the President’s legal strategy basically is to try to drive public opinion Trump’s way since, Rudy says, the whole issue will be decided by impeachment and congressmen who will vote will react to their constituents’ beliefs. Lordy, the President’s lawyer is already saying he’ll be impeached. And that’s with a Republican majority House and Senate!
Giuliani also said Trump, in the Oval Office, could shoot former FBI Director Comey and couldn’t be indicted because presidents can’t be indicted while in office. Giuliani was hypothesizing but it shows you where his head is.
Speaking of Giuliania, this is a guy who was mayor of New York, nicknamed "America's Mayor," and his run for president himself. Today, he is a spinner for Donald Trump on television and clearly loving it.
When does a dictator become a dictator? In the last few days, Trump has: broken a rule about giving out confidential economic information, declared that he cannot be compelled to testify before a special counsel, imposed tariffs on our allies, said he definitely has the power to pardon himself, pardoned others again without going through the established process (which is a President’s right but the process is there for the country and his protection), had his press secretary say he was too busy focused on important issues to issue a statement on Roseanne Barr but then met with a Kardashian in his office, had his lawyers in effect say he is above the law, lied repeatedly as has been his wont forever. And, through all of this Republicans in Congress are basically silent. Asked directly, at least twice, by CNN’s Dana Bash yesterday about the President’s lying, Speaker of the House Wannabe Kevyn McCarthy dodged the question. Twice.
You don’t just wake up one day and realize there is a dictator in the Oval Office. It happens over time. We are putting our Constitution to its most difficult test and Republicans in Congress have already surrendered.🔷
(This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate.)