So, Trump reportedly gave Kim Jong Un his personal phone number, a direct line to him…which is weird. I get the feeling most leaders of nations actually allied to the US don’t have that, but a murderous dictator who has a history of sabotage and subterfuge, and of murdering family members, does. Now, there are some legit security concerns with that. There is a lot that a tech savvy person could do with a phone number, or if you’re not tech savvy, but do have an army of hackers at your disposal. But more than that, why would you want a crazy person having the ability to call you and chat? I feel like Trump should know better. If you’ve ever dated a crazy person who calls you at 3 in the morning to spread their crazy, then you know better.
I know I’m not the first person to point this out, especially on this particular subject, but man…hypocrisy is a bad color on anyone, and you just can’t afford to express a roaringly loud double standard in the age where everything is archived and readily available. Sean Hannity doesn’t get to blast Obama for conversing with dictators and giving them more time than our allies then defend Trump on the same count 5 years later and not be called on it. He just can’t. Because nothing is truly forgotten anymore. Sean Hannity’s little man-crush on Trump shines all the brighter as a result.
So, naturally, the G7 summit went swimmingly. And by “swimmingly, I mean, it was a total disaster that further isolated the United States from our closest global allies. Not only did Donald Trump continue to push unnecessary and ill thought out tariffs against our friends, but then he called the leader of Canada a liar publicly. He’s really taking this idea of “nationalism” to an uncomfortable level. It’s like he found out that the people of North Korea are told to worship Kim Jong Un as a god, and Trump asked his advisors how that happened and is following a road map: discredit the free press? Check. Isolate the country from the rest of the world? Check. Make friends with classically evil dictator figures? Double check. I wonder what Kim and Trump talk about over dinner?
Listen, I think it’s fair to give Trump some credit over this North Korea thing. Not even just because Trump has a bad habit of escalating problems. Frankly, even if Trump was a more laid back character, North Korea likes to be provocative in their own right. So the fact that the summit in Singapore seemingly went off without a hitch, and that some semblance of peace was established for the near future is positive. I won’t try to say that isn’t a victory. BUT, Trump and staff is trying to establish his summit as some unprecedented victory, as if North Korea has never made these promises before and for less. In fairness, I didn’t know until I bothered to look. But the reality is that North Korea has agreed to scrap their nuclear program no less than half a dozen times in almost 30 years, going as far back as when Kim Il Sung was still alive. In 1994, the they agreed to scrap the program and stop researching plutonium and uranium enrichment for food aid. Trump promised to stop our military maneuvers in South Korea, something we’ve done for 50 years, for a re-affirmation of their earlier promises from the last 30 years, with no time table or verfication process, things they’ve given in the past. Hell they didn’t even bother to promise to stop their Uranium program. In fact, by all appearances…the great negotiator got out negotiated. Again, I want to point out, the world feels a little less close to nuclear destruction than it did a week ago, and that’s a positive development. But that Trump secured a loose promise of Denuclearization…well, that feels less impressive.
One of the hosts of Fox and Friends called Donald Trump a dictator, and I could not be more tickled about it. Seriously, I’ve watched the clip like 4 times, and I laughed equally hard every time. The only big shame is that the camera wasn’t on Abby Huntsman or any of the other jackasses, including Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci, at the time, so I couldn’t see them look deer in headlines. That would have been television magic on par with the moon landing. Huntsman later went on to clarify that it was just a slip of the tongue in the moment on Live TV. I’d like to offer an alternative explanation: She said what she thought was true at the time and had to be corrected later. I can’t prove that, but I think we all know it’s the truth in our heart of hearts.
Here’s the thing, I feel like even the most ardent supporters of Presidents past weren’t afraid to admit their guy made questionable judgments. Bush diehards were pretty angry to find out that the whole WMD in Iraq thing was a crock. Sure they didn’t yell for impeachment, and stood by their guy, but they could admit he was being shady. Obama supporters, more often than not were willing to admit that some shady dealings seemed to go on behind the scenes. But Trump’s cult of personality seems to have eclipsed rational discourse at this point. Among his supporters and party members, everyone else is at fault. His dissenters are all traitors and the media is all fake news and liars, except Fox News, which is basically an organization of true blue patriots. I just don’t know that there is a point where enough is enough any more. Which is a scary thought indeed.
Sometimes I genuinely wonder if Rudy Giuliani is on Donald Trump’s side. I mean, at a certain point, I remember thinking Giuliani was a reasonable person. Sure, he’s always been highly conservative in his politics, but I vaguely recall him not coming off as a crazy person at one point. Then he starts being Donald Trump’s lawyer, and he starts saying things which sort of feel like he’s sabotaging his own case. He rarely talks about Trump’s innocence, and mostly just refers to how Trump can snake his way around the law as the President. He talks about how Trump could get away with murder, and Trump’s recollection is “always changing”. I’ve seen more than one episode of Law & Order, I know that’s how lawyers imply folks are lying. It’s just…is he actually trying to help the President or sink him? Is this one elaborate long con?
So, is Donald Trump just abandoning all pretense that he needs to play fair with the law? I mean, he just announced to the whole world that could absolutely pardon himself should it come to that, saying that on the same day that Sarah Huckabee Sanders comes out and says that “don’t worry, the President doesn’t consider himself above the law.” He may not consider himself above it, but he certainly seems to think he stands apart from it. It’s a bit super-villainy when he starts talking about his pardoning power being his “absolute right”. The scary thing is, it’s not a black and white issue. He could be totally wrong, but he could unfortunately be absolutely correct as well. So here we wait with baited breath, wondering what happens next with President who wants us to be fully aware that he could kill someone and get away with it. Just something to think about.
Piling on to the mountain of absurd statements that Rudy Giuliani has made in the past month, he recently told the Huffington Post that the President could theoretically murder someone and not get indicted. So here’s the thing…I know that presidential lawyers like throwing around theoretical arguments about what the President can legally get away with under the constitution, but let’s be real, if Donald Trump killed a guy, you can bet money that putting theory to into practice might be pretty darn difficult. I’d be willing to bet that, sitting president or not, the DoJ would find a way to prosecute. But that said, I wouldn’t put it past Trump to test the theory.