Rumors started circulating a few months back that Donald Trump had made his West Wing staff sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) regarding their work and what they see and hear during their time in the White House. Now, in business settings, NDAs are pretty common practice. Companies have proprietary practices, programs and Tech, and in general lots of things they expect to not have to tell the general public. But as it turns out, you can’t really do stuff like that for government work. Other than stuff that is specifically designated as classified, the public nature and expectation of transparency in public work is paramount in democratic settings. A few days ago, Kellyanne Conway confirmed that everyone in the West Wing was told to sign an NDA, and the question a lot of people were asking was “why?” And not just because it seems sketchy, but because, as many experts have begun pointing out, they are virtually unenforceable. NDAs are corporate instruments, and can’t be used to bar information that is legally available to the public. Freedom of information is literally a law we have when it comes to the government. I can only imagine what it is Trump doesn’t want people talking about.
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.
I wonder if it’s ever going to be too much for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka The Huck. I mean, the questions she’s forced to contend with are genuinely unlike anything any other press secretary has had to deal with. I imagine even Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary after the Lewinsky scandal broke wasn’t as bad, because at least in that case, the number of terrible things that were being discussed were limited to one. With Trump, it’s any number of 50 things. This week it’s what Trump meant when he suggested the so-called sanctuary cities as “breeding concepts” . Because obviously there is a racially charged connotation if he was suggesting that said cities were breeding grounds for the Hispanic community. And stuff like this feels almost day to day, where the Huck is out tap-dancing around Trump’s words, and trying to deflect by calling everyone else racist for suggesting Trump meant something racist. There has to be a breaking point, yeah?
So, some news outlets are reporting some discord between the State Department and the White House after the unceremonious firing of Rex Tillerson. And by “some discord”, they seem to mean “open revolt”. Loyalty has something to do with it I’m sure, but also the fact that the official narrative seems to clash with the “unofficial” (but mostly believed) narrative. Officially, Rex was ousted on Friday, and asked to wait until the beginning of the new week to announce it. Unofficially, Rex found out from an employee who printed out Trump’s tweet on Tuesday morning. One thing is for sure, as much as Sarah Huckabee Sanders is going to be working overtime to assure the public that everything is fine in the White House, more than ever, no one is going to believe heA
Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims that if the Senators don’t know what the President wants in terms of a deal, then it’s on them for not paying close enough attention. By all indications, the President of the United States has the temperament of a two year old, but with less ability to reason. We know that Schumer offered Trump basically everything he could have hoped for in a deal, and it still wasn’t enough, so honestly, the idea that people just couldn’t pick up what Trump was putting down seems at least a little far fetched.
So after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump says he has a great relationship with Kim Jong Un. When Trump refuted the statements, Both the White House and the WSJ released audio from the interview…that just confirmed the WSJ interview. It’s bizarre how Trump expects vindication even though reality is against him.
Just prior to the election, Sarah Huckabee Sanders famously said on Twitter, “When you’re attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation, you’re losing.” Now her boss is attacking FBI agents because he’s under criminal investigation. Man, her life must be a big goofy mess.