Trump’s Ego Is Now “Playing” With The Safety Of The Whole World
The man with no ethics and no morals is the ‘Leader’ of the free world, may God have mercy on us all. The man is a self-absorbed habitual liar who keeps telling the people of the whole world “trust me” then lies to you in his next sentence.
For the folks who 9 months ago when Donald Trump took the Oath of Office who were thinking, how bad can he be, he has to be better than these career politicians, right? Wrong! Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Hillary would have also been a disaster as President, just a different kind of disaster. Hillary may have been the most qualified person in American history to have become President, it was her long line of personal demons that kept her out of Office. Trump has just as many or more personal demons that Hillary, it’s just that most of the American people were not aware of them yet, in this past year we have been learning.
Donald Trump is all about ego, the whole world is about him. I could live with the ego as it is a reality that few people can reach great heights in the political world without a great belief in themselves. Trumps constant lying is also difficult for me personally because of how I feel about liars, as you should know, there is no way to trust them on anything that they say. Yet today, the issue I am going to talk with you about is the fact that this man is clueless on basically everything except on how to screw over everyone he deals with.
Mr. Trump is all about being a winner, no matter what the cost to others. The past few days there have been constant news articles about how Mr. Trump is planning to scrap the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Doing this he is going against the advice of basically every expert in this field within his administration. The top leaders within the Republican and Democratic Parties have come out against trashing the current agreement as well as basically all of the leaders of the European Nations. All leaders of the Nations who helped create the agreement have told Mr. Trump not to scrape it, that it is not in the best interest of the world to scrap this deal. May folks besides Mr. Trump think that this is not a very good overall deal with Iran, yet they do say that this deal is a whole lot better than no deal at all. The experts in the field say that if he scraps the agreement that Iran could have a nuke within a year, under the current deal most articles I have read on the issue say that under the current agreement it will take them at least 10 years. So, the current agreement is a lousy one yet the experts around the world say we can build on this current agreement to try to create peace with the Mullah’s in Tehran.
Now, concerning the crazy little fat boy in North Korea and his missile programs. Mr. Trump has acted like a first grade bully who meets another on the playground who is just as ignorant as he is. Usually in cases like this they send in proxies to fight for them, just like the big Nations tend to do. Mr. Trump has behaved like a little spoiled brat (that he actually is) toward another little spoiled brat in Mr. Kim. Thing is that these two over grown children both have nuclear weapons, so the question now is, who blinks first?
Mr. Trump want’s a ‘win’, he is willing to make his own party in Congress/Senate look bad on these Nuclear issues, as long as he feels like he wins. I sometimes wonder who the biggest idiot is in the realm of global leaders, I now know how I would answer that quiz question if it were asked of me. I used to think that the biggest idiot that I personally had seen in the Oval Office was George W Bush yet he is a genius compared to this total idiot sitting in that chair now. The world is filled with very dangerous people who are the rulers of Nations as well as leaders of Terrorist organizations. We the American people need a level-headed, honest person in the Oval Office who truly does, put America first. I do not know if we the people will ever be allowed to vote for an honest intelligent person for our President, but it is totally obvious that this egomaniac we have in Office now, is not such a person. Folks, this mans ego could cost several million lives, this is not a reality TV program and it is not a board game, it is a very deadly game that requires intelligent leaders and we do not have one of those sitting in the Oval Office.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that Gens. John Kelly and James Mattis as well Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the “people that help separate our country from chaos,” a stinging criticism of President Donald Trump from a man once considered an ally in Washington.
Asked directly by a reporter whether he was referring to Trump in using the word “chaos,” Corker, who announced last month he would retire in 2018, responded: “(Mattis, Kelly and Tillerson) work very well together to make sure the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent. There are other people within the administration that don’t. I hope they stay because they’re valuable to the national security of our nation.”
Stop for a second and re-read that last paragraph. The sitting Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee is suggesting that if Tillerson was removed from office (or quit), the national security of the country would potentially be in danger. And he’s refusing to knock down — and thereby affirming — the idea that Trump is an agent of chaos who pushes policies that are not always “sound” or “coherent.”
That. Is. Stunning.
Corker also blasted Trump for undermining Tillerson — most recently with a weekend tweet suggesting that the secretary of state’s diplomatic work to solve the North Korea crisis would fail.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.
Corker said that Tillerson is “in an incredibly frustrating place,” adding: “He ends up not being supported in the way I would hope a secretary of state would be supported. … He’s in a very trying situation — trying to solve many of the world’s problems without the support and help I’d like to see him have.”
This is also not the first time that Corker, who was once mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick and was on the short list for secretary of state, has been overtly and harshly critical of Trump. Corker drew national headlines in August when he suggested that Trump“has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”
Trump responded back via Twitter: “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!”
Corker’s comments Wednesday are rightly read as a continuation of his August remarks. Then, he openly questioned Trump’s stability and competence. Now he is making clear that if not for Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly, Trump would be leading the nation — and the world — into chaos.
There’s no question that Corker feels freer to speak his mind without the worry of angering the President and potentially stirring up a serious primary challenge. But what’s even more important/scary to contemplate: If this is Corker saying what he really thinks about Trump, what must the rest of Republicans in the Senate and House think of their President? And when will they speak out?
Updated: Oct 02, 2017 12:23 AM ET | Originally published: Oct 02, 2017
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Outside of official events, many Puerto Ricans say they won’t be welcoming President Donald Trump with open arms during his visit to the storm-wracked island on Tuesday.
People in the U.S. territory were angry or dismissive Monday when asked about Trump’s description of some Puerto Ricans who have criticized the U.S. government’s aid after Hurricane Maria as “ingrates” and about his assurances that the relief effort is going well.
“He’s a piece of trash,” Rachel Cruz, a linguist, said as she head home after buying groceries in the capital, San Juan. “He makes a fool out of himself and a fool out of his country.”
Cruz said Puerto Ricans are furious with power still cut off on most of the island, schools and many businesses closed, and much of the countryside struggling to find fresh water and food, but she said even the angriest were unlikely to openly insult the man ultimately responsible for helping them.
“The majority of people here feel that way, but we have to be more balanced because we need help,” she said.
Even those happy with the federal aid effort for the U.S. territory’s 3.4 million people said they resented Trump’s tweets about some Puerto Ricans being lazy and ungrateful.
“We appreciate all the help that we’ve received, but his comments are not true,” said Nancy Rivera, a private school principal who was out buying bread. “We don’t deserve that.”
Rivera and her husband live in the north coastal town of Toa Baja, which was one of the hardest hit by Maria and where dozens of people had to be rescued from rooftops amid widespread flooding. The couple has moved temporarily to their son’s apartment in San Juan.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello, however, praised federal and state officials for the resources and help they have provided, but he also noted that Puerto Rico has long been struggling because of its territorial status.
“I invite all of you to consider, to think of Puerto Ricans as your constituents,” said Rossello, who supports statehood for the island. “Think about it as a moral imperative because we are U.S. citizens but more importantly, we’re all equal as human beings.”
The governor said water service has been restored to about 50 percent of customers across Puerto Rico. Rossello said he hopes 25 percent of electricity customers will have power by the end of October. Officials have said power would be restored to the entire island before March.
Rossello also announced that the wait time to buy gasoline had diminished from seven hours to one hour around San Juan in recent days and that nearly 40 percent of cellphone clients have service.
Many Puerto Ricans, including Noelys Martinez, a call center worker, expressed doubt that Trump’s visit would change anything.
“The lights are not going to come back on because of him,” she said as she strolled near a park eating ice cream.
Angel Tomas Crispin, manager of a convenience store that was doing brisk business as people sought to restock basic supplies, didn’t have kind words for the president. “Donald Trump is not the solution for Puerto Rico,” he said.
Crispin said he was angered by Trump’s comments about the island. “All this money he has, and all the education he has, and he’s ignorant.”
Luis Torres, a retiree taking an evening walk with his wife, Marina, said Trump isn’t welcome.
“As far as I’m concerned, he shouldn’t come,” Torres said.
His wife nodded aggressively.
“He has expressed himself in such a disrespectful way. Extremely unnecessary and extremely insensitive,” she said. “It’s very sad.”
In our combined 50-plus years at the State Department, neither of us ever witnessed as profound a humiliation as a sitting president handed his secretary of state Sunday morning.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” the president tweeted. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Even if they’re playing good cop-bad cop, this is a shocker: Donald Trump is basically announcing that any negotiations with North Korea are worthless. This not only undercut Tillerson personally, but also undermines U.S. interests and the secretary of state’s sensible decision to talk to the North Korean regime. To make matters worse, all of this is occurring while Tillerson is in Beijing to prepare for the president’s trip to China next month—so the president kneecapped his own top diplomat in front of America’s chief rival in Asia.
Is this the final straw for Tillerson? The secretary of state clearly has not helped himself. Through his budget cuts, his focus on departmental reorganization at the expense of appointing assistant secretaries, his reliance on a tiny inner circle of outsiders and his maladroit use of the press, Tillerson has isolated himself within his own department. The Beltway foreign policy blob has already written him off as the worst secretary of state in history, and clearly others are hovering (U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley says she doesn’t want the job, but if you believe that, or if John Bolton make similar protestations, we have an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal to sell you).
But in all fairness, the former ExxonMobil chief has never been empowered by his president. He’s been undercut repeatedly by this White House—see Kushner, Jared—and by Trump personally, even (especially) when he’s making the right diplomatic moves. And there’s no sign that any one of the vultures circling around Tillerson would be able to change or transcend this dynamic.
So for those of you calling for Tillerson to resign after Trump’s latest humiliation, we suggest you lie down and wait quietly until the feeling passes. Sunday’s tweets—and the past nine months, frankly—are exhibits A-Z that in Trump land, it might not matter whether Tillerson resigns or who replaces him. Here’s why:
Who speaks for America?
There are many peculiarities about how foreign policy is made (or not) in the Trump administration. Trump is the first president in our memory who has not at least gone through the motions of making it clear that his secretary of state is the sole repository of authority and the administration’s public voice on foreign policy. Not every secretary of state carries the same influence with the president. But never have the world and Washington faced a situation where there was no single go-to address (below the president, of course) to understand what U.S. foreign policy is, who’s articulating it and who to turn to for guidance or direction in trying to interpret it.
In Trump land, either by design or default, a cacophony of multiple voices are not just competing for the president’s time, attention and favor in private (which is very normal)—they’re actually carrying out the policy and shaping it publicly (which is not so normal). Kushner, for instance, grabbed or was given the primary lead on the Arab-Israeli issue and has played a major role in shaping U.S. interactions with China and Saudi Arabia. Gary Cohn seems to have the lead on Trump’s climate policy, such as it is. Wilbur Ross is playing an unusually substantive diplomatic role for a commerce secretary. Foreign capitals listen closely to Pentagon chief James Mattis, whose pronouncements are often interpreted as brushbacks of the president. And over at the U.N., the hawkish Haley has emerged as the nation’s loudest voice on foreign policy, largely by speaking unscripted about everything from Syria to Iran to North Korea.
And then of course there’s Trump, the ultimate blooming flower who in tweets, phone calls and speeches makes his own foreign policy on the fly, frustrating and confounding his top advisers. On issues from Qatar to North Korea to Iran, Trump contradicts his own secretary of state or ignores what is almost always his sound advice—for example: urging the United States to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord, taking a hard-line on Russia, advocating negotiations and dialogue to defuse the mounting crisis with North Korea, advocating for continued U.S. adherence to the Iran nuclear deal, taking a neutral position in the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and reassuring jittery allies, from South Korea and Japan to our NATO partners, that America still has their back.
The painful reality is that should Tillerson depart, his successor would likely confront the same series of problems, and a president who is unwilling to send a clear signal on where his secretary of state stands in the foreign policy pecking order. There are three keys to success for a secretary of state: opportunities abroad to exploit; the negotiating and political skills to do it; and, most important, the backing of the president. Sure, Tillerson has made some rookie mistakes and unforced errors in running the State Department. But his credibility and effectiveness have largely been undermined by his treatment by Trump.
A world in chaos
No matter how capable a secretary of state may be, success also turns on a cooperative world. Without the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, there would have been no opportunity for Henry Kissinger to demonstrate his formidable mediation skills and to produce three disengagement agreements within 18 months. Had Iraq not invaded Kuwait, James Baker would have been deprived of the opportunity to pull off the Madrid peace conference. Sure, secretaries of state can make some of their own luck. But the truly big diplomatic breakthroughs really do require consequential changes in the neighborhood first; then, a talented negotiator backed by a willful president can exploit them.
Sadly, the world in which America operates today has many serious problems, but almost none that offer opportunities for transformative or heroic outcomes. Even successful transactional outcomes, such as managing the Iranian nuclear issue, seem improbable. The cruel reality is that Tillerson has inherited a set of extraordinarily difficult problems that can only be managed and not solved. Just as Tillerson has reportedly come to hate his job, his successor would come to see going to the office—or the White House—the same way most people feel about a trip to the dentist.
Take a look around: From North Korea, where only somebody completely unhinged from reality would be talking about military options and denuclearization of Kim Jong Un’s regime; to managing an aggressive and crafty Vladimir Putin with a president who either has a blind spot for or is beholden to Russia; to an Israeli-Palestinian conflict trapped between a two-state solution too important to abandon but too hard to implement and a clueless president who likens a deal to buying and selling real estate in New York City; to a divided Europe that finds Trump mercurial, erratic and incomprehensible (and that’s on a good day); to an Iran that is expanding its influence in the Middle East and sitting atop a potential nuclear program one screwdriver’s turn away from a weapon while the president seems bent on making this problem infinitely worse.
These are forbidding challenges. Even if you had a secretary of state in a class of a Kissinger or a Baker, we’re far from certain the outcomes of any of these problems could be shaped in a way that were determinative, let alone favorable to the United States. We don’t have a secretary of state of this caliber, and we’re not going to get one if Tillerson leaves. What we do have is a president who has compounded the degree of difficulty of even managing these issues and created longer odds for whoever sits on the seventh floor at Foggy Bottom.
A hollowed-out Foggy Bottom
Those who are calling for Tillerson’s scalp miss another important point: The State Department, institutionally, is only a shell of its former self, and it’s not just because a few good men and women have bolted over the secretary’s reform and reorganization plans. The problems run much deeper than what the department’s org chart looks like. Over the past couple of decades, dozens of missions and authorities have steadily migrated from State to other agencies of the federal government, or disbanded altogether; at one time, the department housed the U.S. Information Agency, the foreign agricultural service and the foreign commercial service. More recently, the Defense Department has been given increased authorities—to go along with its massive resources, which State cannot match—to run its own security assistance programs, seriously encroaching on State’s statutory authorities for controlling the allocation of resources to help other countries train and equip their forces. Adding to the loss of the department’s clout has been the Balkanization of U.S. foreign assistance, as more and more domestic agencies run their own boutique foreign aid programs. Whether Tillerson stays or goes, these missions, authorities and programs are long gone—and they ain’t coming back.
Even more importantly, the State Department is no longer primus inter pares in the foreign policy and national security cosmos, and it has been this way for some time. No matter who is in the Oval Office, the National Security Council staff and the president’s national security adviser now run all the most sensitive foreign policy issues out of the White House. Foreign economic and foreign trade policy, though larded with foreign policy implications, are also managed either out of the White House, in the Treasury Department or elsewhere. Mattis and the Pentagon are the big dog on the block, running three major wars and a host of lesser military operations with a budget that makes State’s puny appropriations look like chump change. The war on terror, the preoccupation with homeland security and keeping out what the White House considers undesirables, and the need for actionable intelligence to prosecute all these enterprises has moved DHS and the intelligence community toward the top of the national security food chain. And above all this sits a president who has shown nothing but contempt and lack of understanding for the State Department, its mission and the dedicated men and women who work there.
So, belittle poor Secretary Tillerson if you must; close your eyes and make a wish that after T. Rex we’ll get another secretary who has the vision of Dean Acheson, the toughness of George Shultz, the diplomatic panache of Kissinger or the political and tactical instincts of Baker. But it’s magical thinking to believe that Tillerson’s successor could fundamentally alter the downward trajectory of the State Department or do much more to fix the world’s problems. As long as Donald Trump is president, more likely than not, the Department of State is going to remain closed for the season.
Nothing shows leadership like attacking the victims of a deadly hurricane.
That’s what Americans learned on Saturday morning, waking up to the news that the president – already under fire for his administration’s inadequate response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation – is now lashing out at the mayor of San Juan.
From the safety and comfort of his New Jersey golf resort, Trump attacked Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Twitter. “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” he rage-tweeted at 7:19 AM. With this sentence alone, the president politicized the unfolding tragedy in Puerto Rico, based on nothing but his bruised ego and bad headlines.
Trump Lashes Out at San Juan Mayor Who Pleaded ‘We Are Dying’ 2:34
It seems almost grotesque that Trump views Cruz’s begging for help in saving lives as an attempt to make him look bad.
Cruz has emerged as a powerful voice for her city, and for the island by extension, as she has pleaded publicly for more relief efforts. She has not, in fact, been “nasty” to Trump or FEMA workers. On Friday on MSNBC, she made an emotional plea for help saying, “If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy.” She wondered why the U.S., with all its military might and power, could not figure out the logistics for an island that is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.
There have been at least 16 confirmed deaths in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, although that number is expected to rise. Most Puerto Ricans on the island are still without power, gas, food, or running water. Numerous media outlets have reported on the slow pace of relief efforts, which have already drawn comparisons to the Bush administration’s botched response to Katrina.. A report in the Washington Post, for example, explained how the president’s weekend at his golf club slowed his administration’s initial response to the disaster.
In the face of such a crisis, on social media our president chose to focus on what he called “such poor leadership” by Cruz. Never mind that the mayor has been seen wading through waist-high water trying to rescue stranded residents, and has gone on little sleep for over a week. Or that the three-star general in charge of leading the relief effort has stated that there are “not enough” troops and supplies on hand for the recovery. Even the acting head of Homeland Security, who had earlier claimed that Puerto Rico was a “good news story” has admitted that the relief effort is “not satisfactory.”
Yet the person the president chose to go after was a Latina, a woman of color who dared to call his administration out.
Still, Trump wasn’t finished. Not content to merely politicize a humanitarian crisis, he injected it with a note of thinly-disguised racism. Referring to the people of Puerto Rico, he tweeted that “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
These words are shameful. If the president hadn’t been so busy last weekend tweeting about flags and football players, he would understand that what is happening in Puerto Rico is by default a community effort. The residents of Puerto Rico – about 3.5 million American citizens – went through the hurricane on their own. They have indeed been helping each other, searching for food and fuel, and looking for their loved ones in the absence of a more robust government response.
Leave it to our Race-baiter-in-Chief to resort to the tired tropes that minorities want everything done for them, that they’re lazy, and that they are dependent on the government. These sentiments are offensive in the best of times. In the wake of a catastrophic weather event, they are despicable. Coming from this president, they are yet another sign of his lack of empathy, his lack of respect for women, and his indifference to the concerns of Latinos.
Trump’s response to the mayor of San Juan reveals how unfit he is for office. He apparently cannot handle pressure without resorting to personal attacks on others. He seems to lack any sense of personal accountability. He is easily angered. Even when lives are literally at stake, he is still in his element behaving like a bully. As of today, Trump has hit a new point for unacceptable behavior – and provided his fellow Republicans with more opportunities to distance themselves from him.
And the saddest thing of all here? Trump’s personal pathologies will provide another distraction to the media from the humanitarian crisis unfolding on U.S. territory.
Trump’s latest tweets on Puerto Rico constitute a national disgrace. At a time of major national emergency, he has – again – shown the world just how small he really is.
The American President By His Own Actions Is A Disgrace To The Human Race
For those of you who don’t know me I will start this article with a few disclaimers, I do this so that you will be better able to see and understand exactly where I and my thoughts are coming from. I am a white southern Christian man in my early 60’s. I am a registered Independent voter. I do not like either of our country’s two main political parties at all. Besides almost all politicians being full of bull crap I feel that the Democratic Party is led by people who are way to liberal for my beliefs. The Republican party on most issues is way to unchristian, just as the Democrats are. Except for the abortion issue the Republican Party Platform goes exactly opposite of the teachings of Jesus.
We have had, in my opinion, many Presidents in my lifetime that I felt were lousy people personally and I have been at times a bit embarrassed by the actions of a few. These would include LBJ, Richard Nixon, Jerry Ford, George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, George w Bush and Barack Obama. As you see, some are Republicans, some Democrats. Ones I have liked okay are Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Reagan. I have some issues with all of them, I am just speaking in general overall terms. Some of our past Presidents I didn’t care much for were because of some of their policies and some just because of how I felt about them as an individual person. I have long believed that George W Bush is a war criminal because of his illegal actions in Iraq. Also, up until our current President I felt that George W was also the biggest idiot to ever walk into the Oval Office. I have long felt that we have had some Presidents who were just plain crooked and some who were just plain evil. Do not get me wrong, Hillary Clinton, to me is disgusting as a human being and I believe that her and Bill are so crooked that they will never get either of them to lay straight in their own coffins, they will probably have to be Cremated then have their ashes container put into the coffin as an only means to fit them in. Then again I feel that same way about H.W. and Richard Nixon. As I said earlier, I don’t favor either of our two ‘National’ political parties.
With all of the things that I said about some of our former Presidents in my life span, this cracker head we have now does not make me feel ashamed to be an American citizen, he embarrasses me that he is an American citizen. I only thought that George W was a know nothing idiot, until Trump opens his mouth or oils up his Twitter fingers. I have never met anyone in my life who is so ignorant on basically every issue in the whole world. One of my reader this morning referred to Mr. Trump as being about as intelligent as a typical third grader, I rebuffed him a little for being so mean toward third graders. Mr. Trump is mentally unfit to be holding any office of any kind. Besides his not knowing anything about any issue is the fact that he is the single biggest liar that I have ever seen, ever! All of the worlds leaders have learned that Mr. Trump giving his word on anything, on any issue, is worthless. Anyone who constantly is telling people “trust me, believe me” is a person that only a fool or another idiot would trust or believe. I do believe that Mr. Trump will not be the President when the 2018 Elections are held next November. I believe that Mr. Mueller will have presented lots of legal warrants against Mr. Trump and several members of his family which will force his removal from Office. Personally I want more than just having him impeached, I believe that he and several members of his family must be sent to a Federal Prison like Fort Leavenworth Kansas, for the rest of their lives. I believe they are guilty of treason on several levels. I do also believe that the quicker this idiot is thrown out of Office and locked up, the better chance the world can get their fingers off of the Nuclear buttons. So, maybe the whole ‘free world’ needs to start chanting “LOCK HIM UP, LOCK HIM UP” sounds appropriate to me, what are your thoughts on this issue?
GOP tax plan would provide major gains for richest 1 percent and uneven benefits for the middle class, report says
By Washington Post StaffSeptember 29 at 2:03 PM
The analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a leading group of nonpartisan tax analysts, challenges President Trump’s promise about the effects of the plan.The top 1 percent would see their taxes drop by more than $200,000 on average, the analysis found.
But nearly 30 percent of taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 would see a tax increase within a decade — despite Republican promises that the plan is designed to provide relief to middle-class Americans, according to the study.
Economy & Business Alerts
Breaking news about economic and business issues.
The majority of those making between $150,000 and $300,000 would also be hit with higher taxes. This is a developing story. It will be updated.
Washington (CNN)On Thursday morning, “Fox & Friends” ran an interview with President Donald Trump in which he simply didn’t tell the truth about the state of Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“Health care didn’t go down,” Trump insisted. “We have the votes.”
This is — strictly speaking — not true. It’s also, loosely speaking, not true.
The facts are these. There are three Republican “no” votes on the legislation put forward by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. No one — including Graham and Cassidy — dispute that fact. Given that there are only 52 Republican senators, when you lose three of their votes, you don’t have 50. You have 49.
It’s why Senate Republican leaders called off the vote planned for this week. They don’t have the votes. The end.
Now, could they, as Trump also seems to sort-of claim, get the votes sometime early next year? Sure!
Anything is possible and, because Arizona Sen. John McCain’s stated objection to the legislation is that it isn’t moving through so-called “regular order” (a slow process of hearings, mark-ups and amendment voting) and there is a theory on Capitol Hill that more time could bring him on board.
But even if McCain goes from “no” to “yes,” it’s still not clear that Trump, as he claims, has the votes. A trio of Republican senators — Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — has not announced any sort of position on Graham-Cassidy. And Murkowski was one of the three GOP senators — along with McCain and Susan Collins — who voted against “skinny repeal” back in late July.
All of that is in the hypothetical realm, however. There is zero factual evidence that Trump’s claim that “we have the votes” is even close to true. Ditto his repeated — and still false — claim that a) Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is in the hospital (he isn’t!) and b) that if Cochran could make it to DC to vote (he can!) then the votes for Graham-Cassidy would be there (they wouldn’t!).
It’s beyond debate then that saying “we have the votes” for health care repeal or insisting that it didn’t “go down” is a textbook case of Trump promoting fake news. The bigger question is why.
Trump is obsessed with winning. But, more than that, he is obsessed with maintaining his appearances as a life-long winner. Winners don’t admit defeat. Winners don’t acknowledge weakness. Even if both are staring you right in the face.
This doesn’t make sense because, well, it’s not a rational thing. Trump has to know in some corner of his mind that simply by deleting his tweets supporting Strange he won’t make his support for the guy who lost disappear. He also has to suspect that by declaring that he won on health care doesn’t make it true.
But, throughout his life, Trump has been telling himself the story of his life. It’s a story of conquests and victories over weaker men. A perfect record of wins made all the more gratifying by the fact that everyone always said he wouldn’t win. He succeeds in spite of all the losers and the haters.
To be fair, Trump has had a lot of success in his life. While there is an active dispute over how wealthy he is, there is no dispute that he is wealthy. And, while there are disputes about the manner by which he was elected president, there is no dispute that he is now one of only 44 men in history to hold the country’s top job.
There is no one, of course, who has never lost, never faced a setback, never guessed wrong. But, in the story of Trump that Trump is forever telling himself, he’s never set a foot wrong. He was right about the war in Iraq. (History and past statements suggest he was not.) He was right about the threat posed by terrorists. He was right about Charlottesville. He’s right about the NFL owners being “afraid” to speak out against their players.
And he is right about health care because, after all, how can someone who always gets it right be wrong?
The facts tell a different story on health care. But, as the 2016 campaign and his first eight months in the White House have shown, Trump has little concern for established facts. The story he tells himself is always better than the one the facts tell. So that’s the one he chooses to believe.
President Donald Trump posted a trio of tweets Monday night that appeared to center on Puerto Rico’s fiscal debt, as the devastated U.S. territory struggles to recover from powerful Hurricane Maria.
After commending the recovery of Texas and Florida — which were lashed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively — Trump tweeted Monday: “Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”
Trump continued, “It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”
“Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well,” Trump added.
Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, killed 16 people and left millions without power or communications when it battered the island last week. Beset by food and water shortages, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló issued a statement appealing for help for his “essentially devastated” island.
“My petition is that we were there once for our brothers and sisters, our other U.S. citizens, now it’s time that U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are taken care of adequately, properly,” Rosselló wrote Sunday. On Monday, he called for greater federal aid and appealed to Congress to pass a relief package and treat Puerto Rico like any other U.S. state, Politico reports.
According to the Associated Press, 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory are without adequate food, water and fuel. Communications are still lacking and electrical power may not be fully restored for a month.
Trump’s response, which appeared to put the issue of the island’s bank loans before emergency supplies, provoked consternation among some diplomats. “Is the President of the United States saying that the mammoth hurricane damage is Puerto Rico’s fault?” posed Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management said aid was getting to the island, and that the agency had more than 700 staff on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, delivering diesel, food and water to communities, reports AP.
Twitter is citing “newsworthiness” and the public interest as reasons why it didn’t remove United States (US) President Donald Trump’s declaration in a tweet that North Korean leaders may not “be around much longer.”
Twitter responded to questions about the policy on Monday, saying in a series of messages on its public policy account that “newsworthiness” is one of the factors it considers in determining if a tweet breaks the platform’s rules.
It says the policy has been internal, but its public-facing rules will be updated to reflect it.
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