President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with Forbes Magazine Editor Randall Lane and Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin in the Oval Office on Friday, October 6th. White House Communications Director Hope Hicks also sat in. This is the unedited transcript from the interview, which lasted 50 minutes.
Randall Lane: You’ve always talked about having fun as a key to business. Are you having fun?
Donald Trump: I am having fun. I’m enjoying it. We’re accomplishing a lot. Your stock market is at an all-time high. Your jobs, your unemployment is at the lowest point in almost 17 years. We have fantastic numbers coming out. And I think we’ll have, over the course of the next, fairly short period of time, and more importantly over a long period of time, we’re going to have great numbers coming out of our country.
Lewis D’Vorkin: What’s your personal thought?
Trump: I enjoy success. And we’re having tremendous success, as a country. We have some difficulties with respect to North Korea, the Middle East. I inherited– and I’ve said it often–I inherited a mess. The country was having many different problems. Among them, the Middle East, ISIS, which we’ve done more with respect to ISIS in nine months than we’ve done in nine years. But we have really done, we have done, I would say eight months in eight years, to be specific. But we have done a really, really good job with the military. We’re building up our military. We just had an over $700 billion budget, which will be approved. We’re, you know, there’s been few times where the military was more important than what it is right now. And, in addition to that, which is by far the overriding element, it’s lots of jobs in the United States. So, what the country is doing, we’re doing very well. And on an economic front, we’re doing very well.
Photo credit: Jamel Toppin for Forbes
Lane: Now that we’re almost a year from the big upset and the big win, do you think your business background prepared you for this job? And were you ready, now that you have a year in?
Trump: Well, I think it helped. It’s certainly a different kind of job than, really there is anywhere. Because you have so many skills necessary. But certainly the campaign was successful. What people don’t realize is that I spent much less money than Hillary Clinton. So right there, perhaps that’s business. You know, if you look at the numbers it’s astronomically different.
Trump: I don’t think anybody’s ever written that. You know, in the old days, if you spent less money and won, that was supposed to be a good thing. Today nobody talks about it. But I spent much less money and won. I think that’s–so we start off there–I think that was good. I also think that, yes, being in–just last night I had dinner with all of our generals and admirals, at the highest level. You probably saw that.
Lane: Yeah, I saw the picture right here. Yeah.
Trump: It was lovely. It was fantastic. But I talked about business. I said, “Your equipment is coming in too slowly and at too great a cost.” And I actually got involved in negotiating, as an example, the F-35 fighter with Lockheed. You may call Marillyn [Hewson], the head of Lockheed, who you know, I think.
Trump: And she’s a terrific person. But I developed a bidding system between Boeing and Lockheed. And I was able to reduce the price of the Lockheed by billions of dollars. By billions of dollars. And this took me, actually, a very small amount of time. And I read a story, and this when I was president-elect, had not come here yet. And I called the military. I said, “What’s the problem?” We met with the generals. I then met with Lockheed. I then–the generals were unable to get anything off the price. And in fact, they wanted to raise the price and claim extras. And I met with Marillyn [Hewson], from Lockheed. I then went and had a very frank discussion with her. I then met with Boeing, and I said, “Well, we’re going to come out with a competing plane.” And then went back to her. And I went back and forth. And the end result is billions and billions of dollars have been taken off the cost of the plane.
Lane: Well, again, you’re negotiating with them. You have obviously a lot of negotiation skills that you bring.
Trump: And that’s one thing. There are many, many things that I was too late into the game for the President Gerald Ford aircraft carrier. But it took too long to build, and it was way over budget. And you know, those things, we’re being much more conscious as a country about things such as that.
D’Vorkin: So you’ve had pain points in business, obviously.
Trump: Well, I don’t know.
D’Vorkin: If you–
Trump: Pain points?
D’Vorkin: In other words, obstacles that you have to overcome.
Trump: Oh, sure. You always have obstacles.
D’Vorkin: So, if you take away the politics of being president, and what you’re trying to do with the economy, what are the obstacles that you are finding that you necessarily didn’t find in your business life?
Trump: Well, you have Congress. That’s a big obstacle in many cases. You have, in some cases, well-meaning people in Congress that truly feel strongly about something. And I understand that and actually don’t mind that. And then of course you have grandstanders and others that want to try and make a point or want to do something that really isn’t necessarily in the best interests of the country. And those people I fight. And what people don’t know is that I’ve had just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that’s ever served. We had over 50 bills passed. I’m not talking about executive orders only, which are very important. I’m talking about bills. We’ve had a tremendous amount of legislation passed. Like VA accountability, which nobody could get passed. Meaning people are accountable now, because before you couldn’t do anything if you caught people who worked there doing very bad things. But many, many bills have been passed. And now we’re going for taxes. I will get health care. I’m one vote short of health care. I’ll get health care. And I think block-granting it back to the states is going to be a great thing to do. I think it’ll be great for the people. Smaller government, great for the people. They’ll be able to handle it better. But we’re one–
Lane: Are you talking about the Graham-Cassidy bill?
Trump: Yeah, I like it very much. I do. I like it. It’s block-granting. It’s granting the money back to the states.
Lane: Right, right.
Trump: And you have a smaller form of government that’s going to be able to do–if they do a proper job–that will be able to do. There are certain states where they are very well run. And I could name them. I could name certain states where they really–they will do miracles with that money, in terms of health care. It’ll be far better than it is. Because Obamacare has failed, badly. So I’m working on that now. But we actually, I would say, I either have the votes or I’m one vote short. And I believe we’ll get health care done sometime prior to the election.
Lane: With Obamacare, until you come up with something different, don’t you feel there’s a lot of things going on with Obamacare right now, where, don’t you feel you need, as CEO of America, an obligation to make it run as good as it can while it’s still the law of the land?
Trump: Well, that’s an interesting, that’s a very interesting question. It’s a failed concept. It’s thousands and thousands of pages. It’s been amended by additional thousands of pages. It’s a total mess. The premiums are going up, you know.
Lane: But while it’s still the law, don’t you think, you know, we’re cutting back on advertising, we’re shrinking the window of signing up, so–
Trump: Well, we’re actually, what we’re doing is trying to keep it afloat, because it’s failing. I mean the insurance companies are fleeing and have fled. They fled before I got here. But with that being said, no, Obamacare is Obama’s fault. It’s nobody else’s fault. In fact, if you go back to–
Lane: Yes, but now it’s your administration’s responsibility.
Trump: Yes. But I’ve always said Obamacare is Obama’s fault. It’s never going to be our fault. With that being said, I think the Democrats want to make a deal. At the same time, I think I have a deal with the Republicans. So I have the best of both worlds. That’s business to a certain extent–
Trump: –when you asked the business question. And as you have noticed, I’m very able to make deals with Democrats if I have to.
Lane: Who have you found so far are better deal-making partners, the Ryan-McConnell set or the Pelosi-Schumer set?
Trump: Well, the Republicans have something called the filibuster rule. Which is a disaster. And if they don’t get rid of that, it’s always going to be very tough for them. You know what that is.
Lane: Yes, well, of course.
Trump: The filibuster rule is–
Lane: It’s a disaster when you’re in the majority. It’s a friend when you’re in the minority.
Trump: Well, you need eight Democrat votes every time. I mean, they literally need eight Democratic votes. And, they keep it for the sake of history. But history is that, in 1789, when it all began, what it actually, when they started voting, it was 1789, the first votes, that was a simple majority. And we should go back to a simple majority. If we had the filibuster rule, if we had the 60 votes for Justice Gorsuch, he would not be sitting on the bench right now because for the judges that has been taken off. And part of my plan is that the Democrats would take it off in two minutes. And the Republicans–
Lane: Well, they didn’t when they had a majority.
Trump: Well, they were going to. Well, they did it for the judge. Don’t forget, 95 percent of that work was done before we got there. So I think the filibuster rule is very bad. At the same time, I think if we pass taxes, I think we’ll have health care and taxes before. I believe we’ll have a great infrastructure bill before, which is easiest of all of them. In fact, I think I’ll have more Democrat votes for infrastructure than I will Republican votes. And I also have another bill that I think will be very–an economic development bill, which I think will be fantastic. Which nobody knows about. Which you are hearing about for the first time. But I’m going to do that. But before–
Lane: What is that? What does that mean?
Trump: Economic development incentives for companies. Incentives for companies to be here. Incentives for companies to do things.
D’Vorkin: What kind of incentives?
Trump: And it’ll be a great bill. It’s something I’ve had. I just don’t want to do it before I do health care–
Lane: So business, like Carrier? Business incentives to create jobs, keep jobs?
Trump: So that when companies leave our country, they get penalized severely. So that when companies stay in our country, they’re incentivized. But there won’t be any more companies, and it’s really stuck. I hope you have seen–again, this is an interview where I am doing the talking, I guess–but I hope you’ve seen that companies are moving back into our country. You saw Toyota, five plants. Other companies, car companies are moving back into our country. They are expanding their plants.
Lane: So is it a carrot–
Trump: We have a lot of–
Lane: So is it a carrot to get companies to stay and/or grow? Or is it a stick that you penalize?
Trump: It’s both. It’s both. It’s both a carrot and a stick. It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so–if you leave, it’s going to be very tough for you to think that you’re going to be able to sell your product back into our country.
Lane: How comfortable are you, as a businessperson, having the government involved in a business decision about where a company wants to locate? And where a company wants to put jobs.
Trump: Very comfortable, because there’s no tax if you stay. There’s no tax. We have to protect our companies. And if you looked at what’s happened, they’ve been ravaged by the stupidity of politics and, frankly, the stupidity of politicians. They’ve been ravaged. And we have to protect our companies. We have to protect our workers. And the only way you’re going to do that is you have to create rules. I mean, when you talk about, Randall, when you talk about fairness, do you think it’s fair that some countries charge us 100% tariff, or tax, to sell a product in their country? And yet the same product coming out of that country coming into our country comes into our country for no tax. See, that makes it unfair for our companies. And what I want to do is reciprocal. See, I think the concept of reciprocal is a very nice concept. If somebody is charging us 50 percent, we should charge them 50 percent. Right now they charge us 50 percent, and we charge them nothing. That doesn’t work with me.
Lane: You are also taking steps with the corporate tax rate. Which I think there’s a lot of consensus on that.
RT–22 hours ago
The Week Magazine–6 hours ago
The Guardian–22 hours ago
Reason (blog)–19 hours ago
Highly Cited–CNBC–Oct 10, 2017
For months, Palmer Report and others have been pointing out that Donald Trump’s mental faculties have been in sharp and accelerating decline. His tweets are incoherent. When he goes off-prompter during speeches, he becomes unintelligible. Even Republican Senator Bob Corker is acknowledging that Trump can’t function without his babysitters. Trump’s bizarre new interview serves to underscore that point, as it ranges from delusional to outright hallucinatory.
Donald Trump spoke at length with Randall Lane of Forbes Magazine for a feature story. The first detail to get outsized attention has been Trump’s insistence that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should compare IQ test scores, a fittingly idiotic response to Tillerson’s earlier assertion that Trump is a “moron.” But other aspects of this interview serve to demonstrate just how far removed from reality Trump has become. It’s not just that he’s lying, which he’s always done. It’s that he appears to actually believe some of the hallucinatory claims he’s making – and he appears to expect that the public will believe this stuff as well.
At one point in the interview, Trump brags about all the major legislation that he and the Republican Congress have passed since he took office. Of course in reality, everyone knows that his dysfunctional nature has helped prevent the Republicans from being able to pass anything of importance. At another point, Trump says how pleased he is that the Senate had just announced his campaign had no collusion with Russia – but the Senate didn’t announce any such thing. There are plenty more examples.
What might be most remarkable about this Donald Trump interview is that his newly promoted White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was sitting beside him the entire time. According to the transcript, at multiple points, as his answers began to go off the rails, she interjected and tried to wrap up the interview prematurely. In each instance, Trump overruled her and kept babbling. He can’t even function with supervision. Read the entire bizarre Forbes interview here.
The post Donald Trump has hallucinatory meltdown in bizarre new interview appeared first on Palmer Report.
In the days after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, which shook mainstream Americans to their core and strengthened the majority’s resolve in demanding increased gun control, Donald Trump has shown precious little leadership of any kind. Now he’s finally making a major move which relates to guns: he’s hiring a clearly demented gun addict as his latest White House senior adviser.
Trump is hiring J. Hogan Gidley as a White House Deputy Press Secretary, according to a tweet from CNN reporter Jim Acosta (link). Gidley has previously worked for violent, gun-addicted faux-Christian white supremacist Mike Huckabee, but not that much is known about Gidley himself. So we visited his Twitter profile, and we promptly found this:
That’s right, as of the time of publication of this article, J. Hogan Gidley has a Twitter profile picture in which he’s holding a gun in one hand and a dead animal in the other. If he’s a gun owner and a hunter, then so be it. But when your profile picture consists of you holding a gun in your hand, it’s clear that your entire worldview is based on gun addiction and violent bloodlust for killing things. In his Twitter bio directly under his jarringly violent profile picture, he defines himself as being “Christ alone” – suggesting he’s one of those demented conservatives who equates violent bloodlust with a perverted version of Christianity.
Although J. Hogan Gidley’s Twitter account @JHoganGidley is not verified by Twitter itself, recent tweets from Mike Huckabee and Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirm that this really is him. This means that Donald Trump has finally responded to the Las Vegas shooting, by hiring someone who appears to have a dangerously unstable relationship with guns. Trump’s base will love this hire, but his support base is shrinking – and real Americans will simply be horrified by this.
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No one among the public has been able to piece together precisely what role Carter Page may have played in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, because no one can even figure out what role he truly played in the Donald Trump campaign. He was officially a Trump foreign policy adviser, and had communications with the Russians going back a few years. In fact Russian spies have been caught calling him an “idiot” as they bragged they were using him (link). Now it’s become clear that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will use Page to get to Donald Trump.
Carter Page announced today that he’s changed his mind and he’ll now refuse to show up and testify about the Trump-Russia scandal for the Senate Intelligence Committee. He’ll invoke the Fifth Amendment instead (link). Legally, this does not mean Page is guilty. But it probably means that he expects to be charged with one or more federal crimes, and therefore doesn’t want to risk unwittingly aiding his own prosecution by testifying.
In other words, Robert Mueller is targeting Carter Page, and Page knows it. This is a game changer. Mueller is already targeting Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, but those parameters are different. Both of those men are alleged to have committed the kinds of crimes that could send them to prison for life. Neither is likely to get a free pass even if they do flip, which explains why they’ve dug in their heels. But then there’s Carter Page.
Even if Page didn’t commit any crimes in his role in the Trump-Russia scandal, he could still find himself facing obstruction charges for refusing to cooperate as a witness. It’s easy to picture Robert Mueller offering Carter Page a free pass in exchange for flipping on Donald Trump. It’s just as easy to see Page taking it. All Mueller needs is one person to flip, and the scandal is wide open from there.
The post Robert Mueller will use “idiot” Carter Page to blow Donald Trump’s Russia scandal wide openappeared first on Palmer Report.
Even as the United States Constitution huffs and puffs and tries to put out the fires being set daily by Donald Trump, his deranged criminality continues to expose the limitations of a two century old document that we had hoped was infallible. Now that it’s become clear just how psychologically unstable Trump is, we have another problem on our hands: the specter of a de facto military coup.
This week Republican Senator Bob Corker sounded the alarm on Donald Trump’s unstable nature, while pointing that a pair of retired military Generals – James Mattis and John Kelly – may be the only ones currently standing in the way of nuclear armageddon. Vanity Fair writer Gabriel Sherman appeared on MSNBC this week and said that a prominent Republican has privately told him he imagines a scenario in which Mattis and Kelly have to physically tackle Trump as he lunges for the nuclear launch mechanism. In such a scenario we’d all want to root for Mattis and Kelly, but therein lies the problem.
General Mattis is the Secretary of Defense, but has no legal or Constitutional authority whatsoever when it comes to interfering with the actions of the U.S. President. General Kelly is merely the White House Chief of Staff, and has no authority of any kind. Even if these two men were still active Generals, they’d still have no authority to override the President. If Trump were attempting to launch a nuclear missile, and they physically tried to stop him from doing so, they’d be engaging in a coup.
In such a scenario, the Secret Service would be legally required to arrest Mattis and Kelly on the spot – but would they do it? If Trump was a few seconds away from sealing all our deaths with the press of a button, with whom would the Secret Service ultimately side? With whom would the military itself side? Much as we’d all like Trump ousted, military coups have a fairly bad historical record of getting democracies back on track when they’ve gone awry. If two legally powerless retired Generals are the only reason we’re all still alive, that alone means Donald Trump must be impeached by Congress and removed immediately.
The post The increasing specter of a military coup against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.
For the past week we’ve seen increasing hints of it from behind the scenes. Now it’s coming from Donald Trump’s own mouth: this evening he began publicly laying the groundwork for ousting General John Kelly as his White House Chief of Staff. The most jarring part is that Trump’s decision to go full-frontal against Kelly is coming just one day after Bob Corker publicly opined that Kelly was just about the only thing keeping Trump from falling apart – thus suggesting that Trump is now looking to oust Kelly out of spite.
On Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted “The Fake News is at it again, this time trying to hurt one of the finest people I know, General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be fired. This story is totally made up by the dishonest media.The Chief is doing a FANTASTIC job for me and, more importantly, for the USA!” Here’s the kicker: by and large, the media is not reporting this to begin with. No major news outlet has reported that Trump is considering firing Kelly.
To be frank, Palmer Report is the only news outlet that’s even broached the topic this week – and we doubt Trump is sitting around reading us. Instead, Trump is tweeting this so that it will become a headline story for the mainstream media. The media should have picked up on the signs this past week, from Trump bumping Kelly off Air Force One at the last minute (link), to Trump’s people leaking the story about Kelly’s phone having been hacked over the summer (link). Trump was trying to soften up the ground for firing Kelly, but the media largely didn’t bite – so now he’s trying a more direct approach.
The most disturbing aspect of this may be the timing. Donald Trump has clearly wanted to get rid of John Kelly for at least a week. But now that a Republican Senator is humiliating Trump by pointing out that Kelly is his babysitter, Trump is suddenly taking a more direct approach for trying to oust Kelly. This suggests he’s being motivated out of sheer spite.
The post Donald Trump spitefully lays the groundwork for firing General John Kelly appeared first on Palmer Report.
US flies bombers over Korea as Trump discusses options
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Trump has boasted of his intelligence. Here’s his chance to prove it.
We all remember Devin Nunes, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who acted so unethically in trying to protect Donald Trump in the Russia scandal that he ended up having to recuse himself. Now Nunes is back, claiming that he never actually recused himself, and he’s begun taking recklessly berserk actions that are setting off all the alarms.
After having been booted off his own committee’s Trump-Russia investigation, Nunes has decided to essentially begin running his own rival investigation. He’s misusing his position as committee chairman to unilaterally issue subpoenas without even so much as informing the Republicans or Democrats on his committee. In fact Nunes has even sent a subpoena to Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a CNN report (link), in a move so nefarious and nonsensical it’s as if James Bond fell down and hit his head.
Even at a time when the entirety of the United States government is in danger of veering out of control thanks to Donald Trump’s unprecedented instability, the actions of Devin Nunes are almost uniquely out of control. He’s now basically trying to run his own shadow government, having decided apropos of nothing that he personally has authority over everyone from the Attorney General to the Director of the FBI. It appears no one is willing to play with ball with Nunes’ nonsensical subpoenas, which are largely just being ignored. But it’s coming very close to a point where Nunes will have to be forcibly ousted.
The only way to shut down Devin Nunes’ deranged (and probably illegal) antics is to remove him as Chairman of the House Intel Committee. The only person who can do that is Speaker Paul Ryan, yet he’s refusing to do anything. That makes Ryan complicit in Nunes’ berserk crime spree, and raises the question of why Ryan seems to want Nunes out there trying to sabotage the Russia investigation.
The post Devin Nunes goes totally berserk in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.
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“I’m training to fight for our country, and I’m going to fight this unjust ban.”
Once Special Counsel Robert Mueller reaches the point where he’s built a criminal case against Donald Trump, it’s never been clear what will happen next – because there’s so little precedent. The presumption has been that at some point Mueller will reach the end of his Constitutional power, and have to simply allow Congress to decide whether to impeach him. But now one prominent legal expert says Mueller can actually prosecute Trump directly, which would change everything.
Up to now, the debate has largely been whether Mueller’s endgame would go in one of two directions. Would he incriminate Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator, as was done to Richard Nixon, before handing it over to Congress? Or would he go so far as to have a grand jury indict Trump, thus spelling out the full extent of Trump’s criminal complicity, thus putting more pressure on Congress to impeach? The Brookings Institution, considered a foremost legal authority, now says there’s a third option.
A detailed new legal report released by the Brookings Institution makes the case that Robert Mueller can prosecute Donald Trump as if he were any other defendant (link). There has always been pushback as to whether this was Constitutionally possible, because Mueller can’t remove Trump from office. There’s no question that only Congress can do that. But now we’re looking at a whole different endgame.
If Robert Mueller can put Donald Trump on criminal trial in a courtroom and get a conviction, we’d find ourselves in a singularly unprecedented situation. The trial alone would cripple Trump’s presidency and put extraordinary pressure on the Republican Congress to oust him. If he were convicted while still in office, it’s unclear if he could be imprisoned while still president. But at that point Congress would almost surely decide to make the problem go away by impeaching him.
The post Legal expert says Robert Mueller can directly prosecute Donald Trump in a courtroomappeared first on Palmer Report.
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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is a mythic presence in Washington. He is everywhere and nowhere: As the world revolves around him, he continues to elude the press and the public. Even the location of his office remains unknown.
Compare this with the president, who cannot help but make himself the center of attention in any situation and who blurts out his every thought on Twitter. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is a black box. The Trump White House is the leakiest in memory. Where Trump is loud, Mueller is quiet. Where Trump is brash, Mueller is careful. Trump is the builder of the gilding-encrusted, marble-clad tower. The architecture with which Mueller is most identified is the drab, utilitarian J. Edgar Hoover Building.
In the American imagination, Mueller is more than Trump’s adversary or the man who happens to be investigating him. He’s the president’s mythic opposite — the anti-Trump.
That opposition runs deeper than discordant personal styles. With his long government career, Mueller is the embodiment of the “deep state” derided by the president’s defenders. But another way to describe the deep state is as a network of government institutions staffed by devoted public servants. Trump’s presidency has distinguished itself by a marked lack of respect for those institutions, whether through neglect, derision or outright attempts at what former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon termed “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” More profoundly, Trump’s disregard for the usual checks on executive power calls into question whether the president will leave his office and the government as a whole irretrievably broken.
Mueller, in contrast, stands for the strength of those institutions — not just because of his own public service but also because his investigation now concerns Trump’s breach of institutional integrity in dismissing then-FBI Director James B. Comey. This is a major source of Mueller’s appeal to Trump’s critics. We don’t just hope that Mueller’s investigation will expose whatever wrongdoing took place. We want him to reestablish the order that has been lost. It’s a demand for justice in the sense described by the philosopher Immanuel Kant: We punish a crime not only to assert that the act was wrong but also to reaffirm the existence of the moral system disregarded by the criminal.
Trump’s disrespect for institutions is also a disrespect for the moral systems they represent. His repeated efforts to interfere with the independence of the Justice Department are a declaration that right and wrong, legal and illegal are whatever he says they are. This stance is an outgrowth of his flexible relationship with truth — his willingness to say anything and contradict himself moments later, with no expectation of consequence. Mueller is an avatar of our hope that justice and meaning will reassert themselves against Trumpian insincerity.
The trouble, of course, is that Mueller cannot and will not save us.
There’s no way of knowing how long his investigation will take and what it will turn up. It could be years before the probe is completed. It could be that Mueller’s team finds no evidence of criminal misconduct on the part of the president himself. And because the special counsel has no obligation to report his conclusions to the public — indeed, the special-counsel regulations do not give him the power to do so without the approval of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — we may never know what he uncovers.
More profoundly, it is a mistake to conflate whatever legal wrongdoing the president and those around him may have engaged in with Trump’s even more profound failures of morality and leadership. The horror of much of his behavior is that it may be well within the law and presidential authority — and yet entirely unacceptable. This is true both for his more egregious actions, such as his dismissal of Comey, and his less consequential but still discomfiting behavior, such as his inability to display the bare minimum of empathy for hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. When viewed in the context of Trump’s other actions, Comey’s firing may raise the question of obstruction of justice. But on its own, it’s no more illegal or unconstitutional for the president to fire the FBI director than it is for him to toss paper towels to hurricane victims.
It is comforting to reduce the mess of our politics to a clash between the opposing deities of Mueller and Trump. But doing so is also a way to avoid grappling with more difficult problems: What does it mean to have a president who behaves this way? What forces carried him into office, and how do we as a country address them? These are not questions that an official investigation can answer. Ultimately, we imagine Mueller as a white knight because it’s easier than taking responsibility for confronting this presidency ourselves.
Business Insider–35 minutes ago
The Hill–1 hour ago
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>–16 hours ago
Daily Beast–16 hours ago
Highly Cited–CNN–17 hours ago