Sad to see Trump Defend the Indefensible

First published August 19, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Nearly eight months into his fledgling presidency, President Donald Trump seems to be committed to no one but himself and his perverse ideas of what makes America great.

Exhibiting his hallmark brutish behaviour, Trump doubled down in his defense of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

“There is blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it,” Trump declared angrily, in a freewheeling, impromptu press conference Tuesday.

Answering questions from reporters, Trump blamed the tragedy in Charlottesville on “the alt-left,” rather than on the neo-Nazi, who plowed his car into a crowd of people, killing Heather Heyer.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump barked in reply to a reporter’s question.

Certainly there were counter-protestors (some who engaged in physical tactics), including Black Lives Matter advocates, at Saturday’s white nationalists rally. But they didn’t kill Heyer or injure 19 other people.

Please note: I have roundly condemned the Black Lives Matter Movement, particularly in my book Con Job, for the violence that group has caused, including the deaths of Dallas police officers in 2016 by one of their sympathizers.

The thing is, there is no “alt-left.” But the alt-right exists: they’re the white supremacists, who also happen to be hardcore conservatives…the same mob which rejects any Republican who supports inclusion, by labeling them as ‘cuckservatives.’ During the 2016 presidential election, these racists felt very comfortable taking off their hoods and supporting Trump.

And what’s indefensible is for the President of the United States to defend these groups in any way!

In response to Trump’s deplorable behaviour, CEOs began fleeing his White House business councils. First to take a moral stand was the black CEO of Merck, Kenneth Frazier, who stepped down from the American Manufacturing Council.

Of course Trump’s response was to insult Frazier on Twitter:

“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison said this, in a statement about her resignation from the White House’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative:

“Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville.”

As Trump’s councils were fast becoming councils of one, the president pulled the plug — on Twitter of course.

Yet, Trump wasn’t even getting started with his insults and unyielding resolve to behave like a spoiled toddler…okay, maybe a teenager.

In a litany of tweets the morning of Aug. 17th, Trump praised the glory of the Confederacy.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

I agree that we should not set a precedent by tearing down monuments; because we’d have to start destroying everything built by slave hands: Monticello, Mount Vernon, the White House, Congress.

But neither the Confederacy nor its history was beautiful for blacks. And it’s beyond immoral to see our president defending a time in America where whites owned blacks as property and fought a bloody war to keep that right.

Is Trump trying to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain or make America racist again? He’s quickly insulting his way to one of the worst presidencies in history…and quite possibility something unfathomable.

Trump reluctant to denounce white supremacists

First published August 13, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Why is President Donald Trump so reluctant to denounce white supremacists who support him?

During the campaign, Trump “denounced” the endorsement of David Duke, a renowned white supremacist, rather than outright condemning and rejecting him. White supremacists turned Charlottesville, Va., into a violent scene reminiscent of the hatred wrought by bigoted whites upon blacks during the civil rights movement. Duke was in attendance.

And Trump again was reluctant to condemn the hate.

It took him over an hour to respond after a racist madman drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one person and injuring 19 others. While the president seemed to dither about what to say, others — including his wife — called it exactly what it was.

“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville,” First Lady Melania Trump tweeted.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members planned the Unite the Right rally to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Trump — a normally effusive serial tweeter — took until after 1 p.m. to finally tweet:

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

Calling this hate by its name “white supremacy” would have been a more appropriate response for Trump, especially since dozens of these white nationalists were wearing Make America Great Again hats (Trump’s campaign slogan), as reported the Washington Post.

Instead, during a press conference in New Jersey after the tragedy, Trump again avoided calling racists by their name.

“The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides,” Trump declared. This was not the occasion to cling to his anti-PC mantra, which is what he seemed to be doing.

There’s only one side, as former vice-president Joe Biden tweeted. And Trump could say the name of the side that in Charlottesville who caused the hatred and violence.

When asked by a reporter at the press conference if he wanted the support of white nationalists, Trump said nothing. A president brings the country together when he leads by example.

In contrast, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish and married to a Jared Kushner, also Jewish, tweeted words the president can’t seem to.

“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”

And then Duke quoted Trump’s tweet in a tweet that read:

“I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”

Perhaps, therein lies the answer to the troubling question of why Trump can’t find the courage to say more.

As a native of Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy, I know all too well how some whites like to cling to their heritage of hate.

Monument Ave. is a grand boulevard in Richmond, littered with statues of Lee and other notable Confederate warriors. Thank God the war was won by the right side.

In America, you’re entitled to your free speech. But you’re not entitled to kill people with it.

Trump’s fleeting loyalty

First published July 27, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

In the peripatetic White House of President Donald Trump, no one knows which way the wind will blow. One minute you’re in and Trump’s best friend, and the next you’re out like “fake news.”

Former FBI director James Comey and newly-dismissed White House press secretary Sean Spicer know all about losing that loving feeling from Trump. But it was a surprise to many, probably to Attorney General Jeff Sessions himself, when Sessions became Trump’s latest punching bag. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump in 2016 but memories and loyalty are fleeting to Trump.

There’s buzz that Trump and his advisers are strongly considering firing Sessions. If Trump cans Sessions, his most ardent supporter, he will officially be running a tyrannical presidency oblivious to any accountability and one vulnerable to a massive downfall.

In a New York Times interview last week, Trump assailed Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation — now being conducted by independent counsel Robert Mueller. Why didn’t Trump express this anger months ago during Sessions’ confirmation hearing? Or when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation?

Presumably, Trump is angered by the fact that Mueller’s investigation is heating up due to the sloppiness of his campaign staff — most notably his son Don Trump Jr. who met with a slew of Russians promising dirt on Hillary.

Trump expressed his displeasure with Sessons on Twitter: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

Trump wasn’t nearly done. In a Rose Garden press conference Tuesday, Trump continued his verbal thrashing of Sessions. When asked by a reporter if he would fire Sessions, Trump responded: “We’ll see what happens.”

“I’m disappointed in the attorney general,” he added. “If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have picked somebody else.

“It’s a bad thing not just for the president, but also for the presidency,” Trump said. “I think it’s unfair to the presidency.” Then he added he wanted Sessions “to be much tougher on leaks in the intelligence agencies that are leaking like they never have before…You can’t let that happen.”

The Washington Post and other news outlets reported Sessions plans to announce several criminal investigations into the leaks of intelligence to the media. Either Sessions is running scared or simply trying to placate our brutish President with a bone. The attorney general said he won’t resign but Trump is clearly trying to humiliate Sessions out of office.

Making matters worse, the Republican controlled Congress can’t do what Republicans have promised to do for seven years and what Trump won the election on — repealing Obamacare.

House Republicans passed a bill but Senate Republicans are standing down the challenge. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, with a slim 52-seat majority, can’t muster the 50 votes he needs to pass a repeal bill or anything in between.

And what is Trump doing to help? He’s berating GOP Senators on Twitter of course.

Not the best way to get the people you need in Congress to help you do “so much winning” that you promised to voters during the campaign.

It’s hard to understand what Trump is trying to achieve as president. But what’s clear is Trump demands loyalty but gives it to none.

How much longer are supporters going to enjoy Trump’s theatre of the absurd?

Trump and son mired in Russia controversy

First published July 12, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

While candidate Donald Trump ran on an America First platform, it sure seems that in President Donald Trump’s White House, Russia takes centre stage.

Trump is either tweeting about Russia, CNN’s coverage of Russia, defending friends and family against collusion with Russia, or praising President Vladimir Putin as a partner in cyber security. Not for nothin’ but trusting Putin to fight election hacking is like placing America’s national security in the hands of terrorists.

No wonder liberal news giants like The New York Times can’t get enough of Russia: Trump’s feeding the beast. The Times reported a series of stories on Donald Trump Jr.’s giddiness to meet with a “Russian government attorney” to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

First, Don Jr. explained in a statement to the Times that during the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up.”

But the problem is that statement wasn’t exactly true. Under duress from learning the Times was going to publish another story on the contents of the email exchange, Don Jr. posted the emails on Twitter. And — just like with dad Donald — it did anything but help his cause.

The emails have Russia all over them and give the appearance of collusion. The bottom line is that they aren’t helpful to Trump’s defence in the four different government investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.

In a June 3, 2017 email to Don Jr., Rob Gladstone, a British publicist, said he was reaching out to him on behalf of Russian music star Emin Agalarov.

“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” (According to The Times, the title Crown prosecutor is a British term. The equivalent in Russia is prosecutor general of Russia.)

Emin’s father Aras Agalarov, as reported by the Times, “boasts close ties with Putin” and worked with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Russia in 2013.

Goldstone explicitly added in the email to Don Jr.:

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support of Trump.”

Minutes later, Don Jr. eagerly responded: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

This meeting request doesn’t sound like adoption talk. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kusher, son-in-law and Trump White House advisor, also attended the meeting.

Don Jr. told the Times that during the meeting, Veselnitskaya’s “statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.” Essentially, she had no dirt on Clinton and the Times conceded as much.

“The precise nature of the promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton is unclear, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was related to Russian-government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.”

While there’s no evidence Putin hacked any votes — per former FBI director James Comey’s Congressional testimony — he did hack the Democratic National Committee’s email and tried to influence the election.

But how could Don Jr. be so naive? And when will his father rise above the mountain of Russia-conspiracy controversy to actually govern — and get things done with a GOP majority in Congress?

Either this Russia/Trump thing is on track to be “the greatest witch hunt in political history,” or be the cornerstone of the

Enough with tweeting already!

First published July 3, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

One would imagine that the President of the United States of America would have more important things to do than to tweet 24 hours a day and obsess on reporters who criticize him.

As a person who voted for Donald Trump, I tried to dismiss his infamous adolescent behaviour on Twitter since he became president, hoping that he would focus on his agenda.

But when Trump unloaded his unhinged anger on Twitter at MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, I said, “Enough is enough!”

How childish, low-brow, and in-poor-taste!

His reaction was not only unbecoming for any adult — but more significantly, for the president of the most powerful country on earth. Apparently, the president popped off because Mika and Joe derided him on their show for hanging a fake Time Magazine cover of himself at one of his properties.

But this isn’t the first time Trump has borne down on the co-hosts turned lovebirds.

Ever since they began questioning whether he’s mentally fit to be president, he’s had an unhealthy obsession with them. Testy Trump claims he doesn’t watch “low-rated Morning Joe,” yet he appears to watch religiously.

After his initial Twitter tirade, Trump continued his war on Mika and Joe, tweeting this on June 30:

“Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show”

Then this on July 1:

“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”

Really, Mr. President? Don’t you have anything better to do, like lobbying GOP members of the Senate to get behind a bill to repeal Obamacare?

It’s no surprise that a Quinnipiac poll found 61% of registered voters think Trump should STOP tweeting. Americans didn’t vote for Trump to tweet. We voted for him to put the country on a path of prosperity — by repealing Obamacare, creating jobs, and making America safe and great again.

Instead of calming down, Trump doubled down and reloaded on Twitter, grabbing headlines with his pro-wrestling-themed tweet which showed him beating down an opponent with CNN logo superimposed on his face.

Not only is this beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency, this crescendo of indecency exhibited by Trump comes on the eve of America’s independence holiday.

Our July 4 holiday celebrates the tenets of liberty and freedom that this country was founded upon — breaking away from the tyrannical shackles of Great Britain and creating the world’s most enduring democracy.

Ironically, Trump is acting like a king in the way he and his administration are trying to bully, lecture and ultimately silence the press.

It’s no secret that news outlets like CNN, NBC and others don’t like Trump. However, the president’s job is not to stoop to school-yard insults worthy of a fifth grader — or be held accountable to Twitter.

More and more, I question whether the #Fraud is the one sitting in the Oval office.

Liberals’ hate for Trump drove Sanders’ supporter to shoot Republicans

First published June 17, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Intentionally missing from the mainstream, left-wing media coverage of the attack on Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia is that the shooter was a Democrat. The 66-year old lunatic James Hodgkinson also volunteered for DEMOCRAT Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

And this nut job wrote on his Facebook page on March 22, 2017:

“Trump is a Traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump & Company.”

This isn’t the first time that a Sanders’s supporter has engaged in violence and the media ignored it. During presidential campaign in 2016, Sanders’s supporters disrupted a Donald Trump rally in Chicago with violence, forcing then candidate Donald J. Trump to cancel the event.

Liberal news outlets like ABC, NBC and CNN didn’t think it was worth mentioning the shooter’s connection with Sanders or making a big deal out of it. We know that they would have if the shooter had been a Trump supporter attacking Democrats.

Instead, these news outlets are talking about the need for more gun control laws, whether all members of Congress need security, and everything under the sun except the fact that Hodgkinson shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others at a baseball practice for a bi-partisan charity game only BECAUSE they were Republicans!

The liberal mainstream media is avoiding talking about the facts. Hodgkinson went on his shooting rampage that left Scalise critically wounded because Democrat leaders and liberal celebrities have created a climate of violence toward President Donald Trump with their open contempt for the president.

Examples include:

Hillary Clinton and Democrat members of the House and Senate incessantly hurling allegations that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election.

Comedian Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody plastic head of Trump, joking that someone should commit an ISIS-like beheading of the president.

New York City Public Theatre’s production of Julius Caesar where the actor playing Caesar is dressed like Trump and of course assassinated by Brutus.

Then there’s this gem from actress Patti Lupone, who told a reporter that she hoped Trump won’t attend her Broadway show War Paint, “because I won’t perform if he does.”

When asked why, LuPone replied:

“Because I hate the motherf**ker,” she said. “How’s that?”

Bazaar Magazine’s headline on LuPone’s remarks rejoiced about her “100 percent fabulous response.”

If LuPone were a conservative actress, who said the same thing about former black President Barack Obama, she would have been called a racist. But somehow, liberal publications and news outlets think the more outrageous and crude comments that people make about Trump the better.

Liberals have created the current climate of hate that emboldened a deranged Hodgkinson to shoot innocent Republicans playing a game of baseball.

As Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) were leaving baseball practice early Wednesday, Duncan said the shooter asked him if the team practicing was Republican or Democrat. Thinking there was no harm in answering, Duncan replied “Republicans.”

During a meeting Tuesday, I explained to some people who were unaware of the attack that Congressman Scalise had been shot.

A black woman asked me: “Was he a Republican or Democrat?”

I replied: “Republican. Does it matter?”

She rolled her eyes and turned up one side of her mouth.

God help America if being a Republican can now get you killed.