It has been almost 16 months since Donald J. Trump became President of the United States. For 12 of those months, he has been under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for the possibility of his Campaign having colluded with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 Presidential Elections, in his favor. All evidence so far points to, at the very least, an unusually close and politically unhealthy relationship between Trump’s Campaign and Russia, and a concerted effort by the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential Election in Trump’s favor, by smearing and hurting Hillary Clinton, which they certainly did.
Also, 16 months into Trump’s Presidency, the majority of Trump’s Campaign’s senior most advisors are under separate investigations, some have been indicted, and others have pleaded guilty to lying to the American investigating agencies, such as the FBI, and are now ‘cooperating’ with the investigators in plea bargain deals.
The President who keeps claiming all this is simply a conspiracy to undermine his Presidency, regardless of his people being caught meeting Russians, lying under oath, pleading guilty, cutting deals with the authorities to escape full persecution, and actively seeking to work with the Russians to win the Election for him.
Trump is also by this time almost universally castigated for his destructive manner in dealing with key international co-operative initiatives and agreements, constructed and entered into by his predecessor Barack Obama, particularly in the areas of Trade, Environment, and Nuclear Détente. These disruptive and destructive actions of Trump’s have created great angst amongst America’s closest allies and signatories to most of these agreements, creating the conditions where they now have to distance themselves from Trump and his America while having to partner with competitors and adversaries like China and Russia to keep their side of the bargains, which they had struck in good faith.
Due to his consistent actions, Trump has become known as the most untrustworthy and openly the most ‘lying’ U.S. President in history, which has thoroughly destroyed America’s credibility on the international stage. And it’s only been about 16 months into his first term.
Additionally, it would be quite safe to say that no U.S. President in recent memory has had such intensive legal problems so early into their first term of Presidency, and no President has alienated so many American’s (60% to 70%) and such vast majorities of the global populations so quickly, by being just him.
The most recent revelations of the suspicious, seemingly illegal behavior of his personal Lawyer Michael Cohen has just added more legal liability fuel to the already raging bonfires all around Trump and his team’s highly improper and suspicious activities.
Trump himself has raged that the Mueller Investigation into his Campaign’s possible collusion with Russia is the ‘biggest witch hunt’ in history, even though Mueller has not finished his investigation and forwarded his findings.
The Republican Party has rallied behind Trump when they found out that this President is not at all shy from breaking all hereto accepted American political and social norms to give them their much coveted highly anti-liberal, anti-social wish list, be it a massive tax break for the wealthy and the corporations, as with the Trump and Republican Tax Reform, or be it dismantling all consumer protection, the declaring of open season on Environmental Protection regulations, the active blocking and prosecution of immigrants and aliens (particularly some races and religions), the closing of America’s borders, the beefing up of the Police State, the protection of America’s beloved gun culture, or the additional bloating of the Pentagon, which already has the biggest defense budget in the World (more than the next five countries’ Defense budgets combined).
In backing this President fully and unashamedly, the Republican Party has been running interference on his behalf even to the extent of attacking their own intelligence and investigative agencies in the most destructive ways, actively undermining their credibility, including the Justice Department, with no thought to the damage they are doing to fundamental and core American institutions that have defined America as an open, liberal democracy so far.
These relentless attacks on America’s Institutions, including the Justice Department, have been triggered by the fact that the professionals working in these institutions dare to, stoically, continue to do their jobs on behalf of their Country and the American people, and have not ‘been loyal and protected the President’, which is certainly not their job. In fact to investigate and persecute wrong doers, even the President, IS their job (recalling past Presidents that were investigated and persecuted, such as Nixon and Bill Clinton, to name just two).
It has been disturbing to watch career professionals who have devoted their lives to the service of their Country, being attacked vociferously, at times their careers being cut short, their reputations damaged, all because they dare to do their jobs regardless of their political affiliations. Yet, in spite of the almost daily abuse they have to suffer from the President and the
Republicans, these professionals have doggedly persevered till some of them were removed by a vindictive and ultimately self-destructive President.
But regardless of the constant assertions of there being ‘no there-there’, by the President and the Republicans and the highly damaging partisan blows to these institutions, the evidence is steadily mounting that there is proof of active Russian, and now perhaps Israeli, Saudi and United Arab Emirates as well, interference in the 2016 Election that was designed to materially help Trump win the Election at the cost of Hillary Clinton.
Recently, the Senate Intelligence Committee headed by Republican Senator Richard Burr (Chairman) and Democrat Senator Mark Warner (Vice Chairman) completed a 14 month review of all the evidence relating to Russian interference and found the evidence fully supported the conclusions of ICA (Intelligence Community Assessment). Senator Mark Warner said “the Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton”.
Well that put a real monkey-wrench into Trump’s and the Republican’s angry accusations that there was ‘no there, there’ and it was all ‘a witch hunt’, orchestrated by the Democrats because they had lost the Election. Ironically, the simple truth is that if the Democrats had undertaken such an underhanded political activity, then they wouldn’t have been Democrats, but they would be today’s Republicans. This bit of logic seems to escape both Trump and the Republicans (case in point, many obvious things do).
In the meantime, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is methodically working on his investigation which is snaring an ever greater number of Trump’s advisors, family members, surrogates and now, even his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a wide range of possible wrong doings in relation to Trump and his Campaign.
Whatever the conclusions of the Mueller Investigation, ample evidence has surfaced to establish the most widespread relationships and contacts between Trump, his team, his family members and his advisors and Russian and other foreign operatives; more so by far than any previous American Presidential candidates or Presidents.
The extensive relationships, the very suspicious activities during and after the Campaign, and Trump’s extreme and highly suspicious reluctance to criticize the Russians and particularly Vladimir Putin, no matter what, casts a giant shadow on Trump’s Presidency to-date. Mueller’s report, when filed, should shed much needed light on this bizarre episode of America history, under a most brazen and bizarre President.
Additionally, America’s role and profile in the World has changed dramatically under Trump.
The World has come to accept that today’s America cannot be trusted to be steadfast in its commitments to the Global community. Those countries that have sensitive agreements with America - be it on trade, defense, or on critical global political positions, have to be very wary of America pulling back, on its own whim, with no thought to its obligations under the terms of the agreements. By its latest moves on trade with other countries (NAFTA, TPP), multi-country environment protection and cooperation (the Paris Accord), and nuclear programs (Iran and North Korea), all Parties, hence forth, will approach America with great and justified suspicion.
Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, regardless of the opposition of practically the entire World, has also damaged America’s reputation as a broker of Palestinian (Middle East) peace initiatives with Israel. By this one move Trump alienated the entire Muslim World as the status of Jerusalem as a Holy City to the Jews and the Muslims, was key to the possibility of a ‘Two State Solution’ to the perennial Israeli and Palestinian problem. Not only did Trump and his accomplice, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, alienate the Muslim World, but they angered all the Major Powers which showed their displeasure by not attending the Embassy’s opening ceremonies.
The World has learned that under Trump there is a new America that is no longer an ally and a partner to be trusted, but rather a bullying unilateral Power that now wishes to go it alone.
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