The drama in the White House this week revolved around Trump’s nominee for the secretary of Veteran Affairs, a fiery speech from French President Emmanuel Macron, a ruling from a Senate Committee, and a rambling call from the President to his favorite news show – Fox & Friends.
The Big Drama
The most dramatic news this week involved Trump nominee for sectary of Veteran Affairs, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, and his decision to withdraw his name after allegations emerged. Nearly two dozen former and current colleagues made claims that he was “abusive” and participated in improper conduct. Some of these allegations claimed that Jackson was frequently intoxicated at work, and “loosely handled” narcotics. When Jackson withdrew his name for the secretary of Veteran Affairs position, he refused to confirm or deny any of these statements, and the President declared that his decision to withdraw his name was unsurprising. This is yet another embarrassing failure to nominate an acceptable candidate for his cabinet.
In other news, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a scathing speech about protectionism and isolationism to Congress, specifically chastising Trump. This follows after a week where pundits touted the new “bromance” between Macron and Trump, who seemed to have a congenial start to the state visit. What followed what less than congenial, as Macron ripped the administration apart in the country’s political theatre.
The French President spoke of his love of Americans and American values while channeling President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by stating all Americans have to fear is fear itself – before declaring that the new administration was bringing fear. Macron warned against politicians who “play with fear and anger,” a gutsy move in a room full of American politicians. He concluded by declaring his dissatisfaction with how Trump has reverted back to the poor environmental policies the United States held before the Obama Administration – particularly the decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
More Drama Bombs
In a truly baffling thirty minutes, the President called in to Fox News show Fox & Friends this week. What followed was a clearly uncomfortable interview that gave a clear insight into the President’s state of mind- from only getting Melania a card for her birthday, to claiming that Iranians used to scream “death to America” and that disgraced former secretary of the VA nominee, Ronny Jackson, was actually a great guy. The interview only ended after the hosts of Fox & Friends reminded Trump of his responsibilities, but the damage had already been done.
Around the time of the President’s awkward phone call, a prominent Senate Committee approved a bill to block Trump from firing Mueller, which is a good sign for the effectiveness of the Russia investigation. However, the Trump administration also got a win this week as the House Intelligence committee found in their final report that there was no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia on election tampering. This parallel leaves Trump slightly triumphant but still unable to halt Mueller’s investigation.
Other Major Players
- Speaking of Fox & Friends, Stormy Daniels is at it again. Her lawyer thanked Trump for making “hugely damaging admissions” on the show. These admissions included Trump failing to address why he would not testify, and further defining Cohen’s role as his attorney.
- Exiting Speaker Paul Ryan forces out House Chaplain Patrick Conroy for reminding Congress to think of the poor during the House debate. House members of both parties confirmed the chaplain was forced to retire or be fired and exhibited outrage.
- Controversial Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo was confirmed this week. This was a major win for Trump, even though the Republicans control the House and the Senate. Many may remember Pompeo as the Trump official who secretly visited North Korea, which may have been helpful in convincing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resume peace talks with South Korea.
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