This week in White House drama, we find the President on a whirlwind trip to Europe, where he has been met with hostility and has dished out insults of his own. Other dramatic moments include breaking news from the Russia investigation and more controversial pardons.
The Big Drama
Remember when President Trump claimed that the Russia investigation was a “witch-hunt” and that Russia did not interfere with the 2016 presidential election? Yeah, me too. Once again, unsurprisingly, some of President Trump’s Tweets were proven to be malarkey as Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged twelve Russian officials with hacking Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign emails. Even worse for the Trump camp – the Russians hacked these emails on the same day then-candidate Trump told Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, on July 27, 2016.
What a coincidence.
This would indicate that Russian military-intelligence officials were not only listening to Donald Trump closely enough to see that rally, but they followed his wishes. In addition to making the President look guilty, it is also arguably the most concrete move made by the Russia investigation officials – making Trump administration calls to end the investigation more pointless.
These charges have also caused many to wonder why the President is still planning to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland for a planned summit if officials in the Russian government have been charged with interfering in our election. Meeting with Putin not only makes Trump look like he is guilty, but it also makes it seem like he believes the notoriously corrupt Putin more than he believes his own government officials and intelligence agencies. Not a good look.
More Drama Bombs
While nothing compares to the Russia investigation breakthrough, other moments have been dramatic enough to mention. Competing to be the most ridiculous stories this week are the new balloon flying over England and more ridiculous pardons for people who set fire to public land to rebel against the federal government.
Readers may remember the Bundy’s, a ranching family that has a habit of occupying federal land in protest of it being federal land, and their most viral incident – occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon for over a month. This occupation was ridiculous on several levels: the land was not in use, so it was not clear what they were protesting, occupiers forgot to pack food, and they never really achieved anything except attention. In addition to looking completely ridiculous, the occupation was also an homage to the Hammonds, a family who were friends with the Bundy family, and have been serving prison sentences for setting fire to public land.
Why does this matter? Trump pardoned the Hammonds, of course.
This is not the craziest pardon – the President pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio takes the cake – but it is close. Simply put, it is strange for the President of the United States to pardon people who were arrested for protesting land owned by the United States government. Not only does it make it seem like Trump supports people who want to kick the federal government to the curb – the federal government he runs – but it also sends a message that radical groups can hold the country hostage with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. In a time where the President is failing to rebuke white supremacists, radical groups will only get bolder.
Speaking of bold, the British people are not being shy about their dislike of our President. Trump is visiting England this week, leading thousands of British citizens to protest his visit, and a nonprofit group to fly a giant Trump baby. That’s right, in England right now there is a Macy’s Parade sized balloon Donald Trump in a diaper. What an image. While the policy side of the visit is not very surprising – Trump insulted British Prime Minister Theresa May, per usual – the world’s reaction to our President is telling.
Other Major Players
- President Trump claimed that immigration was taking away the culture of Europe, in a press conference during his tour of Europe. This quote was linked with the administration’s immigration policy and xenophobic fears that American culture is being stifled. President Trump, the child of an immigrant, the husband of an immigrant, and the President of the land of immigrants does not like immigrants? Interesting.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel snapped back at President Trump this week after he claimed Germany was “held captive” by Russia, stating she was grateful for Germany’s ability to make independent decisions. After the Russia news involving our election, it seems like Trump is projecting. Just a tad.
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