This week’s White House drama concerns some serious international matters, a tell-all book by former FBI Director James Comey, and more legal issues for Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Other news includes a distasteful pardon, a financial review for the U.S. Postal Service, and the President possibly changing his mind about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Big Drama
First on the docket is the chemical weapons situation in Syria – and Russia’s suspected involvement. Trump announced in an address to the nation that the United States would launch “precision strikes” on targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons program, and the strikes would be “sustained” until the use of chemical weapons ceases. While it is difficult to predict Russia’s response to the President blaming them for allowing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons on his own people, in a time of tense relations with Russia this statement could be catastrophic.
While this action is a concerted effort from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, the days leading up to this decision were nothing if not scattered. First, Trump rolled back his comments on Syria, going from deciding to strike to a much less certain tone. Then, Russia declared that the chemical weapon’s attack on Douma, Syria was directed by the United Kingdom – a clearly ridiculous claim that British government officials immediately claimed to be “ludicrous.”
One thing is certain – this tragedy may have been the spark that the world needed to collectively punish the Assad regime.
Speaking of ludicrous claims, President Trump had a rather explosive reaction to former FBI Director James Comey’s new book, going on a Twitter rant where he called Comey an “untruthful slime ball.” This is not the only Twitter rant Trump has launched against a former member of the FBI, as he attacked former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after the Department of Justice released his set of memos.
In the defamatory attack, Trump claimed that “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey” and claims of collusion were “all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes.” Sources claim that McCabe’s lawyers are considering taking the President to court for defamation.
Speaking of court, the Justice Department announced today that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is now under criminal investigation due to “personal business dealings.” While this announcement was also met with the President’s ire, it also prompts a question – how many people in Trump’s hemisphere are going to be arrested before he is implicated?
Also, all of these Twitter attacks were taking place while the President was considering a potentially devastating strike on the Syrian chemical weapons program. Should he really be reacting to a book in what is currently a very incendiary international climate?
More Drama Bombs
On to lighter matters, the spat with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos continued this week in a rather petty and indirect way as the President ordered a review of postal service finances. This executive order comes after Trump called Amazon’s arrangement with USPS a “money loser,” and the order was issued to examine the postal services “unsustainable financial path.”
Again, something tells me Bezos is not worried.
In addition to changing his mind about striking Syria, Trump also changed his mind about leaving the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The economic partnership would have established the United States as a trading force in the Asia-Pacific and cemented ties with key economic powerhouses such as Japan.
However, this flip-flop decision will not be reversed so easily. Japan is unlikely to want the deal to be reestablished, as they still have not been exempted from the recently announced steel tariffs. Also, while China is not a part of the TPP, it is likely that the nation would oppose it at every turn, considering this allowed them to gain an even stronger hold on the region. The decision to rejoin the TPP would also go directly against Trump’s own campaign promises, which could anger some supporters.
Other Major Players
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced he would not be seeking re-election this week, shocking House Republicans.
- Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had harsh words for James Comey, stating that his book was a “desperate PR stunt” and it “belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section.”
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