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Trump Has Only Himself to Blame for Stalled Agenda

Trump Has Only Himself to Blame for Stalled Agenda
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, on the controversies surrounding President Trump's firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and his alleged sharing of classified information with two Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office. (Scott Applewhite/AP)

By Friday, 19 May 2017 10:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Paul Revere would have it easy today. Instead of a wild midnight ride to alert his countrymen, he could simply post on social media, "The Russians are coming!" One if by land, two if by sea — and three if by Oval Office.” But there’s a difference.

The British were unwelcome. Yet for some reason, this White House feels compelled to roll out the red carpet for the Russians. Not only do the Russians get the royal treatment, but, courtesy of President Trump, they may have also gotten classified secrets. Only in "Amerika!"

From the president’s insane accusations about being wiretapped, to off-the-wall tweets, to this latest doozy — betraying some of America’s most trusted allies and jeopardizing the lives of intelligence assets, the presidency of Donald Trump has become farcical.

The lack of results bears this out. 

Despite Republican majorities, the president has accomplished virtually nothing. In fact, he's conceded to Democrats on a host of issues. His un-presidential antics keep the White House mired in crisis mode. As his approval ratings continue to plummet, an increasing number of Republicans are moving away from him.

Here’s a look at Mr. Trump’s first four months in office — and his self-inflicted failures:

1. Obstruction of justice? In what could prove most stunning, a memo allegedly written by former FBI Director James B. Comey states the president asked him to drop the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

No conclusions can yet be drawn, but a president asking the FBI to kill a high-level investigation can fall under the category of obstruction of justice.

2. The classified information giveaway. It was within Mr. Trump’s purview to share highly-sensitive information about ISIS with the Russians. Yet, his cluelessness to the ramifications was bewildering. First, the Russians easily discerned the source. Second, given that perceived betrayal of trust, why would other intelligence assets continue to take America at its word? They won’t. So our fight against terrorists has just become that much harder.

So you share classified information with the Russians, give them a free pass for meddling in our election, get nothing in return — and somehow that’s a win?

3. Firing FBI Director James B. Comey. President Trump’s firing of Jim Comey is baffling. Comey should have been canned — as this column pointed out a year ago. But he should have been fired on day one. Instead, the president repeatedly sung his praises. So what was the president’s epiphany that Mr. Comey wasn’t up to snuff?

Was it that Comey refused to pledge his loyalty? Or, that the director sought additional resources in the FBI’s collusion investigation? Or, was it that Russia was on the president’s mind — as he admits?

Regardless, it should’ve been a no-brainer to put away the ax until the investigations were concluded. How did the president not know that firing Comey now would generate comparisons to President Nixon firing the Watergate special prosecutor? Mr. Trump just cemented the perception that he is trying to quash something ominous.

But the crème-de-la-crème was the president tweeting a warning to Comey that he not leak "tapes" of their conversations.

Firing Jim Comey at the worst possible time. Believing that Democrats would support the decision is — shortsighted. Not foreseeing that confirmation hearings for the new director will dredge up every aspect of the Russia investigations? This is mindbloggling. 

But tweeting Nixonian-like statements about secret tapes? Questionable.

4. No one home. The president’s transition is so awkward that GOP senators are begging for nominees. Trump diehards blame Democrats for blocking nominations That’s ridiculous because nominees only need 51 votes (there are 52 Republican senators), and there are virtually no nominees. As of today, no nominees have been submitted for 479 out of 557 "key" administration positions. It’s been seven months. What on earth have they been doing?

5. A derailed agenda. Donald Trump has created a vicious circle. His very actions cause his approval ratings to sink. He then tries to achieve policy victories, yet fails. This is due to those low approval ratings. Paradoxically, the only way to raise his approval ratings is to achieve success on policy initiatives. Yet, just when Congress looks amenable, the president exhibits more reckless behavior which is viewed unfavorably.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was a victory. But what about the rest?

No Obamacare replacement; no border wall; no withdrawing of funding from sanctuary cities; no ripped up Iran nuclear deal; no re-vamped "America-first" trade deals; no hard line with China; no tax reform; no adherence to staying out of Mideast conflicts; no infrastructure package; no reduction in government spending (or size); and no voter fraud investigation.

The "Trump is better than Hillary" line doesn't cut it anymore. If things are to change, the Trump base must understand that giving the president a free pass every time he goes off the rails is counter-productive.

No more blaming the Democrats. No more excuses that "Trump is new, so give him a chance." And please, no more insulting arguments that the president is light years ahead of everyone; that every action by Trump is a carefully orchestrated chess move.

We’re always told to just wait.

Well, Mr. President, we’ve been waiting. We haven't seen anything.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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No more blaming the Democrats. No more excuses. Please, no more insulting arguments that the president is light years ahead; that every action by Donald Trump is a carefully orchestrated chess move. We’re always told to just wait. Well, Mr. President, we’ve been waiting. We haven't seen anything.
comey, democrats, fbi
Friday, 19 May 2017 10:54 AM
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