KRWG

Goodman: Grave Concerns About Trump Continue To Grow

Dec 2, 2018

Credit peter goodman

Commentary:  Thursday, Trump's lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen pled guilty to lying to Congress to help Trump's campaign. 

Just months before his election, Trump was seeking a massive hotel deal in Russia, lying to U.S. voters about that, and publicly praising Vladimir Putin – and repeatedly denying the deal. “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” 

 

In 2017, Trump said that the “closest I came to Russia” was in selling a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008. 

 

The proposed hotel deal included a $50 million penthouse for Putin, which would seem to violate U.S. laws against bribing foreign officials. 

 

And wouldn't Trump's involvement in Cohen's perjury constitute subornation of perjury?

 

Putin knew Trump was lying to the U.S. about his massive conflicts of interest. Trump's lies gave the Russians more leverage over him. And Trump's policies have continued to be oddly pro-Russia.

 

Try to imagine Barack Obama or Dwight David Eisenhower tilting foreign policy to help make a fortune in Moscow. Trump has inured us to the previously unthinkable. And the just-plain-wrong.

 

A recent headline read “U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich Charges Trump Covering up Murder.” It sounded like some National Enquirer headline screaming at supermarket customers. Then I realized it referred to Jamal Kashoggi. Trump was helping cover up murder. Openly. 

 

Still, high percentages of Republicans support Trump. People who generally say they care more about national security, law and order, and Christian ethics than others do. Will this information erode that support at all? 

 

Cohen's guilty plea, confessing Trump and Cohen conferred more frequently about the Russian hotel deal than they'd admitted, suggests we'll hear further significant revelations about Trump's misconduct. (Gee, what did Trump say about the Moscow Project in recent written statements to Mueller?)

 

Trump has hired a con man puppet Attorney-General and stepped up attacks on Mueller, a fellow Republican and ethical law-enforcement official, to prepare us for Mueller's possible firing.

 

But wait! Senate Republicans showed signs of life this week! Disgusted by Trump's unwavering support for Saudi Arabia, Republicans may finally force Trump to stop our participation in the Saudis' war crimes in Yemen. Republican Jeff Flake is leveraging his power as the swing vote on the Judiciary Committee to demand a vote on the Mueller Protection Act. I hope these actions are a belated reawakening of concern for our country, not merely rats leaving a sinking ship.

 

Voters made a massive mistake in 2016. Many did so for understandable reasons, such as lost jobs and dying rural counties Trump promised to revive. Voters are learning he can't do what he promised, and learning more about his bad conduct. Trump is steering our foreign policy in directions that will do the most good for his various businesses, not where it will further U.S. interests. 

 

It's hard to admit mistakes. But we sometimes get conned. Jeez I felt dumb when Lyndon Johnson escalated the Viet Nam War after portraying Barry Goldwater as a warmonger throughout his campaign!

 

Will we see, despite long odds, something like the Democrats abandoning Lyndon Johnson in 1968 or the Republicans dropping Nixon in 1972, realizing that sometimes values and U.S. national interests beat loyalty to a sitting president? Or is that like expecting college football fans to root for their traditional rivals because their coach is a criminal? 

 

I've hoped too hard for too long to feel any confidence.