Two days ago, I wrote about the challenge of trying not to write about politics every single day when the standard has become that not only is there some outrage to write about Trump every single day but often there are two or even three outrages in any given day from Trump. And so I went to write about all three that day.
And here we are a whole two days later. And we've again hit the Trifecta.
I was going to write at length about the pathetic tweet from Trump about what he called the "Bombshell news" about the FBI. The story, which again intended to destroy public trust in the organization, concerned newly-discovered messages between two FBI agents that supposedly show inappropriate involvement between the FBI and President Barack Obama over the Hilary Clinton email investigation. It was a charge that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), like a duly-obsequious flunky, picked up and was publicly outraged over. You recall Ron Johnson -- he's the same guy who only a few weeks ago cried out that he'd been told about a single message between those same two FBI agents that revealed a "secret Deep State" organization within the FBI...only to have it turn out that the message referred to a gag gift for a party. An event for which Ron Johnson had to apologize for. Well, this time it turns out that the "bombshell news" that Trump -- the freaking president of the United States -- and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) were up in arms about a) was dated after the investigation into Hilary Clinton's emails had already been closed, and b) merely concerned President Obama wanting to be kept informed about the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections! Something that in a sane world Trump himself would want to be be kept informed about, as well, rather than trying to block.
But rather than go into that at length, there was other outrage instead. Like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying publicly that Russians will be meddling in the 2018 mid-term elections. Not might, maybe, possibly, but they will be, period. And he said that on the same day the Department of Homeland Security finally acknowledged that Russia successfully hacked into the voter registration system of many states. And Mr. Tillerson's boss, the freaking president of the United States, doesn't even acknowledge yet that Russia meddled in the last election. Sorry, "meddle" is the wrong expression. Attacked the United States. Indeed, Trump didn't even enact the sanctions against Russia that the Senate and House passed together by a vote of something like 530-3. And pretty much no action still has been taken by the White House to protect the country against another such attack that the Secretary of State of the United States says WILL BE coming.
But since this is the Trump administration, even that isn't big enough to be the Story of the Day. No, there's more. Of course.
That's because Rob Porter, an important White House official (who, despite his lowly-sounding title of staff secretary, among other things helped craft the State of the Union address and controls access to the president) resigned after reports of having hit his two previous wives. And the White House knew about this when Trump hired him because the FBI does background checks on such people who will be working next to the president, and they wouldn't give him security clearance.
Worse though is the statement from Chief of Staff John Kelly who joined the White House later but knew of this and yet still-released a statement how he fully backed Porter, a man he said of "true integrity" -- a statement written along with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks...who is currently dating Porter. (Side note: for her personal safety, one hopes she gets out of the relationship fast.) It took nine hours of stories and finally the release of a photograph of Porter's first wife battered with a black eye before Kelly at last released a second statement, decrying abuse but -- but saying that the Chief of Staff "stands by my previous statement." No word if the statement still stands by Kelly. Porter has since been run out of Dodge and resigned, yet only after Kelly continued to argue for him all day to keep his job.
This is John Kelly, the man who this past October ruefully, yet almost belligerently bemoaned today's culture saying how he grew up in time when women were sacred. Apparently to Kelly there's a loophole in his idea of "sacred" since he finds it excusable when they're beaten by their husbands. The same Kelly who only days earlier this week demeaned Mexicans in America as "too "lazy to get off their asses" and register for the Dream Act -- never mind that they seem to have had great reason not to trust the government would keep its word to protect them if they did register, whimsically ironic since Kelly himself used to run the Department of Homeland Security under which the Dreamers will no longer be protected in a month. And the same Kelly who late last year demeaned black Congresswoman Rep. Frederica Wilson with charges that, thanks to the existence of a videotape, were shown to be completely false, yet Kelly's reverence for women being sacred apparently doesn't cover ever apologizing.
And by the way, despite everything, Rob Porter wasn't kicked out of the door immediately, but was allowed to keep his job through today and was able to return to this slime-ridden White House to kindly have more time to clean out his office and say his warm good-byes.
Thank goodness there was a photo of his first battered wife.
So, swell, that's where we are. Trump says Nazis have "some very fine people" and John Kelly calls a multiple wife abuser a man of "true integrity" and fought to keep him on staff. Unfortunately, in an administration where the president admits on video of being a sexual abuser of women and 19 women have accused him of sexual abuse, where his former chief adviser Steve Bannon was accused by his wife of abuse, where advisers like Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller have histories of support for white supremacy and on and on the muck fills the swamp...it all fits together.
Just another single day in the land of Trump.
And it can't be repeated enough -- even with all this, the story is not about Trump. It is about Republicans in Congress who continue to support all this in near-unanimity.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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