Say what you will about President Obama, but the man loved his wife, always seemed to keep his cool and his administration rarely had anything remotely related to a scandal. Fast forward to today and approximately two months into a four year term and President Trump’s administration seems to be the antithesis.
Without even broaching scandals that predate his presidency (e.g. multiple bankruptcies, racial profiling and intimidation of tenants of color and Trump University – just to name a few), his office has been marked by so many scandals it sets my head spinning. However the truly unbelievable part of this story is every scandal is self-inflicted. I’ve tried to tally all the bizarre scandals over the past eight weeks. Due to the fact there have been so many, I may have missed a few but this is what I’ve come up with thus far.
– Following Trump’s inauguration, President Trump lies about the number of attendees and insists his were among the largest crowds to attend an inauguration despite photos showing that not to be the case.
– His conversations with foreign leaders have proven to be both embarrassing and compromise longstanding geopolitical policies. Such as his conversation with the President of Taiwan, when called into question our One China policy or a few weeks later when Trump verbalized a one state option for Israel or his terrible call to the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in which by his own words he described as “the worst call so far.”– Based on some bizarre report from Breitbart News that President Trump heard, he insists that there was rampant voter fraud and 3-4 million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary to make him lose the popular vote.
– The botched night raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of civilians and Navy SEAL, Ray Owens, injuries to three other Navy SEALs and the Yemeni government banning the US from any future raids blitzing Al Qaeda bases.
– A poorly written and executed Executive Order that restricted people from 7-Muslim majority nations from entering the U.S. was found unconstitutional. Although no terrorist attacks from nationals from those countries has ever happened in the US it is interesting to note they do represent nearly every country in the Middle East where Trump’s business doesn’t operate. The rewritten executive order has since been found unconstitutional by Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland.
– A revolving door of scandals tied to Trump cabinet members regarding possible improper communications with senior Russian officials continues to shine a light on a surprisingly cozy relationship between the US and Trump’s closest confidants. Thus far scandals have resulted in the forced resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn and the recusal of A.G. Sessions after it was found he may have lied to Congress during his hearings about his meeting the Russian ambassador.
– Perhaps the most bizarre of all was Trumps accusation that President Obama and the U.K. government of wiretapping him in outrageous Tweets, which was only made worse when his surrogates (namely Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway) doubled down before then suggesting this was all a misunderstanding or possibly even a joke.
– And as recently as this past weekend Trump’s cold body language with German Chancellor Angela Merkel surprised most when he gave her the cold shoulder and appeared to ignore her while they posed for the media after a private meeting, leaving the media to publish headlines like The Guardian’s “Merkel and Trump can’t hide fundamental differences in first visit”.
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I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted, disgusted and more than a little embarrassed. I’ve never thought to look to the leaders of other nations for stability, direction and leadership, but in the absence of meaningful leadership here in the U.S. I am starting to look to leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere to help fill the vacuum that resulted after President Obama left office.