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President Trump Has Turned His Last Corner

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President Trump Has Turned His Last Corner

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Trump lies

That speech to Congress now seems forever ago. Reading the words off a teleprompter, Donald Trump sounded normal, even presidential. Stern critics opined that he had “turned a corner” and transformed into a serious president. Come the weekend, however, Trump turned another corner, this time into a dark dead end.

Trump was back to his Saturday morning habit of firing a fusillade of baseless inflammatory tweets. This time, they accused President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign.

The last hope for normalcy was dashed, and a dark realization took hold: Trump can’t do the presidency. What we saw in the first 45 days was crisis without end. What we will see in the days to come is more of the scary same.

And this comes at a relatively placid time in American history. We have not been threatened from the outside. What’s going to happen when a hostile foreign power decides to test us, knowing that the man in charge isn’t able to absorb information and respond rationally?

There’s no comforting explanation for this behavior. Did Trump believe the wiretapping charges to be true based on his reading of a Breitbart article and the hollering of a talk-radio provocateur? If so, why didn’t he just call the acting director of national intelligence or the FBI and ask? He’s the president, or so we hear.

Or was Trump just reverting to form and deflecting attention from a miserable news cycle in which several of his campaign associates were being linked to the country’s Russian adversaries? His strategy has been to change the conversation in time for the Sunday news talk shows. In this, he seems to have succeeded, but the cost was huge.

As former CIA Director Michael Hayden commented Monday, “the president of the United States put his own reputation, the reputation of his predecessor and the reputation of his nation at risk to get at least a draw out of the next 24 hours of news.”

For the record, both FBI Director James Comey and James Clapper, director of national intelligence under Obama, said there were no such wiretaps — and they would know.

Presidents don’t order surveillance on Americans. Intelligence officials can place a wiretap on someone only after showing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court probable cause that the target is an agent of a foreign power or involved in a crime.

If Trump was indeed under surveillance, the public should demand to know why. What information persuaded a judge to order national intelligence to keep an eye on him and possibly his associates?

Patriots must unite and start winding down this bizarre presidency. This is no longer about Republicans and Democrats; it’s about forestalling a national emergency.

Congress must launch an independent investigation into the Trump team’s Russian ties and appoint a special prosecutor. Trump’s unhinged behavior should be reason enough for his removal — through impeachment or pressure to resign. But if the probes find serious wrongdoing, Congress must act.

Republicans are in the politically awkward position of either doing what many know must be done or alienating Trump’s base of ardent believers. But love of country should take precedence over love of job. Besides, if presidential instability were to set off an economic collapse or another crisis, the base would turn on them all.

By the time you read this, the Trump administration will probably have spawned a half-dozen new shocking revelations or blatant lies. But there will be no more intervening blips of optimism that it can go straight. There’s only one more corner for Trump to turn, and it is the one leading to the exits.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump attends the National Prayer Breakfast event in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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49 Comments

  1. dbtheonly March 7, 2017

    I vote intentional distraction.

    I also predict that the Republicans and the RWMO will do everything in their power to confuse, misdefine, or fuzz word their way into making Trump’s statement arguably true.

    The DPRK launched 4 misssiles. The Russian plebecite drew the expected 95.5%.

    America is being challenged and the President is Professor Harold Hill’s evil twin.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron March 7, 2017

      Yeah, but at least Hill acknowledged he was a con artist.

      1. dbtheonly March 7, 2017

        Yeah, but he had Shirley Jones

        Trump’s got a succession of wives who married him for his money. That’s got to keep a guy focused on the Dark Side.

        1. plc97477 March 7, 2017

          The fact that he has to buy loved ones is a little sad. Of course if he wasn’t such a worthless person he could make friends and influence others without paying for it.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 7, 2017

    With all due haste, the Intelligence community must piece together the data on Trump and his associates gathered thus far, and make the results available. No one could seriously think that Trump would have the patience and mental wherewithal to find out on his pwn whether some criminal act of illegal wiretapping occurred, and since he is obstinate about presenting such alleged data he should produce it—the case would be settled.

    Since he has balked thus far to produce his evidence, and has steadfastly refused to allow his IRS statements to be checked, never mind the fictitious audit by perhaps Russian operators skilled in cooking the books so to speak, then the likely explanation is that Trump realized quite some time ago that his goose would be cooked. Now that he feels the heat, his atavistic instincts tell him to become uncontrollably hostile and irrational in order to preserve himself—the old “Fight or Flight”(or “Distract and Play Dumb” in Donald’s case) syndrome has kicked in.

    “The End Is Near” is a sign certain Bible Thumpers like to post in bold letters on a large poster standing on the streets or at public events; the signs may as well be posted around the White House, and across from Trump Tower in NYC.

    Donald’s trolls and those in the employ of Putin are going to have to come up with fresh ideas and new strategies to stall for more times before the inevitable. Trump’s current state of mind and status is a culmination of having written his fate and his outcome in effect when he was a young adult. At that time, he sign and sealed the pact he made with himself to walk a path towards a fiery ending. And now, it would seem that he has arrived at the point which commences the process of the beginning of the end. What an unfortunate misuse of his “Free Will” Donald chose for himself.

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly March 7, 2017

      Aaron,

      Could you please explain to me Godzilla’s point in posting things we know are true but lack any relevance to the article or any discussion we might be having?

      Is it to boost his up vote score?
      It it to remind us today is Tuesday?
      Is it to somehow gloat that Trump won the election? I can’t see that one as it only reinforces what a hash Trump has made of things in the past 6 weeks.

      On the topic, we might always hope that Trump has a “road to Damascus” moment before he crashes things irreparably.

      1. FireBaron March 7, 2017

        db, nobody understands the workings of the walnut that passes for ‘Zilla’s brain. It’s like trying to explain why a “collection lagoon” in a hog farm stinks. In the case of ‘Zilla, it’s full of the same thing.

        1. Dapper Dan March 7, 2017

          Perhaps he shares Trumps DNA & thinks he has a great brain too ????

          1. dpaano March 8, 2017

            Boy, is that the understatement of the year. I had to laugh uproariously when 45 tried to tell everyone how smart he was! He’s the dumbest politician in the bunch…..well, maybe. Gromart may be worse, but 45’s close behind!

      2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 7, 2017

        I’m beginning to suspect that he has been given an assignment to post nonsense from a library of ready-made memes. You will notice that the little troll “Otto the Goat” is not as active—perhaps given another assignment. It would seem that “itsfun”, the “InformedVoter”, and “AgLander” have either curled up and withered away, or been reassigned to lower-level assignments, like taking the garbage out. And your suggestion of getting points for number of hits to boost his score might be a motivation. Clearly he has no desire to present a cogent point of view based on any careful thought.
        And then again, he just may be a plain old neurotic confined to a room and whose highlight of the day is posting drivel.

        1. dbtheonly March 7, 2017

          I confess that I get satisfaction out of seeing up votes on my comments. It’s knowing that people, whose approval I value, approve.

          You’re right, I haven’t seen AgLander for a while. itsfun is about and several others. I imagine them in their basement relentlessly typing out these comments. They imagine them to be erudite and dispositive, when, in fact, they are little more than a collection of fuzz words and buzz words.

          It’s kinda sad, seeing them festering in their hate. But worse is them reveling in it.

  3. Godzilla March 7, 2017

    January 20, 2017, front page NY Times:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1d1c3cca370106da6a2d778eafc08904851931c49028bc5efe70bab5997e242.jpg

    You dolts can’t claim one thing then pretend it wasn’t done, the internet don’t forget. Trump called you bums out, put up or shut up. It seems that you need to shut up, because Liberals have NOTHING!

    Reply
    1. FireBaron March 7, 2017

      The three people who could have obtained the FISA warrants necessary for this have all been willing to testify under oath that your orange hued hero’s phones in Teflon Donnie Towers were never tapped. His “proof” is a rant by one of his Brietbart Stooges.

      1. Joan March 7, 2017

        Please, Godzilla is as literacy, sized and relevancy challenge as the orange buffoon currently occupying the White House. Do you think he understands court sanctioned wire taps, heck Trump has trouble even spelling it.

        1. 1standlastword March 7, 2017

          Donald Trump is acting like someone groomed in a slum by thugs and pimps where the only rules are the ones the boss mobsters makes up.

          He’ is like a sow in church as POTUS!

    2. nutbar March 7, 2017

      Doesn’t mention any involvement by Obama which means you and your hero wee fingers donny are inept, apt to lie about everything and just not too bright.

    3. ⭐️ I Am Helpy ⭐️ March 7, 2017

      Hahaha yeah you put party ahead of the nation because you’re a traitor.

      I hope that helps!

    4. PrecipitousDrop March 7, 2017

      The Tiny-Japanese-Man-In-A-Lizard-Suit finally cleaned the bird cage, but he had to use the Metro section lest his birdy’s dirty business would fall on his Idol — or his succubus, Melania.

  4. FireBaron March 7, 2017

    Not only did Teflon Donnie NOT call his last minute ally, James Comey, to find out from the FBI what happened, he refuses to allow Comey to claim it never happened, demanding a Congressional investigation into something no one in the intelligence community had any knowledge of.

    Reply
    1. sigrid28 March 7, 2017

      Google Donald Trump and Azerbaijan for new article in XXX exposing Trump’s illegal dealings in that country. The piece represents three and a half months of solid research into just one of Trump’s many questionable business “deals.” Several exit doors stand open before Donald Trump. Let’s hope he chooses one before he can do any more damage.

      1. dpaano March 8, 2017

        Thank you for the link….I just read it. It’s pretty scary, and I wonder why our government has done NOTHING to investigate this! This would be an impeachable offense for 45!

    2. 1standlastword March 7, 2017

      This Emperor has no clothes and all the FOOLS in his court are standing around commenting on how wonderfully adorned he is while he struts his naked lard butt about babbling hallucinations and delusions getting them all chasing after wind! (damn… what’s that smell?!)

      That is what our democracy has come to…and it’s no accident!!!!!

      1. sigrid28 March 7, 2017

        The Republicans in Congress have to stand up: That’s there job and that’s all there is to it. We’re doing ours: covering/following analysis of Trump’s exploits that disqualify him for the office he holds, parsing the empty rhetoric of his spokespersons and mouthpieces and the Tweeter-in-Chief until even an infant eating Cheerios off the tray of his highchair can recite them verbatim, protesting over and over, phoning lawmakers with our concerns again and again, ridiculing this buffoon until no one has failed to get the message–he has to resign or be impeached.

        1. dpaano March 8, 2017

          Do you HONESTLY think that Ryan and McConnell will “stand up” to this would-be president? He’s given them every reason to get their rightwing ideas out there, including their GOP Health Care program! If it goes wrong….they will then turn on 45 and blame him, but in the meantime, they’re going to use him as much as they can to get their BS in place! They ALSO need to be impeached!

          1. sigrid28 March 8, 2017

            I take your question as it is intended, I hope: We share disgust with Ryan and McConnell. When will the gorge rise up in them? They and their colleagues will have to undergo a few more uncomfortable town halls before they budge. It may take the midterm elections to remind them of decency and protocol, unless revelations that cannot be denied emerge of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Then, even they will show Trump to the door. My sense of it is that they know they will have a much easier time accomplishing their obnoxious agenda under a Pence presidency than under Donald Trump’s: They still would have the majority in the House and Senate, but a president who is not such an embarrassment to them and might even help them achieve their goals. I’m sure they are not very happy to be mistreated by Bannon, Miller, and Trump’s other conspiracy nuts either. If all the Russian associates go with Trump, including Tillerson and Ross, they would look a lot better as a political party. I think Trump could just join the chorus of alt-right media personalities, if he is not in jail.

          2. dpaano March 10, 2017

            I’m not sure I’d trust Pence to do much either, but he might be a lot less thin-skinned and narcissistic than 45! Someone needs to take away his tweeter! God knows what kind of wars he’s going to get us into with that! As for the majority in the House and Senate…..we need to ALL get out and vote in the midterms as there are plenty of Republican seats up for grabs! I’ve been giving money to the DNC, the ACLU, etc., in an effort to help them get the vote and information out to everyone. Plus, I think 45’s actions lately have energized the nation more than ever, and I think we’ll see more people getting out to vote in the midterms than ever before! Also, once 45’s loyal followers see that he lied to them about “getting more benefits and paying less money” with a new healthcare program….they may be changing their minds about voting Republican again! Many of them are going to lose their ACA benefits, especially since the Rust Belt seems to have the most unhealthy people in the nation! Should be interesting!

          3. sigrid28 March 10, 2017

            Yes to all of this. I would also add that voters who went for third and fourth party candidates (especially stubborn Millennials) and now see the error of their ways may also elect Dems in 2018, just to defeat these odious policies Republicans are trying to ram through Congress.

  5. Dr. Samuel Taddesse March 7, 2017

    I don’t blame Trump. Obama’s civility and presidential behavior are enviable and Trump can’t stand that. It has become a nightmare for him.

    If the wiretap took place it must be someone in Trump tower was a Russian mole. That needs investigating. Also Attorney General Session must resign. He is a damaged good after lying to his colleagues.

    Reply
  6. Grandma811 March 7, 2017

    “Congress must launch an independent investigation into the Trump team’s Russian ties and appoint a special prosecutor.” Congress SHOULD HAVE launched an investigation of Trump and his associations TWO YEARS AGO instead of launching countless investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email server, Benghazi, and everything else they could make up. If they had, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess today, and the world wouldn’t be laughing at us.

    Reply
    1. 11thStPopulist March 8, 2017

      Yep. The GOP likes to waste our money on partisan politics, then say there isn’t enough for social programs for our citizens.

      Trump has already wasted $10,000,000 of our tax dollars traveling with his heavy security and entourage to his winter White House in Florida every weekend of his presidency, and he is just getting started!!! Can you imagine what schools could do with that money?

      1. dpaano March 10, 2017

        Can you imagine the wonderful healthcare we could have for that money…..every little bit would help, right?

  7. 11thStPopulist March 7, 2017

    Resist. Tomorrow wear red to support “A Day Without Women.” Don’t shop. If you can stay home from work, do so.

    Send a postcard, covered in pink, to: President (for now) Trump, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500
    Write “Pink Slip! You’re Fired” on the outside and send it soon so it arrives by the Ides of March, 3/15.

    Not everyone writes letters, signs petitions, calls congress, marches in protests, or attends Town Halls, although each one who does represents an estimated 500. Everyone can do something, however, and these small efforts multiplied by millions have an impact. Be Indivisible!

    Reply
    1. dpaano March 8, 2017

      I’m trying to find out how to get in touch with Indivisible Long Beach (in California) to join; however, there doesn’t seem to be any way to contact them. Any help would be greatly appreciated……as for the postcard idea….I think it’s great. I’m going to get on it immediately and send out as many as I can get hold of!!!

      1. 11thStPopulist March 8, 2017

        Indivisible Long Beach, CA has a Facebook group page. I don’t know if the phone numbers of the organizers are listed. Probably not as there could be deranged stalkers. It has the Indivisible Guide, too.

        If LB is near where you live, you could attend a Woman’s March rally or meetup and introduce yourself to the apparent leaders and/or safety volunteers. That is also on Facebook, or just google it and there are links that ask for your zip code to help you find a group. Good luck!

        1. dpaano March 8, 2017

          Unfortunately, I’m not on Facebook and really don’t want to be on Facebook. I have a copy of their guidebook. If you have Facebook and can perhaps look up a contact name or number, that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.

          1. 11thStPopulist March 8, 2017

            Indivisible is mostly a guide to action. The organizing that I have seen and responded to is through MoveOn.org and https://www.womensmarch.com as well as their Facebook page.

            It is amazing how many people are mobilized on-line. If you go to the Woman’s March website they have a link to contact them by email. They could probably put you in touch with the people from Long Beach, or you give them your zip code and the dates and places of rallies near you are listed.

            Even if I had contact information like phone numbers and/or addresses, it isn’t wise to place those in public forums, but I think theWoman’s March people would help you by email. Once on their email list serve, you would be contacted automatically. That “call to action” is how I find out about local activities (plus friends and relatives -all female).

            P.S. The Women’s March organizers planned the large “Day Without Women” protests in NYC and other cities today.

          2. dpaano March 10, 2017

            I’ll try the Women’s March website and see if I can get any assistance. Thanks. Unfortunately, I didn’t take Wednesday off, but I DID take Thursday off. That’s the best I could do.

          3. PrecipitousDrop March 9, 2017

            Can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear of another Facebook non-user. The grandkids try to convince me I’m the only person in the world not plugged into it.

          4. dpaano March 10, 2017

            Both my husband and I opted out of Facebook over a year ago….it was a big waste of time! I got tired of seeing people send ridiculous memos as to where they were at, what they were doing, etc. Who gives a damned!!!?? I do miss out on pictures of my great grand nieces and nephews, but they know to send these to me via regular e-mail rather than Facebook. I just plain don’t have the time or energy and don’t care what everyone is doing. It’s stupid! It’s almost as stupid as texting….isn’t it much easier to just pick up a phone and call someone rather than sitting there texting back and forth…..what a big waste!!!

          5. PrecipitousDrop March 10, 2017

            I hear you.
            Facebook reminded me of the awful Xmas letters people used to send, with photos in matching sweaters.

          6. dpaano March 10, 2017

            Don’t laugh….my boss STILL sends out a Christmas letter every year!

          7. PrecipitousDrop March 10, 2017

            Once a year, I can handle.
            Every time I opened Facebook was too much.

          8. sigrid28 March 10, 2017

            Call me old-fashioned. I like to hear a person’s voice and enjoy the way they talk.

    2. sigrid28 March 8, 2017

      I learned recently that letters sent to the White House and Congress take four weeks to arrive because of the security protocol they must pass through before they reach the elected office-holder for whom they are intended.

      1. 11thStPopulist March 8, 2017

        Trump may not make it 4 more weeks, but if he is still there, the pink slip is still apropos.

  8. Dapper Dan March 7, 2017

    Why oh why does everyday seem like Groundhog Day with this so-called President ? It seems there’s a new personal crisis affecting 45 daily and he goes round and round spewing incomprehensible BS ????
    Was he medicated when he addressed congress ? Whatever it was he needs more of it to calm him down. Most people who aspire to be the President of the United States actually want to help make this a better country. With the Trumpster he’s doing it just to enrich himself and his billionaire buddies. We need some sanity back in the Oval Office and this shyster conman removed quickly

    Reply
  9. 1standlastword March 7, 2017

    I conclude all things come to an end!

    Then there’ freedom from suffering….

    Reply
  10. Stuart March 7, 2017

    “But love of country should take precedence over love of job.”

    You’re kidding, right?

    Reply
    1. dpaano March 8, 2017

      Well, if you think the Republicans think this way….yeah, he’s probably kidding!

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