(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
The first Trump associates to land in Mueller’s web were Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos. Against Manafort the Special Counsel had built a solid money laundering case that could land him in jail for 20 years. Considering that Manafort is 70 years old he is looking at what effectively would be a life sentence, so the chance that he’ll start ‘singing’ to Mueller is considerable, especially since an ankle bracelet will keep him from fleeing the country, in spite of his three passports. It turned out that Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was collaborating with the investigation. According to the White House his role in the campaign had been minimal and only consisted of once proposing a meeting between Trump and Putin, an idea that was rejected by Jeff Sessions, but a consequence of this information becoming available was that Sessions was caught for the fourth time having told a lie while under oath. Not surprisingly it was obvious that Trump had been lying to the press as well. As Papadopoulos’s first victim his handler Sam Clovis had to withdraw his candidacy for a position with the US Department of Agriculture.
Apparently Trump was freaking out after the arrests, not in the least because Papadopoulos might have been wired for months and provided Mueller with a trove of incriminating intelligence, and took it out on Jared Kushner, whose advice to fire Comey led to the appointment of the Special Counsel. The rumors got so bad that Trump had to call the New York Times and tell the reporter on duty that he wasn’t angry with anybody and had never been happier in the White House. The call was probably suggested by Chief of Staff John Kelly, who had gotten himself in hot water by calling Robert E. Lee an honorable man and declaring that the Civil War was caused by an inability on both sides to compromise. After his attack on Congresswoman Wilson, for which he never apologized, this was the second exercise in racism by Kelly, and it created the impression that he and the president have more in common than anybody suspected. In the meantime Trump continued to campaign against Hillary Clinton by accusing her of collusion with the Russians, a bizarre allegation considering that the Kremlin did everything it could to make her lose the election.
The terrorist attack in New York City gave Trump a chance to show the world his darkest and most ignorant side. He immediately started tweeting that the suspect should be incarcerated at Gitmo, which is not allowed because he is already on American soil, and demanded the death penalty, creating a tainted jury pool that will make the prosecution much more difficult. In his infinite wisdom Trump called the American criminal justice system a ‘joke’ and ‘a laughing stock.’
The revelation in Donna Brazile’s new book that the Democratic National Committee was deeply in Hillary Clinton’s pocket during the primaries and severely disadvantaged Bernie Sanders gave Trump new ammunition to demand an investigation of his former opponent, although it is pretty obvious that, however immoral the DNC may have operated, no crimes have been committed.
In an attempt to have at least one achievement in his first year in office Trump is pushing Republicans in Congress hard to pass a ‘tax reform’ package that amounts to a large give-away to US corporations. If they fail, he could become the least accomplished US President ever.
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