It’s time for another episode of Chopper Talk, Donald Trump’s irregularly scheduled alternative venue for disseminating Alternative Facts (aka lies). Since the White House no longer holds press briefings, this is pretty much the media’s only access to the President’s festival of falsehoods (which they should be covering anyway). Of course, it’s an illegitimate platform that he controls by choosing who gets to ask questions and refusing follow-ups.
In this episode (video below) Trump began by pulling some papers out of his coat and declaring another alleged “victory” in his ongoing crime spree. “We just won the big emoluments case,” he lied. “I think it was a unanimous decision. This was brought by Nancy Pelosi and her group…It was a total win. This was brought by 230 Democrats on emoluments.”
First of all, the lawsuit was filed by only 215 members of Congress, and it was not a Pelosi group. There were 29 senators and 186 representatives, led by Senator Richard Blumenthal. But more to the point, it was most certainly not “a total win” for Trump. A three judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit on a technicality saying that the members of Congress who filed the suit did not have legal standing to do so. But the court noted that they might have standing if they re-file with a majority of members signing on, which you can expect them to do.
What’s more, the dismissal is not a judgment on Trump’s blatant violation the emoluments clause in the Constitution. The suit’s contention that Trump “has a financial interest in vast business holdings around the world that engage in dealings with foreign governments and receive benefits from those governments” still stands and can be tried upon re-filing with a few more members signing on. This technical ruling doesn’t exonerate Trump from his criminal behavior any more than the “acquittal” in the Senate after a phony impeachment hearing that blocked all witnesses and documentary evidence.
Trump also addressed the dramatic moment at the end of his Dystopian State of the Union address when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped her copy of his speech. “I thought it was a terrible thing where she ripped up the speech,” whined Trump. “First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed. It’s illegal what she did. She broke the law.”
None of that is true. It’s merely a copy provided to every member of Congress so they can follow along. Trump is fond of alleging that others have committed crimes despite having no idea what he’s talking about. It’s irresponsible for a president to make such allegations, particularly when he has a puppet Attorney General, Bill Barr, who is willing to pervert justice in order to pacify his wannabe dictator boss. It’s also brazenly hypocritical considering Trump constantly complains that he is being denied due process.
Other topics covered this morning included Trump’s opinion that his impeachment should be expunged, despite all the evidence of his guilt; his rancid insults of Democrats as “evil” and “crazy;” and his ludicrous “proof” of a united America because “All you have to do is look at our crowds.” He really believes that the attendance at his cult rallies is evidence that the whole nation is supporting him. Never mind that his approval ratings are still underwater, and they have been throughout his presidency.
Perhaps the most troubling moment in Trump’s tantrum was when he answered a question about potential political opposition saying that “Everybody is a threat. I view everybody as a threat.” That is undeniably true. Trump is a paranoid, malignant narcissist who trusts no one. He demands complete and unflinching loyalty. Any wavering from that will result in severe punishment, such as your head on a pike, as he was recently reported to have threatened. Just ask Republican Senator Mitt Romney, or former Chief of Staff General John Kelly, or former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, or former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Trump’s view of everyone as being a threat is something that all Republicans should keep in mind. If they think that sucking up to him will shield them from his wrath after some later disagreement, they will be sorely disappointed. The only measure of safety they have is to abandon their own principles and values and commit fully to the worship of Trump. And it looks like that’s exactly what most of them of done.
UPDATE: As if to drive home his psychotic view that “everybody is a threat,” Trump has begun a totalitarian style purge of his perceived enemies. He’s fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified during the House impeachment hearings. Also his brother, who didn’t testify. Also Gordon Sondland, who testified, but is also noted for having donated a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration. Trump is punishing those he considers disloyal like a North Korean tyrant. And he didn’t even wait two full days to start fulfilling his dictatorship aspirations. Republicans in Congress who thought Trump had learned his lesson are just as culpable for this horrifying turn of events and those that will surely follow.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) February 7, 2020