Something not so strange happened on the way to the forum. This is the description of what happened in an ABC interview per the Washington Post. They have a basic transcript.
In an Oval Office interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump also said he wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI if a foreign country approached his campaign with “oppo research” about his Democratic challenger.
“I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
When Stephanopoulos asked the president whether he’d want that kind of “interference” in American politics, Trump pushed back on the word.
“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong.”
There are a few things contained in this snippet. The first is that President Donald Trump spent two-plus years telling us there was no collusion. Granted, the term he was avoiding using, the correct one, was a conspiracy, but I digress.
Using his terminology, in a short five minutes he destroyed his argument. He essentially told us that he was willing to take information, even if that was open interference in US Elections. He also told us that he has no problem breaking the law. After all, oppo research is good, with value. Under US Law you cannot accept anything of value from a foreigner. Incidentally, the Steele Dossier keeps coming up in this context. Since Christopher Steele was first commissioned by the Washington Free Beacon, and the results were ultimately turned over to the FBI by Senator John McCain, since they were disturbing, do not get distracted by the spin.
It gets worst. This is not just a private citizen, who once worked for MI6, and in the past has been used by the FBI as an intelligence source. In this case, we are talking about governments. Perhaps, we are speaking of foreign intelligence services from countries that are not friendly to us.
Sure, Trump invoked Norway since he is under the impression that people like Norway. While he might have a point, and Norway is not a bad place, and an ally…it is still against the law. Essentially the America First president is willing to bring others who have no interest in keeping America in a superior place. He is telling us he will violate US Law and could care less about what you or I think about it.
He is giving the country a middle finger and shows that he is above the law. It is not like this is the first time. And it speaks to something far more systemic than just Trump’s disdain for the law. This is a problem with his social class. Laws are for chumps and the poor.
But the president is not sure if he should report any underhanded contact by a foreign government. Care to think what would happen if a Civil Servant or a Service Member did that and gee golly, decided that he, or she, did not have to report that contact? Can you say at the very least the loss of a government clearance? And to be truthful, a prison term would not be unwarranted.
This is deeper than just Trump. There is an attitude by people in high places that the law does not apply to them. The college admissions scandal is another good example. So is the way we treat white-collar crime. And I am not yet entering the minefield of race. When people of minority groups commit any kind of offenses, they tend to face the music far more often and more severely than whites. And if you have money, you have a better chance of getting a slap on the wrist, or no punishment at all. However, he is acting like an Oligarch or a king.
Trump has gotten away with a lot over the course of the years. Why? He has money, he has connections and he is white. Some of the things his operation has done is stiff contractors from full payments. The Trump organization has hired illegal residents and perhaps engaged in the procurement of false immigration papers. Why his outrage at illegal immigrants stealing jobs from born and bred Americans are hollow. Did we mention Trump University? And he keeps doing things that walk to the edge, and cross that line.
Now, what should the FBI Director Christopher A. Wray? Anybody with any measure of self-respect would try to brief the president and explain why he is wrong. If this man keeps saying that Wray is wrong, or refuses to listen, it is time to quit and do it in a very public fashion. At this point, I do not expect the Attorney General to do this. He has proven that in his view the president is a king. Perhaps Wray will, or perhaps not, since he might believe he can stop this from the inside. And in that case, Don Quixote, your lance, my lord.
We keep crossing markers on our way to the very dramatic end of the American Republic.
There is a nice story of an old lady asking Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they were giving us? This was in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention in the hot summer of 1787. It is said that Franklin said at the time, “A republic Madame if you can keep it.”
The story is likely a nice legend and never happened. However, in these times the story is an allegory to our present. As the party that claimed it loves the constitution continues to ignore every transgression. While the other party is led by somebody who is still pushing back against accountability, it is indeed a republic, if we can keep it.