Category Archives: Donald Trump

Presidential Trust–Trump’s Turn

Almost two years ago I wrote a piece on Presidential trust. You can read it at the following link.

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/presidential-trust/

And now a disturbing commentary shows up in todays Wall Street Journal –

A President’s Credibility

Trump’s falsehoods are eroding public trust, at home and abroad.

If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence.

Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence.

That bungle led to a public denial from the British Government Communications Headquarters, and British news reports said the U.S. apologized. But then the White House claimed there was no apology. For the sake of grasping for any evidence to back up his original tweet, and the sin of pride in not admitting error, Mr. Trump had his spokesman repeat an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally.

The wiretap tweet is also costing Mr. Trump politically as he hands his opponents a sword. Mr. Trump has a legitimate question about why the U.S. was listening to his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and who leaked news of his meeting with the Russian ambassador. But that question never gets a hearing because the near-daily repudiation of his false tweet is a bigger media story.

FBI director James Comey also took revenge on Monday by joining the queue of those saying the bureau has no evidence to back up the wiretap tweet. Mr. Comey even took the unusual step of confirming that the FBI is investigating ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia.

Mr. Comey said he could make such a public admission only in “unusual circumstances,” but why now? Could the wiretap tweet have made Mr. Comey angry because it implied the FBI was involved in illegal surveillance? Mr. Trump blundered in keeping Mr. Comey in the job after the election, but now the President can’t fire the man leading an investigation into his campaign even if he wants to.

All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is his own worst political enemy. He survived his many false claims as a candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he’s President, and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything. As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda. He also needs friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, not least in a crisis.

This week should be dominated by the smooth political sailing for Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on Capitol Hill. These are historic events, and success will show he can deliver on his promises. But instead the week has been dominated by the news that he was repudiated by his own FBI director.

Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.

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I close with an excerpt from my article of two years ago:

“ … Why does the air pressure in a football cause us to question the honesty of a football team? … why is the honesty of an NBC news anchor all of a sudden a big issue? …  but the moral vacuum of a president earns just a yawn as we reach for that next beer and handful of chips?

Rush Limbaugh frames it well when he asks – Why Do We Demand More Integrity from the News Anchor Than the People He Reports On? (Search for this in http://www.Rushlimbaugh.com archives of Feb 11,2015)

Is there a George Washington or Abraham Lincoln on the American leadership horizon? … “

Don Johnson – March 2017

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Relax, Trump is stone cold sane

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(Click above to watch)

So many have been questioning the mental health of President Trump, and

some are trying to remove him from office based on their reading of his mental condition. I don’t find these accusations credible, and the analysis below seems quite accurate.  Don Johnson

By Dr. Keith Ablow, Psychiatrist

http://nation.foxnews.com/2017/02/15/dr-keith-ablow-relax-trump-stone-cold-sane

Let me issue the standard disclaimer of psychiatrists who discuss the mental health of public figures: I have not personally examined President Trump.

Now, let me put to rest the concerns of Sen. Al Franken and political commentators John Oliver and Andrew Sullivan and anyone else who publicly or privately has questioned the president’s sanity:

Donald Trump is stone cold sane.

When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.

When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarilyunlikely that he is mentally unstable.

When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democratic heir-apparent to a two-term president’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.

And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.

Those who assert otherwise are political opportunists, or fools, or both (and I am thinking here, in particular, of Sen. Franken).

President Trump is the first human being to win this nation’s highest office without having held any other political office or serving as a general. Most political pundits thought his quest was pure folly. Most journalists assessed his chances as zero. So who was laboring under quasi-delusional thinking? Answer: Not Donald J. Trump.

Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?

If you’re still worried about the mental stability of the president, note this: The stock market doesn’t like instability. Investors, en masse, can take the measure of a man pretty darn well. The stock market has hit record high after record high since Trump’s election, and if you think that’s an accident, or that investors have all been fooled, it’s time to start wondering about your own capacity for rational thought.

I should note that nothing I am saying should besmirch the reputations of men like President Abraham Lincoln or Sir Winston Churchill, both of whom are said to have fought the ravages of major depression or bipolar disorder. One was instrumental in ridding America of slavery. The other was instrumental in saving the world from tyranny. Mahatma Gandhi, by the way, also reportedly suffered from depression. Psychiatric illness does not, a priori, disqualify a person from rendering extraordinary service to mankind.

Mind you, neither Lincoln nor Churchill nor Gandhi led a nation after becoming a business sensation and television star. That trifecta defines one man: President Donald J. Trump.

Now, think about those who are rabble-rousing about the president’s mental status. Take Sen. Al Franken. He’s all worried about the president allegedly overestimating the crowd size at his inauguration. But Franken is allied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asserted she is Native American, when there is no evidence of that whatsoever.

And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question? Really, you can’t make this stuff up.

Dr. Keith Ablow, Psychiatrist