Weekend Reads Trump's unmatched sleaze: Grifters, women, trampling Constitution and now G-7 at Doral
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We’ve had presidents who were used by members of their own family for personal gain, like Ulysses S. Grant.
We’ve had presidents who stocked their Cabinet with greedy, self-serving mediocrities who took advantage of the public trust, like Warren G. Harding.
We’ve had presidents who swore to “” the Constitution, only to then abuse it, like Richard Nixon.
And we’ve had presidents who, thanks to a presumptive sense of entitlement, lived slimy private lives, using countless women before tossing them aside — Harding again, plus John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort
A video depicting a macabre scene of a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters at his Miami resort last week. Several of Mr. Trump’s top surrogates — including his son Donald Trump Jr., his former spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis — were scheduled to speak at the three-day conference, which was held by a pro-Trump group, American Priority, at Trump National Doral Miami. Ms. Sanders and a person close Mr. Trump’s son said on Sunday that they did not see the video at the conference.
President Donald Trump falls into every single sleazy category, squarely and shamelessly. Just Thursday, we learned that he'll hold next year's(with leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) at his own Doral golf resort in Miami.
It’s the latest example of how Trump, who never divested from his businesses, continues to make millions from them. It’s also the latest reminder that he constantly violates the Constitution’s, which is supposed to ban presidents from accepting money from foreign governments. This while the House is in the middle of an impeachment inquiry and there are pending over the emoluments clause.
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"," said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed one of those suits, speaking for much of America.
Grifters through the ages
Grant was an honest man, yet under his nose, his own brother-in-law and two other grifters tried to corner the gold market. The financial panic that followed was called “.” Then there was the “ ,” in which the president’s own secretary played a role in attempting to defraud the government of millions.
And Trump? Unlike other presidents, he never bothered to place his assets in a blind trust. Instead he allows, and he remains its one and only beneficiary.
And the emoluments clause hasn’t stopped diplomats, representatives of government-owned businesses and other foreign visitors from buying his properties andat his resorts and hotels. That's stuffing cash, albeit indirectly, into Trump's pocket.
McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump
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Meantime, finger-pointing at Hunter Biden diverts media attention — a time-honored Trump tactic — from his own children's brazen exploitation of their father’s office. As, they "have continued working with foreign business partners from Dubai to Indonesia and India while their father sits in the White House." First daughter Ivanka and hubby Jared Kushner raked in an estimated , records show.
“Time and again,”, “Trump’s children have blurred the lines of family, nation and business — essentially the charge the president makes against the Bidens.”
Fleecing the taxpayers
Perhaps you’ve heard of “,” a huge oil reserve scandal involving Warren G. Harding’s Interior secretary, Albert Fall. Fall was convicted of accepting a bribe and went to prison. Meanwhile, Harding’s Veterans secretary, Charles Forbes, in a string of shady deals; he, too, was convicted of bribery and went to prison.
No one in Trump’s revolving-door Cabinet has ripped off taxpayers on that scale, but many have fleeced we the people for everything from private air travel (former Health and Human Services Secretaryand Treasury Secretary ), running up big tabs in Europe for spouses (former Veterans Affairs Secretary ), and ripoffs for everything from new office doors (ex-Interior Secretary ), dining room furniture (Housing Secretary ) and more. Then there is fellow swamp monster , whose list of grifting while he headed the Environmental Protection Agency was almost as long as the list of clean water and clean air regulations he helped the president gut.
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And need I mention that Trump’s campaign chief () and first national security adviser ( ) are now convicted felons? And that one of his top Oval Office aides ( ) had to leave after it became known that not one but both of his former spouses accused Porter of physical and verbal abuse.
Even a president as shameless as Trump has had to ditch many of these let-them-eat-cake mediocrities to appease critics. Isn't this the guy who bragged that he hires only? And his base still buys this claptrap.
Trampling the Constitution
We all know what Nixon did. And Trump? It goes well beyond ignoring the emoluments clause to monetize the presidency.
Trump took an oath to “the Constitution of the United States.” But just this month he publicly invited an adversary, in the 2020 presidential election. He has attacked the by trying to who ask unpleasant questions from the White House and suggesting that TV networks he dislikes . He has suggested for illegal immigrants, a violation of the Fifth Amendment. He has suggested , a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Mick Mulvaney's bad week just got worse
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“Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?” Rubbish. Trump only wants to bother with the parts that are convenient to him.
All those women, all that sex
Harding was so sleazy that — as president — he once had sex with one of his mistresses. He had an with one woman, a long affair with another who was suspected of being a during World War I, and trysts itself. Kennedy's voluminous affairs were beyond sleazy. One with the , and another with a woman believed to be an , even exposed him to potential blackmail.
Then there is our most recent philanderer in chief, Bill Clinton, whose lies about an affair with a White House intern got him impeached. Clinton’s liaisons showed him to be impulsive and sexually reckless in way that(literally and figuratively) on the presidency.
Making Nixon look good:
Trump’s infidelities fall short of Harding and Kennedy. But sleaze is sleaze: He has cheated on all three wives and, in the case of porn star Stormy Daniels, did it right after his third wife, Melania,, Barron. And at last count, accuse him of either “misconduct” or flat-out assault. It's certainly obvious why evangelicals continue to call Trump a good, God-fearing Christian, isn't it?
Trump, who even, says every single one of these women is making it all up. Trump, as you know, is a Boy Scout and would never lay so much as an orange finger on anyone. And that “ ” tape that surfaced in 2016, in which he bragged about assaulting women? Fake. Sure.
Trump made at least 20 false claims in angry, rambling Cabinet monologue
President Donald Trump delivered a blistering and rambling monologue to the journalists he allowed into his Cabinet meeting for more than 70 minutes on Monday. His press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, later tweeted, "I hope we see honest reporting from today's mtg."We can honestly tell you that Trump's remarks were highly dishonest.
A grifting family. A sleazy what’s-in-it-for-me Cabinet. Trampling on our beloved Constitution. And all these women. All the boxes, checked.
Paul Brandus, founder and White House bureau chief of West Wing Reports, is the author of "" and is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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