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Trump's Demands

Rich Galen

Monday May 21, 2018

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  • On Sunday afternoon, Donald Trump Tweeted this:
    "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!"

  • I'm not certain what triggered that outburst yesterday.

  • The Washington Post suggested:
    The tweet seemed to be a response to recent reports about the FBI using a longtime intelligence asset to advance its investigation into Russian election interference. Trump and his allies have seized on the use of the asset to claim that the FBI has spied on his campaign.

  • But, maybe Trump found out that he couldn't play golf (for what would have been the 109th time in his Presidency according to one count) even though the sun was shining because it had previously rained for approximately 40 days and 40 nights in Our Nation's Capital and his golf cart might have sunk into the fairway up to his putter.

  • Or, maybe, family members, with Trump and/or Kushner family business interests at play, popped in and suggested they needed a diversion from the Administration's surrender in the trade war with China.

  • Or, maybe it was Mike Pompeo with more bad news about the on-again-off-again summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. A prospective diversion.

  • Remember that the Message of the Week last week was NOT just another "Infrastructure Week Initiative," but the Rudy Giuliani-led pronouncement that the one-year anniversary of the appointment of Robert Mueller to be Special Counsel was proof that the investigation has gone on too long.

  • Someone smarter in political messaging than I has to explain how "one year is long enough" matches up with "I hereby demand that the Department of Justice look into," which appears to be calling for a longer investigation, not ending it.

  • Maybe, it's simpler than that. Maybe it's just the frustration Trump is feeling over his lack of control over his Presidency.

  • He can withdraw from the TransPacific Partnership, but he can't withdraw from trading with nations there. He can withdraw from the Paris Accords, but he can't stop his EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, from getting headline after headline for acting like he's Louis XVI.

  • He can withdraw from the Iran deal, but he can't make the other Western nations change their trading policies with Iran.

  • He can get an ultra-secret daily intelligence briefing, but he can't stop even the most junior members of his communications staff from leaking - not like a sieve, but like Niagara Falls.

  • Years ago I read what was supposed to have been a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower. I've never been able to find it again, but it sounds like Eisenhower - however apocryphal.
    "When I was Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, I could move a million men with a phone call. Now that I'm President of the United States I can't get anyone to do anything."

  • Donald Trump came into office with even less management experience. The Trump Organization is, for the most part, Donald Trump and his children. Until relatively recently it also included Michael Cohen but it was still a little shy of the 2.6 million civilian employees in the Executive Branch.

  • Reporter Becket Adams, writing for the Washington Examiner, recounted Trump speaking to the Associated Press:
    "I never realized how big it was. Everything's so like, you know the orders are so massive So it's far more responsibility. The financial cost of everything is so massive, every agency. This is thousands of times bigger, the United States, than the biggest company in the world. The second-largest company in the world is the Defense Department. The third-largest company in the world is Social Security. The fourth-largest - you know, you go down the list."

  • This, from the guy who said to the New York Times during the transition,
    "In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly."

  • In practice, Trump is finding that being President is much more demanding than he thought it would be.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the WaPo's look at Trump's "Demand," to a listing of Trump's golf outings, to a bio of Louis XVI, and the Washington Examiner's analysis of the things that appear to have surprised Trump about being President.

    The Mullfoto is with T. Boone Pickens at his 90th birthday party in Dallas over the weekend.

-- END --

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