Trump Terrible 10: CAPS LOCK EDITION
If you wake up early in the morning and type “WITCH HUNT!” into Twitter, should you keep being president? I guess maybe.
If, the next morning, you call your own attorney general “DISGRACEFUL!” on Twitter, do you know what you’re doing? I guess possibly.
Since 2017, Republic Report‘s “Trump Terrible 10” has ranked the week’s 10 most (yes) disgraceful figures in Trump world.
Republic Report, which focuses on how money corrupts democracy, has met its abusive dream mate with the kleptocratic administration of President Donald J. Trump. Trump and his lieutenants personify how money and greed, mixed with disrespect for constitutional values, know-nothing ignorance, serious bigotry, and an endless capacity for lying, can really, really corrupt democracy.
Permanent spoiler alert: We can’t imagine anyone other than Donald Trump ever occupying the top spot in the rankings. But we won’t get tired of him winning. Believe me.
10. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General. Last week’s ranking: —
If he didn’t look so good standing up Wednesday to Trump’s bullying, we would remember that Sessions is horrible on civil rights, LGBT rights, immigration, drugs, prisons, civil justice, and just about every other issue.
9. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary. Last week’s ranking: —
Asked why Trump is failing to take action against Russian hacking of future elections, Sanders looked back fondly: “Let’s not forget that this happened under Obama. It didn’t happen under President Trump. If you want to blame somebody on past problems, then you need to look at the Obama administration.”
8. Roger Stone, presidential crony. Last week’s ranking: —
The vile Trump pal Stone told the House Intelligence Committee under oath that he had communicated with WikiLeaks via an “intermediary” — a “journalist” he refused to name. But, nah, it turns out Stone communicated directly with Wikileaks on Twitter just weeks before the 2016 election.
7. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Last week’s ranking: 6
DeVos is preparing to announce that state legislatures and state regulators have no business addressing abuses by student loan collection companies — one more sign of her appalling embrace of predatory for-profit education companies and her contempt for students.
6. Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury; Gary Cohn, National Economic Council director; Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House; Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader. Last week’s ranking: —
They touted the massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations as a boon to working people and jobs. That hasn’t happened. While there have been some corporate investments and bonuses announced — such as an average $190 bonus per Walmart worker — companies are using much of the tax savings to buy back their stock and thus boost share prices, to the benefit of the rich and corporations.
5. Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: —
Pence told a gathering of anti-abortion activists that he believed “we will once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.” Meaning: Women would have no right to an abortion.
4. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Last week’s ranking: —
$31,000 for a dining room set for Carson’s office, while low-income housing is slashed; punitive-seeming reassignment of the staff member who blew the whistle; Baltimore business for his son.
3. Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman. Last week’s ranking: —
It seems more and more clear that Manafort volunteered to be Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, unpaid, because he saw it as a way out of repaying $19 million that scary Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska had given Manafort to invest and had somehow disappeared. Once he took the helm of Trump’s campaign, Manafort offered private briefings to the Putin-tied, mob-connected Deripaska and watched the GOP platform tilt in a more pro-Russia direction. Sleazy Paul (potential nickname if he flips on Trump!) now faces separate trials in federal courts in DC and Northern Virginia for a big pile of crimes; his ex-lieutenant Rick Gates, having agreed to plead guilty, waits in the wings to testify.
2. Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President. Last week’s ranking: 3
Democratish lawyer Jamie Gorelick’s twisting of ethics provisions to justify Jared and Ivanka’s troubling, nepotistic entry into the West Wing has produced bad results for America and also for her entitled, incompetent clients. More than a year of piecemeal ethics form disclosures, freelance foreign meetings, and revelations of conflicts of interest didn’t end Jared’s access to the most sensitive secrets of our nation, but the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal finally did, giving Chief of Staff John Kelly the chance potentially to gut the smug Kushner and save his own skin in one move. Now we know that multiple foreign nations have seen Kushner, because of his business vulnerabilities, ethical emptiness, and lack of sophistication, as obvious prey.
1. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: duh
Historians have now made it official by ranking Trump the worst president of all time. Trump also won Most Disgraceful, we’re told.
Trump’s decisive response to the horrible Parkland school shooting has included offering his own presidential assurance that we would have run into the school unarmed to fight the shooter. Also, his endless harping on the idea of arming all the really manly teachers, maybe just the big gym teachers and ex-Marines and other marksmen, which he’s estimated so far to be between 5 and 40 percent of teachers. Trump’s campaign quickly exploited the tragedy, using a photo of Trump with a Parkland shooting survivor in a fundraising email. Trump also suggested that there should be a ratings system for movies and video games – great idea. And today at a meeting with members of Congress, Trump was all over the lot with ideas, but returned to his happy place: blaming Obama. Also, he said that, after his weekend lunch with NRA officials, he’s sure “they want to do what’s right.”
With respect to Russian election meddling, Trump reaffirmed that he prioritizes his fragile ego over U.S. security and democracy. Admiral Mike Rogers, the departing head of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, testified that Trump has not authorized him, or granted him new authorities, to fight Russian interference in the coming elections.
Trump’s tweets claiming that he loves the Dreamers more than the Democrats do is such a disgusting lie. The basis of the immigration stalemate is that Republicans expect the Dems to cave and accept radical changes to immigration law sought by Trump in order to get protections for the Dreamers.
Trump is pushing his own personal Trump pilot to be the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, which makes sense in an administration where Eric’s wedding planner has a top HUD job, his former caddie runs White House social media, his former bodyguard ran Oval Office operations, his wife’s friend got a $26 million contract to work on the inauguration, and his son-in-law is his top White House aide.
The Trump Organization announced that it has donated to the U.S. Treasury profits from “foreign government patronage” at its hotels, as Trump had promised, but it did not tell us who the foreign customers were, or how much was donated. Given Trump’s record of making donations, it could have been pretty chintzy. Meanwhile, there’s an ugly rumble going on at Trump’s corrupt Panama tower.
Trump is again number one — the most disgraceful figure in the Trump administration. Trump is not merely a disgrace; he’s a total and complete disgrace.