Trump Terrible 10: Pre-Ordered Nobel Peace Prize Edition
In these tough times, hold your cheeldren close and comfort them with a repurposed Federal Trade Commission pamphlet.
Yeah. Y’all know this shit as well as I do, so this week let’s get this done quickly, OK?
Since 2017, Republic Report‘s “Trump Terrible 10” has ranked the week’s 10 most 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.
11 (sorry). Donald Trump, Jr., Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions, The Trump Organization. Last week’s ranking: —
Ten tweets in one day gloating about Schneiderman, really? Have you read up on your predator father, or is there no Internet in your glass tower?
10. Gina Haspel, nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Last week’s ranking: —
Asked at her Senate hearing what she would do if President Trump ordered her to waterboard a terrorism suspect, Haspel said, “I do not believe the President would ask me to do that.” Among many past tributes to waterboarding and other forms of torture, Donald Trump said at a GOP debate on February 7, 2016, “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” So maybe Haspel meant that Trump would instead ask her to do a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.
9. Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget. Last week’s ranking: —
Mulvaney has candidly admitted the truth: that as a congressman, money bought you access to him. He’s now carrying that corrupt philosophy into his destruction of the CFPB, most recently by abolishing the division charged with protecting students against predatory student loan companies.
8. Don Blankenship, defeated Republican Senate candidate, West Virginia. Last week’s ranking: —
Pro-Trump ex-coal mine owner Blankenship’s racist spew, ugly criminal background, and weird deadpan twangy commercials actually made Mitch McConnell look almost decent for a few days, until we remembered he was Mitch McConnell.
7. Mitch McConnell. Last week’s ranking: —
6. Rudolph Giuliani, counsel to President Trump. Last week’s ranking: 6
Giuliani’s inability even to tell coherent lies or make coherent admissions about Trump’s conduct is pathetic; his false attacks, in service of his criminal client, on Robert Mueller are reprehensible.
5. Michael Cohen, (former?) personal attorney to Donald J. Trump. Last week’s ranking: —
After decades of making shady business deals, Cohen exploited Trump’s election to create his own New Yorky version of the DC swamp, selling his “insights” on — really, his access to — Trump to AT&T and Novartis (if these weren’t straight-up bribes with some cash reaching POTUS), and using the same LLC to get paid by a Russian oligarch-tied company and to buy the silence of Trump’s Hollywood hookups. When all these threads get sorted out, Cohen will look even worse, as will his boss. Yo, Michael Avenatti is pretty good; Stephanie Clifford may be even more shrewd.
4. AT&T and Novartis. Last week’s ranking: —
3. Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: —
Speaking in Tempe, Arizona, Pence recognized former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for racial profiling and detaining innocent people, before Trump pardoned him. Pence used the sycophantic praise he normally reserves for POTUS to shower Arpaio, calling the ex-sheriff “another favorite, a great friend of this president, a tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law.” He added, “I’m honored to have you here.” A pious phony praising a racist thug. In so doing, Pence dishonored not only all the victims of Arpaio’s lawless brutality but also all the honest law enforcement officers who do their jobs skillfully and honorably. Trump/Pence America is disgusting.
2. Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency. Last week’s ranking: 2
As his acts of corruption and deception grow so voluminous they could fill a Superfund site, grifter Pruitt’s EPA is a miserable sinking ship. While an EPA aide tried to divert attention by dishing dirt on Pruitt rival and disgraceful Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (this week’s ranking: 17), Pruitt is hiding and, typically, asking other people to pay for his lawyers as he fights to hang on to his job and eventually become president of the United States.
1. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. Last week’s ranking: are you serious?
As with the Paris climate accord, Trump dumped the Iran agreement for a supposedly better deal that he has no idea how to reach. At best this abandonment of arduously negotiated multinational agreements is making the US less relevant in the world. At worst, it risks catastrophe.
But Trump doesn’t care, because he’s the King of Korea, saying he deserves all the credit for progress, awarding himself the Nobel, and, at the moment three Americans held in totalitarian North Korean prisons arrived back on U.S. soil, talking about what high TV ratings he must be getting.
Less than three months after the Parkland school shooting, Trump celebrated in Dallas with the NRA. Amidst a pack of lies about gun issues that angered Britain, France, and lots of others, Trump solemnly told the gun lobby group, “Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president.” But you just said they were under siege!
Trump tweeted that because “The Fake News is working overtime” and “91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake)” and “the media … is corrupt” that maybe he should: “Take away credentials?” No, you better not.
Finally, again, as you know, there’s now highly persuasive evidence of the Trump campaign’s shady dealings with Russians, of Trump’s own shady dealings with Michael Cohen, and of Trump’s blatant efforts to obstruct the Flynn and larger Russia probes. But, okay, Trump is confident he has done nothing wrong, and insists, “I would love to speak… Nobody wants to speak more than me.” Yet he’s refusing to answer Mueller’s questions, citing the advice of his lawyers and his belief that the investigation “is a very unfair thing.” Trump is the Chicken-in-Chief, too chicken to testify.
Trump is again number one — the most disgraceful figure in Trump world. Trump is not merely a disgrace; he’s a total and complete disgrace.