God might have wanted Donald J Trump elected president of the United States of America, if we are to believe Trumps’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders. But as the forces are piling up against him, the good lord’s son might rather have him for a sunbeam.
Daily the dissembling, disparaging and convoluted reasoning proceeds. The holy triumvirate of the US intelligence system – the heads of the FBI and CIA and the director of National Intelligence – are among the latest top officials who have been scythed by the president, in this case after they testified on Capitol Hill that the North Koreans might not be ready to disable their nuclear programmes, that Iran is complying with the international treaty and – worst of all – ISIS might not be utterly defeated.
These three individuals, said the president, were “naïve” and needed to go “back to school”. The problem, our New York correspondent writes, is that not only Democrats but a rising number of Republicans think he’s wrong to criticise those top officials – and wrong in fact.
With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe nearing a conclusion, even the Republicans are contemplating whether to let Trump ride out whatever follows the report and concede next year’s presidential election – or focus on what might be done with their president.
The complications grow more difficult each day. At the heart is the role of the Trump family which was translated into the White House as the basis of the new administration. Critics focus on Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a junior property developer in the shadow of his father-in-law whom the intelligence agencies were reluctant to provide with top-level security clearances because of his previous (including Russian) foreign associates.
Associated with this are the complications of Trump’s five separate meetings with President Vladimir Putin of which there is no accurate US record. Trump disavowed the need for a record. Putin, a thoughtful veteran, presumably thought otherwise.
Congress has until February 15 to come up with a package to fund construction of a “wall” – Trump ‘s definition of what constitutes a wall changes daily – or he says he will either declare a state of emergency to fund this wall or shut down the government again.
The partial closure which was lifted last week came close to causing chaos in the airline aviation and security industry with air traffic controllers walking off, unpaid, and security screeners dropping like flies. Heavy hitters in the airline industry made their displeasure known to capitol hill. Another closure might bring rioting in the streets.
As the days roll on, more and more indications of Mueller’s painstaking inquiries and interrogations appear. Now it appears evidence supplied to defence counsel of those caught up in the probe have appeared, suitably manipulated, on web sources of Russian origin.
Weary Americans simply wait and watch each day’s chapter of disclosures, betrayals and assorted concoctions.