May 29, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi
It is difficult to fathom and define the mindset of president Trump. He is in the habit of blowing hot and cold at the same time. He excels in dishing out contradictory statements: first issuing those and later contradicting the previous ones. One example is Obama Healthcare Plan. After the first debacle in getting the Trumpcare passed by the house, he came out with a stunning denial that as to when did he say that Obamacare should be replaced. It appears as if president Trump wants to undo and demolish of whatever his predecessor president Obama did.
His recent visit to Saudi Arabia is in direct contrast to what he has been saying about Islam. There cannot be more derogatory and repugnant degradation of Islam that what president Trump portrayed before the elections and afterwards. Then he proceeded to Saudi Arabia, the bastion of Radical Sunni Islam to build the bonds of friendship and cohesion between his host country and the USA. It is utterly unbelievable that while Trump has shown himself to be the strongest and virulent opponent of Islam and Muslims, yet he chose the orthodox Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first foreign visit among other seven countries.
The president seems to be in a diplomatic confrontation with Europe and wants to get out of the pacts that have been in place for decades. His plans for reorientation and refurbishing of the economy have yet to be initiated and show results. There is a scare among the immigrant communities mostly refugees who feel that they can be picked up any time by the relevant agencies and deported.
Even his party members are disgruntled about his mercurial behavior blowing hot and cold simultaneously. Nancy Pelosi described the replacement of Obamacare as a “tattoo on the forehead of the Republicans”. His achievements thus far and particularly in the first benchmark 100 days as president seems to be insignificant. His happiness and annoyance over good or not good developments are knee-jerk reactions and convey the childish attitude. At home turf, he is at war with the media and judiciary from day one after assuming office of the president in the White House.
On top of that the president and his colleague are plagued with a plethora of scandals, out of which the latest is about his son in law Jared Kushner which is quite serious and if proven may cause colossal harm to his presidency as well as to his cohorts and even the family. It is for the special committee and the judiciary to find out the nature of the charges.
President Trump’s 8-day tour abroad seems to be an exercise in futility except inking a massive deal of 250 billion dollars for sale of military hardware to Saudi Arabia. For instance, he is non-committal about global emissions deal. Also, he has criticized NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP.
He neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. It means America may opt out or curtail its commitment to NATO. It might otherwise be financially beneficial to United States but it would embitter America’s relation with NATO partners. Describing German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, he remarked that Europe's largest economy(Germany) sells too many cars to the US. This remark is favorable to the domestic American auto industry. Yet the question is that global trade is mutual. In retaliation, Germany may discontinue or curtail the import of the American goods or products.
In response to Donald Trump’s, criticism of major NATO allies and his refusal to endorse a global climate change accord, German chancellor Merkel said that “the days when Europe could completely count on others were over”.
Trump’s National Security Advisor Retired Army Lieutenant General, Michael T. Flynn resigned for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his telecommunication contacts with the Russian diplomats. It is a serious issue and an inquiry has been instituted against him. Flynn served briefly as Trump's national security adviser before being fired in February this year.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under intense scrutiny for his alleged contacts with Russian government officials during the 2016 Presidential election. He has stepped aside from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States” and until the completion enquiry.
But on top of all these crises a recent bombshell has rocked the entire country. It is about Jared Kushner; the son in law of the incumbent president of the United States. On May 26, 2017, The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials had, in the course of monitoring Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016, overheard him relaying to Moscow a request from Kushner to establish a "secret and secure communications channel" with the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities. It is perceived that “Kushner was under investigation by the FBI as part of the larger investigation into Russian interference in the election”. in his several tweets. President Trump, has dubbed the leaks about Kushner as "fabricated lies,"
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has requested information and documents from Trump's campaign dating back to July 2015; the AP and other news outlets confirmed.
In the meantime, the Democrats in Congress have demanded to hear directly from top White House adviser Jared Kushner over allegations of proposed secret back-channel communications with Russia. They also demanded revocation of the security clearance of President Donald Trump's son-in-law.
All these developments indicate that both domestically and globally president Trump is faced with a host of scandals and serious issues. While the issues concerning NATO and climate change may be detrimental to the relations between Europe and America, the local multiple inquiries may turn out to be extremely damaging to president Trump, his presidency, his cohorts and some of the family members. The issues of his sexual pursuits and Tax Returns may be revived
It is commonly believed that by firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey president wanted to stop the FBI’s investigation about the allegations of Trump’s elections team with Russia. Some legal experts have termed it as obstruction of Justice.
It is also believed that president Trump doesn’t fit into the mold of a sagacious leader as to exercise restraint and diplomacy in his remarks and decisions. It ought to be an utmost and crucial urgency for president Donald Trump and his administration as well as the retinue of advisors and cabinet members to reset their sails of governance. Instead of embarking upon the path of belligerency and confrontation and vitriolic rebuttals, they should be moderate, sober and accommodating and rather discrete. They should lower and soften their headstrong outbursts and uncalled-for rebukes and retaliations.
But all said and done, president Trump can still win the reelection as the 70 percent white population is with him and their vote bank can bring him back in the White House.