President Donald Trump was taken to task by a prominent conservative columnist for his “dangerous” use of the United States military as “props” for partisan political battles.
Jen Rubin, a Washington Post columnist, explained Trump’s “highly inappropriate” conduct on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily” with guest host Katy Tur on Wednesday.
“Today marks the president’s first ever trip to an active war zone, and he did it after facing blistering criticism for not making such a trip earlier, as other presidents have,” Tur explained.
“Jennifer, it used to be you that didn’t do any politicking while you were abroad — that used to be the norm,” Tur reminded. “We’re just taking it for granted now that he’ll visit a war zone, like he did today, and trash his political opponents like he did with the shutdown.”
“Yeah, this has been a pattern through the campaign and into his presidency where he treats the troops like props,” Rubin replied.
“No president in my memory has ever made such political speeches, political slurs, attacks in front of the troops,” she explained. “And it’s highly inappropriate, of course.”
“It converts the troops into a partisan plaything, which is very dangerous and very unusual in American politics,” she added.
Rubin wondered if Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin was driving Trump’s Middle East foreign policy.
“I do agree he’s an isolationist, but the Syria move makes sense if you think he wanted to give Vladimir Putin a big present before the end of the year or he had made a commitment to Vladimir Putin,” she suggested.
“Because the powers that benefit from this are number one, Iran, but number two Russia and I cannot help but think that that is related to his very weird, very uncertain relationship with Vladimir Putin, who is benefiting hugely from the chaos in our government, from Trump’s foreign policy, from his attacks on our allies — this is exactly what the Russians have wanted for years,” she continued.
“Confusion, chaos, an America that is not willing to stick to its commitments, willing to turn on the Kurds, willing to turn on those that they’ve made promises to,” Rubin said. “So I think part of this has to be his relationship with Russia.”
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Lincoln Project Trolls Trump with New TV Ad Where He’s Currently Vacationing
According to the Sun Sentinel, the group has bought air time in the West Palm Beach market from Wednesday through Jan. 5. Trump is scheduled to be in the area until Jan. 3.
“A major pillar of The Lincoln Project’s 2020 strategy was aiming to torment an audience of one — Trump — through advertising on cable shows he’s sure to watch on channels such as Fox News,” the Sentinel reports. “That’s the aim of the latest effort, which seeks to drive a wedge between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress at which the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president will be counted.”
The ad focuses on recent reports that say Vice President Mike Pence is “backing away” from Trumpworld’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“When Mike Pence is backing away from you, you know it’s over,” the ad states.
Watch the ad below.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 22, 2020
‘A Parting Gift to Dictators’: Trump Issues Final Round of Foreign Military Sales in Middle East
On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Brian Klaas tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for a final round of foreign military sales in the Middle East that function as a “parting gift to dictators” — and suggested he could even be using them to set up a private quid pro quo down the road in his post-presidency.
“All three regimes have abysmal human rights records,” wrote Klaas. “Saudi Arabia has beheaded dissidents, subjugated women and detained female activists who have pushed for reforms, and murdered and dismembered Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The United Arab Emirates is home to torture, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances. Egypt’s dictatorship has carried
“Given past behavior, we know how these weapons will likely be used,” warned Klaas. “Despots will use them to help facilitate war crimes in places such as Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula while maintaining an iron grip over their own populations — all aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”
And even worse, Klaas argued, Trump himself could be using these sales to call in a personal favor from these countries in his post-presidency. “Once Trump leaves the White House, odds are good that he will cash in,” he wrote. “Seen in that light, the recently approved arms sales and military technology transfers are even more worrying. Are they just the beginning of a quid pro quo?”
All of this is occurring as President-elect Joe Biden alleges the Pentagon is obstructing him from getting all of the national security information he requires for the transition — something administration officials deny.
“For the past four years, Trump has painted the image of a United States that consistently sides with tyrants,” concluded Klaas. “Biden now has an opportunity to reverse Trump’s catastrophic foreign policy. He should take it.”
You can read more here.
Trump’s $2,000 Stimulus Talk Could Hand Democrats the Senate Majority
An editorial that ran Monday in the The Wall Street Journal spelled out a Democratic victory in the Senate following President Donald J. Trump’s push for $2,000 stimulus checks.
The WSJ editorial board referred to the move as an “in-kind contribution to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.”
“Senate Republicans oppose the $2,000 for these sound reasons, but Mr. Trump has put them in a political spot. Democrats immediately joined Mr. Trump’s call for the $2,000, and on Monday they passed the larger amount through the House, 275-134,” the WSJ editorial board wrote.
“That leaves Mr. McConnell with a tough call of barring a vote as Democrats bang away in TV ads in Georgia against GOP incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Or he can hold a vote, which would split the GOP caucus and upset fiscally conservative voters,” they continued.
“By all accounts Mr. Trump is angry about his election defeat, and he is lashing out at anyone who won’t indulge his hopeless campaign to overturn it. … Mr. Trump’s narcissism isn’t news,” they wrote. “But if Republicans lose the two Georgia seats and their majority, Republicans across the country should know to thank Mr. Trump for their 2021 tax increase.”
An important notation: The Wall Street Journal has not endorsed a presidential candidate since 1928, but the newspaper’s editorial board — along with other Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets such as Fox News and the New York Post — has traditionally been favorable to Trump.
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