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.
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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
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.
Trump ‘Wants to Screw Mitch McConnell’ for Betraying Him: Columnist
In his column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky claims the country is watching “The Last (For the Time Being) Crack-Up of King Donald,” while the president sulks at Mar-a-Lago over his election loss and plots to damage the Republican Party as he exits the presidency.
Although the president reportedly signed the COVID-19 aid bill at the last minute Sunday night — while also forestalling a government shutdown — the columnist said the president did great damage to the Republican Party by delaying the signing and infuriating the public by spending the weekend golfing after threatening a veto.
Calling the signing delay — and the anxiety it caused over Christmas week — “insane,’ Tomasky suggested that the damage Trump is doing to the GOP is on purpose as both a loyalty test and to show Republican lawmakers that, even as he is leaving office after a humiliating defeat, he can still make them or break them.
“Trump is a five-year-old, and everything with him is five-year-old simple. Caveman simple,” he wrote. “Thus, he can’t think about the Republican Party, or the Senate under a Biden presidency, or anything of the sort.”
Despite the fact that the president is scheduled to campaign for Georgia Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue before their runoff election against their Democratic challengers, Tomasky wrote that the president would really like to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lose control of the Senate and suffer.
“He wants to screw Mitch McConnell. There’s nothing complicated or tactical about this. McConnell acknowledged that Joe Biden won the election. Therefore he must suffer. Boom. Caveman simple,” he wrote before adding that Trump would like to see both of the GOP Senate candidates to lose because he also lost the state.
“Trump doesn’t care who runs the Senate if he’s not president,” Tomasky wrote. “To the extent that he’s capable of a little strategery, he may well be thinking that he’d rather the Democrats have the run of the place in 2021 and 2022, and maybe even into the two years after that. They’ll be easier to run against. Or so he thinks, because he assumes that if Democrats control Congress and the White House, America will have descended into socialist hell by 2024.”
The columnist went on to note that the president is probably wrong about that, since the Biden administration will likely be measured on how it handles the COVID-19 crisis it inherited from Trump which inflicted so much damage on the country due to Trump’s mismanagement.
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