Siling Labuyo: Trump is unfit for the Office of the President
President Donald Trump is set to embark on his first international travel next week where he will visit Israel, the Vatican, and Saudi Arabia. At the cusp of his first travel overseas, Trump needs to survive a topsy-turvy week where he stands accused of sharing highly classified information to Russian high officials who visited him at his Oval Office. Now here comes another bombshell that during a conversation with then FBI director James Comey back in February, Trump asked the FBI director to lay-off on his friend Michael Flynn. This conversation was supposedly memorialized by Comey through a memo that he shared with top bureau officials. The sharing of highly classified information was bad enough given the fact that it came from an allied country who asked that the information was not to be shared with other allies to protect the source. Declassifying any document or information is within the prerogative of the president but it has never been done willy-nilly before. There is a process that allows the idea to percolate first before actually acting on it. Still, many opined that the president has some legal cover. Yet, despite sending out high officials such as General H. R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser who was also present at the meeting to vouch for the president, Trump through a tweet threw his NSA advisor under the bus by admitting perhaps unwittingly, that he indeed shared what he called his “right” as president to share facts. The recent revelation about a possible obstruction of justice has unnerved a lot of Republican Party lawmakers given that the appearance of obstruction of justice has gained traction when coupled with Trump’s firing of the FBI director. Donald Trump’s elevation to the presidency despite ample warnings of his unsuitability prior to the election is now coming back to haunt the electorate and the party who put him there. This karmic albeit poetic justice is bringing the chickens home to roost. During the presidential campaign last year, it was a widely accepted opinion that Donald Trump was not going to win. There were myriad of basis for such assumption due to Trump’s lack of seriousness for stuff that matters in the presidency like foreign policy, race relations, and economic policy among others. Recall how he won his party’s nomination through sheer pandering of the people who were disillusioned with the government, mostly White Americans who felt left behind despite economic prosperity in America by demonizing every minority in the country and promising to build a wall on the southern plank of the United States. Majority of the mainstream Republican Party members jumped on the #Never Trump campaign and some even joined Hillary Clinton just to prevent Trump from winning. The notion then was that Clinton was the better of the two unacceptable choices. There was no doubt then about the lack of gravitas of Donald Trump. But in the last turn when the vacancy at the Supreme Court became apparent, the party faithful started coming home and provided the needed impetus to catapult Trump’s victory. After his win, the betting was that Trump will create untold damage to the Republican Party’s brand. Well, Trump’s first four months in office has been nothing but chaos but party faithful are still clinging hope that this too shall pass. But the Rubicon has been crossed and the Trump presidency is unraveling. It looks like the Donald messed with the wrong person and the former FBI director is probably having the last laugh after his unceremonious firing by the president. Republicans need to own up Trump’s blunders and stupidity because they have enabled him. There were lots of red flags along the way that his supporters ignored. Despite his campaign promises, Trump has shown that he is only there for himself and for his business empire. He does not have the sensitivity much less the requisite smarts to fully comprehend his actions. By demonizing the press and the intelligence community, Trump invited closer scrutiny of his tweets and actions. For example, one of the campaign promises he made was to label China a currency manipulator on day one. After a scripted show between the two countries about a trade war, suddenly Trump’s applications for 30 patents in China were approved. These applications were floating in the abyss for years until the Donald became the president. Trump reciprocated by affirming the One China policy and inviting the Chinese leader to the president’s plush resort in Florida, the Mar-a-Lago. At the official banquet, the presidential daughter Ivanka who was seated next to President Xi Jinping was also given three patents for her business ventures in China. Recently, Jared Kushner’s sister was also capitalizing on her brother’s affiliation at the White House by promising trader’s visas to rich Chinese willing to make at least $500,000 donation to remodel an old house they bought in New Jersey. Conversely, during the campaign Trump did not hide is fascination with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. While he lambasted just about every foreign leader for something, Putin was always held in high esteem. Amidst the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s chief of staff, John Podesta, the intelligence community all agreed that Russia was involved in the hacking. FBI surveillance of some of the actors in the Trump campaign who were in contact with Russian officials were snagged including the NSA director Michael Flynn, talking about abating Russian sanctions that the Obama administration slapped on Putin’s officials. Trump denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia and branding such accusations as lies and fake news. But clearly, on the side Trump tried very hard to derail such investigation including reportedly asking Comey to let go of Flynn. As we followed his tweets and his spokespersons’ denials, it was evidently clear that his people were promoting lies as presidential tweets often contradicted official White House positions on the controversies hounding the Trump administration. Nothing surprising there as Trump has already shown during the campaign, that he could easily do that without thinking of the consequences of his sideshows. The man is clearly out of his league and the sooner Republicans could ditch him, the better it would be for the country. Trump is not only creating havoc on the Republican Party label, he is also damaging the country with his incompetence. Delaying the confrontation will not only allow Trump to inflict more damage to democratic institutions of this country, they are also giving him more time to enrich his family. At the moment, the Republican Party controls the two branches of Congress with a Republican president at the White House. They also have an advantage in the Supreme Court with the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch whom Trump nominated. But their fortunes could be reversed if the democrats can take back Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. Then it will be curtains for Donald Trump for he will definitely be facing articles of impeachment for obstructing justice.