He pleaded the case of a loyal soldier, rather than forsake retired US Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn to the mercies of FBI director James Comey. And he asked for loyalty from the congenitally disloyal. You’ll agree: President Donald Trump is being indicted on technicalities and on personal style.
Distill the president’s unremarkable actions, subject to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, and it becomes clear that The establishment—for sensible people outside the beltway have dissociated from the Russia-collusion phantasmagoria—is indicting him on the plain, impolitic speech that catapulted Donald Trump from candidate to president.
Trump is “aggressive and oblivious to the rules of engagement,” fumed CNN’s sibilant Chris Cillizza, formerly of the Washington Post. Correct. But was the language of combat you deployed, Mr. Cillizza, a Freudian slip?
The president’s linguistic infelicities—a word salad, at times—have given the press popinjays and their Washington overlords the foothold needed to go after the president. That, and the “bad” habits of a businessman he has retained. Trump transacts with everyone, Russians too. Besides, we voted for deals, not wars.
In any event, this is the sum and substance of President Trump’s offenses. That, and beating Hillary Clinton to the White House.
Proponents of free-markets understand how business operates. Statists don’t. To the statist, the Fake News fabricator and the stark raving mad Washington Post (WaPo), “Trump sitting next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin, at a luncheon hosted by Leonard Lauder, the oldest son of Estée Lauder,” in 1986, is incriminating evidence … of something.
The tidbit made it on to a sinister WaPo list, “Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests.” To the same statists, Trump “meeting with Russian businessmen, including a real estate developer,” in 2013, “while in Moscow for his Miss Universe competition,” is yet more circumstantial evidence of … something.
Citizen Trump was bringing a fun event to Russia! To members of the American media-military-congressional-industrial complex, being amicable with foreign interests is a foreign concept. At the same time, he did some business there. Inconceivable! Had Mr. Trump smuggled a dirty bomb into Russia, under the “clever” guise of pursuing commerce, his militant enemies stateside might forgive him today. The tools threatening President Trump with impeachment have one bag of tricks stuffed with power tools: They audit, indict, arrest, bomb, change regimes. They don’t make profitable business deals; they tax them. They don’t make peace, they wage war.
Prone to seeing faces in the clouds, the reporters—they’ve lost their minuscule minds—frame the act of putting in a kind word for “a good guy,” as Trump did in February 2017, for Gen. Michael Flynn, as an obstruction of justice. Trump had forgotten he was talking to a cunning, career bureaucrat and government attorney. Naively, he asked “Showboat” Comey to take it easy on Flynn. “He’s a good guy,” said the president. “I hope you can let this go.” Trump’s language is that of a regular guy. He sees a decent man who’s served his country with distinction being hounded. He puts in a good word for him.
Flynn is not a Federal zombie in the mold of the terrorist-fighting Jack Bauer, protagonist in the defunct cult TV series “24.” Did the general not say bad things about Islam (whose intimate association with blood-letting has been expunged from FBI training manuals)? Indeed he did.
A theme in “24” was Bauer’s eternal willingness to be chewed and spat out by the successive governments he serves. As Bauer’s Chinese jailers hand him over to his American handlers, the latter chain him like a dog to a fence. Bauer is accustomed to being manacled by his owners. The Top Dogs just don’t trust their lapdog, despite his blind devotion. In fact, Bauer was forever being chained by his “colleagues” and “escorted” to the Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit’s “holding cells.” These hermetic chambers were used mostly to confine and torture America’s enemies, which included some of CTU’s finest. Or, agents who’ve been tortured by the enemy and must now be counter-tortured by CTU. Assets have to be utilized to the full.
Flynn broke free. So what? Let him be.
Donald Trump is unschooled in the rules of state. The president is too set in his ways and independent-minded to imbibe the layers of debased semiotics with which government lawyers routinely rape reality. Requesting mercy for Flynn was legally foolish, but it was the humane thing to do. It can’t be considered illicit in natural law.
Of course a president is allowed to assemble around him an administration willing to carry out his plans. Thus, inquiring whether as fickle a man as Comey would support, not sabotage, the president’s administration is a perfectly rational way of determining whether Comey should remain in place as FBI director or be replaced.
Outside politics, fending for Flynn would be normal. Within the dead zone of politics and state-made law, a president who speaks kindly about a marked man becomes one himself.
Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Check out Ilana’s YouTube channel.