Above Photo: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks truth to power, telling Russian asset Donald Trump, “All roads with you lead to Putin.”
Caption: From the U.S. House oath of office, “I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Congressional leaders met with President Trump at the White House to discuss the mess in Syria on Wednesday, and it didn’t go well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Trump had a “meltdown” and she was praying for his health.
Using his patented I’m-rubber-you’re-glue strategy, Trump responded that it was Pelosi who had an “unhinged meltdown” — posting a photo that didn’t appear to have the intended effect — and tweeted “Pray for her.”
Reminder: Trump is a classic example of psychological projection. Whatever he accuses others of is actually an admission about himself. Trump’s tweet is an admission that what Pelosi said is true.
The 20-minute meeting started with Trump saying he didn’t want to be there, The New York Times reports, citing several Democratic officials and noting that “the White House did not dispute their accounts.”
Trump brought up a bizarre letter he sent to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claiming his “nasty” missive shows he didn’t green-light Turkey’s invasion of Syria. Pelosi noted that the House had just overwhelmingly condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw the handful of U.S. troops that had been keeping Turkey at bay.
The House resolution passed 354 to 60. Every Democrat voted in favor, and 129 Republicans also supported the resolution. (A similar resolution is expected to pass the Senate.)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) started to read Trump a quote from his former defense secretary, James Mattis, at which point Trump called Mattis “the world’s most overrated general” because “he wasn’t tough enough” and “I captured ISIS” faster than he’d said was possible.
Wrong on all counts. Fact-Checking Trump on Syria, Erdogan and the Kurds.
Pelosi said Russia has long sought a “foothold in the Middle East” and he had just given Russian President Vladimir Putin such an opening, adding: “All roads with you lead to Putin.” That’s when the already-tense meeting “reached a fever pitch,” the Timesreports.
The Associated Press recounts the next few exchanges:
Trump: “I hate ISIS more than you do.”
Pelosi: “You don’t know that.”
Schumer: “Is your plan to rely on the Syrians and the Turks?”
Trump: “Our plan is to keep the American people safe.”
Pelosi: “That’s not a plan. That’s a goal.”
After Trump called Pelosi either a “third-rate” or “third-grade” politician, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said “this is not useful,” and the Democrats walked out. Trump said: “Goodbye, we’ll see you at the polls.”
Trump must be impeached and removed from office, with the disqualification from ever running for office again. See, Gerard N. Magliocca, The Disqualification Clause: [T]he Senate can (upon conviction) impose a penalty beyond removal from office to include “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”
Admiral William H. McRaven, former commander of the United States Special Operations Command, writes at the New York Times today, Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President (excerpt):
[T]he most poignant recognition that evening was for a young female sailor who had been killed in Syria serving alongside our allies in the fight against ISIS. Her husband, a former Army Green Beret, accepted the award on her behalf. Like so many that came before her, she had answered the nation’s call and willingly put her life in harm’s way.
For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation’s principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week.
But, beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines. The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.
These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week. It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong. These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
The admiral is correct, the fate of the Republic hangs in the balance. We are at a crossroads of history when true patriots must stand up and be counted to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
There are those Putin fellow travelers and useful idiots for whom no amount of depravity, no amount of degeneracy, no amount of criminality, and no amount of disloyalty will dissuade them from supporting Putin’s puppet over the Constitution and 243 years of American democratic values and ideals. These “domestic enemies” would burn it all down for a kleptocracy under the personality cult of Donald Trump.
President Abraham Lincoln warned at another time of American trial:
“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”
Lincoln never imagined that a foreign power could ever “capture” an American president and use him as an agent against his own country for its malignant purposes. Putin has succeeded in doing this without ever having fired a single shot.
Patriotic Americans who love America must come to the aid of their country and resist.