There was so much breaking news from the Trump administration this past week, that by Friday we would have forgotten that the president had legitimized North Korea’s dictatorship if he hadn’t reminded us.
On Thursday, the Attorney General of New York sued Trump and three of his children for using the Trump Foundation, a supposedly charitable organization, for political purposes and as a personal slush fund. Trump called the action political and biased, but it’s hard to defend it wasn’t used politically when there’s footage of Trump handing out giant Trump Foundation checks at campaign rallies. He also used the foundation to settle lawsuits, pay bribes and purchase murals of himself. Scott Pruitt said, “damn.” He has vowed he won’t settle the lawsuit, which must mean there’s not enough money left in the foundation for Trump to use for the settlement.
The only thing surprising about the lawsuit is that it took so long. It’s a civil suit, so none of the Trumps, Donald, Don Jr, Eric, and Ivanka are going to jail for New York. However, the state has referred the case to the Federal Elections Commission (which won’t scare anyone) and the IRS, which should scare the life out of the Trump family. Don’t be surprised if Trump doesn’t start including the IRS in his demands for the Justice Department to protect him. The Trump Foundation scandal may also implicate anyone who has ever donated to the foundation, like those who may have paid Trump through the foundation to avoid paying taxes on a bill.
Perhaps the most incriminating part of this for Trump is the fact that he has signed annual I.R.S. filings, under penalty of perjury in which he attested that the foundation did not engage in political activity. That’s something people have gone to prison for, and usually for much less than Trump has done here.
On Friday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort went to jail for violating his bail agreement. Basically, he broke the law while out on bail. Manafort couldn’t even stop colluding with Russians on the way to his trial for colluding with Russians.
Later Friday morning, Trump gave an interview to Fox News on the White House lawn and then extended it to the rest of the press, who asked actual questions.
The Inspector General of the Justice Department issued their report on the investigation into Hillary Clinton and found fault with the FBI’s handling the issue, but didn’t find fault with the decision not to bring charges. Trump comprehended this as an exoneration that he didn’t collude with Russia, which the report didn’t mention. Trump could read the back of a shampoo bottle and comprehend “rinse, lather, repeat” to mean he’s exonerated.
Trump issued a few more lies while on the lawn. He said Manafort only worked for him for 49 days when the fact is he worked for him for 144 days. He also said that maybe it turned out that former National Security Adviser and Lock-Her-Up chant leader Michael Flynn, didn’t really lie. That’s kind of an odd statement since Trump previously claimed he fired Flynn for lying. He claimed he was saddened that migrant children were being separated from their parents and detained by ICE, and then he blamed the Democrats even though it’s his policy. Next, he’ll blame Democrats for his botched hair transplant. Then, he blamed Obama for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their annexation of Crimea, as if Obama pulls Putin’s puppet strings like Putin yanks on Trump’s. Earlier in the week, he said the people of Crimea prefer to be in Russia since most of them speak Russian, which probably means we should all be a part of England again.
The most bizarre part of Trump’s Friday morning were his comments on North Korea and Kim Jong Un. Where Trump used to call him “Little Rocket Man” and threaten to bring down “fire and fury,” he now talks about his great relationship with the dictator and even gave him his private phone number, 1-800-CHEETOS.
It went from bizarre to terrifying when Trump expressed his desire for Kim’s power. Trump said, “He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.” What was that? You want the same groveling obedience demanded by a dictator who executes family members and controls his nation by fear? That’s the kind of power Trump wants? Wouldn’t Trump have to kill a family member with an anti-aircraft gun to inspire that sort of obedience? Eric, run.
Trump envies the power of a dictator so much that it was easy for Kim to play him in Singapore. Not only did Kim get validation and equal footing with an American president, but he got Trump to sacrifice our military’s preparedness for a photo-op, and to top it all off, he got prime propaganda footage of Trump saluting one of his generals.
By the time Trump was landing back in the U.S., Putin was on the phone angling for his own summit. If a 35-year-old novice dictator can get the best of Trump, what will Putin, a former spy for the KGB, get? Eastern Europe? California? Maybe soon, Sarah Palin will really be able to see Russia from her house.
During his Singapore trip, Trump expressed admiration for how positive state-run news was in Korea and that the famous “pink lady” who reads it is more lavish in praise than Fox News. While praising dictator-sponsored news outlets, he attacked the free press again and said the media was “our country’s biggest enemy.” His administration also sought to punish CNN’s Jim Acosta for asking Kim Jong Un if he was willing to denuclearize.
These are scary times. A man who can’t comprehend directions on a shampoo bottle shouldn’t be negotiating nuclear deals. Even if Trump wasn’t in love with dictators, he’s enough of a fool to be spun by them.
Watch me draw.
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