During yesterday’s Senate hearing on Russia’s involvement with the 2016 election of Donald Trump, and whether or not members of the Trump team were complicit, Sally Yates said “To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised by the Russians.” I’m going to state something else obvious and that is it’s not obvious to partisan hacks.
I was inspired by former Georgia congressman Jack Kingston who referred to Yates as a “partisan hack.” He also got the impression from yesterday’s hearing before the Judiciary committee that Senator and all-around human sludge Ted Cruz got the best of Yates. Kingston must have watched a different hearing in an alternate reality. The man is a Trump sycophant and has made it his mission in life to tell the world that Donald Trump is infallible and he poops sunshine and rainbows. Ted Cruz is a fairly recent convert to being a Trump sycophant, as once upon a time he used his condescending smugness to defend his wife and father from personal attacks from Donald Trump. Now he uses that same charm to be to Trump what Stephen Colbert accused Trump of being to Vladimir Putin. If you don’t recollect what that is, let’s just say you can’t talk with your mouth full.
A partisan hack is one who avoids the key issue of a hearing and instead brings up other topics as a form of deflection. Such as when Cruz brought up how Yates, as acting Attorney General, would not defend Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
Cruz cited a portion of U.S. code that allows the president to block immigrants from entering the country if allowing such entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Yates pulled out the rest of that code which says “visas cannot be denied due to someone’s race, nationality or place of birth.”
It reminded me of Charlie Brown’s fastball getting hit back at him so hard that he spins through the air and it knocks all his clothes off. Yesterday Cruz’s ass was showing.
I am glad that Cruz brought up the travel ban Yates wouldn’t defend which got her fired. It served to remind us that after Yates warned the Trump administration about Michael Flynn’s danger of being blackmailed by Russia for lying about his conversations with their ambassador, that Trump fired her, not Flynn. Instead, he kept Flynn for 18 more days and allowed to the guy to sit in on his phone call with Putin.
Cruz also got the wind knocked out of him with his final question which was “in over 200 years of the Department of Justice’s history, are you aware of any instance in which the Department of Justice has formally approved the legality of a policy, and then, three days later, the Attorney General has directed the Department not to follow that policy, and to defy that policy?” Yates replied, “I’m not, but I’m also not aware of a situation where the Office of Legal Counsel was advised not to tell the Attorney General about it until after it was over.” Ouch! Ted might wanna get some Calamine for those burns.
Cruz also wasted some of his time on Hillary Clinton’s emails when everyone thought this was a hearing on Russia. Seriously, Texas, you gotta get rid of this guy in your next election. Let’s get beyond the ick and condescension of the man and just ask, what sort of Texan becomes a troll for a man who calls his wife ugly and accuses his father of murder?
People in Washington ask “why do people immediately hate Ted Cruz?” Because it saves time.
Another partisan hack is someone doing the president’s bidding, even if that command came from a tweet. Trump conducted a tweet storm in the A.M. yesterday calling the Russia story a hoax, blaming Obama for Flynn even though Trump is the one who hired him, and that the Senate should ask Yates who leaked the information about Flynn being a potential target of blackmail. Senator Charles Grassley did just that and asked Yates if she leaked information to the media or whether she asked the intelligence community to reveal Flynn’s identity to her. That would be a no. Senator Lindsey Graham, whose phone number Trump once gave out at a rally, was also upset about information provided to The Washington Post.
The newest member of the Senate, John Kennedy from my home state of Louisiana no less, was still focused on the travel ban when he stupidly asked Yates “who appointed her to the Supreme Court.” They should ban him from traveling outside Louisiana. Just as everyone was wondering what in the hell he was doing on this committee, he asked former director of national intelligence. Agency James Clapper who was also testifying, if he has ever leaked classified or UNCLASSIFIED information to the press. As Clapper pointed out to the senator, revealing unclassified information is not leaking. Here’s something unclassified: Senator John Kennedy is a dumbass. Maybe the voters of my home state are stupid enough to send him to the United States Senate, but are his colleagues so dense that they appoint the man to an important committee? Treason is kinda serious business, one would think.
What we did learn yesterday, even before the hearing started, was that President Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn. Trump hired him anyway. Then Trump kept the guy on staff after his Attorney General warned him. He kept him on staff for 18 days and only fired him after The Washington Post got wind of his sleazing around with Russians. Today Trump is still defending Flynn.
Pundits question if it’s out of a sense of loyalty that Trump hung on to Flynn and still defends the guy. I don’t think so. It’s narcissism. Trump can’t admit a mistake. Even hiring him has to be Obama’s fault. This is not a sane presidency.
The hearing underscored that there’s a lot of shadiness going on with the Trump administration and Russia. It also confirmed that the Republicans are a party over country. We’re now beyond the point that the White House is covering up more than cooperating and their sycophants in the Congress are being complicit in the cover-up.
Sally Yates was once appointed by Republican Bob Barr. He’s served in Republican and Democratic administrations. She has always been regarded as being very professional and extremely confident in legal matters. She proved she’s a lot smarter than the Senate Republicans and wasn’t intimidated by them in the least bit.
If Yates is a partisan hack that doesn’t dispel the need for answers in the Russia investigation. If we can’t trust Yates, Clapper, and Comey, and we’re definitely not getting anything from the Trump administration, then let’s appoint a special counsel.
And let’s make it a female because Trump and Republicans really can’t deal with them.
Creative Notes: I’m not a big fan of drawing speech balloons emitting from buildings or other objects. It’s a very common concept used by conservative cartoonists (like boats sinking and people hanging or running off cliffs). You won’t see me do these a lot. I really like drawing people more.
The first version of this cartoon I spelled “adviser” as “advisor.” I saw both versions on different websites for news outlets. “Adviser” felt right to me and that’s how it’s spelled by The New York Times and The Washington Post, so I went with that.
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