Syria strike disillusions some Trump supporters 

Ann_Coulter_2012_ShankbonePresident Trump’s cruise missile strike on Syria, responding to Assad’s chemical weapons atrocity, is getting good reviews from much of the world.  After all, Barack Obama did nothing when Assad did this before, a display of American weakness that may have encouraged Assad and other bad actors that they could act with impunity.

Russia, though, is Syria’s staunch ally, and Vladimir Putin is furious with Trump.  (If the Russians put him in office, as some are charging, they didn’t get much for their trouble.  As one commenter here put it, why would Putin want Trump in office, when the Democrats were letting him take over any country he wanted?  [There is an answer to that:  Putin needs the economic sanctions lifted.])

But closer to home, many of Trump’s most devoted fans are turning against him. Attacking Syria, they say, is an idealistic foreign involvement like neo-conservatives always want to do.  They thought Trump was different.

Even Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust:  E Pluribus Awesome!, is now bad-mouthing him.

Are any of you Trump supporters now, in the words of one former fan, “officially off the Trump train”?  Are any of you doubters now thinking that he might become a good president? [Read more…]

Trump and the FBI

agent-1294795_640FBI director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that an active investigation is underway into Russian involvement with the U.S. election, including whether or not there was collusion with the Trump campaign.

Comey also dismissed President Trump’s charges that the Obama administration was eavesdropping on Trump Tower.

The testimony brought back an issue that seemed to be fading, since no evidence has surfaced that Trump or any of his people conspired with the Russians.  But does the FBI have that evidence?

Nor has evidence surfaced that Trump’s campaign was bugged.  And yet the president keeps insisting that it happened anyway.  That could have been part of an FBI probe, but House and Senate investigators have found no trace of such a thing.

Democrats might feel bolstered by Comey’s testimony, but they are also angry and frustrated.  Comey said the investigation of Russian involvement in Trump’s campaign began last July.  That summer Comey revealed that Hillary Clinton was under investigation for her illegal emails.  He didn’t mention that he was also investigating Trump. [Read more…]

The Trump/Russia collusion charge is fizzling

32314073056_4387da7f0f_zThe Democratic base, fanned by left wing pundits, is all fired up about the prospect that Donald Trump and his campaign conspired with the Russians to steal the election.

But despite lots of searching, no evidence of that collusion has turned up.

Now Democratic officials are trying to tamp down expectations from the rank and file, many of whom are convinced that exposing the Russian connection will bring Trump down.

Even former intelligence officials from the Obama administration are admitting that there is nothing there.  Democrats on the congressional committees investigating the possibility are also saying they have found nothing.

But they fear their base.

When Barack Obama took office, conspiracy theories abounded, conservative pundits kept everything at a fever pitch, and Tea Party activists vowed to hold Republican officeholders’ feet to the fire if they co-operated with the new president.

We are now experiencing the mirror image of those times, with liberals doing what conservatives once did.

Glenn Greenwald tells the tale after the jump.

UPDATE:  Not that the issue is dead.  FBI director James Comey has just told a congressional committee that the FBI is investigating the matter.

[Read more…]

Is the Russian military testing Trump?

640px-MiG-29_fuselageA Russian spy ship was spotted Tuesday sailing just off the U.S. east coast.  Also on Tuesday, the administration confirmed that Russia had deployed ground-based cruise missiles in violation of a 1987 treaty.  Last Friday, four Russian jets buzzed an American ship in the Black Sea.

Such provocations sound like Vladimir Putin is testing our new president, who created the impression when Iran was doing this sort of thing that he would not tolerate it.  Putin tested Obama like this all the time, drawing conclusions about his weakness.

It will be interesting to see what President Trump does.

It has been alleged that the Russians helped Trump get elected.  Trump has floated the idea of eliminating the sanctions against Russia for invading the Ukraine and annexing the Crimea.  But Trump’s new secretary of state and secretary of defense have talked tough about keeping the sanctions.  And being overly cozy with the Russian ambassador is what got national security advisor Michael Flynn fired.

Why do you think Putin would throw his weight around like this?

If Trump ignores these incidents, he might look weak, or even in thrall to Putin.  If Trump reacts, he needs to be measured and must not over-react, qualities that have not been his strong suit.

At any rate, this may be President Trump’s first foreign relations test.

[Read more…]

Trump’s national security advisor resigns

Michael_T_FlynnMichael Flynn, President Trump’s national security advisor, has resigned.  He was caught negotiating with the Russian ambassador over sanctions before taking office.  It is illegal for a private citizen to do so.  Flynn also lied to Vice-President Pence about it.

The pressure for him to leave evidently came from Trump himself.

Embattled White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, two sources tell CNN.

His departure came just after reports surfaced the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. [Read more…]

Did Trump slander America?

Poster_russianIn an interview aired Sunday, Bill O’Reilly asked President Trump why he is so supportive of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.  After all, said O’Reilly, “Putin’s a killer.”

“There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied. “Got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

Says a Wall Street Journal editor, “Trump puts US on moral par with Putin’s Russia. Never in history has a President slandered his country like this.”

Do you think Trump’s cynicism about American innocence and how, far from being “good guys” we are no better than Putin is slanderous?  It will be hard for his leftist critics to make much of this, since they often say much the same thing about America’s alleged crimes.  Or is this comment simply sober realism? [Read more…]