Now that he’s no longer on the White House’s speed dial and has become largely irrelevant, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is desperate to pretend he still has some modicum of power.
Proof of that was on display when Graham appeared on Fox News Monday, rattling the proverbial saber as he threatened China, even though he doesn’t make foreign policy.
Graham was asked this question by host Ben Domenech of The Federalist:
Human rights still matter? Is that supposed to be a joke? Donald Trump never talked about human rights in China. He was far too busy starting a trade war that he lost and that may have also played a part in costing him a second term in office He even told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he completely approved of putting the Uighurs into concentration camps.
Now, however, we’re is supposed to listen to Graham the hypocrite and believe he’s earnest in his concern for minority groups in China? When will Lindsey do the same for minorities in his own country?
Sen. Graham needs to sit down and let the experts shape U.S. foreign policy, because it’s clear he’s auditioning for the 2024 GOP cattle call. As if he has a chance in hell of winning.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that failed, one-term former President Donald Trump repeatedly kowtowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it turns out that Russian hackers also managed to steal what is being called the “crown jewels” from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Associated Press (AP) reports that hackers from Russia managed to steal emails from top officials in the DHS, which could have serious implications for U.S. national security:
“Suspected Russian hackers gained access to email accounts belonging to the Trump administration’s head of the Department of Homeland Security and members of the department’s cybersecurity staff whose jobs included hunting threats from foreign countries, The Associated Press has learned.
“The intelligence value of the hacking of then-acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his staff is not publicly known, but the symbolism is stark. Their accounts were accessed as part of what’s known as the SolarWinds intrusion, and it throws into question how the U.S. government can protect individuals, companies and institutions across the country if it can’t protect itself.”
The Biden administration is trying to decide exactly what sanctions to impose on Russia for the DHS hack, but based on the AP’s reporting, it seems fair to surmise the punishment will be severe.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) says targeting the DHS allowed Russia to have access to some of the most carefully guarded secrets in the world:
Since Homeland Security is tasked with overseeing several important agencies — including the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Customs Service, the Russian hack means Russian intelligence may have obtained information that could directly impact the security of the United States.
Though it remains unclear exactly how harsh the White House will choose to be with sanctions, it has already become clear to Russia that relations between the two nations will continue to be strained. When Biden was recently asked if he thought Putin was a “killer,” he quickly replied that he did.
Trump, on the other hand, tried to suggest there were many killers in the United States, trying to excuse Putin’s murderous actions.
One thing is certain: Russia and Putin will no longer be coddled by the American head of state. And based on their actions, they damn well shouldn’t be.
Donald Trump has strained U.S. relations with every country in the world, including our closest NATO allies. He has acted like a spoiled child during high-level diplomatic meetings, insulted foreign leaders, and repeatedly coddled murderous dictators such as Kim Jong-un of North Korea and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Trump has also scrapped U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran, which took years to negotiate and gave American inspectors the right to oversee Iranian nuclear facilities to make sure they weren’t producing fissile material that could be used in nuclear weapons. After Trump pulled out of the JCPOA, he also imposed new sanctions on Iran.
So it’s only fitting that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has some harsh words for Trump, who will soon be leaving the world stage and handing over power to President-Elect Joe Biden.
According to Newsweek, Rouhani had this to say about the lame duck U.S. head of state:
Rouhani then added:
You probably recall that Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in 2003, put on trail by the interim Iraqi government, and executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.
While it seems unlikely that Trump will meet a similar fate to that of Saddam, he is facing significant legal jeopardy from investigators in New York, and could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted and found guilty.
In a way, decades in prison is a more fitting punishment for Trump than what Saddam faced. After all, the humiliation of being forced to wear an orange jumpsuit and not be able to get a spray tan when he wants one is probably Trump’s own personal version of hell.
You may recall that Donald Trump was so upset with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch that he tried on multiple occasions to have her removed from her post and some of his henchmen in Kyiv to stalk her and report back when and where she was going every day when she would leave the embassy.
All of that was mostly for naught, as Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee, and her testimony was one of the key pieces of evidence that led to the impeachment of President Trump, making him only the third president in American history to ever carry the black mark of impeachment next to his name.
Even though the GOP-controlled Senate refused to convict and remove Trump, some news from Ms. Yovanovitch late Friday makes it clear that she may well wind up having the last laugh on Donald Trump, according to CNN:
“Marie Yovanovitch, the former United States ambassador to Ukraine who was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, will author a book.
“Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher that acquired the deal, said in a Friday press release that the “untitled memoir will recount her long career in U.S. foreign service” and conclude in Washington, DC, where “she found a political system beset by many of the same challenges she had spent her career combating overseas.”
But there’s one detail about Ambassador Yovanovitch’s book deal that’s certain to enrage Trump the most:
“Financial terms were not disclosed, but two people familiar with the deal told the AP that the agreement was worth seven figures.”
Yes, Ms. Yovanovitch has now officially become a millionaire by writing a book and telling what she knows about the Ukraine scandal and Trump himself. And it’s a pretty safe bet that she knows plenty, perhaps even some things that could wind up leading to criminal charges being filed against the president in Washington, D.C. and New York, beyond the meddling reach of Attorney General William Barr, who has no jurisdiction beyond federal criminal matters and cannot call off or hinder any investigations conducted by state authorities.
There’s an old saying that living well is the best revenge. Ambassador Yovanovitch is about to get wealthy and get her payback on Donald Trump at the same time.
As much trouble as his dealings with Ukraine have already caused him — most notably impeachment — you’d think that Donald Trump would want to stay as far away from Ukraine as possible.
But it appears that Trump never ever learns his lesson, even when he’s been burned by his own foolish actions.
BuzzFeed News is reporting that Trump is dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ukraine next week, right in the middle of the Senate impeachment trail that was brought about by the president’s attempt to extort political dirt on one of his political opponents from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:
“Three diplomatic sources described Pompeo’s upcoming visit as substantive and not simply a drop-in. Pompeo, the sources said, is expected to also meet with top government officials, and to pay his respects to Ukraine’s fallen soldiers and revolutionaries at memorials in the capital.”
What? Why in the world is Trump’s State Department suddenly kissing up to the Ukrainians?
Would it surprise you to know that Trump is sending Pompeo to make sure no surprises suddenly start to emanate from Kyiv? That’s what Ivan Yakovina, a foreign policy columnist for Ukraine’s Novoye Vremya newsmagazine, thinks is going on. He speculates that Pompeo is showing up to guarantee “no bad surprises would come from Kyiv during the Trump Senate trial.”
“I mean no word-to-word transcripts of the relevant phone calls or other documents will leak. If I were him I would assure the Ukrainians that they will be rewarded if nothing unexpected happens during the trial. And punished if comrade Trump’s enemies will get some sort of help or comfort from Kyiv.”
Sounds a bit like blackmail, doesn’t it? And keep in mind that such an arrangement could conceivably lead to more articles of impeachment against Trump, not to mention Pompeo.
So don’t be surprised if you hear in the near future that Trump is in trouble once again for sending his secretary of state to Ukraine for the purpose of cooking up some new harebrained scheme to steal the 2020 election.