Is it really possible that anyone running for President of the United States would not possess even the most basic understanding of the United States Constitution, specifically the separation of powers? Is it possible that anyone holding the office of the President of the United States could be unaware that the separation of powers among the three branches of government is a cornerstone of our democracy?
Apparently the answer is yes on both counts.
Welcome to the Trump presidency.
Is it really possible that anyone holding the office of President of the United States can be unaware that the office of the president brings with it a level of scrutiny experienced by no other position in the world?
Is it possible that anyone holding the most powerful office in the world could not understand that every action taken as well as every action not taken will undergo that scrutiny? Apparently not. Welcome to the Trump presidency.
After only four weeks in office which saw the administration hit with several setbacks including a reversal by the courts of his Muslim ban, the president's press conference held on February 16th served as the vehicle that best exposed his inability to interpret any question posed to him as an attempt to seek answers to real issues as anything but a personal affront.
As someone who has been attending the daily White House press briefings on somewhat of a semi-regular basis, the attitude by this administration towards the press is disturbing to say the least.
Many of the statements made by the president during this press particular press conference serves as a clear indication that the “tone” is set at the very top. Here are just a few examples culled from that now infamous press conference:
"I turn on TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos, yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." Considering the manner in which his Muslim ban was rolled out, a manner which clearly failed to consider Constitutionality, one must question the claim of a “fine-tuned machine”. Further, he went on to state: "We had a very smooth roll-out of the travel ban; we had a bad court."
Right! If a court ruling goes against your action it is because the court is “bad”, not because you failed to exercise due diligence prior to rolling out your executive order!
Concerning the leaks regarding his former National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, the president said "The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake." Really?
What, specifically, is fake? Would not the public interest be best served with an impartial bipartisan investigation to prove just that? Isn't it important for the public to be assured that there are no illicit connections by members of the administration with Russia?
Regarding Flynn, the president indicated why he asked for Flynn's resignation by saying "The thing is, he didn't tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn't remember ... that just wasn't acceptable to me."
This, of course, raises the question as to whether the resignation would have been sought if Flynn's discussion with his Russian counterpart had never been revealed by the media as a result of the leak.
Moreover, the president went on to say that he would have instructed Flynn to discuss with that Russian counterpart the sanctions even though President Obama was still in office. If this doesn't warrant a full investigation, than nothing does....no, not Benghazi and not emails!
At this same news conference our new president stated: "Russia is fake news. Russia – this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now."
In other words, the issue isn't the question involving the extent to which there was possible illegal interaction with a foreign entity that took steps to influence our election but, rather, that information regarding this activity was leaked to the press. This argument is tantamount to blaming the person pulling the fire alarm for the fire.
On this same topic concerning interaction with Russia, he stated that: "Nobody that I know of. How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years."
Well, if he really wanted to allay concerns about his connection with Russia so that he and the country could move on with confidence, then how useful would it be for the new president to finally release his tax returns!
The list is quite extensive of the new president's disconcerting statements during this news conference, but let's turn to something that captures just how out of touch and how narcissistic this president is.
During the news conference the president was asked by a Jewish journalist about the rise in hate crimes across the country. Anyone who follows the Montgomery County Sentinel is aware of our recently held hate crimes forum resulting from a rise in hate crime incidents right here in Montgomery County.
The questioner took steps to make it quite clear that he respected the president and that the question was not about him but, rather, about what can be done to address the rising incidents of hate crimes.
He included the fact that there have been some 47 Jewish centers across the country that had received threats. The president's response, however, seemed to address a question that was never asked: "OK, sit down. ... So here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism – the least racist person." That about addresses that concern!
Regarding his narcissism and as well as his tendency to take reality with a grain of salt, let's end with his obsession with always turning to his electoral college victory as the answer for any question.
When questioned about his oft repeated claim that he had the largest electoral college victory since Ronald Reagan at 306, it was pointed out to him that President Obama had electoral counts of 365 and 332 to which he changed his reply to say he was talking about Republicans.
When it was then pointed out that George H.W. Bush had 426, his response resorted to blaming information he received.
The actual question asked dealt with why Americans should “trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake, when you're providing information that is not accurate?"
I will leave it to the voters of this country to answer that question!