There is no doubt American president Donald Trump tried to bribe Ukraine into launching an investigation of his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter, did work for an Ukrainian company. The impeachment inquiry conducted by the House Intelligence Committee has established the facts in under two months.
Trump held up congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine (which is fighting a Russian-backed insurgency in its east), asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to do him a “favor” by investigating the Bidens, and aid was restored after news of the attempted blackmail leaked.
It’s a straightforward abuse of power.
So Trump’s Republican allies have been doing all they can to complicate the story. Read more
Republicans Won’t Allow Trump to Face Competition
Remember when Trumpists were up in arms in 2016 about internal Republican attempts to deny their man the presidential nomination?
I defended such attempts at the time, arguing that Republicans had every right to use every method at their disposal to stop a candidate so patently unfit for high office and one who didn’t even share their views on foreign policy and trade. (Most Republicans have since come around to Trump’s views.)
But Donald Trump’s supporters saw an “establishment” plot and demanded that the “democratic” will of the Republican electorate be respected. (No matter that only 45 percent of primary voters supported Trump.)
Hundreds of fighters from the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS) — which the Kurds did more than anyone to defeat — have been freed from prison.
Trump doesn’t care, saying, “They’re going to be escaping to Europe.” No matter that’s where America’s best friends are, or used to be.
Turkey has attacked an American commando outpost in Syria.
Abandoned by the West, the Kurds are appealing to Bashar Assad and his patron, Vladimir Putin, for help. Read more
Republican Ground Shifts Beneath Trump’s Feet
I haven’t written much about Donald Trump this year, because what’s the point? As I reported in December, the scandals keep piling on — from corruption to illegal payoffs to making apologies for white supremacists to Russia — but half of America either doesn’t believe it or doesn’t care.
Trump campaign officials have been arrested, indicted and convicted; migrants have been treated so abysmally at the southern border that seven children have died in detention; the president launched a disastrous trade war with China and threatens to unravel the entire world order that has kept America and its allies safe for seven decades, and still members of Trump’s Republican Party would not speak out.
They finally are. The president’s behavior has become so erratic in recent weeks that even some of his supporters are disturbed. Read more
When Donald Trump won the American election in 2016, I warned his European admirers that they should not expect favors from him. Trump may be a kindred spirit, but his zero-sum view of the world was never going to benefit anyone else.
The sorry tale of the British ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, is a case in point. Read more
Middle East Allies Are Wrong to Bet on Trump
Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have all made their bed with Donald Trump. That’s paying dividends for them, but only so long as this president remains in power. What happens in two or six years? Read more