Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said he gives out top national security jobs to unqualified people.

Trump has spent much of the last week fighting desperately to keep his former national security advisor John Bolton from testifying at the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton has said he is willing to testify, and excerpts from his book apparently leaked by the Trump administration directly contradict Trump’s claim that there were no witnesses to his alleged wrongdoing. 

Today, Trump issued a threat to Bolton and his publisher, warning them not to publish his forthcoming book about Trump. In the manuscript, Bolton details the “favors” that Trump did for the governments of Turkey and China. He also narrates how he watched Trump order that Ukrainian military aid be withheld until that country publicly announced an “investigation” into Joe Biden. 

Trump also tried a new approach on Twitter:

In other words, Trump is saying that he appointed Bolton to lead the United States’ national security policy, even though he thought Bolton would start unnecessary wars, because Bolton “begged” him.

Bolton joins a long list of people who Trump claims—after the fact—“begged” him for things. It also includes other Republicans like special counsel Robert Mueller, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) as well as Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Polls released in the last week are showing as much as 80% support for having witnesses testify at Trump’s impeachment trial. A Navigator poll released yesterday shows 82% of Americans want Bolton specifically to testify. 

Why is this a bad thing?

  • It’s bad if a president admits he gives out powerful jobs as favors to people he thinks will do a bad job.
  • Freedom of speech is more important than any president’s political needs. 
  • Defendants don’t need to like the witnesses testifying against them for the testimony to be important.