Incendiary Charges Are All in a Day's Work for Trump

Donald Lambro
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Posted: Feb 10, 2017 12:01 AM
Incendiary Charges Are All in a Day's Work for Trump

WASHINGTON -- President Trump faces a lot of troubles at home and abroad, but you would never know it from the complaints he regularly fires off in his combative, news-making tweets and other remarks.

Trump's latest bombast this week was aimed at the federal judiciary after a U.S. district judge halted his executive order to stop people from entering the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

In what was clearly an all-out attack on our independent federal court system, Trump referred to the jurist as a "so-called judge," suggesting that his order was a political one.

Now, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is reviewing Trump's action to see if it is in violation of federal law and the Constitution's protection against religious discrimination.

"I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased," he said. "But courts seem to be political."

In remarks before the Major Cities Chiefs Association on Wednesday, Trump called the arguments against his order "disgraceful" and suggested that if the U.S. is attacked by terrorists again, the courts will be to blame.

Trump's attack on the courts has plenty of critics, but the most damaging criticism of all came Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Making the rounds with members of the Senate this week, Gorsuch told Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut that Trump's remarks were "disheartening" and "demoralizing."

This from Trump's handpicked nominee to break the four-to-four liberal-conservative split on the highest court in the land, yet staking out his own independence from the administration.

Meantime, Trump's secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, was visiting Japan and South Korea this week, reassuring two of our strongest Asian allies that the U.S. had no plans to back out of its strong military alliance with both nations.

Despite Trump’s campaign promises to reduce our military support costs among our alliances, Mattis made it clear that we would stand by our mutual defense treaties.

Mattis has shown in his confirmation hearings that he is not toeing the line on some of Trump's views on national security issues, including waterboarding. He's suggested that he is much less friendly toward Moscow's strong man Vladimir Putin than Trump, who has never uttered a word of criticism about the former KGB thug.

Mattis also made clear he strongly believes in NATO's critical importance to Europe's security, a departure from Trump's belief that the defense pact is no longer relevant in the 21st century.

This month, Putin stepped up Russia's military support for a new offensive in Ukraine's civil war in his plot to rebuild a Greater Russia. In some of the worst shelling in months, dozens of people have been killed or wounded.

In an interview that aired last weekend, Trump rejected Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly's condemnation of Putin as "a killer" who has a well-documented reputation for bumping off his political opponents.

Incredibly, Trump said our country is equally culpable in such deeds. "There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. ... You think our country is so innocent?"

Fearing the president will roll back sanctions on Putin's regime after its illegal seizure of the Crimean peninsula, a bipartisan group of six senators is pushing legislation to bring that issue to a vote in the Senate.

Trump had more important things on his mind Wednesday. He sent White House press secretary Sean Spicer to defend his angry tweet about Nordstrom's decision to stop selling his daughter's fashion wear collection. He had tweeted that Ivanka Trump "has been treated so unfairly" by the retail giant. "Terrible."

Spicer did just as he was instructed: blaming the store's decision on politics, instead of a business decision due to poor sales. "This is a direct attack on his policies and her name," he told the press corps.

Trump makes news for many things, but more often than not for making incendiary charges such as suggesting that the federal judiciary is in a conspiracy to block his agenda. He also spouts statistics that turn out to be utterly false.

This week, he told a meeting of the National Sheriffs Association, "The murder rate in our country is the highest it's been in 47 years." But according to The Associated Press, "The murder rate in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, is actually among the lowest in half a century."

It's been a rough three weeks for Trump, and he's only getting started.