Thursday, President Trump was hit with a double whammy of bad news. But one reason his supporters like him is that when he’s punched, he punches back. According to the media narrative, Republicans are supposed to be content in the role of punching bags. That’s something you can’t say about Trump.
The first blow came when the Washington Post published leaked full transcripts of phone calls Trump had with the leaders of Mexico and Australia early in his term. There wasn’t much surprising in them, and the highlights had been released before, but what was disturbing is that they were released at all. It shows that not only are the out-of-control leaks continuing, but as several commentators pointed out, whoever is doing it hates Trump more than they love America. This type of leak broadcasts to other world leaders that they can’t speak in confidence to the President of the United States, which means they can’t be open with us, which can greatly harm international relations and US security.
Let us hope that Gen. Kelly tracks down whoever leaked this and that firing and prosecution to the full extent of the law follow (maybe one way to flush out the leaker would be to make a list of everyone who had access to those transcripts and let them know they will all be fired unless someone either confesses or identifies the leaker). As for the Washington Post, their decision to print these transcripts that harm American security while not conveying any vital information is just another sad step on the basement staircase leading down, down, down from journalistic institution to naked propaganda organ.
The other major news Thursday was that special counsel Robert Mueller had impaneled a grand jury.
This set off a torrent of commentary in the media about what it all means. Actually, it’s impossible to say what it means (aside from the fact that since we know about it at all, that means someone on Mueller’s team continues to illegally leak inside information about an ongoing investigation to the media). Trump critics treated it as a devastating blow that will surely lead to impeachment, but other legal analysts said it’s a routine step, since Mueller needs grand jury approval to subpoena documents.
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said they’ve been given no reason to believe Trump himself is the target of the investigation and they’ve received no requests for documentation or information about Trump’s prior business dealings with Russia (it’s rumored that Mueller is expanding the investigation in that direction). But Sekulow did point out that the special counsel was appointed with a limited mandate to examine allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 election, and if he goes on a fishing expedition for any unrelated financial issues from 10 years ago, Trump’s attorneys would object to that.
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