Canadians going to the polls on Monday can reassure themselves that, whatever the next federal government throws at them, it will pale in comparison to the recent crimes and misdemeanours of the Trump administration.
In the past few weeks, U.S. President Donald Trump has trapped his country on a busted elevator that is crashing through the lowest floors of morality and common decency.
It was on Oct. 6 that Mr. Trump suddenly announced he was pulling the last American troops out of Syria, an act designed as an invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attack Kurdish forces that had, until that moment, been allied with U.S. forces fighting Islamic State.
The subsequent conflict has killed more than 100 civilians in Syria and displaced more than 300,000 people. Despite a partial ceasefire, Mr. Trump has likely condemned to death hundreds if not thousands of men, women and children, and callously forsaken a loyal ally.
He has also inexplicably allowed Iran, Russia and the genocidal Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad to increase their influence in the region, to the detriment of U.S. interests. And he has sent a blunt message that the United States cannot be trusted, even by those who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with its military.
And yet, while the blood was caking on the bodies of the innocent this week and captured IS fighters were escaping from Kurdish prisons, Mr. Trump was focused on what really matters: making a buck off of real estate.
It seems preposterous to be writing these words, but the White House last week announced that the 2020 Group of Seven summit, to be hosted by the United States, would take place at a struggling Florida golfing resort owned by Mr. Trump.
Never mind that the U.S. Constitution says a president is not allowed to accept payments from foreign interests and is not allowed to take any payment from the federal government beyond an annual salary. No, no. Mr. Trump’s hotel would host the G7 “for the good of the country.”
By late Saturday night, the hapless Mr. Trump had changed his mind and announced the summit would be held elsewhere. He blamed “both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility" [sic] for his reversal.
This is not an excerpt from a proposed script for a black comedy about a witless, third-generation dictator trying to direct state funds into his family business. This is the actual state of the degeneration of Mr. Trump and his presidency.
Were we really supposed to believe that government officials independently came to the conclusion that the best place to hold the G7 summit was a Trump resort?
“It’s almost like they built this facility to host this type of event,” an unnamed but enthusiastic official said. Not likely. Canada once hosted a G8 summit (before Russia left the group) in a resort that brags of being the world’s largest log cabin. The most recent G7 summit, in August, was held in a century-old French beach hotel. It went off without a hitch.
But only a Trump resort will do when a Trump sits in the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump is now facing a deepening impeachment inquiry related to a July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he implicitly threatened to withhold aid for Ukraine unless Mr. Zelensky agreed to investigate spurious allegations against Mr. Trump’s domestic political rivals.
In the capper to the latest White House insanity, last week the U.S. President’s acting chief of staff frankly admitted that there was indeed an expectation that Mr. Zelensky would get his aid money in exchange for doing what Mr. Trump described in the phone call as a “favour.”
At this point, the Trump administration is in such disarray that it can’t even stick to basic talking points. Its shameless efforts to prevent White House and government officials from testifying at the impeachment inquiry are also failing. Last week, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, formerly an unbreakable ally of the President, confessed that an impeachment trial may now be inevitable.
Still, Mr. Trump continues to insist there was no “quid pro quo,” and that he was only pressing a foreign government to investigate his election opponents out of his great concern for fighting corruption wherever it exists.
That concern ends where Mr. Trump’s bank accounts begin, obviously.