Trump surrounds himself with the best people


#21

Well, in my humble opinion, Trump has the right man negotiating with the Chinese:

The man behind Trump’s trade war once negotiated using a paper airplane

According to Bloomberg:

The trade talks on steel imports were dragging on, and Robert Lighthizer didn’t care for the Japanese offer. So he folded it into a paper airplane and launched it across his desk at Japan’s lead negotiator… The 1985 deal capped weeks of negotiations in which Lighthizer, then the deputy U.S. Trade Representative, shocked his Japanese counterparts with rough-hewn jokes and wore them out with his disdain for their proposals, former colleagues recalled. During one Japanese presentation, he devoted his attention to playfully disassembling his microphone.

In the end, he won. The Japanese called him Missile Man.


#22

After nearly 2 years of investigation, including a phonied-up FISA order based on a phonied-up dossier paid for by his adversaries, Trump has yet to be directly implicated in Russian “collusion”.

That said, Trump has sometimes FAILED to surround himself with the best and brightest. His and his team’s vetting of some of his appointments demonstrated a significant political ineptitude. To not uncover Flynn’s close ties/connection as a lobbyist for Turkey is a case in point. While the only thing we know about Flynn is that he was too stupid to have his attorney present during questioning by the FBI, his Turkish connection appears not to have been illegal. As for Manafort, apparently Trump and his people were the only ones in Washington that didn’t realize he was a shady character - a fact well known throughout the halls of DC politics. However ignorant the appointment of these two individuals, it appears whatever wrongdoing committed by them did not implicate Trump. As for Cohen - well, you lay down with a dog and you can expect to find fleas on yourself. As for paying off hookers to keep quiet - I must ask, is their anyone on this board that doesn’t know Trump has been a womanizer his entire adult life? Do I care? No!!

But, there were at least two incredibly stupid and potentially fatal - at minimum, tremendously damaging to his presidency - personnel decisions Trump made at the outset of his term.

First, Trump needed to fire Comey on day one - while both Republicans and Democrats were furious with him - granted for different reasons - for his handling of the Clinton email case. Trump’s reading of the situation and his window of opportunity to flush Comey the swamp dweller was entirely incorrect.

Second, was Trump’s “good old boy” appointment as payback to Jeff Sessions for backing his candidacy. I know of no appointment more critical to a POTUS than that of AG. One is left to wonder/question just how much thought Trump and his people put into the Session’s appointment. At the time of his appointment Sessions had to know that he might recuse himself from any investigative oversight. Sessions didn’t even get his office seat warm when he effectively handed the Justice Dept over to Rob Rosenstein - a man up to his ass in conflicts of interest in several aspects of the Mueller probe. Rosenstein himself should be the subject of an investigation for obvious corruption within the DOJ and signing a FISA request based on a document known to be unveted.

Sadly, continued media assaults while all but ignoring obvious corruption within the DOJ, actions/statements by some members of Trump’s own party, coupled with Trump’s political missteps regarding key appointments and his often ignorant tweets/shot-from-the-hip public statements - all have served to weaken his presidency.

Most of Trump’s goals/policies are spot on - with all of the above and loss of the House, his ability to deliver at home and abroad (China/NK) has been diminished, IMHO.

No doubt, the next 2 years will consist of a very bumpy ride. Trump needs more than his base to win reelection. Will the voters stay with him or will too many grow weary of the turmoil. I hope they stay with him - understanding that slaying the dragons in the DC swamp is a messy process.


#23

Don’t altogether disagree, Doc. President Trump’s “political ineptitude” is easily explained and understood. HE’S NOT A POLITICIAN, and never has been.

President Trump is nothing if not loyal to those he believes to be loyal to him. When that loyalty is shown to be bogus, he’s pretty good at getting rid of the disloyal…and quickly. Sessions should NEVER have been appointed to the AG’s office. He was obviously incompetent for such a job…BUT he was a loyal supporter of the Trump campaign from the get-go, so perhaps I understand it.


#24

Trump’s “political ineptitude” regarding appointments is easily explained and understandable - I agree. He’s not a politician. However, his lack of judgement - ESPECIALLY the Sessions appointment - has been no less costly to him, his administration and the nation as a whole. Without Session’s disastrous appointment the resultant political train wreck of the Mueller appointment/investigation would never have gotten off the ground. IMHO - severe harm to his presidency has resulted.


#25

Yes, the Sessions appointment was Trump’s worst move. We a got a weak attorney general and lost a safe Senate seat in Alabama. Sessions’ recusement was a big mistake in view of the fact that Rob Rosenstein should have also recused himself since he far more guilty of wrongdoing than anything Sessions could have done. Trump should have fired Rosenstein at the same time he let Sessions go.


#26

Well, he does have the A-team on the China negotiations:

The man behind Trump’s trade war once negotiated using a paper airplane

The trade talks on steel imports were dragging on, and Robert Lighthizer didn’t care for the Japanese offer. So he folded it into a paper airplane and launched it across his desk at Japan’s lead negotiator… The 1985 deal capped weeks of negotiations in which Lighthizer, then the deputy U.S. Trade Representative, shocked his Japanese counterparts with rough-hewn jokes and wore them out with his disdain for their proposals, former colleagues recalled. During one Japanese presentation, he devoted his attention to playfully disassembling his microphone.

After not listening to the translation of the Japanese presentation, he re-assembled his headphones and said “that’s interesting, so we’re gonna do it my way, right?”. I have the feeling that Trump and Lighthizer are cut from the same cloth.

I’ll take him on my negotiating team before Joe Biden who went to China with his son on AF-2 for some high level trade talks and came home with … nothing. But his son can home with a billion dollar business joint venture.