There are times when Donald Trump and his minions screw up so much that even the highly paid staff of The Shinbone Star has a hard time getting to it all. But this week was particularly screwy, even for the most screwball 70-year-old child ever elected to the Oval Office. And Trump has one “work day” left before he dashes off to Trump Tower. In times like these, it’s handy to keep a file of comments from the bleachers.
Donald Trump takes the nation to the brink of nuclear holocaust with a whackadoodle Twitter tirade on North Korea, fueling debate over who is more insane, Trump or Kim Jong-Un.
- The CBOE Volatility Gauge, the stock market’s measure of sheer terror and instability on Wall Street, soared on news of the North Korean dustup. It hasn’t been this high since Nov. 9. (MarketWatch)
- Some are even guzzling wine because the president’s stance seems too extreme. “To hell with both of you, Kim Jong-Un and @realDonaldTrump,” return-tweeted Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons nonproliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. (Newsweek)
- “President Trump has again undermined American credibility by drawing an absurd red line,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). “North Korea is a real threat, but the President’s unhinged reaction suggests he might consider using American nuclear weapons in response to a nasty comment from a North Korean despot.” (Washington Examiner)
Trump’s foreign policy adviser Sebastian Gorka, formerly Steve Bannon’s hyperbole-prone underling at Breitbart, tells BBC Radio it is “nonsensical” for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to talk about military matters regarding the North Korea standoff.
- “It’s surreal and quite horrifying that someone who’s such an amateur has reached such heights,” said David Ucko, associate professor in the Department of War and Conflict Studies at National Defense University.
- “This is not somebody who should be working anywhere near the White House,” said Michael S. Smith II, a veteran terrorism analyst.
- “He’s nuts,” echoes Cindy Storer, an ex-CIA terrorism analyst. (Rolling Stone)
Trump also bragged this week that he has totally modernized America’s nuclear capability — in just six months — making it “stronger and more powerful than ever before.” Almost everyone else said the country’s nuclear arsenal is continually under review and modernization and a full modernization could take many years. Like, 30. Then it would be outdated again.
- “It’s absurd; this is like — you have to be the biggest hayseed in America to believe this,” said Lewis, the Middlebury Institute nuclear expert. “There’s no point at which this statement touches reality.” (Washington Post)
- “It’s not bigger and stronger . . . some people might call that an outright lie,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Herting.
Trump made light of action by Russia to expel 755 American diplomats, thanking Vladimir Putin for cutting back the State Department payroll. It was Russia’s payback from when the U.S. cut back Russian diplomats for, you know, that little meddling in our elections thing.
- “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard the president say in six months,” said the normally contained retired Adm. John Kirby. “You should never look at diplomacy as a payroll issue.”
- “THANK Putin?” a bewildered State Department official told Politico in unattributed comments. “I don’t have words that are printable to describe my reaction.”
Trump this week nominated conservative talk show host Sam Clovis to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist. Clovis is a champion of the birther movement, called former Attorney General Eric Holder “a racist black,” believes climate change is “nonsense,” said former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “mentally ill,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is “nuts” and “something happened to her brain,” called Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a “nutcase,” and said Washington D.C. elites are Islamofascists.” (CNN) So he’ll play well with other Trumps appointees. Clovis is not a scientist, nor is he a psychiatrist.
- “If President Trump wants to keep Americans safe and healthy, ensure prosperity for farmers and rural communities, and follow the law, this nomination is the wrong choice,” said Ricardo Salvador, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
- “If there is some nominee who is coming before the committee who says crop insurance is unconstitutional, they might as well not show up,” said Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Jeffrey Lord, the nauseating supporter of everything Trump (and Ronald Reagan!) is fired by CNN for tweeting “Sieg Heil” to a liberal activist. “Nazi salutes are indefensible,” the network said. Previous remarks include calling Trump “the Martin Luther King of health care” and “there are no people of color in this country, there are only Americans.” Anderson Cooper last May accused Lord of being so loyal to Trump that Lord would defend it if Trump took a dump on his desk. Cooper later apologized — for saying it, not thinking it.
- “A look back at Lord’s history of vitriolic remarks raises an important question for the network: What took you so long?” said writer Lydia O’Conner. (Huffington Post)
- “Uh…yeah, this ain’t gonna help your career,” tweeted Gary@unneededsequel.
- Lord “looks like he’s on some sort of tranquilizer” when he talks, said Trump pal Bill O’Reilly, himself kicked off FOX for raging sexual harassment.