From “Lock Her Up!” to “This has been looked at for so long, ad nauseum” Is Donald Trump Breaking a Major Campaign Promise?
For months leading up to the recent presidential election, our president-designate, Donald J. Trump, barnstormed across America speaking to huge and extremely enthusiastic crowds of supporters, many of whom waited for hours to see him and to join their fellow citizens in a celebration of making America great again. The energy of the crowds, impressive as it was, was dwarfed by the energy of the man himself. At times, especially in the last few weeks leading up to the election, he seemed to have the power of bi-location, sometimes \appearing in 5 different states in one day. Nearly every single of these raucous rallies featured a segment in which Trump would remind the crowd about Hillary’s deletion of 33,000 emails, AFTER the receipt of a Congressional subpoena, mocking her claim that they were about yoga classes and Chelsea’s wedding, and even vowing on October 9, 2016, in the 2nd presidential debate, to appoint a special prosecutor “to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it.”
Then today “Holy reversal, Batman!”
From the New York Post:
President-elect Donald Trump won’t subject Hillary Clinton to a criminal inquiry — instead, he’ll help her heal, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.
“I think when the president-elect who’s also the head of your party … tells you before he’s even inaugurated he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content, to the members,” Kellyanne Conway told the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” who first reported that the president-elect would not pursue his campaign pledge to “lock up” Clinton, his Democratic opponent.
“Look, I think, he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign are not among them,” Conway, who is now on the Trump transition team, said in her interview.
She continued: “I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing.”
It gets worse. Later in the day, after calling the meeting off, then changing his mind, Mr. Trump was interviewed on the record by the New York Times. Tweets from the interview by NY Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggest that Trump may be rethinking his pre-election statements of devotion to the rule of law, and his vow to end the days when the Clintons were allowed to operate above and outside the law. When I say “rethinking,” I mean something like along the lines of Gilda Radner’s “Emily Latella” character, as in “never mind.”
Almost has an “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” feel to it doesn’t it? In terms of the direct impact it will have on you and your family, of course, Obama’s lies in the service of ramming his health care scheme down our throats, were much worse, but in terms of a broken promise…
To add insult to injury, a later tweet from Ms. Haberman quoted Trump as saying that “people could argue that the Clinton Foundation has done good work.” Sure, and people could argue that Kanye West is the most brilliant mind of this century, but that doesn’t mean that people who have two brain cells to rub together have to buy it.
Oh, OK, never mind all that stuff about David Patreaus having his life ruined for doing 2% of what Hillary did. Seriously? Mr. Trump, we aren’t digging the Emily Latella act, that I can tell you.
What are we to make of this apparent and very dramatic 180? I see six possibilities:
(1) Trump wants to put the whole Clinton mess behind us, realizing that our country is completely divided and nearly half the country supported Hillary, if not with a lot of enthusiasm. The argument is that it’s not worth it the time and energy it would take to prosecute (Crooked) Hillary, and it would have a very negative, painful impact on the country. Not only would it antagonize millions of Americans, it would be a major distraction from his economic growth agenda and “make America great again.” “Haven’t we been through enough?” those who make this argument say.
(2) Trump is saying what he feels, wanting to be a nice guy, which has nothing to do with what his Attorney General will think, decide or do about the obvious violations of several federal statutes by Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and their associates. The simple fact is that it’s not up to the president whether to prosecute individuals alleged to be guilty of crimes. So, he could be saying “I don’t want to prosecute Hillary or her Foundation. Now, on the other hand, my Attorney General doesn’t agree and that’s his decision.”
(3) Trump has information about Hillary’s health, and it’s not good. Whether out of simple human decency or concern about the public relations disaster that prosecution of a 70-year old sick woman that you have defeated at the ballot box would be, Trump has decided that it’s a problem he doesn’t need.
(4) Trump is concerned about the similarities, real or apparent, that the media and his other political opponents will claim exist between the Clinton Foundation and his business interests. He has to know that regardless of the truth of these allegations, if his administration prosecutes Hillary, the Democrats will become even more strident in their demands for investigations, prosecution and even impeachment over his supposed “ethical problems” and “conflicts of interest.” Why fuel that fire? he might think.
(5) Trump is yanking the chain of the corrupt Liberal Death Star aka New York Times. (Can we really assume that Ms. Haberman is telling us the truth? For the sake of argument, let’s say yes.) Once he’s in office, he’ll return to his previous view of Hillary’s lawbreaking, along with his strong pronouncements in favor of upholding the law and applying it equally to everyone.
(6) As we noted on the July 3, 2016 edition of The Teri O’Brien Show, Hillary would never be indicted because if she was guilty, so was Barack Obama. We knew at that time that he communicated with her on the private server, and that when he said he didn’t know about it, he was lying, a fact confirmed by the later revelation that he used an alias when writing to her on her private email system. If Hillary is prosecuted, Obama might have to be a witness, or even be prosecuted as well. That seems like a can of worms that a new administration would rather not open.
It’s worth remembering that Congressional investigations of Hillary Clinton’s outlaw email server continue. The FBI has been unclear about whether it is still investigating the Clinton Foundation, but it appears that it is. The dozens of civil lawsuits brought by Judicial Watch and Citizens United continue, and will for the foreseeable future.
What do you think of Trump’s seeming backtrack? Is it time to cue up “The Backstabbers”? Do you have a theory about why he has decided to make this sudden turnaround? Are you disappointed? Please let me know in the comments.
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