Opinion: The abandonment of a president

This is pretty extraordinary, as the startled reaction from Chris Wallace demonstrates.

In an interview aired Sunday morning on Fox, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson draws a sharp distinction between the values of the American people and the American government on one hand, and the values expressed by his boss, President Trump, on the other hand.

WALLACE: Does that make it harder for you to push American values around the world, when some foreign leaders question the president’s values?

TILLERSON: Chris, we express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over, and that message has never changed.

WALLACE: And when the president gets into the kind of controversy he does and the UN committee responds the way it does, it seems to say, they begin to doubt our — whether we’re living those values.

TILLERSON: I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values, or the commitment of the American government, or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and to defending those values.

WALLACE: And the president’s values?

TILLERSON: The president speaks for himself, Chris.

Gary Cohn, the president’s top economics adviser, took a similar course in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this week. After days in which Cohn had been quoted second-hand about how disgusted and appalled he had been by Trump’s behavior, and how close he had come to resigning, he chose to take that sentiment public.

“This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities,” Cohn said, acknowledging the difficulty it has caused for him and others at top levels in the Trump administration. “This is a personal issue for each of us. We are all grappling with it. This takes time to grapple with.”

“As a patriotic American, I am reluctant to leave my post…,” he said. “But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks … As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this Jew to leave his job. I feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by these hate groups. We must all unite together against them.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking to U.S. service personnel in Jordan this week, also made his sentiments clear.

“You’re a great example for our country right now,” Mattis says, beginning at about the 1:30 mark. “It’s got some problems right now, I know it and you know it. It’s got some problems that we don’t have in the military. You just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. Just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it, being friendly to one another. It’s what Americans owe to one another.”

Mattis, Cohn and Tillerson were people of accomplishment and reputation before they joined the Trump administration, and they hope to leave it the same way. They also don’t come out of the political world; they have never run for office and never will, so they have no need to try to placate the Trump base. And if the price of their candor is Trump’s disfavor, they are willing to pay that price.

It really is all falling apart.

Reader Comments 0

2448 comments
OldSmoky
OldSmoky

What we need to do is military draft all folks and teach them manners--I was drafted during the first Korean debacle--you folks are probably too young to remember it.  I was born during the Great Depression and grew up during World War 2--you folks should try it someday and you might have a different attitude--you don't know what you don't know. Keep going and you will find out what you didn't know someday. There are no free lunches. Comments Welcome if you grew up during the Great Depression and WW2 an indication you can speak  English and USA history...

tosatur
tosatur

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Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

DiA, thanks for that wikileaks hacked email summary. I did learn something I had not known before about how that mean ol' DNC "stole" the primaries for Hillary. It's a game-changer.

Podesta called Bernie a "doofus" for opposing the Paris agreement.

UNFORGIVEABLE.


DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Are Devin Nunes and Jason Chaffetz still running interference for the Dumpster?

TBS
TBS

Sheets

gotalife
gotalife

“He’s just like he is on TV,” Hunter reportedly said to the group. “He’s an as s----, but he’s our a ss----.”

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

The right wingers here really do seem to be outdoing themselves with insults, deflections and unfounded accusations of late. Like they are scared and pushed up against a large rock.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@FloydLiberal Knuckle draggers know how to move stones and boulders.  At least back in the cave man days they did.  LOL

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Fan4500 just posted an outright lie on me down below stating that I am against white people.  Let me correct your BS Fan, I am against white supremacist, the KKK and Neo Nazi's.  If you are one of those white people Fan then you are correct, I am against you because as a person of color you would like to kill me.  Stop lying and broad brushing me as being against all white people. I would say it's amazing how one gets labeled as a racist for calling out racist but that's nothing new so I won't pretend to be shocked this time.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@TBS  And, 'ole T(BS) just had to chime in.  'Ya can't quit me!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@TBS  You can't have TBS without the BS.  That he is and always be.  Yep.

gotalife
gotalife

Most folks do not want to leave their homes to stay in shelters They saw the people suffer in New Orleans and decide to suffer at home. No trust in media and governments thanks to trump does not help. A lot don't have the money to leave or have sick family members.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Why didn't the City of Houston call for an evacuation before it was too late?  

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@DownInAlbany  They did that during the last hurricane and it was a mess..accidents everywhere and people stuck on the highways. Some people in Houston are safe in their homes....There isn't a good answer for this storm.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@DownInAlbany 

Evacuating millions of people and getting on the roads is a disaster. I know people will second guess the decision but there are no easy answers. Anyone saying otherwise is sadly mistaken.

gotalife
gotalife

@McGarnagle @DownInAlbany We used staged evacuations. You have to evacuate hospitals and senior homes. You have to learn lessons of Katrina but we never do and repeat things. It is what it is.

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany Houston's over 2 million people, fourth largest in land area in the country.  Last time they evacuated around Galveston it was an absolute mess.  I'm sure that was weighing on their minds.

But, there weren't mandatory evacuations for coastal cities and town.  That is questionable.

I don't know if people would have discipline to do a phased evacuation.  Authorities have to come up with something.  This will happen again.

At least now they'll convert southbound freeways to northbound and vice versa.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

No wonder Trump dropped all of that red meat to his base on Friday.  It's Mueller day today, headlines are dropping.


Felix Sater, Trump Associate, Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

The emails show that, from the earliest months of Mr. Trump’s campaign, some of his associates viewed close ties with Moscow as a political advantage. Those ties are now under investigation by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @DebbieDoRight

Last I checked, political parties are free to nominate whomever they damn well please.

But really, let's do try to put this in some kind of perspective. Remember 1968's primary race? No of course you don't, neither do I really, but the fact is, there was more backroom dealing and wheeling that landed HHH in the nominee's spot than one could even imagine today.

And he lost.

And ya know, somehow Richard Nixon didn't think it worth his time to try to convince HIS VOTERS that the Democrats had been up to something sneaky.

Because HE FREAKING WON THE FREAKING ELECTION.

Seriously, what is wrong with you guys?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@stefpe @DownInAlbany @DebbieDoRight  I don't think much about Russia and their election-meddling.  Hell, they've been doing it for decades.  You don't seem to have much confidence in our electoral process.

stefpe
stefpe

@DownInAlbany @stefpe @DebbieDoRight They may have been doing it for decades, but I'm pretty sure they've never been this successful before.

They've gotta be laughing their butts off in the Kremlin these days.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @Visual_Cortex @DebbieDoRight

If there's nothing wrong with you, then why on earth do you keep going back to the "Hillary was mean to Bernie!" well over and over again?

I voted for Bernie. I would have preferred him as the nominee. But I'm not crying and moaning that the system was rigged against him--FFS, he succeeded beyond his own wildest dreams, he is a household name today. He's probably the most popular elected official in America!


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@PaulinNH @DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser

But Paul! she received debate questions in advance!

Well one anyway! it was about the water in Flint, Michigan. For a debate being held in Michigan.

With an advantage like that, how could she lose, Paul? HOW COULD SHE LOSE??

FIX! FIX! FIX!

chant after me, come on

FIX! FIX! FIX!

Starik
Starik

@stefpe @Starik @DownInAlbany @DebbieDoRight  Russia would prefer an unfettered President Trump who would cooperate with Russia militarily and lift sanctions. Were it not for the Russia scandals they might have gotten their wish. 

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Yes. And that sure is equivalent to a foreign country messing with our elective process, as well as being soooooooo pertinent to this conversation!!!!!!!!!!

(eyes:rolling)

It's the Economy Stupid
It's the Economy Stupid

@DownInAlbany Have you even read the link to the BBC article you provided? 


These are supposedly the 18 worst "revelations" from thousands of stolen (in many cases personal) emails -- most of them not even involving Clinton. And there's not a bonafied scandal among them: Not a single misuse of public funds or anything even remotely illegal. Mostly all about sausage being made -- in fact, one of the supposed "revelations" literally is that Hillary wrote: "Politics is like sausage being made." Well whooped-tee-do. Is the scandal that she used a cliche?


Newsflash to you down in Albany: Clinton isn't your presiddent. Donald Trump is. And since he's been in office, he's been documented to lie to YOU and every other American at least 650 times, and he's presiding over literally -dozens of well-documented Trump admin conflicts of interest that are far more serious than any supposed "revelation" from these nothing-burger emails.


This guy is bad for America, buddy. Any idiot can see that. You need to decide: Do you love your country more than you love picking partisan arguments? Because you sure aren't acting like it.