Commentary, Trump Administration

The best editorial of the weekend: The president’s utter dereliction of duty

In case you missed it, be sure to check out yesterday’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal (“Trump knew”) which highlights some new and especially perfidious incidents of recent months in which the Trump administration has clearly sacrificed American lives and national well-being in service of domestic electoral objectives.

The first concerns last week’s revelation from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward of Trump’s blatant and shocking admission that he lied to the public about the coronavirus:

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on March 19. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

“I don’t want to create a panic,” explained the man who has been shouting to Americans through a bullhorn about killer Mexican caravans, antifa terrorists and Joe Biden, if he’s elected president, destroying suburbs.

Trump said he kept quiet about the coronavirus’ deadliness because he wanted to portray “confidence and calm.”

But Trump didn’t portray confidence and calm. He encouraged his supporters to buck state authorities and “LIBERATE” themselves from safety precautions. He held close-quartered pep rallies. He played games with supply chains, conspiracy theories and miracle cures. He pushed for schools to reopen, despite knowing the threat to young people. He allowed hundreds of thousands if not millions of small businesses to be shuttered permanently….

Speaking on CNN, Woodward’s Watergate colleague, Carl Bernstein, said, “Thousands and thousands and thousands of people died” because Trump is “putting his own reelection before the safety, health and well-being of the people of the United States. We’ve never had a president who’s done anything like this before.”

And then there’s this excerpt dealing with administration efforts to yet again downplay Russian activities designed to undermine U.S. national security:

As if that weren’t enough, we also learned on Wednesday that Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, allegedly urged a former chief of intelligence, Brian Murphy, to withhold reporting on potential Russian threats to the election because it “made the president look bad.” Murphy says he was told to emphasize potential threats from China and Iran instead.

Murphy also alleges he was told by the department’s second-highest ranked official, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy “appear less severe” and include information on violent “left-wing” groups and antifa, according to his whistleblower complaint, which was released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee.

This is more than mere dishonesty or bad decision-making; it verges on a treasonous betrayal of the national interest.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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