Guy Farmer: A win, loss for President Trump

No doubt about it, the long-awaited Mueller Report on possible collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia is a clear victory for President Trump. A four-page summary of the report by Attorney General William Barr said Mueller found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s when many Democrats and Trump-haters went berserk on national TV, while CNN and MSNBC went into collective cardiac arrest.

Barr told Congress “the Special Counsel’s (Mueller’s) investigation did NOT find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” On the other hand, Mueller didn’t reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation, which the president repeatedly described as a baseless “witch hunt.”

Partisan reactions to the Mueller Report were predictable. The president and his White House staff took a victory lap, claiming “complete exoneration,” which is false, while congressional Democrats and 2020 presidential candidates demanded never-ending investigations of all things Trump, including his business dealings, his finances and his personal life. Everyone demanded public release of the full report, and I think that would be a good idea with classified material redacted. Trump said he’d welcome public release of the report.

While Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, determined there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, congressional Democrats promised to challenge that decision. House Judicial Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said he would call Barr to testify about his reasons for not filing charges against the president, describing Barr’s decision as “a hasty, partisan interpretation of the facts.” Let the battle begin.

In my opinion, Trump will win a second term in the White House if Democrats decide to spend the next 20 months re-litigating the results of the 2016 presidential election because Trump won that election fair and square. Calls to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College and stack the Supreme Court constitute left-wing craziness, along with calls to open our borders, eliminate border enforcement, impose socialism and enact a “Green New Deal” that would bankrupt our country. Republicans are hoping and praying Democrats run on that radical platform in 2020.

Trump Trashes McCain

While the Mueller Report is a victory for President Trump, his continuing criticism of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a genuine war hero who can’t defend himself, is a black mark on Trump’s legacy. “I never liked him (McCain) much,” Trump said in a TV interview, criticizing the late senator for delivering the so-called Steele Dossier to Congress and for casting the decisive “thumbs down” vote against repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Earlier, Trump said he didn’t like military people who were captured, referring to the five years McCain, a decorated Navy pilot, spent in a North Vietnamese prison camp.

First, we should distinguish between McCain the war hero and McCain the politician. Although I liked the war hero much more than the maverick politician who lost a 2008 run for the presidency, no one should disparage McCain’s war record, especially someone who dodged the draft by suddenly developing “bone spurs in his heels” when his draft board came calling after a series of student deferments. The friendly neighborhood podiatrist who discovered the bone spurs just happened to rent office space from Trump’s protective father, Fred. Draw your own conclusions.

So trying to be fair, I congratulate President Trump on his Mueller Report victory and condemn him for criticizing a dead war hero. His personal attacks against McCain are beneath the dignity of the office he holds.

Guy W. Farmer has been writing for the Appeal since 1996.


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