Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, exposed what may be a significant weakness of the Trump administration, one that is being exploited by the left with great effectiveness. It was an issue raised a week ago in a Lou Dobbs commentary on the fact that we’re in a war and that the left is fighting their aggressive campaign much better than the suspect and often feckless defensive maneuvers of the White House.
In making his case Dobbs noted, “The all too civil, low energy, Trump White House Communications team remains flat-footed and failing.” That evaluation is supported in information that was used as the foundation for Wallace’s question. The official summary quoted Trump as saying, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
In reading those words attributed to the President over that past few days, it seemed as if he was talking to a child, not a leader of another nuclear power. And for him to state he faced pressure because of Russia would be an assertion that there were actions taken by Russia that caused it, in effect an acknowledgment that at least some of the Russia hoax is true. Now we learn those weren’t the grade school level utterings of our President. They were the pathetic product of a linguistically-challenged White House staffer. Mr. Dobbs is right, but it’s worse that we imagined.
The inclusion of frivolous small talk was obviously intended to damage President Trump
Summaries are not transcripts, they are intended to provide the general, over-all gist of what transpired with a focus on the important components. The inclusion of frivolous small talk that was obviously intended to damage the President is not part of what this unnamed and hopefully no longer employed staffer should have been documenting as the substance of the meeting. Maybe to a subversive that was the key element, what might be construed as helpful to the anti-Trump agenda, but it was of no value or merit otherwise and should never have been part of a summary, particularly given the brevity of the comment.
Wallace asked Tillerson, who was in the meeting, if President Trump was “telling the Russians that firing Comey was taking off legal and political pressure.” Tillerson says, “Chris, that’s not my interpretation of the conversation, certainly. I think what the President was trying to convey to the Russians is ‘Look, I’m not going to be distracted by this, all these issues that are here at home, that effect us domestically. I’m not going to let that distract us from our efforts to see if we can engage with you, engage with Russia and identify areas where we might be able to work together.”
Wallace pressed him on it once, Tillerson reiterated his take, they moved on. The point that Dobbs made was on the money. This entire problem was created, not by the words or deeds of President Trump, but by the failure of whoever produced that summary and more critically, whoever approved it for release.
Those individuals exhibited, at a minimum, extremely poor judgment and an inability to grasp what is and what is not relevant. Perhaps their motives were more sinister. Regardless of why this happened, the blame for the fact that it did is easy to assign and their removal should be quick and permanent. The longer this type of misbehavior is tolerated the longer it will continue, the more prevalent it will become and the more destructive its impact on our President and our nation.
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