Two weeks with Donald Trump: At home and on tour

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"Don't touch my hand!" The Pope and The Donald (Image screenshot YouTube)

Jim McArdle looks back at a fun-filled two weeks with the Trump Family Travelling Clown Troupe.

Even by His Presidency’s lofty standards the last two weeks have been [ahem] eventful. Honest to God, it’s just so hard to keep up. 

Suddenly, the sacking of FBI Director James Comey and the TrumpTowergate Tapes are sooo last fortnight (although most of us are still hoping there are tapes). For me, last week’s doozey were reports in the Washington Post, unconfirmed in the first instance, flatly denied (kind of) by National Security Adviser Lt General H.R. McMaster and then confirmed by a tweet from the man himself that the President of the United States (POTUS) may have put the security of nations and individuals at risk by sharing secret information obtained from a staunch ally. Try and summarise his statement in 100 words. Go on, I dare you.

But  for sheer asininity, this line in defense of the POTUS beats all:

“The President wasn’t even aware of where this information came from!”


Quite apart from resurrecting and bringing glasnost to a whole new level, sharing any secret information from an ally with your century-long enemy is neither a good look nor a good idea. I mean, The Manchurian Candidate is nothing compared to the thought that the POTUS is sharing juicy secrets with his new BFF on the QT.

It all started when the Washington Post published an unconfirmed report that at a meeting with the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign secretary, the POTUS:

'... appeared to be boasting of the “great intel” he receives when he described a looming terror threat, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.'

Over the next 48 hours, events followed their usual pattern – the only established routine in a whirlwind  of chaos – POTUS  tweets or "FAKE NEWS" publishes a report from anonymous sources. A White House clarification or denial follows. Then comes confirmation of the original tweet or counter-attack by the POTUS which leaves his surrogates hanging in the breeze.

I’m currently awaiting the tweet to the effect that he’s nominating Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer or (less likely) Kellyanne Conway for FBI Director as there is growing speculation  that further White House staff movement may be imminent. And all because of "FAKE NEWS", America’s real enemy and therefore His Presidency’s enemy.

Morning Joe and Mika Brezinski of CNN "FAKE NEWS" opened up about what Kellyanne Conway said to them off-camera about being a mouthpiece for the POTUS — that she doesn’t actually mean what she says, which frankly is a relief. Remember this Kellyanne, fetching in her new tin foil hat? I love that throwaway line at the end:

“There are many ways  to surveil ... phones, television sets, microwaves that turn into cameras."

Elegant toss of the blonde locks.

“It’s just a fact of modern life.”

No, fact is, we’re now told,  that she’s only in it for the money — to pay for the European vacation and that she needs to take a shower after being briefed by and staunchly defending the POTUS. Frankly, given her Stalinist toeing of the line so far, that sounds a little far-fetched, although this compilation from last year’s election campaign – no, not that one – the earlier one when she worked for Republican candidate Ted Cruz against Trump, might change your mind:

My  favourites:

  • “it just shows the dangers of just saying things that aren’t true and getting 20,000 people to a rally to just lap it up as if it were true.”
  • “People are gonna think thrice when they go into that ballot box."
  • "I’ve tried to send a message through Donald Trump to the establishment, but now, I gotta get serious about sending someone to the White House.”

So we have a close confidant of the President – a man who is a devout and practising narcissist, noted for his insistence on blind loyalty, with an obsession about the leaks emanating from a waterlogged White House and a FAKE NEWS psychosis to boot – and she is openly stating to "FAKE NEWS" reporters, presumably under condition of anonymity, that she is actually revolted by him.

But first I have to take a shower because it feels so dirty to be saying what I’m saying.”

Wouldn’t you like to listen to the tape, if such a thing exists, of their next briefing?

It also looks like time’s running out for Sean Spicer. On his way to becoming a trivia question like Baghdad Bob. Remember him? Saddam’s propaganda minister, announcing glorious victory in the jihad against the Empire of Evil, while behind him U.S tanks rumbled into the capital in cruise control mode.

But hey, if you want to stay funny, stay fresh.

At some point during this latest debacle, Sean put the “Do not disturb” sign on his office door. Step up to the podium Ms Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary. She has the manner and delivery of the enthusiastic third grade teacher before the kids get to her nand after she’s forgotten most of the four syllable words she used to know. Like a good third grade teacher, she excels at explaining difficult concepts, such as  the POTUS’ backflip on former FBI Director James Comey, who did such a great job last year on Hillary’s e-mails. Who knew for example, that there is a difference between being a C-A-N-D-I-D-A-T-E for President and actually being president?

As she put it so succinctly, there’s a “very clear distinction between these two things.”

Right! Got it!

She also took time out to do her own number on Atrocity Jim, as he’s now known around the Beltway. In Weberian Washington, the most atrocious crime is “circumventing the chain of command”, so obviously he had it coming.

An auspicious start. Saturday Night Live should have a ball.

And then he went on holiday.


Things got off to an auspicious start for the presidential couple on May 24.

Radiant as honeymooners, they briefly held hands as His Presidency stepped on foreign soil for the first time, in that bastion of Arab democracy, Saudi Arabia.

He received a truly presidential welcome as this clip from FOX indicates.

The commentary bears listening to, especially after about  two minutes and, bizarrely, just before the 'Stars and Stripes'. Big on mutual respect. Keep a vomit bag handy. Especially if you remember him blaming the Saudis for 9/11.

The POTUS then addressed an audience, which included both assemblies of the Saudi State legislature, elected by universal suffrage. He made a passionate plea for the Arab nations to drive out the terrorists in order to bring peace to the region, before promptly signing a $110 billion arms deal. At the civic reception that followed, Melania was certainly among the three most beautiful woman in the room. 

But then again....

As  to whether His Presidency bowed on receiving a worthless little bauble hardly worth declaring on the tax return, you can make up your own mind on both counts. For mine, no, he didn’t bow. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was more of a curtsy.

Best to pass over the sword dance, through the inexplicable skirl of bagpipes playing 'There was a Soldier, a Scottish Soldier'.

Next stop Tel Aviv and still openly displaying affection — and then on to the Holocaust Memorial, a solemn occasion to silently reflect, respectfully commemorate and to leave an appropriate thought.

President Trump managed this:

Look, all I have to say is this. I’m not bothered by the language of his message — the self refential absurdity of it. Honestly I’m not.


Probably did the same when he left his message at the Wall.

It’s the Wailing Wall Your Presidency, there’s no need to SHOUT.

Then of course there was half an hour set aside for answering the "Middle East question", as he insisted on calling it. (A well-argued Ron Paul clip with the sly title of 'Trump In Saudi Arabia - Peace in our Time?' reminds me that Americans can do irony.)

Let the POTUS sum up his papal visit in a tweet:

That $110 billion cheque in your wallet should go a long way towards achieving that, Your Presidency.

If all this sounds a bit breathless it’s just because I’m just trying to keep up. He just met with European leaders at NATO, where he looks to be as popular as ever.

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President Donald Trump's push to get in front of the pack at the NATO summit in Belgium is getting attention.

— The Associated Press (@AP) May 25, 2017

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