I knew there were no tapes. Most people knew, but we played along. It was a news byte, tension, suspense, intrigue, all the hallmarks of a good television show or film. Wait! Trump is now president, this isn’t either of those. Then why the charade? What may be good marketing in private industry is unconscionable form for the president of the United States. Yes, to Trump honesty and integrity while in the Oval Office seems to simply be hashtags which he refuses to use for even the most simple of responses.
On May 12, 2017 after firing ex-FBI director James Comey, Trump took to his usual personal weapon of choice, fingers pounding out a threat via Twitter, “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
During Comey’s heartfelt testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee, Comey remarked, “I’ve seen the tweet about tapes…Lordy I hope there are tapes.” Trump’s wayward twitter was a threat, at very least, a prognostication at the very most.
It was 42 days after Mr. Trump’s infamous tweet, as he had refused to answer whether or not there are tapes. In his tweet only one day before the congressional deadline to produce any and all such tapes, Mr. Trump announced there are no tapes…that he knows of.
Yes, most of us suspected as such. Comey had called his bluff but the president simply could not allow anyone other than himself to have the last word. But really, why the cloak and dagger? Why the subterfuge and intimidation tactics, but for one fact— the president is “on the ropes”. He is covering up as best he can, pushing through legislation, taking other candidates’ victory laps because he lacks his own. That is why his campaign rallies continue long after they should have dissipated, replaced by the work he needs to do in the White House. But it seems in order for him to subsist he needs his supporters, not the rest of the Americans for whom he is responsible. He needs Twitter and an audience, these are the crutches on which Trump continues to hobble through his presidency.
Trump continues to be under siege by the various investigations which bare his name in some way, shape or form, and at times by members of his own Republican party. The direst threat to his presidency, other than his own petulance, is Robert Mueller with his team of investigators as they continue to turn over rocks and bodies in the Russian investigation, from which the president is not excluded. From all credible accounts, the president is under investigation—collusion? Obstruction of justice? Pick one that works for you.
The White House has fallen behind in their obligation to nominate candidates for almost 415 key administration positions. The president has limited interviews to only his favorite people, he’s even limited televised press briefings (earlier in the week reporters were not allowed live video or audio during the afternoon White House press briefing). In the meantime, Putin locks his hands behind his head, both feet firmly relaxing on his desk overlooking the chaos in which the United States has been left. Sadly, the White House has turned into the Mad House.
No tapes, no transparency, no end in sight.