Mental health pros confirm: Trump ‘mentally unfit’

Donald Trump: Mentally unfit.

Three mental health professionals say, without hesitation, America’s questionable president, Donald John Trump, “is mentally unfit” and add that no further exam is needed to prove their point.

Leonard L. Glass, professor at Harvard Medical School, Brandy X. Lee of Yale School of Medicine and Edwin B. Fisher of Global Public Health of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, wrote “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” two years ago and issued a new statement this week reconfirming their findings.

They say:

As mental health professionals, we have felt a duty to address a public health crisis: a mentally unfit person in charge of the world’s most powerful military and its nuclear weapons. We have found ample evidence of his instability and grandiosity in the president’s own words and public statements, most recently confirmed in his referring to “my great and unmatched wisdom,” coupled with yet another threat to “totally destroy and obliterate” a foreign country.

They add:

Mr. Trump’s now familiar affinity for violence is manifest in his verbal threats and his incitement to violence at his rallies. He reacts viscerally and without reflection or consultation, now claiming “treason” and an attempted “coup.” As he confronts the humiliating prospect of impeachment, his psychological deterioration represents a clear and imminent risk.

And they conclude:

Our observations are not “diagnosing” and do not refer to mental illness; rather, they speak to a lack of fitness that can be determined based on sufficient sources outside of a personal examination.

Those who witness the unstable actions of Trump in recent weeks, and his fits of insanity, should agree.

The man is a lunatic who must be removed from office.  He has destroyed the democratic republic of America, turned our nation into a laughingstock around the world, and presides over a disturbing maniacal monarchy that should be alien to all Americans who adhere to a Constitution that is being shredded and ignored.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Trump lies, screams, rants again

Donald Trump. (Jim Mone/AP)

The vile, corrupt, angry, coarse Donald Trump appeared in full, disgusting display Thursday night at a rally in front of his dwindling “core” of supporters in Minneapolis.

In just three minutes, he churned out five major lies as his pitiful defense of his impeachable actions against the Constitution, the nation and its people.

He told his remaining rabid — and clueless — “fans” that Joe Biden “as only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.” That, of course, brought raucous cheers from the racists who dominate his base.

His displays of outright bigotry included attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the first Somali-American in Congress.

Trump also mocked Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress.

“How hell did that ever happen?” he said of her election, adding: “Congresswoman Omar is an America-hating socialist.”

Rep Omar is a frequent target of a bigot like Trump.  Earlier this year, he included her in an attack on four minority Democratic female members of Congress, saying they all should “to back and fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

When Elaine Duke was acting director of homeland security, Trump screamed at for not doing more to “ban refugees from fucking Somalia.”

He ignored that all four of the women are American citizens and three of them were born in the United States.

Trump’s tone at the rally in Minneapolis brought outcries from social media.

“This is the kind hate rally ween in authoritarian and fascist countries,” posted Elad Nehori. “We Jews have seen this before, as have countless other minorities.”

And speaking of “totally broken and crime-infested places,” that description could easily describe Washington, DC, which is ever more so since Trump became this nation’s accidental president and Manhattan, which he is from.

Trump tirades came as more and more facts emerge on his corruption and the criminal actions of his administration.  We’ve learned how he tried to get former Secretary of State Tex Tillerson to “intervene” in Ukrainian prosecution of an ally of his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“The modern day Hitler,” said Mara McEwin  on Twitter.  The red shirts, rec caps are the new brown shirts.  Truly terrifying.”

“The special hate that Trump and the alt-right have for Somalis, above and beyond all other immigrant groups, has always fascinated and disgusted me,” posted Noah Smith.

Erin Maye Quade, a former Minnesota state rep, notes that Trump supporters bombed a mosque in Bloomington, MN, made death threats against a member of the Minnesota Congressional delegation and mailed bombs to Democrats.

“Many elected officials (with Somali constituents) were in attendance tonight,” she adds. “They should be asked about this.”

A lot of people should also be asked why they elected such a vile, despicable degenerate for president.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Trump: ‘I’m above the law. You cannot impeach me’

President Donald Trump (Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump Tuesday declared himself above the law and is refusing to cooperate or even acknowledge the impeachment inquiry by the Congressional House or Representatives.

“To fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances,” White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone claimed in a scathing eight-page letter to top congressional Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not surprise or deterred by Trump’s latest antics.

“The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction,” Pelosi’s response said in a statement. “Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable.”

Trump’s actions come as new polls show growing support for the impeachment inquiry.  A new poll from Washington Post-School says a clear majority of Americans now endorse the decision by House Democrats and close to half of all adults say Congress should move to remove Trump from office.

Legal scholars note that the letter from the White House counsel “lacks substantive legal arguments” and repeats Trump’s “political broadsides” instead of valid claims.  House Democrats say his failure to comply with the legal requests for information bolsters their case for at least one article of impeachment.

Trump’s latest actions come just a week he promised to cooperate with the inquiry.

“I always cooperate,” he said.  “We’ll work together.”

Instead, the White House blocked an appearance Tuesday of Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, to testify on the impeachment inquiry.

The White House has put “a full halt” on any cooperation.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” the president wrote on Twitter Tuesday, “but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away.”

House leaders responded with a subpoena ordering Sondland to appear next week and turn over documents they are seeking.

“The president is obstructing Congress from getting the facts that we need,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is an abuse of power for him to act in this way.”

Text messages provided to Congress last week shows Sondland worked with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on a statement for the president of Ukraine committing to an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden while Trump was holding up $391 million in security aid to the country as leverage.

That effort led to the top American diplomat based in Ukraine to question Trump’s actions.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” William B. Taylor Jr., the diplomat, wrote in early September.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin later told The Wall Street Journal that Sondland confirmed to him that release of the aid was contingent upon Ukraine opening the investigation of Biden.

Robert Luskin, Sondland’s lawyer, said Tuesday that his client, as a State Department employee had to comply with Trump’s demand that he not testify, but added that Sondland was “profoundly disappointed” that he not allowed to appear and promised he would do o “in the future if allowed.”

“We were looking forward to hearing from Ambassador Sondland,” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, top Republican on the Oversight and Reform Committee.

Legal experts say Trump is on thin ice by trying to block what is considered a legal Congressional impeachment inquiry.

“I think the goal of this letter is to further inflame the president’s supporters and attempt to delegitimize the process in the eyes of his supporters,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, tells The Associated Press.  “It does not strike me as an effort to provide sober legal analysis.”

Philadelphia attorney Gregg Nunziata calls the White House letter a “direct assault on the very legitimacy of Congress’ oversight authority.”

“The Founders very deliberately chose to put the impeachment power in a political branch rather the Supreme Court,” Nunziata told The Associated Press. “They wanted this to be a political process and it is.”

University of Louisiana political science professor G. Pearson Cross calls the latter “an accelerant on a smoldering fire.”

“It’s a response that seems to welcome a constitutional crisis rather than defusing one or pointing toward some strategy that would deescalate the situation,” Cross added.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

More GOP Senators question Trump’s actions

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Now there are four: Are more wavering?

Ohio’a Rob Portman Monday became the fourth Republican Senator to admit president Donald Trump’s use of his office to seek help from Ukraine and China to investigate a political appointment is “inappropriate.”

Portman joins Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Susan Collins of Maine to break from the Republican ranks in the Senate and raise questions about Trump’s actions that led to a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump.

“We now have cracks in the wall,” says one GOP senior staff member in the Senate.  “Will it start crumbling?”

While Portman admits Trump’s actions are “not appropriate,” he still claims he does not see them as “impeachable offenses” and feels the House “rushed to impeachment assuming things.”

But Trump is running into increasing questions from his one-solid wall of support from the GOP Senate.  Majority leader Mitch McConnell Monday joined a rare bi-partisan group of Republican and Democratic Senator in rebuking Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troopers from Syria.

“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said in a statement. “And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

McConnell says it is time for Trump to “exercise American leadership” by reconsidering his plans to pull troops back from the Syrian-Turkey border.  Other Republicans in the Senate agree.

“This betrayal of the Kurds will also severely harm our credibility as an ally the world over,” Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) said. “President Trump should rethink this decision immediately.”

Democrats have also condemned the withdrawal plans but the growing Republican opposition shows a new area of concern from Republicans.

“The Trump has made a great administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications,” said Sen. GOP Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“So sad. So dangerous” says usually staunch Trump ally Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Twitter. “President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam.  They are NOT tired of fighting us.”

At least one Republican says criticism of the Syria move wile standing fast with Trump on the Ukraine debacle that has resulted in formal impeachment probes is hypocritical, at best.

“The Ukraine issue is personal, it is a real threat to the president, and a lot of Republicans know they will face his wrath if they defy him,” former congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), a critic of Trump who was ousted in the 2018 midterms, tells The Washington Post. “The issue of our presence in Syria is more obviously a substantive policy issue, where it’s safer to disagree with the president. If Republicans want to be consistent, they should speak out about both.”

“They can speak up, but they can’t so anything,” says former senator Judd Gregg (R-NH).

One thing it has done is bring Republicans and Democrats together in a rare bipartisan rebuke of Trump.

McConnell says 68 Senators voted to rebuke Trump in January when he threatened to withdraw troops from Syria — a majority that overrides a presidential veto.

“The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today,” he says.

A joint statement from Sen. Romney (R-Utah) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn) adds:

Barring a reversal of this decision, the Administration must come before Congress and explain how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests.

With four Republican Senators also now saying Trump’s actions with Ukraine and China in asking for help to discredit former Vice President Joe Biden are “inappropriate” and “out of line,” some wonder if Trump’s hold on the GOP is weakening.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Trump & GOP: Corrupt traitors to America

Donald Trump (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Notice to all who continue to support corrupt president Donald Trump and his immoral, unethical and illegal administration:  Your support shows contempt for America and makes you a traitor to your country.

The Republican Party of Trump abandoned all pretense of conservative values and patriotism when it became followers of the con artist and sexual predator who openly loots the U.S. Treasury to fatten his wallet.

“Trump’s contempt for law, propriety and process is boundless,” writes columnist Charles Blow in The York Times.

“This was the week that made it glaringly clear that the president put his fragile ego, idiotic conspiracy theories and political prospects ahead of American national security interests,” adds Maureen Dowd.

Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, says the Republican Party of Trump is “not the party that my husband and I belonged to.”

“Donald Trump is not a patriot,” says Dana Milbank of The Washington Post. “Again and again, he has harmed the nation’s interests to further his own.”

Milbank adds:

He lies, he chases conspiracy theories, he’s racist, he abuses power, he’s cruel. The common thread — a unified theory of Trump, if you will — is that the man who promised an “America First” agenda is instead pursuing a “Trump First” agenda. This is the Me Presidency.

Max Boot says Trump is attempting a “coup against the checks and balances of the Constitution.”

And those who help him, he adds, are the Republicans who have abandoned America all that it is supposed to represent.

He adds:

The odds are that almost all will betray the country rather than the president. So here is the bitter irony: The “Republican” Party has become a threat to republican governance.

“An already unpopular president certainly cannot be given another term.” writes Jennifer Rubin.  “They might even conclude Republicans who protected him have not earned their ongoing trust.”

She suggests the GOP start paying more attention to new polls.

“Keep an eye on the polling,” she adds. “Republicans surely do, and right now it is telling them that leaving Trump on the ticket makes their political survival difficult, if not impossible.”

As a one-time GOP political operative (during an ill-conceived “sabbatical” to the bark side of politics), I saw the deterioration of the Republican Party from the inside.

One could ask if the party is even worth saving?  More important, however, is whether the nation should be saved.

Jeff Flake, a one-term GOP Senator who left because he could not stand Trump and probably not would not have survived his re-election effort in 2018, says his party must make the tough decision to put the nation above the questionable interests of the party that abandoned its principles.

He writes:

My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. Whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve reelection.

Our country will have more presidents. But principles, well, we get just one crack at those. For those who want to put America first, it is critically important at this moment in the life of our country that we all, here and now, do just that.

Trust me when I say you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

With Trump, putting America first is not an option

In this Aug. 7, 1974 file photo, Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., center, speaks to reporters after meeting with President Richard Nixon at the White House to discuss Nixon’s decision on resigning. Flanked by Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, left and House GOP Leader John Rhodes of Arizona, right, Goldwater said Nixon has made “no decision” on whether to resign. (AP Photo)

On Aug. 7, 1974, three top Republican leaders in Congress paid a solemn visit to President Richard Nixon at the White House, bearing the message that he faced near-certain impeachment due to eroding support in his own party on Capitol Hill. Nixon, who’d been entangled in the Watergate scandal for two years, announced his resignation the next day.

Could a similar drama unfold in later stages of the impeachment process that Democrats have now initiated against President Donald Trump? It’s doubtful. In Nixon’s time, there were conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans. Compromise was not treated with scorn.

In today’s highly polarized Washington, bipartisan agreement is a rarity. And Trump has taken over the Republican Party, accruing personal rather than party loyalty and casting the GOP establishment to an ineffectual sideline.

“In the past in the U.S., party members would dissociate themselves from disgraced leaders in order to preserve the party and their own reputations,” said professor Nick Smith, who teaches ethics and political philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. “But now President Trump seems to have such a personal hold on the party — more like a cult leader than a U.S. president — that the exits are closed as the party transforms into his image.”

The delegation that visited Nixon was headed by Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the GOP’s unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1964. Goldwater, who had a long tenure as a party elder, was joined by Sen. Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, a Republican known for his strong support for civil rights, and Rep. John Rhodes of Arizona — the GOP leaders in their respective chambers.

They told Nixon there were no longer enough Republican votes to spare him from impeachment, given the release two days earlier of a 1972 tape recording contradicting Nixon’s tenacious denial of any role in cover-up of the Watergate break-in.

“He’d been proclaiming his innocence and suddenly they’ve got this evidence showing he’s been lying all this time,” said Thomas Schwartz, a history and political science professor at Vanderbilt University. “We don’t have the equivalent of that now.”

For now, though, Trump has a firewall in the form of Republicans who see more harm in opposing him than supporting him. Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, cited the increased political polarization of recent years as a reason why most Republican officials will stick with Trump “as long as their own status is not in danger.”

“For the president’s partisans in Congress, it’s ‘our guy on his worst day is better than your guy on his best day,’” Jillson said. “They stick with him to get the judicial appointments, the tax cuts.”

That would change if Trump’s troubles become so serious that congressional leaders think it will affect them and their party, Jillson said.

“Everyone among the Republicans in Congress has a beef with the president but they’re afraid of him,” said Jillson. “If he weakens, that fear will subside.”

The Watergate scandal overlapped with late stages of the Vietnam War, which had bedeviled both Nixon and his Democratic predecessor, Lyndon Johnson. In that era, Congress was more powerful in relation to the executive branch than it is now, with more leaders of national stature, several experts suggested.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, suggested that with the death last year of Arizona Sen. John McCain, there’s no Republican currently in Congress who could replicate Goldwater’s 1974 role.

“Who would go and be credible with Donald Trump, so that he would listen?” she asked. “Mitt Romney? Mitch McConnell? Lindsay Graham? Trump will turn on any of them the minute they say something uncongenial.”

A key then-and-now difference, Jamieson said, is that Goldwater represented the same conservative constituency as Nixon and conveyed the message that Nixon was losing its support.

Trump, she said, has a different relationship with his base than Nixon did with his: The base is loyal to Trump personally, rather than to a party establishment.

During Trump’s first two years in office, one of the few Republicans in Congress to tangle regularly with him was Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who decided not to seek reelection in 2018. In a column in The Washington Post on Oct. 1, Flake lambasted his fellow Republicans still in Congress for failure to break with Trump and oppose his reelection.

“At this point, the president’s conduct in office should not surprise us. But truly devastating has been our tolerance of that conduct,” Flake wrote. “From the ordeal of this presidency, perhaps the most horrible — and lasting — effect on our democracy will be that at some point we simply stopped being shocked.”

David Gibbs, a political science professor at the University of Arizona, recalled that Nixon had won reelection by a landslide in 1972, and yet many people who supported him, including Republicans in Congress, were willing to turn against him as evidence of a Watergate conspiracy accumulated.

In contrast, Gibbs now sees the United States as divided 50-50 along the “tribal lines” of Democrats versus Republicans, with Trump’s base remaining loyal no matter what sort of negative picture is painted by his critics.

“The two sides are roughly evenly matched, with neither one able to deliver a knockout blow, and thus there’s political paralysis,” Gibbs said. “The hyper-partisan tribalism makes bipartisan consensus for removing a president virtually impossible.”

Another big change since 1974 is the proliferation of media outlets and the advent of social media, which is used by Trump himself and partisans on all sides to promote their agendas and demonize opponents. Nixon had neither the equivalent of Fox News to support him nor the soapbox of Twitter to accuse his detractors of treason and witch-hunting.

The changing media landscape “has resulted in a political and news environment that moves at light speed compared with the Watergate era,” said David Cohen, a University of Akron political science professor. “The sheer information we are inundated with daily is like drinking out of a fire hose and it is impossible to swallow it all.”

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

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Sanders home recovering from heart attack

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., departs Burlington International Airport after disembarking from a plane in South Burlington, Vt., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Sanders is back home in Vermont after being treated for a heart attack in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is back at his Vermont home after being treated for a heart attack in Las Vegas.

The plane carrying the 78-year-old senator arrived in Vermont just before 6 p.m. Saturday, one day after he was released from a hospital.

As he left the airport he told reporters “I’m feeling great, thank you.”

He was then driven home in a motorcade where he was greeted by family at the front door.

Sanders was attending a campaign event Tuesday when he experienced chest discomfort and was taken to a hospital.

Sanders’ campaign released a statement from his doctors that said two stents were inserted to open up a blocked artery in his heart.

The doctors said the rest of his stay was “uneventful with good expected progress.”

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved