Trump has been in office for just over two months now. So what’s he been up to? He has tried to ban people from the US based on nationality. He botched a raid in Yemen. He has banned news outlets from the White House. Trump has been named in over 50 federal court cases since he took the oath of office. Now he is under fire for his and his staff’s alleged involvement with Russia. Could this be the end for President Donald J Trump?
So, in a little more detail, what has Trump actually ‘achieved’?
He introduced a racist, xenophobic and controversial travel ban.
He carried out a counter terrorism raid in Yemen, which lead to the death of a navy seal and up to 30 innocents, in an operation previously deemed too dangerous by the Obama Administration.
He has banned news outlets from the White House denying the US people freedom of the press and the transparency of government. On February 24, Trump’s press team barred several news outlets from an off-camera news briefing. The news agencies barred included the Guardian, BBC, CNN, the New York Times and many more. However, conservative news networks favouring Trump were not barred, those included Fox News and the Washington Post. This is censorship – a feature of an authoritarian dictatorship not a functioning democracy.
All this is terrible enough but now a scandal is emerging, one that Trump can’t suppress: his connections with Russia. There is currently an FBI investigation into Trump’s connection with Russia and Russian interference with the US election.
Trump was forced to fire his national security advisor Michael Flynn in January, after he lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about his connections with Russia. Michael Flynn had conversations with the Russian Ambassador about US sanctions before Trump’s Administration took office. He, as a private citizen, was illegally conducting diplomacy with a foreign nation, which is illegal under the Logan Act.
Now Jeff Sessions, Trump’s appointed acting attorney general, has come under fire for allegedly lying about his connections to Russia at his Senate confirmation hearing. It has now been revealed that Sessions had two meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the Trump campaign, in which Sessions endorsed Trump. He has now allegedly committed perjury for lying under oath to Congress, as if all these dodgy connections with Russia weren’t enough. Sessions has now removed himself from the FBI investigation into Russia.
Maybe the most troublesome thing for Trump is Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state and Tillerson’s connections with Russia. The problem is that although Rex Tillerson has resigned from his position as the CEO of ExxonMobil and sold all his shares, he worked there for 40 years. During that time, he had extensive business deals with Russia and with the Russian President Mr Putin. This means Tillerson has a large number of conflicts of interest with current ExxonMobil projects.
In 2013 Tillerson signed a $500 billion deal with Putin. This deal would make ExxonMobil partner with Rosneft, a Russian state-run giant oil corporation, to explore the Arctic and drill for oil. In 2013, Putin presented the Order of Friendship, which is awarded to foreign nationals for strengthening friendship and co-operation, to Tillerson. If that isn’t a conflict of interest, what is? Although the biggest question is why did Trump appoint Tillerson? Did Tillerson and Trump do a deal with Russia together?
With the congressional investigation on going, I’m sure the truth will prevail, similar to the Watergate scandal and President Nixon. If you don’t like Trump’s racist, xenophobic, prejudiced, militarised authoritarian dictatorship, you are probably in luck, as I doubt Trump will make it to the end of the year. He will either be impeached or he will resign because the Russia scandal is a bomb that Trump can’t defuse, and when it goes off the damage will be catastrophic for his administration. Whether he lasts a month or 12 more, he will almost certainly fall as quickly as he rose to the Commander and Chief of the United States.