For those of you who might not know, Fridays are often used as days when news that some people don’t want getting as much attention is “dumped,” often referred to as the “Friday news dump.” The theory behind it is that on Fridays, people can often be distracted as they end their work week and get ready for the weekend. It’s nothing new, I just thought I’d explain that considering a lot of people I’ve spoken to about this in the past never realized this was a fairly common practice — especially in politics.
However, Donald Trump’s “Friday news dump” this past week was, quite possibly, one of the most cowardly and gutless acts I’ve ever seen.
With much of the nation’s attention and news coverage focused on Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas, bringing with it catastrophic winds and flooding some have predicted could be historic, Trump took advantage of this life-threatening natural disaster, and one of the worst hurricanes to hit the United States in years, to make three major — and very controversial — moves.
1. He pardoned racist former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio: He could have done this any other day, but he didn’t. After facing intense backlash over his comments following the violence that broke out in Charlottesville where he blamed “many sides,” initially refused to call out the KKK or Nazis by name, then proceeded to say there were “fine people” among the white nationalists, Trump did what most people expected him to do, pardoned his good buddy and fellow racist Arpaio. Clearly hoping to minimize the public backlash over pardoning a racist who blatantly defied a court order telling him to stop violating the Constitutional rights of Americans, the White House decided to announce this news just as the hurricane was inching closer to making landfall.
2. Pathological-lying scumbag Sebastian Gorka “resigned”: I put resigned in quotation marks because while the official position is that he “resigned,” sources with inside knowledge of what took place have said that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly revoked his security clearance, making it impossible for Gorka to carry out his duties as deputy assistant to the “president” and counterterrorism adviser. In other words, Kelly got rid of him — and much like the pardon of Arpaio, this news wasn’t announced until very late Friday night just as the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey were being felt in Texas.
While not exactly a huge deal, this was another embarrassment to Trump and his administration that he was clearly trying to avoid getting too much attention. In just a few short months Trump’s had many key officials within his administration “resign,” with most of them really being pushed out/fired — either for incompetence, ethical issues, or some sort of scandal — rather than simply leaving voluntarily.
3. Signed his ban on transgender Americans being able to serve in the military: Even though he announced this policy weeks ago, Trump waited until most of the country’s attention was focused on Hurricane Harvey before signing an order banning transgender Americans from being able to serve in the military. It also bans medical treatment regimens for transgender troops who are currently serving. When asked, the White House refused to say if current transgender troops serving in the military would still be allowed to do so under Trump’s new policy.
Think about what this really means. In 2017, we just had a “president” declare that the United States would now openly discriminate against transgender Americans, banning them from being able to serve and defend their country — something he was too much of a coward to do when he had the opportunity.
That takes an incredible amount of gall, but it’s to be expected from a spineless lowlife like Trump. Someone who never served a day in the military just told the thousands of transgender Americans who are currently defending this country “I don’t think you belong here,” and reiterated that he’s going to deny future transgender Americans the right to do what he never had courage to do himself.
Neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama served in the military, but at least they supported policies that allowed more Americans to do so.
We’ve never seen a “president” who’s been as blatantly disrespectful to the military and those who risk their lives to defend this country as Trump. He’s:
- Belittled POWs.
- Mocked a legitimate war hero in Senator John McCain.
- Attacked Gold Star parents.
- Used veterans groups as a shield to protect him from criticism for skipping a GOP presidential debate.
- Spent months lying about how much money he raised for those veterans groups.
- Repeatedly tried to undermine the credibility of U.S. intelligence agencies, which include the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
- Stood in front of a CIA monument built to honor fallen agents and gave a highly-partisan speech mostly focused on himself.
And now he’s not only banned transgender Americans from being able to serve, but his administration is declining to say if current transgender Americans who are serving and defending this country will still be allowed to do so.
It’s a damn disgrace.
Yet instead of simply facing the backlash he damn sure deserves for such a sickening act of bigotry — on a day where he embraced another bigot by pardoning Arpaio — Trump chose to exploit a massive natural disaster, hoping the threat of a huge hurricane causing catastrophic death and destruction would distract people from one of the most shameful acts any “president” has carried out in modern American history.
I stand by my assertion that Friday was one of the most cowardly days of Trump’s entire “presidency.”
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