President Trump’s mega-trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Rome, Belgium, and Sicily is presenting the American public with a fascinating insight — not into Trump but into Washington, D.C. and the American media.
The Trump at home is beset by the triumvirate of what is now referred to as the Deep State’s daily leaks, a virulently dishonest media and the weak but wildly flailing Democratic Party. These three work in a common direction to undermine the Trump presidency and have been doing so since before inauguration day.
Trump abroad is presidential, courageous, respected and making progress in the impossible quagmire of the Middle East of all places. The Trump at home is under a barrage of embarrassing stories about his corruption or incompetence or collusion from “anonymous” sources.
The two Trumps could hardly be more opposite.
But is Trump really that different on the road, or is there another difference going on here?
The Deep State revelation
One of the early revelations in the Trump administration is that there actually is a vast Deep State apparatus that wields enormous power of the most unaccountable kind.
The Deep State refers to long-time entrenched bureaucrats who oppose Trump and have the power and apparent freedom to seek and send classified material to journalists. Journalists are joined at the hip with the Deep State as the anonymous leaks are what drive a lot of news cycles now.
Many of the leaks are illegal and could and should be investigated and prosecuted. That the FBI seemingly has no interest in doing so suggests that it is probably rife with a type of Deep State also.
Now to be clear, this is not likely to be any sort of broadly coordinated conspiracy.
Like the media, it is made up of hundreds, maybe thousands, of fellow travelers who share a worldview ideology that is distinctly left of the American center. As such, they reactively oppose Republicans and conservatives and are somewhat amoral regarding the means to accomplishing the ends.
So as they come across information that could be damaging to Trump, or are simply sitting on a pile of documents, they share it with journalists who they trust to not “out” them.
The leakers are not heroes. They are cowards and criminals. Cowards for demanding anonymity. Criminals for violating federal law on classified documents.
The Deep State Nuclearized
What’s important to remember about the Deep State is that the Obama administration, spearheaded by Susan Rice, armed them by unmasking an enormous number of Americans caught up in NSA intercepts. These were apparently fishing expeditions for Trump associates who were talking to Russians in order to create as many opportunities as possible to give the appearance of shadiness, without any actual evidence. Of course, it is common for presidential campaigns to communicate with foreign leaders to gather campaign information and prepare for being in office.
Those names and files were then disseminated through several branches of the federal government — nuclearizing the Deep State. The detonations are set off daily, providing regular damage to Trump, but in turn making the media and government radioactive to a large number of Americans.
Is there an investigation of this unmasking and dissemination of state secrets? Not that we are aware of. (See reason listed above for why no serious investigation of the leaks.)
It is entirely possible that this leaking from the Susan Rice unmaskings and the Obama dissemination could go on for a long time. But we also see it continuing after the Trump inauguration, and Rice and Obama were out of office. At least three personal phone calls between Trump and heads of state of other nations have been leaked in hopes of embarrassing the president.
That never happens to other presidents.
The trip’s solid successes
Because Trump’s trip has been largely a success, and better than most any presidents do on their first trip, that doesn’t mean the triumvirate does not try to undermine him back home.
When Trump got to Israel, several good things had already happened:
- In Saudi Arabia, Trump called out the Islamists and spoke the truth in the heart of Islam, speaking of “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.” (Particularly timely as the next day an Islamic extremist in Manchester, England, slaughtered more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.)
- Egypt’s president told Trump publicly: “Let me say that you have a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.” Naturally, Trump agreed with this. But what you have here is a president speaking the truth, acting with strength, but willing to talk.
- In Jerusalem, Trump got the Israelis to make changes that could improve the Palestinian economy and expand the border crossings to improve the climate for finding peace. He met with the heads of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (Of course, the Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel, they want Israel exterminated. It’s literally written in their laws. But he’s getting some movement.)
- Trump kept relentless pressure on Iran, which is obviously the biggest problem in the region, and has been. He vowed to never let them get nuclear weapons. And he and his team may be able to create a new alignment of several Muslim nations and Israel against Iran — which of course Obama put on a path to nuclearization and helped further destabilize the region.
- Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, and did so with the solemnity the occasion required.
At the halfway mark, the trip has been successful when the naysayers said he should just visit Canada on his first trip.
The Triumvirate strikes back
But the triumvirate of Trump opposition will have none of it, and continues its relentless drumbeat of negativism.
The front-page reporting of the successful trip to Israel that followed the successful trip to Saudi Arabia outlined above was predictably jaundiced, and had to rely on the home team of underminers to get the narrative out. Headlines generally fell along the lines of “Accusations dog Trump’s trip” and “Questions follow Trump to Israel.” (These were followed by obligatory reporting of the actual trip.)
The media even went so far as to seek out and highlight any missteps — no matter how minor — and report on the apparent awkwardness between Trump and his wife. Because those are the things Americans care about.
PBS wanted to assure its loyal listeners that Trump’s trip would not overshadow all his problems at home with this story “Trump’s overseas trip doesn’t stop storm brewing at home over Russia.”
And of course, it is all about the Russia investigation, the collusion accusations, and the idea that many or most Washington journalists have that Trump was in bed with the Kremlin to get elected.
But our story from nearly three months ago remains exactly true. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Trump. There is no crime. There is no collusion. Months more of daily hyperventilating stories by the media and now a special counsel, and we still have nothing.
Perhaps it’s because there is nothing and despite all of his personality foibles and Twitter nonsense, Trump can be a very effective President and leader — when it does not go through the media filter.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.