Here are my observations on the news of the day.
DON’T DO IT, MR. PRESIDENT – On his way out of town to participate in the Davos, Switzerland Economic Forum, President Trump expressed an interest in speaking with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In doing so, however, he indicated that much would be depend on the advice he gets from his attorneys.
Television’s talking heads are all speculating on what that meeting might entail. Would Mueller, himself, personally conduct the interview? Wouldn’t that represent a double standard? Former FBI Director James Comey didn’t personally interview Hillary Clinton. Would the president be permitted to have counsel present as was the case with Clinton?
Would the president be under oath? Why? Clinton wasn’t under oath. Would Mueller’s interview with the president be recorded? The FBI interview with Clinton wasn’t? Would notes be taken by Mueller? We are told that notes were not taken during the Clinton interview.
I fully understand the president’s desire to bring the special counsel investigation to a conclusion, but there’s no guarantee that his interview would precipitate that. I concluded months ago that it was Comey’s slow investigation of Russian collusion that contributed to his firing by the president. Given President Trump’s tendency to be candid, he might say something that could give Mueller cause to delve even deeper. In addition, he should not forget that Mueller’s is a criminal investigation.
I’VE ALWAYS HAD A FEELING that former FBI Director James Comey’s reasoning behind his exoneration of Hillary Clinton, was his belief that indicting a presidential candidate would create a crisis in the nation that we couldn’t handle. Among the viable charges that could have been brought against her was the gross mishandling classified material.
During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee upon reopening the Clinton e-mail investigation just 11 days before the election, he said, “It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election.” I thought perhaps it was that thought of a potential national crisis that made him nauseous.
But, rethinking it, with the knowledge we now have that Comey’s key Clinton e-mail investigator, Peter Strzok, edited and rewrote the Clinton exoneration statement, and exchanged more than 50,000 anti-Trump, pro-Hillary texts with his lover Lisa Page, an FBI attorney, it occurs to me that Comey’s knowledge of this could have made him nauseous, realizing what would happen if that evidence should surface.
Then there’s this – When Comey gave his testimony three months into the Trump presidency, I believe that he and his top staffers, were so nauseous and deranged over the Hillary loss that they became part of the “deep state” group, or possible “secret society” effort to bring Trump down.
If Mueller is the honorable man people close to him repeatedly say he is, I would hope that he would see the integrity and honor of his former agency sinking daily, and bring his investigation to a close.
However, the findings of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ year-long investigation of the FBI, due for release in March, will surely resurface the agency’s dirty tricks aimed at the Trump presidency.
REGARDING IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION – Rumors are already swirling around this issue that is going to be interesting in the weeks ahead. President Trump “trumped” Sen. Charles Schumer’s declaration that he had taken his wall authorization off the table with his retort, no wall, no DACA. The best thing Senator’s Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Lindsay Graham can do now is to back away and allow the serious members of Congress negotiate in seriousness.
The president’s remark regarding consideration of a path to citizenship for the illegal DACA immigrants that would morph over 10 to 12 years is stirring both sides on the issue.
The Republican Party has a real opportunity to do the right thing, with DACA, yes, but also with the visa lottery, chain migration, border security, and dropping the hammer on sanctuary cities and states.
“He (Trump) is giving the Republican Party a last chance not to consign itself to the dustbin of history over the infernal immigration issue,” wrote Daniel Henninger in The Wall Street Journal.
ADD BERLIN to the list of European cities citing problems with immigrants. Sonnenallee, a three-mile long section that cuts through a working-class district, is known as “Arab Street.” More than a million asylum seekers, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, have entered Germany under Angela Merkel’s open-arms policy. Of these, 80,000 have settled in Berlin.
Mohammed al-Almad, a doctor from Syria, who arrived in Germany in 2016, is one of many to complain about the many teenagers who entered the country alone, and are jobless and adrift, with no experience of cultural diversity.
Most Germans believe the country has reached its limit in accepting asylum seekers, and while the inflow has slowed, almost 180,000 arrived last year.
AND HERE IN THE U.S., the Trump administration has severely cut the number of refugees allowed, stopping a pace to reach the Obama administration’s goal of admitting 110,000 refugees. The U.S. admitted 84,995 refugees in the fiscal year ending in September 2016, with an additional 31,143 refugees admitted through January 24, 2017. Many Americans would be surprised that the Democratic Republic of Congo accounted for 16,370 refugees, followed by Syria with 12,587 led the 2016 numbers. We took in 135,6743 refugees from Iraq over the past decade.
Where are they living? California, Texas and New York resettled nearly a quarter of all refugees in 2016.