President Richard Nixon kept an “enemies list”, the purpose of which was to “screw” Nixon’s political enemies, by means of tax audits from the Internal Revenue Service, and by manipulating “grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, etc.” According to then-White House counsel John Dean …
“This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
At one point, there were as many as 576 names on Nixon’s list. Some have jokingly referred to Trump’s own ‘enemies list’. It is no longer a joking matter. While Nixon sought to punish his ‘enemies’ through such things as tax audits, Trump uses no subterfuge, no circuities.
In a 1992 interview with Charlie Rose, Donald Trump said …
“I love getting even when I get screwed by someone … Always get even. When you are in business you need to get even with people who screw you. You need to screw them back 15 times harder. You do it not only to get the person who messed with you but also to show the others who are watching what will happen to them if they mess with you. If someone attacks you, do not hesitate. Go for the jugular.”
When he did a television program called The Apprentice, apparently his buzz line was “You’re fired!” He used that three times yesterday, and unless I miss my guess, he intends to use it a few more times.
First, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was fired from his role as the top Ukraine policy officer on the National Security Council and was escorted from the White House. At the same time, his brother Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman was also fired from his NSC job.
A few hours later, Trump ordered U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordan Sondland, recalled from his post and fired.
Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland’s only ‘crime’ was that they told the truth. Both testified in the impeachment hearings held by the House last fall … an act Trump claims was ‘disloyal’ to him. Funny that … I always believed that any government official’s loyalty was to the nation and to We the People, not to the person occupying the Oval Office. Yevgeny’s only crime, apparently, was being Alexander’s brother.
The day after the Senate voted to acquit Trump of his crimes, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who never holds press briefings, said …
“… how horribly he was treated, and maybe people should pay for that.”
It seems the Trump purge has begun. Of the twelve people who testified against Trump in the impeachment hearings, only three remain in their positions: David Holmes, a diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine; Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon; and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state. Will their heads roll next?
Others on his ‘enemies list’ no doubt include various members of Congress, starting with Mitt Romney, the only senator with the courage to vote to convict Trump on one of the articles of impeachment, Jerry Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Joe Manchin and others. Since Trump cannot fire a member of Congress, one wonders how he plans to extract his ‘revenge’. Think about this one for a few minutes, folks. The aforementioned Stephanie Grisham stated earlier this week …
“Adam Schiff lied to Congress and the American people with a totally made up statement about the president’s phone call. Will there be no retribution?”
It should be noted that a threat was made on Adam Schiff’s life earlier this year. And then there was this statement by Jeff Buckles, a police department assistant chief in the Alabama town of Geraldine …
“Pelosi just ripped up his speach [sic]. Road Side bomb on her way home and any other Dumbocrats.”
Hyperbole? Probably, but troubling, nonetheless. Remember Cesar Sayoc, who sent pipe bombs through the mail to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other democrats? Remember Jarrod Ramos who shot and killed five employees at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis Maryland in 2018? In the divisive atmosphere in this nation today, and with so many avid Trumpeters determined to keep their hero in office, and with more guns in the hands of civilians than there are people in the entire nation … what could possibly go wrong? Trump has convinced his base, some 40% of adults in the nation, that he is their savior, that he is great and has made their lives somehow better. He riles the masses at his rallies and in his speeches. This is a toxic situation.
One report I read claims a “person in the know” said former national security advisor John Bolton is at or near the top of the list. No doubt there are others, perhaps some in the press, perhaps some who testified but have already left the administration, such as Fiona Hill, the Europe policy chief at the National Security Council, and Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine.
I don’t care if you identify as a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, or none of the above … you must be incensed by this purge! This is not normal and we simply cannot turn a blind eye and allow it to become normal! Never in my life did I imagine that this country would stoop so low, would become, in essence, a tin pot dictatorship, yet for all intents and purposes, that is what we have become. It is a dark day for the United States. Keep your eye on the ball, folks, for this is only the beginning.