As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Author Archives: Keith Koffler

Obama Suggests “Institutionalized Oppression” Exists in the United States

Another golden moment from Barack Obama’s speech this week in South Africa

We already know that he went to another country and attacked a sitting president. Even worse, I’ve now discovered, he attacked America, the country of which he used to be president.

It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists in both the United States and South Africa. And it is also a fact that the accumulated disadvantages of years of institutionalized oppression have created yawning disparities in income, and in wealth, and in education, and in health, in personal safety, in access to credit.

He’s right, there is still racism in this country, although a former president making negative statements about the United States overseas is bad form. But racism is no longer nearly as prevalent as it was, and it is not the chief factor keeping African Americans from gaining an equal economic footing with whites.

And we do not have institutionalized oppression in this country. No, we don’t.

Trump Reminds Everyone that There Was a Summit with Russia Too

You would think nothing else happened in Helsinki from most of the reporting other than a single comment by President Trump. But why report on a substantive event when you are given a golden opportunity to bash the president?

Now, I fully believe that Trump’s suggestion that he might accept Russian President Putin’s word over that of our own intelligence agencies was disgraceful, and I’m glad he walked the comments back. But as Trump pointed out in a series of tweets Wednesday morning, there was a very significant meeting in Helsinki between he and Putin which will have significant  ramifications for the world. But nobody seems to care. They’d much rather experience the joy of hating the president.

Has anyone done serious reporting to find out what was actually said in the hours of meetings between the leaders? Maybe something good for the United States, particularly with respect to countering China, which is an even bigger threat, at least in the long term, than Russia.

Obama Attacks Trump From South Africa

Of course, it doesn’t seem that he mentioned President Trump directly, but everyone knew whom he was talking about.

A former president, Barack Obama, assailed the current president in front of an appreciative crowd overseas.

“You have to believe in facts,” he said, to knowing laughter from the crowd. “People just make stuff up.”

Obviously, he’s referring to Trump. Not himself, the one who told us we could keep our doctors and make secret deals with Iran.

But I doubt it matters much to Obama where he is. He’s a citizen of the world, after all.

Trump’s Least Finest Moment

President Trump should not ever suggest that he trusts the conclusions of former KGB agent/current Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies.

It’s not just a mistake. It’s not mainly an opportunity for Democrats to attack him, as some Trump supporters suggest. What’s more, it’s not time to be reciting Barack Obama’s sins, many as they are. And it’s not the time to talk about Trump’s actual policies, which have been rather tough on Russia.

What Trump did by suggesting that Putin might be right and that the Russians may not be guilty of interfering in the election needs to be seen for what it is independently of other issues. It is simply egregious. If Obama did it, conservatives would be all over him.

I understand there are reasons for it. But there is no excuse for it.

The reasons start with Trump’s obsession, which is understandable, with efforts to discredit his election. He fears that admitting to Russian interference is an opening for people to say that his election was not legitimate and that the Russians put him in office and without their help, Hillary Clinton would have won. I get that concern.

But what happened is what happened. Even House Republican acknowledge Russian involvement. This does not mean there was collusion with the Trump campaign. And it does not even mean that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, as opposed to mostly seeking to sow discord and undermine our democracy.

I also understand that Trump is trying to improve relations with Russia, and that he had just sat with Putin for hours during which the Russian president apparently made a passionate case that Russia did not interfere with the election. So to say otherwise would be calling Putin a liar while standing right next to him, something that not only is difficult to do on a personal level but that Trump may fear would damage whatever progress he had just made with Putin.

But Trump could have figured out a way to finesse this. Because there are certain principles that must not be violated. You do not credit a foreign power, particularly while overseas, while diminishing patriotic Americans. Even if some of them are enthusiastic participants in the deep state, it’s still our state.

Trump doesn’t backtrack, doesn’t apologize, and doesn’t give in. It’s part of his strength. But true strength, while tough to bend, is not inflexible. The president should recant what he said and apologize for it.

It won’t help him with his enemies. But it’s the right thing to do, and it will strengthen him by showing he can take responsibility for his errors.

Trump: Brennan is a “Very Bad Person”

In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to be aired Tuesday night, President Trump called former CIA Director John Brennan a “very bad person.” Brennan, a longtime Trump critic and ally of Barack Obama, had characterized Trump’s performance at a press conference with Vladimir Putin as “treasonous,” presumably for suggesting Putin might be right… Continue Reading

Trump Indicates He May Believe Putin Over His Intel Agencies on Russia Hacking

President Trump Monday suggested that he might take Russian President Putin at his word that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election. Trump was asked whether he blieved U.S intelligence agencies or Putin. Trump said: [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me. They said, they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin,… Continue Reading

Putin Suggests Russia Has no Compromising Info on Trump – but Doesn’t Exactly Deny It

Listen closely to Russian President Putin’s answer to a question about whether Russia has any compromising information on President Trump. He suggests it didn’t happen, that it would be logistically difficult, but he does not specifically say the Russians have no dirt on Trump. “When President Trump visited Moscow back then, I didn’t even know… Continue Reading