"I would give myself an A+" Donald Trump, on his first 100 days in office.
Americans increasingly agree on one thing: Every day that Trump stays in office, he diminishes the United States and its people.
In Trump Must Go, TV and radio host Bill Press offers 100 reasons why Trump needs to be removed from office, whether by impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or the ballot box.
Beginning with the man himself and moving through Trump’s executive action damage, Press covers Trump's debasement of the United States political system and degrading of the American presidency. Ranging from banning federal employees’ use of the phrase “climate change,” to putting down Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole” countries, we have to wonder what he’ll do next. He has a bromance with Putin that enables several meetings between Trump staffers and Russian officials, and he has a wrecking crew administration: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Housing Secretary Ben Carson, to name a few. Extensive “executive time” marks Trump’s calendar so he can golf, watch TV, and eat fast food. Trump has done it all…badly.
But, in a political climate where the world has learned to expect the unexpected, Press offers readers a twist: one reason not to ditch Donald Trump.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
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TRUMP'S UNFIT FOR THE JOB
In judging any president, it's his policies that count the most. And that's the way it should be. When all is said and done, what has the president done to make America an even greater and stronger country and to improve the everyday lives of average Americans? What has he done to address new problems, take advantage of new opportunities, and lead the nation in responding to unforeseen crises?
That's the measure by which we weigh the presidencies of every national leader from George Washington to Barack Obama. But there's something different about Donald Trump, something you must deal with first before you get to his policies and programs, good or bad.
Before you consider Donald Trump the president, you have to deal with Donald Trump the person. Because his bizarre personality "trumps" all. We have never had a more loathsome, disreputable, obnoxious person in the Oval Office, nor anyone so manifestly unfit for the job of president.
Conservative voices agree.
After a phone conversation about immigration, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, a friend of Trump's, allegedly exclaimed, "What a fucking idiot."
Eliot Cohen, counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, summed up Trump's presidency: "This fundamentally boils down to character, and his character is rotten. He's a narcissist who happens to have taken control of the Republican party."
In response to a presidential tweet attacking him, Republican senator Bob Corker famously observed, "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."
National security experts agree.
In August 2016, fifty national security and foreign policy experts who had served in Republican administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush issued a public letter opposing the candidacy of Donald Trump. "We know the personal qualities required of a President of the United States," they wrote. "Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a very dangerous President and would put at risk our country's national security and well-being ... None of us will vote for Donald Trump."
Even members of his cabinet agree.
Following a Pentagon meeting on nuclear weapons, where Trump proposed increasing our nuclear arsenal tenfold, then secretary of state Rex Tillerson called him "a fucking moron."
According to BuzzFeed, at a private dinner party in July 2017, national security advisor H. R. McMaster reportedly unloaded about Trump, referring to him as an "idiot," a "dope," and a man with the intelligence of a "kindergartner."
And the American people agree.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in January 2018, at the end of his first year in office, Americans said 69–28 percent that Donald Trump was not levelheaded, and a stunning 57–40 percent agreed he was not fit to serve as president.
In that same poll, 69 percent of voters described his first year in office as a "disaster," followed by 62 percent who say "chaotic." Asked to grade his performance in office, 39 percent gave Trump an F, while 17 percent gave him a D.
"It is on a supposition that our American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this Government are founded," Patrick Henry, of "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" fame, warned us in 1788 during the debates over the Constitution. "But its defective, and imperfect construction, puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men."
My fellow Americans, we have ourselves a bad man.
There are many aspects of Donald Trump's personality that are offensive, starting with what's arguably his core defect: He is psychologically incapable of telling the truth.
1. HE'S A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR
If there's one trait that defines Donald Trump more than any other, it's that he's an inveterate, pathological liar. He lies about what he's said. He lies about what he's done. He lied about the weather at his inauguration. He probably lies about what he's had for breakfast.
Usually, these are not little lies or slight exaggerations that have an element of truth in them and could be taken either way. No, these are big, bold lies that are often manifestly ridiculous and easily disprovable.
To take one of innumerable examples: After his first State of the Union speech on January 30, 2018, Trump issued several tweets claiming that he'd pulled in the biggest TV audience ever to watch a presidential State of the Union, including this one on Thursday morning, February 1:
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history.
Except it wasn't. According to Nielsen, which has been tracking State of the Union viewers, there have been four TV audiences since 1994 bigger than Trump's. The largest were actually for George W. Bush: 51.8 million in 2002, and a whopping 62 million in 2003, after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama also outdrew Trump, scoring 48 million viewers in 2010, his first State of the Union.
Ironically, Donald Trump's State of the Union audience was also beaten by — Donald Trump! His first address to a joint session of Congress, on February 28, 2017, was watched by 47.7 million. But that's Trump for you. He lies instinctively, without purpose or thought. Whatever demonstrable falsehood bubbles up to the surface of his brain is always, for him, the right thing to say at that moment. And if he said it, then it must be true.
Of course, it's no surprise that Trump ended his first year with a big lie about the size of his TV audience. He began his first year with a big lie about the size of his inaugural crowd — "the audience was the biggest ever." He soon followed by claiming:
That rain clouds disappeared and the sun broke out once he began his inaugural address
That he had the largest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan
That (as he claimed after the election) he also won the popular vote; because
Millions of people voted for Hillary Clinton illegally.
Lies, lies, lies.
He can't help himself. Like the scorpion crossing the river, it is his nature. At a March 2018 fund-raiser, in what alcoholics sometimes refer to as a moment of clarity, Trump confessed he was basically bullshitting his way through a recent meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. When Trudeau said the United States has a trade surplus with Canada, Trump insisted the opposite. "I didn't even know," he later admitted. "I had no idea. I just said, 'You're wrong.'" As if getting away with an outright presidential lie were a sign of leadership. Another surprising moment of honesty occurred in June 2018, just after Trump's summit with North Korea. When asked what would happen if the deal had gone wrong in six months, Trump confessed: "I don't know that I'll ever admit that, but I'll find some kind of an excuse."
Charting new grounds for White House reporting, both The New York Times and The Washington Post kept a running total of Trump's lies. In fact, for the first time, both papers shunned the normal euphemisms like exaggerations, embellishments, or misstatements, and called Donald Trump's untruths exactly what they were: knowingly, deliberately, not telling the truth. As BuzzFeed reminded its readers: "A lie isn't just a false statement. It's a false statement whose speaker knows it's false."
Even on the front page, The Times and The Post called the president's statements lies. They accused Donald Trump of lying to the American people over and over again.
According to The Post's official Trump Fact Checker, Trump told a total of 2,140 lies in his first 365 days in office, or an average of 5.8 lies a day — several of them repeated many times. In one two-week period in June 2018, he told 71 outright lies. The week after that, he went for 103. And remember, those are just the lies we know about. God knows how many lies a day he privately tells to his staff, his friends, or his wife.
His supporters occasionally try to defend him by arguing that all presidents lie, that Trump's no different. Which is simply not true. Sure, all presidents, for whatever reason, may occasionally not tell the truth or not tell the whole truth. The difference is, they usually know when they're fudging. Donald Trump doesn't know and doesn't care. Facts simply don't matter to him. He lives in his own fact-free universe. He doesn't bother to find out what the truth is. He believes that the truth is whatever he says it is. Yes, he actually believes that shit.
Not only that. When they realized, or were caught not telling the truth, other presidents stopped doing it. Obama didn't continue claiming you could keep your existing health insurance under Obamacare. George W. Bush softened his claims about Saddam Hussein's nuclear arsenal. Not Donald Trump. He has not once backed down from a lie or apologized. He just doubles down and attacks anybody who challenges his "truthiness."
It would be foolhardy here to list all the known Donald Trump lies. After he's gone, maybe somebody will publish The Collected Lies of Donald Trump in twelve volumes! But to make the point, here are some of his greatest hits: twelve whoppers great and small, about every subject imaginable, that stand out from 2017 and 2018.
1. On Time magazine, he still claims, "I have been on their cover fourteen or fifteen times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine."
Fact: Trump was on the cover eleven times. Richard Nixon — fifty-five times.
2. On Florida 2016, "The Cuban Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote."
Fact: He actually received 54 percent of the Cuban American vote.
3. On health care, some sixty times he claimed that Obamacare is "dying" or "essentially dead."
Fact: Despite all of Trump's attempts to gut it, Obamacare is still very much alive for now, covering over twenty-two million people.
4. On tax cuts, at least forty times, he bragged about delivering the biggest tax cut in history, and he fifty times claimed the United States pays the highest corporate taxes or is one of the highest-taxed nations.
Fact: According to Trump's own Treasury Department, the GOP tax cut of 2017 is only the eighth largest, and corporations, in fact, after deductions and benefits, pay a far lower rate than many other countries.
5. More on tax cuts: "No, I don't benefit. I don't benefit. In fact, very, very strongly, as you see, I think there's very little benefit for people of wealth."
Fact: Since he won't release his tax returns, we don't know how much Donald Trump actually benefits. But according to Vox, 82.8 percent of the Trump tax cuts go to the top 1 percent.
6. On 2016 results, "We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before, so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan."
Fact: As noted above, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the electoral college.
7. On voter fraud, Trump claimed "thousands" of people were "brought in on buses" from Massachusetts to vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary.
Fact: The New Hampshire secretary of state, the Massachusetts attorney general, and the U.S. Attorney's office from Boston found zero evidence to support Trump's claim. He keeps repeating it anyway.
8. On Obama: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Fact: Even though he repeated this charge several times in March 2017, he has produced zero evidence of a wiretap. The Justice Department told Congress that no wiretap on Trump Tower had been sought or authorized.
9. On gun safety: "When you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, it's Chicago."
Fact: Several other cities, notably New York and Los Angeles, have tougher gun laws. At one time, so did Washington, D.C.
10. On crime: Shortly after taking office, Trump told a group of sheriffs that the murder rate in the United States is the highest it's been in "forty-five to forty-seven years."
Fact: Just the opposite. The murder rate today is roughly half of what it was twenty years ago. According to FBI records, in 1980, the murder rate was 10.2 per 100,000 people — compared to 5.3 per 100,000 in 2016.
11. On the Muslim ban: Donald Trump blamed the huge crowds of protestors that showed up at airports the day after his Muslim ban on computer problems by Delta Airlines. "Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage."
Fact: At least 746 people were detained. And Delta's computer crash happened two days later.
12. On the Mueller investigation: As part of his never-ending efforts to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump often claims, "The story that there was collusion between the Russians and Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election."
Fact: The FBI investigation began months before the election, when Trump aide George Papadopoulos was discovered bragging about his secret meetings with Russians.
We're just getting started. As we will see, there are many more reasons why Trump must go. But this may be the most important of all. Because once you realize that Donald Trump lies with every breath he takes, and once you know you can't believe a word the president of the United States or anybody else at the White House says, then you've already hit a brick wall.
For the basic building block of our political system, and the key to getting anything done, is trust. Nobody can trust Donald Trump, the Liar in Chief.
2. HE'S WOEFULLY IGNORANT
Donald Trump is the smartest man ever to occupy the Oval Office. Just ask him. He'll tell you he's not just smart. He's a genius.
When Michael Wolff, in his book Fire and Fury, quoted anonymous White House sources questioning Trump's mental acuity (and sanity), Trump lashed back. On Twitter, of course.
"Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart," he asserted.
Rule #1: When somebody feels compelled to tell you they are mentally stable and really smart, that's a pretty good sign they're neither.
Trump continued making his case. "I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!"
Naturally, to qualify as a genius, Donald Trump must have a very high IQ — which he will gladly tell you, and often has, is the case. In countless tweets, he includes some version of "my I.Q. is one of the highest." And early in his administration, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called him a "moron," Trump challenged him to a duel. "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."
Genius? Remarkably high IQ? That's not how White House aides, off the record, describe him.
Frustrated with trying to brief Trump on basic facts about the economy, chief economic advisor Gary Cohn described him as "dumb as shit." After threatening to resign over Trump's racist comments on the Charlottesville protests, Cohn finally threw in the towel and resigned his post in March 2018 over a disagreement on tariffs.
In his interviews for Fire and Fury, author Michael Wolff heard several top Trump staffers identify a central difficulty in dealing with their boss: "He didn't read. He didn't really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate."
Indeed, because Donald Trump doesn't read, doesn't listen, and doesn't think, how to brief him on national security issues became one of the first challenges of the Trump White House, especially after he told Fox News during the transition he was going to cancel the presidential daily brief (PDB) used by seven previous presidents because he didn't need it. "I'm like a smart person," he told Chris Wallace.
White House aides soon learned it was impossible to schedule the PDB first thing in the morning, as with George W. Bush and Barack Obama, because Trump didn't like to roll into the office until around 11:00 a.m. When they discovered he wouldn't read an entire intelligence file, they boiled the PDB down to just three issues, one page each, preferably with charts. When he wouldn't even read that, they resorted to a short video or a quick, oral brief, which Trump often skips.
Upon leaving office, President Obama warned it would be a mistake to ignore daily updates from intelligence officials. "If you're not getting their perspective — their detailed perspective — then you are flying blind." On national security, and almost everything else, Donald Trump is flying blind.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Trump Must Go"
Copyright © 2018 Bill Press.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Enough Is Enough
Trump’s Unfit for the Job
1. He’s a Pathological Liar
2. He’s Woefully Ignorant
3. He’s an Overgrown Toddler
4. He’s a Racist
5. He’s Sexist
6. He’s a Sexual Predator
7. He’s Addicted to Twitter and Fox News
8. He’s a Narcissist
9. He Loves to Pick Fights
10. He Even Attacks Military Heroes
11. He’s Still Obsessed With Hillary Clinton
12. He’s Against Everything Obama Was For
13. He’s Lazy
14. He May Have Dementia
15. He May Be Certifiably Mentally Ill
Trump’s Disastrous Acts as President
16. He Imposed a Ban on Muslim Immigrants
17. He Canceled Protected Status for DREAMers
18. He Ended Protected Status for Many Immigrants
19. He Has Unleashed ICE as a Brutal Police Force
20. He Wants to Build a Stupid Wall
21. He’s Packing Courts with Unqualified Judges
22. He’s Bloated the National Debt
23. He’s Made Income Inequality Worse
24. He’s Destroying Health Care
25. He’s After Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
26. He’s Shredding the Social Safety Net
27. He’s Undermined Protections for LGBTQ Americans
28. He Hasn’t Filled Key Job Slots
29. He’s Waging a War on Weed
30. He’s Branded the Media as the Enemy
31. He’s Created a State-Run Media
32. He’s Limiting Access to the Internet
33. He Left Puerto Rico for Dead
34. He’s Ignored the Opioid Crisis
35. He’s Rigging the Census
36. He’s Left Our Infrastructure for Dead
Trump’s War on the Environment
37. He’s Killed Every Pro-Environment Regulation He Can
38. He Withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords
39. He’s Banned the Expression Climate Change
40. He’s Opened the Alaskan Wilderness to Oil Drilling
41. He’s Opened the Entire U.S. Coastline to Drilling
42. He’s Championed New Coal Mining
43. He’s Destroyed National Monuments
Trump Fans the Flames of Racism
44. He Leads the Birther Movement
45. He Attacks Black NFL Players
46. He Attacks Other Black Athletes and Celebrities
47. He Stands with Neo-Nazis
48. He Considers Non-White Countries Shitholes
49. He Attacks Native Americans
Trump’s Cabinet of Thieves
50. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
51. Rex Tillerson
52. Mike Pompeo
53. Betsy DeVos and Erik Prince
54. Scott Pruitt
55. Ryan Zinke
56. Tom Price and Alex Azar
57. Ben Carson
58. Rick Perry
59. “Government Sachs”
60. Mick Mulvaney
Trump’s White House Staff
61. Fail to the Chief
62. Sean Spicer
63. Sarah Huckabee Sanders
64. Anthony Scaramucci
65. Steve Bannon
68. Kellyanne Conway
69. Stephen Miller
70. John Bolton
71. The Sexual and Physical Abusers
Trump’s “America First!” Means “America Last”
72. He Shredded the Iran Nuclear Deal
73. North Korea
74. He’s Continued and Expanded America’s Wars
75. He’s Alienated Our Nearest Neighbors
76. He’s Alienated Our Closest European Allies
77. He’s Endangered NATO
78. He Hearts Strongmen
79. Jerusalem and Israel
80. Saudi Arabia
81. He’s Gutted the State Department
Trump’s Russian Connections
82. He’s Putin’s Puppet
83. He’s Revealed State Secrets
84. Papadopoulos and the Russians
85. The Trump Tower Meeting
86. Sessions, Jared, and the Russians
87. Michael Flynn and the Russians
88. Manafort, Gates, and the Russians
89. Carter Page and the Russians
90. The Pee Tape
Trump’s Impeachable Offenses
91. He’s Violated the Emoluments Clause
92. He’s Obstructed Justice
93. Stormy Daniels
94. Michael Cohen and the Art of the Shakedown
95. He and His Allies Have Suppressed the Vote
96. He’s Abused the Pardon Power
97. He’s a Political LoserBigly
98. He Consorts with Terrible People
99. He Doesn’t Have a Dog
100. He’s Already Made This Book Obsolete
Epilogue: And One Reason Trump Must Stay