Our previous blog post contended that Trump’s assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani was decided without any imminent threat. Yesterday Trump gave a short speech about the Iran situation and, aside from the fact that the speech was a soulless, monotonous, rambling, snorting mess of mispronounced words and factual lies, Trump gave no new detail nor evidence to support his claim of an imminent threat. Trump’s detachment was in fact so disturbing that many on social media were speculating that he might be medicated.
Later in the day members of the Senate were given their first classified briefing by the White House on the Suleimani hit, and the briefing was such a disaster that Republican Mike Lee of Utah complained angrily to a reporter afterwards that it was the worst briefing he’s seen in his nine years in Congress, and that it was an insult to the Senators in attendance. Other Senators echoed Lee’s sentiments, adding that the White House was unable to substantiate that the assassination was tied to any imminent threat and instead gave the impression that it was done simply in retaliation for recent aggression by Iran. In other words, the assassination was probably not legal, and was yet another example of Trump pretending to be tough and taking impulsive action without considering the consequences.
Several of Trump’s high-profile cult of supporters must have sensed the public relations disaster unfolding and tried limit the damage by going on offense. Republican Rep Doug Collins from Georgia said on Fox Cable that Democrats are “in love with terrorists, we see that they mourn Suleimani more than they mourn our gold star families,” which had observers like Preet Bharara calling Collins statement “an abomination…pathetic.” In response to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who were moving to rein in Trump by amending the War Powers Act, Lindsey Graham said they were “emboldening the enemy,” to which Rand Paul–of all people–replied of Graham: “He insults the Constitution.” Trump’s reckless actions are now finally dividing some in his own party, which is a small but positive sign.
On the local front, another Republican challenger to Rep Antonio Delgado formally announced this week. She filed last Fall but was apparently in the exploratory phase until now. Her name is Ola Hawatmeh, a 42-year old fashion designer and CEO from Poughkeepsie. She’s a big Trump supporter, calling him “one of the best presidents” while criticizing Delgado for supporting impeachment. She’s a cancer survivor and claims to want people with pre-existing conditions to have and keep their insurance, so it will be interesting to hear why she supports a president who has worked so hard to take coverage away from so many people.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”