February 02, 2017

#Trumpdate: The Donald Finds A Diplomat But Loses A Prime Minister

President Trump seems to really hit his stride on Wednesdays. Here’s how the Donald fought the Hump Day lag this week: 

President Trump named former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State. Trump’s pick was cleared for full Senate approval in a 56-43 vote, but not with a Democratic boycott. The vote came after Senate Republicans changed the rules in order to approve Trump’s nominees for health and treasury. Tillerson faced intense scrutiny, not just for his ties to Russia, but because he, too, has never held political office. 

However, you could say Tillerson worked in international affairs. After all, he’s worked tirelessly to get rid of section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank reforms, which requires drilling and mining companies to disclose any payments they make to foreign governments. If Exxon Mobil did in fact bribe foreign leaders as alleged, that counts as “foreign policy” experience, right? 

Democrats might be upset with the choice but Trump was in need of diplomatic advice. Over the weekend, Trump’s conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on receiving refugees became so heated, Trump abruptly hung up on him. POTUS then shamed the deal the US currently has with Australia in a tweet. Earlier this week, however, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration would honor the agreement, whereby the US receives refugees currently in Australia. Spicer said the refugees would be submitted to “extreme vetting.” 

So you could say it was a busy day for President Trump. Perhaps that’s why he totally forgot that Frederick Douglass was dead. Although the abolitionist and American hero has been dead well over a century, Trump told Americans in his speech to kick off Black History Month that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” That usage of the present perfect tense raised a few eyebrows, so a reporter asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer what Trump could have meant. Spicer, indeed, confirmed that neither of them really knew Douglass was dead. Spicer explained Trump’s language by saying,“I think he wants to highlight the contributions that [Douglass] has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he is going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.” This is why we need Black History Month. 

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