I am not an investigative reporter. I have no sources "on the ground" and have no insider knowledge. I am just a guy with opinions and the basic knowledge of how to put together a blog. I depend on the mainstream media outlets for my news reports and the one thing I know is that in this atmosphere of "fake news" I tend to think that if a story is reported by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and The New York Times and the Washington Post, it's probably accurate. The last thing a reporter wants these days is to be wrong on a story.
Two stories in the past twenty-four hours have caught my eye and I wonder exactly what kind of world we are living in and what are we teaching our children. The first story involves Kellyanne Conway and her violation of something called The Hatch Act. The Hatch Act was enacted in 1939 and basically states that, with the exception of the President and Vice-President, federal employees in the executive branch cannot participate in partisan campaign activities. Then I see the two interviews, one with CNN and the other with The Trump News Network and she is clearly and unabashedly campaigning for Roy Moore and against Doug Jones in last year's special election for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.
Now I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I wonder, however, how Ms. Conway or her attorney or the White House counsel for that matter, explains her utter disregard for the laws of this great country.
The other story I noticed was about a company in Indiana that had been engaged by The Trump organization to manufacture tee markers for Trump International golf courses in the likeness of the Presidential seal. From my limited knowledge, this practice is a clear violation of the law as the Presidential seal cannot be used for commercial gain. Read the story HERE.
The President and by extension the members of his cabinet and the employees in his administration seem to have an utter disregard and in many cases a disdain for the laws and ethical norms under which public servants have operated for generations. I can't help but wonder when and if any of these "criminals" might be held to account. The cloud over the Trump administration is clearly the Russia scandal and whether or not anything is ever resolved it will always be a stain on this Presidency. However, what may eventually bring down this administration will probably be something seemingly innocuous like the Presidential tee markers. Remember, the government eventually brought down Al Capone on income tax evasion.
On Tuesday, Hope Hicks, the White House communications director testified before Congress for nine hours. During that testimony, she admitted to lying in order to protect the President. She admitted to telling what she called "white lies" to protect Donald Trump. Let's take a beat and think about that for a moment. The White House communications director admitted, under oath, to lying. Shocking? Not really. Not in this White House, in this administration. This administration tells so many lies, it is getting hard to keep them straight.
Mark Twain famously said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." Clearly, Trump and his loyalists did not get the memo. On Wednesday, just one day after her date with Congress, we learn that Ms. Hicks has decided to resign her post as White House communications director but her supporters insist that her decision has absolutely nothing to do with her testimony before Congress. I will let you decide if that is true.
The pressure inside the White House is growing day by day, not necessarily because of external forces. Yes, the Russia investigation is still progressing but I do not believe that is what is causing the pressure. It comes from the top. The President lies so much, his staff must in turn lie to cover his ass. People who have worked in government or anyone who has a shred of decency know that above all else, in order to maintain the public trust and retain a modicum of integrity, you have to be truthful. When they are forced into a situation where they have to choose between loyalty to a feckless demagogue or the truth, the pressure mounts. That is why this administration has had a record number of firings, resignations and defections. And as the lies continue, you will see more and more until the cheese stands alone.