TrumpWatch, Day 348: Trump’s Tweets — War with North Korea, Imprisoning Comey, A “Dishonest Media” Contest

Is Donald Trump off his head?


Developments on Day 348 of the Trump Administration:

Trump Compares Manhood with Kim Jong-Un

In a tweetstorm, Donald Trump threatens nuclear war, calls for the imprisonment of a former FBI Director, demands the remaking of US policy on Israel and Palestine, and announces that he is running a “Fake News Media” contest.

Returning from Florida to Washington, supposedly to start work after a week of golfing at his Florida resort, Trump instead began Tuesday by turning on TV and firing a series of Twitter blasts. He continued throughout the day, ending last night with a pat on the back, courtesy of Fox News: “President Trump has something now he didn’t have a year ago, that is a set of accomplishments that nobody can deny.”

The statement that is receiving the most attention is Trump’s renewed threat of nuclear war if he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un desires one. Responding to Kim’s propaganda that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk, Trump responded — seven minutes after a Fox News item on Pyongyang’s statement:

The message, complete with a comparison of masculine prowess, took over an earlier Trump tweet responding to news of North Korea’s reopening of a border hotline with South Korea:

Attacking Comey and Abedin

But North Korea was only one front for Trump’s battles yesterday. He also continued his diversionary campaign from the Trump-Russia investigation and resumed his attacks on former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May in a vain attempt to curb the inquiry.

In a rambling tweet, Trump called for the detention of Comey and Huma Abedin, a former senior aide to Hillary Clinton, and he invoked the “Deep State” allegation being used to undermine the FBI and Justice Department in their investigations.

Threatening Palestine Aid

On Monday, Trump denounced any assistance to Pakistan, as Congress holds up $255 million of a military aid package, by claiming that Islamabad is supporting terrorists.

On Tuesday, he turned to Palestine. Pressing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump added to the US threat at the UN last month to halt aid to any country that objected by focusing on Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Although the tweets are garbled and inaccurate, Trump effectively confirmed that there will be no revival of Israel-Palestine negotiations since Jerusalem — whose status as an international city is meant to be resolved in the final stage of any talks — is now “off the table”.

And That’s Not All

Trump also had time to:

*Proclaim that the “US is watching” protests in Iran;

*Push his “desperately needed WALL” on the US-Mexican border;

*Threaten to break a deal with Democrats to get legislation establishing the right to residency of the “Dreamers”, young immigrants given the opportunity to study and work in the US by the Obama Administration under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order;

*Proclaim that companies are giving “big bonuses” to workers, without mentioning that some of those companies have also laid off employees, because of the GOP’s tax changes bill passed last month;

*Taken credit for no fatalities from commerical aviation crashes in 2017 — without noting that there have no been fatal incidents since 2009 and no crash of any jet of a major airline since 2001;

*Blast The New York Times, telling it to “get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent ‘sources’, and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY”;

*Announce a competition to name media that he does not like:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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