Friday, July 20, 2018

Both Sides Now - Trump and Nielsen walk back the walk back

Both Sides Now - an ode to Donald Trump
With apologies to Judy Collins
for this perversion of one of the most popular songs of all time.

The motivating news reports and commentaries for my ode follow the new lyrics.

Rows and flows of Donald’s hair
And nuc-lear missiles in the air
And interference everywhere
Collusion all the way

Arrogant and feeling proud,
Trump says “I love Vlad” right out loud
Schemes and screams and MAGA crowds
Fooled our nation that way

Now our al-lies are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say we’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
New tariffs every day.

Helsinki’s just another show
Trump leaves us puzzled when he goes
And if betrayed,we will not know
When he gives us away

We’ve looked at him from both sides now
From left and right and still somehow
It’s his illusions we recall
We really don’t know Trump at all

The Huffington Post reported that, most recently, Kirstjen Nielsen claimed Russian Interference In Election Infrastructure Meant To ‘Cause Chaos’ For Both Parties. Both sides now! “The Homeland Security secretary was forced to clarify comments she made Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday said Russia’s cyberattacks on election infrastructure were meant to “cause chaos” for both political parties.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that the attempt to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party,” Nielson said during the Aspen Security Forum when asked whether Russia attempted to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

“What we’ve seen on the foreign influence side is they were attempting to intervene and cause chaos on both sides,” she added.

And then there is this from Nielsen’s boss - reported by Politifact, A walk in the woulds: Donald Trump reverses Helsinki comments on Russian election interference.

Trump was holding a scheduled meeting on tax policy at the White House, but he shifted gears to recap his European trip where he met with NATO leaders, spent time with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and had summit with Putin. After giving the highlights, he launched into his correction of his words in Helsinki.

"I will begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies, I always have. And I have felt very strongly that while Russia’s actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that, and I have said this many times, I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.

"It could be other people, also. There are lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all and people see that and they see that strongly.

See? Both Sides Now! Or, should we say in the spirit of the Politifact report, Both Woulds Now.

In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’. The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia.’

“So just to repeat it, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’ and the sentence should have been, and I thought I would maybe be a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video, but the sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia. Sort of a double negative.”

“So you can put that in and I think that pretty well clarifies things by itself.”

All I can say is, no, Donald, it does not.

All this might have been foretold by Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville violence. The Atlantic reported that Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’.

President Trump defended the white nationalists who protested in Charlottesville on Tuesday, saying they included “some very fine people,” while expressing sympathy for their demonstration against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It was a strikingly different message from the prepared statement he had delivered on Monday, and a reversion to his initial response over the weekend.

Speaking in the lobby of Trump Tower at what had been billed as a statement on infrastructure, a combative Trump defended his slowness to condemn white nationalists and neo-Nazis after the melee in central Virginia, which ended in the death of one woman and injuries to dozens of others, and compared the tearing down of Confederate monuments to the hypothetical removal of monuments to the Founding Fathers. He also said that counter-protesters deserve an equal amount of blame for the violence.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” he said.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

"You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

See? Both Sides Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment