Donald Trump

Thinking clearly about Trump and aid to Ukraine

Featured image That’s the title of an article by Byron York in the Washington Examiner. Byron’s thinking on the subject is consistent with what I have been trying to say the past few weeks. Byron identifies five possible explanations for the temporary withholding of military aid to Ukraine that have been put forth by one party or another. The first three are: (1) Trump’s general dislike of foreign aid, (2) his concern »

Ukrainian corruption, a Russian myth?

Featured image The lead headline in today’s Washington Post (paper edition) proclaims: “Foes of Ukraine swayed Trump.” Just below this headline, we are informed that “Putin, Orban urged a hostile view; leaders fed corruption narrative, U.S. officials say.” The Post’s story is here. Just a few days ago, however, the Post paid glowing tribute to Joe Biden’s “brawling efforts” to combat corruption in Ukraine. Clearly, Ukrainian corruption is real and serious, not »

Trump fights back

Featured image FOX News has posted full video of Sean Hannity’s interview with President Trump yesterday (below). Impeachment is more or less the focus of the interview for the first 30 minutes. The interview begins with the infamous phone call of congratulations to the president of Ukraine, a garbled account of which was somehow instantly converted by Nancy Pelosi into the ground of her so-called impeachment “inquiry.” Trump fights back as he »

We’re in E.J. Dionne’s head, he wants into ours

Featured image There’s a certain kind of liberal who likes to tell conservatives what they should think about this or that matter in order to be true to conservatism. He has no counterpart on the other side of the political divide. I know of no conservative who gets off on telling liberals what they should think about anything. We tend to confine ourselves to pointing out liberal hypocrisy. What explains this difference »

Behind closed doors (2)

Featured image What really happened when the president met behind closed doors with congressional leaders in the White House last week and Nancy Pelosi wagged her finger at President Trump? In his remarks to the press immediately following the meeting, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not go into detail. McCarthy subsequently gave an account that contrasted with the one touted by the Democrats and faithfully disseminated by their media adjunct. In »

Doral, there we go

Featured image President Trump abruptly backtracked late last night and announced he would scrap plans to hold next year’s G-7 gathering of world leaders at the Trump National Doral in Miami. “Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020,” he announced on Twitter late Saturday. “We will begin the search for another »

Doral, here we come [UPDATED]

Featured image The next G-7 summit, which is due to be held in the U.S., will take place at Doral, the luxury resort Trump owns in Florida. It was the decision to hold the summit there that Mick Mulvaney was explaining and defending before he unwisely decided to spar with reporters over the temporary withholding of aid to Ukraine. According to Mulvaney, Doral was added to the list of about a dozen »

Mick Mulvaney’s presser, a closer look

Featured image I want to take another look at Mick Mulvaney’s presser — the one that Democrats and the mainstream media claim nails down the existence of a quid pro quo arrangement between President Trump and Ukraine (or offer thereof) involving U.S. military aid. My previous post focused on the fact that if Mulvaney was talking about a quid pro quo, it wasn’t military aid in exchange for conducting an investigation of »

Mick Mulvaney’s presser

Featured image Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a press conference today. Mulvaney cited two reasons for the holding up of military aid to Ukraine: (1) lack of a contribution by European countries and (2) corruption in Ukraine. Then he added: Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server?” Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held »

More bad argument by Trump in defense of the Syria pullback

Featured image There are respectable arguments in favor of the pullback of U.S. troops in northeastern Syria. I don’t find them persuasive, but they are serious. Unfortunately, President Trump persists in making ludicrous arguments. One of them, the fact that the Kurds didn’t help us with the Normandy invasion, I discussed here. I hoped that this argument was a throwaway — a one-off. No such luck. Now, Trump is claiming that the »

The Chuck Todd Experience

Featured image In the adjacent post I discuss Vox’s coverage of the Trump rally in Minneapolis last week. Tim Graham chronicles Chuck Todd’s old-fashioned approach to the rally in the NewsBusters post “Call Him Spike? Chuck Todd Vows NOT to Show Trump Attacking Omar, Hunter Biden.” Citing Todd’s MSNBC show this past Friday, the day after the rally, Graham notes that “Todd offered a pompous commentary on how he was refusing to »

Vox lying in the wilderness

Featured image It’s difficult to predicate a claim of defamation on a statement that can be characterized as opinion, but I think Vox’s Aaron Rupar crosses the line in his account of the Trump rally in Minneapolis last week. Referring to Power Line last week, Rupar wrote: “Citing articles from a fringe right-wing Minnesota-based blog, Trump called Omar ‘a disgrace to our country’ and pushed unfounded conspiracy theories about her marital history.” »

Exposed: The CNN hatefest

Featured image If you’ve caught CNN at a random moment during the Trump administration — voluntarily or involuntarily — you know that the network has turned itself into a perpetual Trump hatefest in its political coverage. It is not exactly earth-shattering news that a whistleblower has stepped forward to reveal that the hatefest is run from the top of the executive ranks — CNN President Jeff Zucker — to the troops below. »

Key witness: Trump said no quid pro quo

Featured image We know from documentary evidence that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the EU, told William Taylor, our ambassador to Ukraine [correction, the chargé d’affaires], that there was no quid pro quo involved in connection with Ukraine investigating the Bidens. Sondland appears to have been the president’s point person within the diplomatic corps for dealing with Ukraine in these matters. Sondland will testify before a congressional committee this week. According »

A word from Michael Goodwin

Featured image Michael Goodwin served as executive editor and editorial page editor of the New York Daily News before taking up his current role of chief political columnist for the New York Post. At the Daily News, Goodwin led the editorial board to a Pulitzer Prize. He is not given to overstatement. In his New York Post column “Madness of left-wing zealots,” Goodwin observes: [S]ingling out Trump for the turmoil engulfing the »

The Donald Trump Experience (2)

Featured image Sitting in the audience at the great Trump rally in Minneapolis on Thursday evening, I couldn’t help but watch the event in part through the eyes of my Somali sources. When he turned to the subject of immigration, the president singled out Minnesota’s Somali community. “For many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and »

The Power Line Show, Special Bonus Episode: “Bronze Age Decius?,” and Scott on His Visit with the President

Featured image This special bonus double-episode tests the proposition that a good podcast format is a conversation among friends at a bar—because that’s exactly what the first segment of this show offers. Last week I was overseas on the joint cruise of the Claremont Institute and the Pacific Research Institute, both celebrating their 40th anniversary this fall. Following a day tromping around Florence taking in the scenes of various locales for Niccolò Machiavelli, »