by Kate Harveston
Americans are no strangers to complications in the White House.
Andrew Jackson wed a married woman during his time in office, Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child during an election year and won anyway, Richard Nixon rang in the modern era of presidential scandals with Watergate and the ‘90s brought us everyone’s favorite: Bill Clinton.
With the exception of Nixon, however, all these presidents managed to run functional administrations. Some of them were even rather successful. Donald Trump, however, may have reset the bar of presidential predicaments. The man has been under investigation so many times since announcing his candidacy that his legacy will no doubt be defined more by what he was accused of than what he accomplished.
1. The Russia Investigation
The obvious first choice — and one that everyone’s heard of — is the federal probe into Trump’s meetings with Russian government officials during the election year in an attempt to shift the outcome of the vote.
Trump made sure everyone in America was aware of Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails, none of which were ever shown to contain classified information, and yet he blurts out classified information while meeting face-to-face with Russian representatives as if there were no consequences.
Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, is heading up the investigation to see if Trump is guilty of collusion, but so far nothing has happened.
2. Sexual Assault
The way we talk about upholding gender equality in this country is really great. Now, if we could just start acting on it, wouldn’t that be a step forward?
The presidency would be a good place to start. It seems that for all the prestige of the position, presidents sometimes forget how to act like gentlemen and nothing happens as a consequence. Remember Trump’s outtake with Billy Bush, where our future president shared his favorite pick-up techniques?
Several women came forward after that video surfaced to share stories of how Trump had assaulted them. The result: nothing — and now Trump has even asked that one case from his days on TV be dropped because he’s the president! For shame.
3. Obstruction of Justice
Remember that Russia investigation? It turns out Trump might have broken the law multiple times in the course of events leading up to it, but hey — live fast and take chances. That’s how you make it big, right?
Firing FBI director James Comey was an event the media sold as a shocker, but a little investigation gives Trump some reason to make that move. Comey was appointed to office by Barrack Obama, and presidents do tend to clean house when they assume office.
What is a shocker is the way Trump spoke to Comey about former national security adviser Michael Flynn. If Comey’s testimony is to be believed — and as director of the FBI, he’s certainly standing on more solid ground than a man who lied 70 percent of the time during his campaign speeches — Trump asked him to drop the case against Flynn. Did our government take action? No.
4. Shady Real Estate Transactions
Trump made his fortune trading real estate after being gifted $14 million by his father. It’s part of what helps him understand blue-collar America.
There are pros and cons to property management especially in terms of time management, so many wondered if Trump would continue to participate in real estate activities during his tenure in office. Well, it would appear the former Apprentice host has relinquished many of his old responsibilities to his kids. There’s nothing illegal about that, but the way he’s gone about it certainly evokes some questions.
Trump even sold two top-floor condominiums in New York to his eldest son Eric for half-price shortly before assuming office. He didn’t file a gift tax document, which makes the sale potential tax fraud, but hey — who else are you supposed to trust with your fancy condos when you’re the president, right?
5. A Charitable Guy
The Donald had a lot to say about his opponent’s charitable works during the campaign, but you can bet a man who — in his own words — “fights like hell” for every cent on a tax return isn’t about to go throwing green money away on charitable acts.
That’s not to say Trump doesn’t have charities — he does. He just uses them for his own ends, like when he and Eric teamed up to hold a charity golf tournament that was really not much more than a money-laundering operation for the Trump family coffers. It’s nice to think about contributing money to a group that helps sick children, though.
Wake up and Smell the Blonde Roast, America
How ignorant have we become? Yes, this is a president who won by romancing a GOP base of middle-aged white men terrified of not living in 1953 anymore, but that’s not an excuse. Just because he’s president doesn’t mean he automatically receives a get-out-of-jail-free card.
For every time Donald Trump made an underhanded comment about Benghazi on the campaign trail, there’s a new scandal. That doesn’t mean what Hillary did is excusable, but shouldn’t we hold our politicians to equal standards?
How far does the naiveté excuse go? The White House can claim that Trump does the things he does because he’s not well-versed in the cut and thrust of politics, but even if he doesn’t have the political grooming of a Clinton or a Baldwin, isn’t it reasonable to expect the president to stay out of trouble?
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