Trump’s Reputation and Free Speech

Trump’s Reputation and Free Speech

Update:  As long as we are discussing leaks, we now know that Trump is no longer a Genius since he got into U. Penn’s Wharton School.  Turns out that Trump’s brother Fred Jr. was best friends with an admission officer, and got him in.

Update:  July 12.  Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned after his defense did not take hold in the media.  Trump, in turn, praised him as a great Labor Secretary, and Acosta praised the President’s economic and labor success.  It must have looked odd to keep Acosta while Trump met with his top 200 social media and undoubtedly law-and-order backers.  Politically, this was a key problem in the crucial toss-up state of Florida, where the Epstein deal was made.  The next story was the horrible conditions that the government employees  have to take care of the confined children at the border.  Nobody has ever mentioned Acosta looking into this.

Update:  July 10, British Ambassador Nigel Darroch has taken the noble course of resigning, much to the regret of the British Government.  Trump tweeted school yard insults of Darroch and PM Teresa May, verifying Darroch’s leaked assessment.  Trump’s appraisal of Darroch was surprising, since Trump earlier claimed that he didn’t know the British Ambassador.  Trump was again interfering in the British election of Boris Johnson as the next PM.

Update:  Trump still hasn’t fired Acosta, who went on TV.  Trump and the Senate both approved of Acosta for Secretary of Labor, both knowing about his minimal charge and sentencing in the Epstein case.  Acosta explained the lack of notification to allow the victims to sue.  Over the last weekend, they attempted to notify the victims.  They also tried to protect the identity of the victims.  I really can’t and shouldn’t judge.

Update:  Trump lost an appeal case, so he cannot block people on Twitter from responding to his tweets.  Trump’s twitter account is considered a government source of information, and the First Amendment guarantees free speech on it.

We take note of the leaks from the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the US, evaluating the chaos in the Trump administration.  Why is this even a story?  Every US and probably world news source has been commenting on this for two and a half years.  Even polls of Trump supporters rate his administration as poor, except for the tax cuts, and immigration.

The British Ambassador is Sir Nigel Kim Darroch, who has been ambassador since January, 2016.  Before that, he was UK National Security Advisor from 2012-2015.  Before that he was Her Majesty’s Permanent Representative to the European Union from 2007 to 2012.  He was the principal advisor on European Affairs since 2004.  He is 65 years old.  He has held responsible positions in the Diplomatic Service since 1980.  That is 39 years of experience at the highest levels.  He had a memo to PM Theresa May also leaked in November 2016.  At that time, Trump wanted him replaced by Nigel Farage, head of the Brexit Party.  Farage backed Trump in 2016 (foreign interference?)  Farage was hired by Fox News as a political analyst, and has been backing Trump for a Nobel Prize (for?)

Of course, Trump had to defend himself, thinking that that would somehow intimidate all other ambassadors, foreigners, Republicans, soccer players, and the Press from criticizing him.  In college Philosophy I learned that the British with John Stuart Mill established the basis and justification for free speech.  These are the last people to respond well to Trump’s attempt to muzzle them.  Doesn’t anybody remember from a few weeks ago when Trump continued to meddle in Brexit and endorsed a candidate for Prime Minister in the upcoming election of the leader of the British Conservative Party?  Remember when Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, was almost prosecuted for his organization tapping hundreds of phones of celebrities?  And when is James Bond coming back to solve this?  And will it be a woman, or a black Brit?

Don’t diplomats have diplomatic immunity, and not just for their parking spaces?  Shouldn’t this give them the right to give their own governments their honest assessments?  Why would anybody in Great Britain care about leaking an opinion held by many in the US and around the world?  You would almost think that the leak was from a Trump supporter, to embarrass the ambassador.  Does the US tap communications from foreign embassies?  Are they going to deny freedom of speech to all of the about 180 nations represented in the US and at the UN in New York?  What is Trump going to do to any speaker at the UN who opposes US policies?  Can you imagine what the Russian embassy thinks about what an easy pushover Trump is?

Trump twitter followers are not all supporters.  Some just want to know what everybody is talking about.  Others enjoy the repartee, fact correctors, hypocrisy detectors, humorists, and memes.  Unfortunately for Trump, his tweeting supporters are exposed to all of this.  Nowhere else can critics have such an important and public platform, democratically open to all, versus a single, although stable genius, President.  You would think that Trump would realize that this is a losing game, although his supporters still have their minds made up.  This is such a contrast to Trump’s criticism of the British ambassador.

Speaking about reputation, why isn’t Trump instantly firing Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who let massive sex offender Jeffrey Epstein off with a 13 month sentence and daily release to his office?  Why aren’t Congressional Republicans counting votes and demanding his resignation or guaranteeing Acosta’s impeachment?  I wonder what the British are saying about that?  Trump said that he doesn’t know anything about that.  I’ll bet that is all anybody in the White House has been talking about for a few days.  Acosta has a defense that the grand jury didn’t even want to sentence Epstein to prison.  But why didn’t Acosta inform the victims of the plea deal, as required?  It is bad enough, but worse that Acosta heads the Department of Labor, and this case contains the worst labor violations imaginable.  Trump said that this happened a long time ago, and that Acosta was not the only principal on the case.  He also said that Acosta has done a great job, which may not really be relevant.  And remember, Trump has already started running for re-election.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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