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Words from Winterbilt

Are we tired of winning?

Shannon Bohrer

(7/2017) One of the president’s promises was that the United States of America would be so great that we would get tired of winning. I don’t think we are there yet.

This administration has certainly had its ups and downs. During the election, and before taking office, the president promised a lot. In fact, this article does not contain enough space to list all the promises he made. When I started the article I had intended to list the promises kept, the ones in the winning column. However, with the continuous news of the alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion with Trump White House surrogates, the article took a detour.

For a good while, we have heard about the Russian interference in our presidential election. There has been a continuum of news and hearings in congress about the Russian interference. During one of the hearings about this, then FBI Director Comey testified and shortly afterward the president fired him. The president said he fired the Director on the advice of the new Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The report was critical of how Director Comey handled the Clinton email investigation.

The following day the President met in the Oval Officer with Russian officials and they had a private meeting. I say it was a private meeting because the press was not allowed. Well, that is not entirely true, while the American press was not allowed, the Russian press was there. In fact the Russian press provided the American Press photographs for their news coverage. That was nice of them.

A few days later President Trump was being interviewed by Lester Holt and he was questioned about the firing of the FBI Director. President Trump stated: "I was going to fire [him] regardless of recommendation," "When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story." So in essence, President Trump said the firing was about the Russian investigation, not the Clinton investigation.

It was also reported in the New York Times that during the meeting in the Oval Office with the Russians, President Trump told Minister Sergei Lavrov about firing Director Comey saying, "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off." I wonder where the Times got this information - maybe it was from the Russian transcripts?

It appears that President Trump fired Director Comey – possibly because of the "Russia thing." Of course that does not explain why he first said he was fired on the recommendation of the Assistant Attorney General. It was also later reported that the Assistant Attorney General was told that Director Comey was being fired - before his memo was even written.

During this same time period it was reported that during the Whitehouse meeting with the Russians, our President gave the Russians some top secret information. This was at first denied by the Whitehouse, but early the next day President Trump tweeted that he did reveal top secrets, but it was ok because he is allowed to do this.

Shortly after the President’s tweet about what he was allowed to do, President Putin gave a statement that the Russians were not given any secret information and he could provide the meeting notes (transcripts) to prove it. President Putin apparently had not read President Trumps tweet before giving his statement. It is nice to know that the Russians have transcripts of meetings in the White House. They could be important. Well maybe, but only if they allow us to have them.

While all of this is unfolding the President also tweeted, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press." At that time the former Director had not said anything about the firing. After the tweet it was reported that former Director Comey had written memos about his meetings with President Trump. In the memos it was reported that President Trump asked or implied that he wanted the Flynn Investigation to go away. It was also reported that a few FBI agents were advised of the conversations and the memos.

Later, Director Comey did testify to congress about the meeting and he said that the President wanted the Flynn investigation to go away. Of course the Flynn investigation is the "Russia thing." It was reported that it was not a command, more of a request. It will be interesting to see if the Comey memos are in line with the Russian transcripts?

Memo to White House: "Calling voters stupid is not a winning strategy." Karl Rove

All of this news somewhat resembles tabloid news on steroids. The President fires the Director, investigating the "Russia thing" somehow believing that he"… faced great pressure..." and that "…firing Comey would change that." It is difficult to find the right wording to describe these events; it really does resemble a soup sandwich.

A young child is questioned why his homework was not turned in and he responds that his dog ate it. The teacher then reminds the child that he does not have a dog, so the child says that he did the homework, but someone must have stolen it. The teacher asked if the theft was reported and the child then says no, because his telephone was not working. You might expect something like these answers from a child, but not a President. His stories change so fast – that it becomes hard to believe anything he says.

By the time this article is published all of this will be old news. Not necessarily old because of time, but because of new stories about words, statements and tweets from our President. Controversy, confusion and lack of consistency seem to define this administration; it is certainly not conducive to being tired of winning.

During my career I took two oaths to defend and support our constitution. Part of the oath was, "I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;…" I question if President Trump understands what this means? I also question some members of congress if they know what the oath means! It appears that some members think supporting their party is more important than supporting the country.

Let’s keep the same facts in this article, but change the players. Assume Hillary Clinton was elected president, instead of Donald Trump. Director Comey testifies in congress that he is still investigating the emails – and Hillary then fires him, what would the congress do?

When President Obama was in office, if he had private conversations with the Russians in the White House and the American press was barred from the meeting, what would the congress do? I am not tried of winning. I am tired of some members of congress putting their party ahead of country, which is not in keeping with the oath they took.

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer