Robert A. Levine 5-23-17
Many Americans wish that President Trump’s trip abroad will keep him out of sight, though that is unlikely with the press corps and media following him around, watching every move and listening to every word. He has dominated the news cycles for weeks now, with daily actions and tweets that keep Americans buzzing, most of it quizzically, trying to make sense of what Trump is doing. Never have the day to day activities of a president kept so many Americans on edge, wondering what will come next.
One can expect a detailed analysis by the pundits of every action of Trump on his visits to foreign states and interactions with their leaders, repeatedly broadcast on cable TV and national networks. So Trump unfortunately will not be out of mind, though out of the country. In all likelihood, there will be gaffes and mistakes, the hallmarks of the Trump presidency, as he does not like to study briefing books or listen to lectures by members of his staff. But the other heads of state will treat him with courtesy and respect, playing down any of his statements that are beyond the pale, offering support and ignoring his blunders, inaccuracies, hyperbole, errors in judgement, and misinterpretation of the facts.
But the American media will not be so forgiving, which is the reason President Trump will not be out of mind or out of sight. One can expect journalists to be like bulldogs, latching onto any misjudgments by the President or any ill-advised remarks, the messages going home to American televisions and headlines in the newspapers.
It has been a bad few weeks for the president who usually revels in attention from the media, but does not like criticism or a negative slant on what he says or does. But his comments to the Russian visitors to the White House about Comey and why he fired him were outrageous, not befitting any official of the government, much less the president. Calling Comey a ‘nut case’ and crazy to the Russians was the pot calling the kettle black. And what were the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador doing in the White House in the first place. Trump was treating them as long time buddies, instead of adversaries of America.
Being in Saudia Arabia, Israel, and Italy, and then meeting with the G7 leaders is not going to keep Trump out of the spotlight. It will be a great opportunity for gaffes and for him to show his lack of knowledge regarding foreign affairs, which of course will get him hammered by the media. Just how much of this will he be able to take before his ego collapses, notwithstanding his protective shell of narcissism. More than his narcissism, however, he has a bad case of foot in mouth disease, for which there appears to be no cure. Will there be a point where he decides to resign the presidency, rather than taking all the abuse from which he cannot escape?
And the Special Investigator Robert Mueller digging into the Trump team’s association with the Russians and possible collusion in the release of information must be eating away at Trump, with him labeling it a ‘witch hunt.’ It’s obviously bothering him. Even more upsetting could be the talk of impeachment, though it’s too early to know whether he’s committed enough ‘crimes and misdemeanors’ to have Congress go after him. Perhaps he will continue to take more trips abroad to try and keep out of sight, though he certainly will not be out of mind.
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