Back to politics and my Trump updates!
George W. Bush had a really interesting interview this morning, in which he finally denounced Trump publicly. Normally, former Presidents do not openly criticize his (in this case, “his” only, but someday, I hope I can use “her”) predecessor, mostly to make sure there is a peaceful transfer of power. For example, for President Obama, former President George W. Bush said that Obama had “earned his silence” but it seems that former presidents are breaking this tradition for Donald Trump. Obama spoke out against Trump just ten days after Trump executed the Muslim Ban, and it seems like George W. Bush is joining in. The interview, I have to say, was beautifully put, though I don’t think it will have an effect on the people around Trump. Trump doesn’t like George W. Bush and has made some veiled comments about George’s past decisions. Anyways, George criticized silencing the media, although it should be noted that George didn’t directly say Trump’s name, and he didn’t directly call out Trump’s behavior, but it is easy to read between the lines: “The media is indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere. One of the things I spent a lot of time doing was trying to convince a person like Vladimir Putin, for example, to accept the notion of an independent press.”
He also broke dramatically with Trump over immigration:
Bush: “It’s very important for all of us to recognize our great strengths is for people to worship the way they want to, or not worship at all. A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.”
Matt Lauer: “Let me make sure I understand you. Are you for or against the immigration ban? You’re against the ban?”
Bush: I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law.
As you can see, Bush doesn’t directly criticize Trump, but criticizes the ideas behind the ban—in so many words, he says that Trump’s actions are un-American. Honestly, it’s probably the most he can do right now, but like I said, it’s still notable that he criticized Trump’s policies to begin with.
Finally, today, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says that “As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist … What I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there.” (The Washington Post reported this, who recently changed their slogan to “Democracy Dies in Darkness”—I think it’s fantastically dystopian.) He also said there is no need for a special prosecutor, because the allegations are basically hogwash. He also said that it would be “hard to believe” that Trump or Pence knew about Flynn’s conversation with Russia because, “because they were so busy, and I think these conversations were all very short.” According to WaPo, this answer “strained credulity and made it appear as if he were bending over backward to see the best in the White House.” We shall see what happens down the road, but in all honesty, I think that sounds like bullshit.
For a last tidbit of news today: The Washington Post wrote an article about Iowans who voted for Trump and are already disappointed. I have to say, it made me feel a bit more heartened.