Posted by Curt on 28 May, 2017 at 11:11 am. 2 comments already!


Michael Goodwin:

He was clear, concise and disciplined. Those were the key ingredients that created a striking success for President Trump in his first foreign trip.

If he can bottle that recipe and start each day in the Oval Office with a big gulp of it, his presidency gets a renewed chance to live up to its promises.

Trump’s clarity on the global stage was a reminder of why he was elected. Much as he did in the campaign on his best days, he cut through the BS to get to the heart of contentious issues and offer forceful solutions.

Under enormous scrutiny, he acted in the best traditions of American leadership on two continents by helping create a Muslim NATO to combat radical Islamists and by pushing the original NATO to face terrorism and financial facts.

Throughout the weeklong trip, which also included a substantive, friendly meeting with the pope and tense negotiations over trade and climate change, Trump showed the message discipline too often missing in the White House. And he did it without sacrificing his core convictions or puckish personality.

One priceless moment came as he stood in the $1.4 billion new NATO building in Brussels and referred to American taxpayers running out of patience with the alliance’s deadbeats. The incident no doubt cheered his supporters at home as much as it rankled the European elites, most of whom regard taxpayers as suitable only for fleecing, especially when they are American.

But now Trump comes home to the swamp, and the test of whether he can drain it before it swallows him. In some ways, he took the swamp with him.

The leaks that bedeviled him here bedeviled him there, creating the most awkward moment on the trip. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s temporary cut-off of intelligence-sharing followed media disclosures from anonymous Americans about the Manchester bombing, including premature release of the terrorist’s name and pictures of the bloodied scene.

Trump’s response — to agree with May and promise a Justice Department probe — turned lemons into lemonade, but only temporarily. Getting results would show he’s in control of the government.

To that end, it is time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions gets in the game. His recusal from the Russian investigation does not mean Sessions must sit around like a potted plant while laws are routinely violated.

Most important, of course, the president comes home as the Russia probe gains steam, with fired former FBI Director James Comey set to testify. Comey, still doing his best imitation of J. Edgar Hoover, has sent friends out with Hooveresque warnings.

One, Benjamin Wittes, has been blabbing that Comey is about to drop a bomb on the president.

“This is a guy with a story to tell,” Wittes said to CNN. “I think if I were Donald Trump, that would scare me a lot.”

Maybe it does scare Trump, at least enough to lawyer up and give Steve Bannon the job of running a political and legal war room over Russia. Bannon’s pugnaciousness makes him a good fit, but no one should underestimate the challenge.

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