Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Foreign Aid

This is weird.

Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.

The White House curbed access to a transcript of the call — which the president made at Mr. Barr’s request — to a small group of aides, one of the officials said. The restriction was unusual and similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Like that call, Mr. Trump’s discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests.

The discussion with Mr. Morrison shows the extent to which Mr. Trump views the attorney general as a crucial partner: The president is using federal law enforcement powers to aid his political prospects, settle scores with his perceived “deep state” enemies and show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt, partisan origins.

In a way, it’s kind of a relief to find out that Attorney General Barr is just as much of a political lackey and bag man as the guy who hired him.  Having a cabinet member who has morals and a sense of what’s legal would be so out of character.  It will also assure the historians that the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the reputation of President Harding and his gang is going to be a lot easier now that there’s even more blatant corruption lying out there in the sun.

Aside from that, what is it telling our allies and adversaries in other countries about who’s running the store here?  They have their own problems and interests at stake in dealing with the U.S., and all of it has to be funneled through Trump’s political ambitions.

If that’s all he cares about, why should they lift a finger to help us when we really need it?