Play to Pay – Trump golfs today as Arms for Dirt scandal continues and as Turkey invades Syria
Mike Pompeo was being lobbied to remove Ambassador Yovanovich by the two men arrested this week trying to flee the country. The recall of Ambassador Yovanovich included one route to Mike Pompeo through Pete Sessions (R-TX). It was an extensive, coordinated effort culminating in the Arms for Dirt threat. Anne Applebaum writes a related column today.
Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, a pro-Trumper or a never-Trumper, an inhabitant of a blue state or a red state, you owe it to yourself and your country to read the text of the statement prepared for Congress by former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. If you care about the Constitution, if you feel any fealty to the ideas and ideals that have shaped U.S. foreign policy for the past century, then you will find it deeply disturbing.
… Foreign interests — specifically, the interests of Fruman and Parnas, who have just been indicted on a charge of conspiring “to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence” — not only sought the removal of a U.S. ambassador; they sought, successfully, to distort and undermine U.S. foreign policy, to undermine our decades-long push for rule of law in Ukraine. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Trump and Giuliani “set out to undermine every U.S. and European program in the region, every diplomatic and educational initiative, every single ideal that the United States has ever stood for in that part of the world.” But now I see that the situation was far worse than that. Not only was Trump pursuing conspiracy theories in Ukraine; not only did he want the Ukrainian government to launch a fake investigation into one of his rivals; not only did he seek to exercise political influence on another country’s judicial system; he was, in addition, doing all of this at the behest of Giuliani, in Giuliani’s direct personal, financial interests.
The implications of this story are immense. If U.S. foreign policy is now for sale — then how many other people are out there trying to buy it? Yovanovitch sums this up as well as anybody could. “The harm will come,” she writes, “when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system.” How sure are we that there were no private interests at stake when Trump promised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan he could invade northern Syria? Can we be certain there are no private interests shaping the United States’ relationship with Russia or Saudi Arabia? The answer is no, no and no. This is the most corrupt White House in modern U.S. history, and we cannot be sure of anything at all.
Thinking he was getting softball questions from a local reporter, Pompeo tried to bully her when she asked some pointed questions related to the Arms for Dirt scandal.
Pompeo probably wasn’t briefed about Kurds in the US.
Another tweet while on the road to the golf course.