Chicago Tribune: Trump’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

August 24, 2018

We’ll leave it to history to sort out President Donald Trump’s legacy, but Tuesday was an infamous afternoon.

Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of eight counts of fraud in a Virginia courthouse, while his former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts in New York. Cohen’s plea includes a claim that he paid hush money to two women “at the direction of a candidate for federal office.” That candidate was Trump.

Two of Trump’s trusted advisers, different members of his team, exposed as criminals in a single day. What rings in the ears is the boast Trump made during the campaign that “I’m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people.”

What sticks in the craw is the unseemly edge to Trump’s personality: his vicious Twitter attacks of political foes, his angry rants to campaign crowds and the 2005 recording of his ugly talk about assaulting women. Now there is Cohen’s salacious tale, acknowledged in his guilty plea, that he violated campaign laws by paying money to two women to keep stories of alleged affairs with Trump out of the news before the 2016 election. In the 19 months of Trump’s presidency, a parade of administration members has left under a cloud. Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with a Russian diplomat. Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned amid numerous ethics investigations. These things shouldn’t happen, but they do, during every administration. Two cases against Trump advisers in one afternoon, while Mueller’s independent investigation continues. Tuesday was not the final word on Trump’s presidency. But it spoke volumes.

— Chicago Tribune

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