Opinion: Donald Trump and the art of creating chaos

Donald Trump doesn’t just hurt his opponents. He also damages the reputation of his friends and associates. Those who stand by him have to reckon with being accomplices, writes Miodrag Soric.

USA Washington - Donald Trump und Jeff Sessions (Reuters/K. Lamarque)

No one can escape him – neither friends nor foes. In 2016, the presidential candidate Trump, the political newcomer, thwarted the election campaign strategies of experienced governors and senators – and won. He ridiculed his opponents, gave them degrading nicknames and pulled America’s political culture down to a new low point.

This time it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions who stood by the president. He submitted himself to probing questions by senators about Russia’s influence on the US federal election or the reasons behind the dismissal of former FBI director, James Comey.

The attorney general did not disclose any information that could damage Trump. During the hearing, Sessions either suffered from attacks of amnesia, or he refused to give evidence when things got too risky. He has a right to do this. But transparency comes across differently. Sessions’ testimony did not instill any confidence – neither in him, nor in this administration.

Soric Miodrag Kommentarbild AppMiodrag Soric, head of DW’s Washington bureau

So many unanswered questions

In the wake of this hearing, Trump’s opponents still have no evidence that contacts between his election campaign team and Russia were too close. Does this mean that the Democrats are going to stop making inquiries? Hardly.

The ghost of potentially too close contact between Trump and Russia will continue to haunt the corridors of Congress. Courts will again reject a possible travel ban against Muslims and pass it on to the next instance. There will be new investigations into whether there is a conflict between Trump’s private and official business interests. Trump, the shady business contractor, will want to continue his image as Mister Clean, sorting out Washington’s dubious political laundry: Trump really believes that he is the defender of the man in the street.

Forward into the past, America!

His supporters are hailing the re-opening of a coalmine in Pennsylvania as proof of the modernization of the American economy. At the same time, the administration has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, has placed a question mark over international trade agreements, and wants to build walls along the country’s borders. Forward into the past, America!

Trump lives in a world of “alternative facts.” Facts are true if they appear useful to him. This president magically attracts half-truths, facts that can be described in terms of “both/and.” What an infallible instinct for causing chaos. At his Senate hearing, Jeff Sessions defended the president’s decisions and his process of decision-making. One day he might regret this.

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Author, Pastor, Development and Valuation Surveyor, CEO LandAssets Consult Ltd., Publisher, The Property Gazette.

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