10 Worst Things Trump Did & 5 Things He Didn’t Do

Donald Trump has left the White House. We look back at his tumultuous four years in the Oval Office, judging the worst, and not so worst, things he did, and some things he didn’t do.

Illustrations by Akira D., age 14, Sydney, Australia.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The Ten Worse Things

1. Mishandling the virus response.

Donald Trump entered the election cycle with a relatively healthy economy and he intended to run largely on that record. And then the pandemic hit. It was the beginning of the election year and it threatened to unravel Trump’s strategy.

Clearly out of his depth, Trump at first tried to work with scientists, but the lockdowns that were required as a crude instrument to suppress the virus soon took an enormous economic toll, coming without government support for workers that have been common in other industrial democracies.

Trump inexorably moved away from this strategy and began promoting opening up the economy so that the nation approached numbers that he could again run on.

In this way he put his electoral prospects before the health of the nation as the pandemic spun out of control, making the U.S. by far the worst hit country in the world. His handling of the pandemic appears to have been criminally negligent. 

2. Prosecuting Julian Assange. 

While the Obama administration empaneled a grand jury and came close to indicting WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange on espionage charges for publishing defense information that revealed prima facie evidence of U.S. war crimes, it pulled back, realizing that The New York Times published the same material and no reasonable argument could be made why it too should not be indicted.

The Trump administration, however, reversed this thinking and prosecuted Assange after he was expelled from his asylum at the Ecuador embassy in London, and requested his extradition from Britain.  Trump allowed his administration to cross a red line of press freedom in its quest to punish a journalist for revealing U.S. crimes and corruption.

Trump has imperiled the future of journalism. 

3. Moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem and recognizing stolen territory. 

Successive U.S. administrations, despite their support for the State of Israel, never seriously contemplated moving the Israeli capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—then Trump came along. The status of the city was long supposed to be left for final negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump’s State Department also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, flying in the face of UN Security Council resolution 242 that the U.S. itself voted for.

The State Department also formally rejected its own 1978 legal finding that Israeli West Bank “settlements” were “inconsistent with international law.”

Trump’s orchestrated recognitions of Israel by Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan further enabled Arab abandonment of Palestine.

4. Ending the Iran Nuclear Deal and assassinating an Iranian general.

The most reckless single action during Trump’s term was to listen to his neocon advisers who talked him into allowing the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad airport on Jan. 3, 2020, risking a catastrophic war in the Middle East.

It followed numerous attempts by the Trump administration to provoke Iran, presumably into such a war.  Trump’s first move on Iran was to pull out of the nuclear deal with Teheran in order to reimpose sanctions, which failed to provoke the uprising his advisers wanted. 

Appointing Mike Pompeo, first as CIA director and then as secretary of state, and neocon supremo John Bolton as national security adviser, was one of Trump’s gravest errors, undermining the image he constructed of being a non-interventionist. Bolton and Pompeo were also masterminds of a years-long effort to bring down the elected government of Venezuela. 

5. Bombing Syria on false pretenses.  

On the night that Trump ordered a missile attack on Syrian territory he was hailed by liberal media, which had spent months delegitimizing him, as “presidential.”   Fareed Zakaria said on CNN:

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night. I think this was actually a big moment. For the first time really as president, he talked about international norms, international rules, about America’s role in enforcing justice in the world.”

The problem is that the evidence Trump acted on turned out to be doctored, as revealed by whistleblowers at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Trump repeatedly made false claims of victory over the Islamic State in Syria, when it was the Syrian Arab Army and its Iranian, Russian, and Hezbollah allies that were principally responsible for fighting and defeating ISIS. The assassinated Soleimani did more to beat ISIS than Trump ever did. And Trump openly admitted U.S. troops were in Syria to seize its oil—the war crime of pillage.

6.  Scapegoating immigrants. 

From the day in 2015 that Trump announced his candidacy, targeting undocumented immigrants became a central feature of Trump’s rhetoric to wrongly blame them for the plight of American workers.

He also announced that day he would build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it, prompting former Mexican President Vicente Fox to tweet: “Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall. #FuckingWall.” In the end Trump only extended parts of already existing barriers and Mexico didn’t spend a peso. 

Though the Obama record on undocumented immigrants was in some ways a lot tougher, deporting more of them than Trump did, Trump removed many more who had spent as long as 20 years in the U.S. Trump also ordered families to be separated, which was rare in the Obama administration. Trump also slapped a ban on entry to the United States of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries.

7.  Duping American workers.

Many working class Trump supporters backed their president because they believed his rhetoric that he was their champion who fought for their interests.

But he cut taxes for the rich; largely failed to bring back promised off-shore manufacturing jobs; failed to bring home working class soldiers from forever wars; deregulated business at workers’ expense; saw income inequality widen under his watch; did not support a rise in the federal minimum wage and horribly mismanaged a pandemic that has taken a much larger toll on front-line workers than on stay-at-home professionals.

8.  Sending federal troops to put down a rebellion.

Trump’s most thuggish side was on full display in his reaction to protests last summer over police killings of unarmed African-Americans.  Last July he ordered federal troops in unmarked camoflauge uniforms to Portland, Oregon.

They pulled protestors into unmarked vehicles far from federal territory in what the ACLU called “kidnapping.”

“Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon, reacted in a tweet. The Oregon attorney general sued to have the troops removed.

Without the comb over.

9.  Denying climate change.

Trump is a climate change denier. “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch… I don’t think science knows, actually,” he told California’s secretary for natural resources. 

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord (a less than robust agreement with no enforcement mechanism). He did more damage by a raft of executive orders deregulating fossil fuel industries. He reversed more than 100 rules protecting the environment, including 28 on emissions and air pollution, 12 on drilling and extraction and eight on water pollution. 

10.  Pardoning war criminals. 

While Trump denied a pardon to Assange, a journalist in prison for publishing accurate information about U.S. crimes, he issued a slew of pardons for his cronies.  But even worse, he pardoned four Blackwater contractors who had been convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. The UN said the pardons violated international law.

In 2019, Trump pardoned Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, who had been convicted in the United States for posing for a picture with the body of an Islamic State teenager he had just killed with a hunting knife for no reason, according to testimony at his court martial. 

Five Things He Didn’t Do

1. Conspire with Russia. 

Despite four years and counting of Democratic Party propaganda about Trump conspiring with Russia to steal the 2016 election, a $32 million, 22-month investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of any conspiracy.

Shawn Henry, the head of the company CrowdStrike hired by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign (while keeping the FBI away) to examine the DNC servers declared under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that no evidence of a hack was discovered.

Despite this, the Russiagate saga is still believed by millions of Americans, bolstered by Congressional studies that relied on intelligence briefings.  Mueller and Henry were legally obliged to tell the truth. Intelligence agencies aren’t. 

2. Wind down wars.

On the campaign trail in 2016 Trump vowed to end America’s forever wars. When he entered the White House he inherited from Obama three wars involving U.S. troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Trump left the White House on Wednesday with those wars still ongoing. And he dramatically increased drone operations. In a bizarre exchange with a Fox News interviewer, Trump, speaking as though he were an observer rather than the president, said:

“Don’t kid yourself, you do have a military-industrial complex. They do like war…  I said I wanted to bring our troops back home, the place went crazy. You have people here in Washington, they never want to leave. … Some day someone will explain it, but you do have a military industrial complex. They never want to leave. They always want to fight. No, I don’t want to fight.”

Someone should have told him he had the final say in such things.

3. Start a new war. 

While he didn’t end the wars he inherited, Trump did not start any new wars. He came close on Iran however, twice. The first time he said he was ten minutes away and stood down, no doubt with Bolton breathing down his neck. The second time was when he okayed the hit on Suliemani. 

While he was too weak to end wars, he did show strength in not invading or bombing any new countries. Because of that alone, he was not as dangerous to the world as President George W. Bush for instance, who illegally invaded a nation that did not threaten the U.S., killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. 

4. Push through diplomacy with North Korea.

Trump accomplished a historic, diplomatic breakthrough by becoming the first U.S. president to meet a North Korean leader. Unlike the positive reactions by Democrats to President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, Democrats in the Trump era vilified him for trying to bring peace to the Korean peninsula. Trump’s error was to give in to Bolton (his first error was to hire him) who scuttled the diplomatic foray. 

5. Come up with a health insurance plan. 

From the 2016 campaign trail to the last debate of the 2020 election Trump promised to deliver a health insurance scheme for the American people that would replace the “horrible” Obamacare. The only major change he made was to eliminate the “horrible, horrible, very expensive and very unfair, unpopular individual mandate” that required everyone to have insurance or pay a penalty. In an age of pandemic, failing to provide affordable health care to all Americans was inexcusable. 

* * *

Trump’s actions surrounding the events of Jan. 6 are still awaiting adjudication in a Senate impeachment trial and perhaps afterward in a court of law.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

38 comments for “10 Worst Things Trump Did & 5 Things He Didn’t Do

  1. Antiwar7
    January 21, 2021 at 16:20

    An excellent piece, though I would add to “7. Duping American workers”:

    Didn’t Trump promise an infrastructure rebuilding fund, to help boost the economy? And then nothing came of it.

  2. DEMOSTHENES
    January 21, 2021 at 15:04

    Bombing of Syria.
    Remember the back story parts.
    Bad man Mr. Assad Cloroxed his people killing babies and convalescents. This so pained the Sec. Of Conscience , Ivanka , that she ran into the oval office yelling , ” daddy, daddy do something to Mr. Bad Man to make him stop. Bomb him. Bomb him.”
    And being a good dad Trump said , “OK honey. Just for you.” And so he did.
    This act of paternal acquiescence to the pleas of one’s daugh…uh.. child released such sentiment in Fred over at cnn that he wet himself.
    Next day military flacks were saying they had tried hard ( very hard for sure ) to talk Trump out of bombing Syria.
    Ivanka’s cries and the
    javelin throwers not wanting to chuck their sticks. Got it.
    Howz about this…the Russians had deployed a few batteries of A300 missle killers- over by there- and we needed to find out if they worked.
    We did and they did. Gollly Andy.

  3. DEMOSTHENES
    January 21, 2021 at 14:09

    Bombing of Syria. Remember the back story ? Mr. Bad Man Assad, it’s said, chemically bombed his people. Killed babies and convalescents.
    This so pained the Sec. of Conscience , Ivanka , that she ran into the Oval office yelling ” daddy, daddy please do something to Mr. Bad Man to make him stop. Bomb him. Bomb him.” And being a good dad Trump said, “OK honey. Just for you.” And so he did.
    This act of paternal affection released such sentiment in this Fred guy at CNN that he wet himself.
    Day after that the military flaks said they had tried ( and really very hard for sure) talking Trump out of doing what he did.
    Ivanka’s feelings and the javelin throwers not wanting to toss their sticks around. OK. Got it.
    How ’bout this…The Russians had a couple of A300 missle killer batteries in place – over by there- and we didn’t know if they were any good. We found out.

  4. John Bambey
    January 21, 2021 at 14:03

    This is another hit piece on the Donald. But it does show the danger of people not knowing about the deep state. The part that offends me most is trying to say that Trump Mishandled the Corona virus pandemic. In the first Place the lock-down was only good as a measure to get a handle on the massive east coast invasion of the pandemic THAT WAS DIRECTLY CAUSED BY THE THIRTY DAY LAPSE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRUMPS ORDER TO CLOSE THE EAST COAST AS AN ENTRY TO TRAVEL FROM EUROPE AND AFRICA. It was futile since the rest of the world had failed to act to quarantine China to try and futile to try to re close Pandora’s box. Trump knew this His original idea had been to sl;ow the advance of the pandemic enough so it would not overwhelm our treatment capabilities ONCE THE DEMOCRATS BY THOSE 3 LAWSUITS AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER HELD THE FRONT DOOR OPEN FOR THOSE CRITICAL FOUR WEEKS no amount of lock-down could have prevented what happened.
    The next point is obvious the lock-down had to be replaced by reopening with social distance and widespread availability of the prophylactic drug Hydroxychloroquine just as Trump suggested,for which he was firmly blasted by Fauci. Finally there is the decision by the Democratic Governors of New York and New jersey to quarantine and treat elderly people who contacted Covids in Nursing homes which were full of the most vulnerable people.
    This is just the worst of your Trump smears I could refute you on most all of the others, without even having to look anything up. But since you have not used your pulpit to blast The lockstep attempt to cut the President of the United States off from all communications Nor have you pointed out the dangers of the concept that there are some people who must pass muster to see if their ideas meet the approval of the powers that be before they are allowed to express them, I do not think you objective at all The idea of argument and counter argument to allow people to get all sides of an argument never seems to ave crossed the minds of the Zuckerbergs of this world.. Or Maybe there is an alternated explanation. That the Zuckerbergs are only interested in money in using us to set up an enormously profitable commodity that they can sell , ie access to our data and advertising.
    Your arguments are not only wrong they are weak. but they are also revealing and they make one of my points for me so I will thank you for that. Trump was one man He was forced to go to Washington and to work with those who had an agenda much different than his who tried from day one by any means they could contrive, to remove him from office. Everything he did accomplish was by compromise . The bottom line is the wheeler dealer got the best deal he could for Americans. If we want a better deal we better have more patriotic Americans in Congress

  5. James Whitney
    January 21, 2021 at 11:42

    Many good points here BUT “Donald Trump entered the election cycle with a relatively healthy economy” WHAT ??

    Even before the covid crisis, millians of Americans in very poor health because they have no affordable health care due to enormous inequalities.

    I am not opimistic that Biden will change this situation in any important way.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      January 21, 2021 at 12:28

      “relatively”

  6. Chris
    January 21, 2021 at 10:48

    You have become FAKE NEWS MSM, too bad.
    I guess the Invisible Enemy is everywhere…Consortium News has revealed who they are.
    Please unsubscribe me.

    • Jenifer Frost
      January 21, 2021 at 12:03

      So exactly what part of the documented article was “fake”, let’s see your proof. Or prove yourself to be a liar.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      January 21, 2021 at 13:21

      Nothing was revealed by this piece. Consortium News has never been pro-Trump. Debunking Russiagate did not make us so.

  7. Caliban
    January 21, 2021 at 08:08

    For the record, let me statement that I think Donald Trump is a disgusting human being. (I also think Joe Biden is much MUCH more disgusting).

    Joe Lauria’s courage, as a journalist, exposing some of the idiotic Marionette Left’s most hysterical lies, has been impressive, but here he shows that he does not really understand some of these issues.

    Focusing just on immigration, it is true that Trump “scapegoated immigrants”. Immigration was THE issue that put Trump in the White House.

    Mass immigration, starting in the mid to late 1990s, was the coup d’grace delivered by the Ruling Elites to completely destroy American Labor’s last vestige of power. After exporting every job that could be exported, the Ruling Elites then deliberately caused
    a sudden mass migration, which within about ten 0r twelve years from the time it was initiated after Clinton signed NAFTA, (it was the terms of NAFTA that allowed the Ruling Elites to dump massive quantities of heavily subsidized US corn on Mexico which set off the mass migration), saw 10% (or more) of the ENTIRE population of Mexico migrate top the US.

    Desperate and destitute immigrants, in such massive numbers, ALWAYS serve as ‘scabs’.

    Here’s how it goes … On Friday, when the Boss Man still has the checks in his hand before passing them out. “Awright, listen up! Startin’ Monday there’s gonna some changes ’round here. I’m paying you yokels $25/hour. And yer just not gettin’ enough done to be worth that. I got these tough-ass lookin’ Mexicans lined up around the block, every one of them carrying a sweat rotted tool belt and well worn hammer, say they’ll gladly do your jobs for $15. Startin’ Monday, pay’s going to $20, and any don’t like it can vote with your feet, and we’ll just give these Mexicans a try”

    Well … When you can SEE them rugged looking men lined up, when you can SEE that their tool belt are indeed sweat rotted, and the hard rubber’s wearing off the blue handle of their Estwing hammers, (same kind you swing), when you can see their leather-calloused hands, what the frack you gonna say back to Big Boss Man?

    And what you gonna say to yer wife when you get home? The rent’s due. The kids all need new shoes and school clothes, and you’re already late on last month’s utility bills. You’re worried the rakes are about shot on yer truck. What’re you gonna say? “Honey, our family income just went down 20%, and I’m a powerless work beast who can’t do a dang thing about it”.

    She is so twisted up in anxiety herself that she screams at you. You yell back, take another long swig on a bottle of Jack D, and yer oldest boy slams the door as he goes out to meet up with his friends to shoot up opiates in the alley behind the neighborhood 24/7 convenience store.

    Trump really never did, to my knowledge, try to focus hatred (scapegoat) immigrants, any more or less than any strike leader would focus hatred on ‘scabs’ during a strike. Trump NEVER “called Mexicans rapists”, as the hysterical Marionette Left claimed. What he said was that “Mexico was not sending us its good people, it’s sending us its criminals and rapists”.

    Well, that is as least partly true. Most of the immigrants were Mexican farmers and food industry workers, forced to migrate when the massive US corn dump set off massive upheavals in Mexico’s economy. But are any so foolish to think Mexican criminals did not take advantage of the de facto ‘open borders’ policy? You’re out on bail. You know you’re going to jail for a long time. Droves are crossing the border. What are you likely gonna do?

    Most of the Mexicans that came in that first sudden Immigration Tsunami were wonderful, extremely hard working, (I was a construction contractor at that time, and I employed some myself), and very honest, conscientious people. But a MUCH higher percentage of them were indeed ‘criminals’ than the percentage of criminals in the general Mexican population.

    The poor guy with the bottle of Jack D, and the harried wife torn up in anxiety, lost his job by Wednesday, when Boss Man made an example of him for his surly sullen attitude. The best he could find then were odd jobs at $15. His wife kicked him out. His boy OD-ed and died in that alley with a needle still stuck in his arm, and that working man, once the proud self-respecting head of a family, nows spends most of his time drinking up his pay and stuffing dollar bill’s in a 43 year old prostitute’s g string in Tony Sopranos Bada-Bing, across the tracks over in the river bottoms.

    And if thje poor schmuck complained about what happened to him, the screeching bellowing crazy-ass Marionette Left branded him a “racist”.

    The Ruling Elites’ plan to destroy the last vestiges of working class power worked perfectly. The Elites’ stupid lackey Marionette Left played their part perfectly. They danced just right, on the ends of the Elites’ strings. The idiotic stupid turncoat American Left started DEMONIZING its own nation’s working people as “racists” because they objected to this sudden tsunami of Mexican workers who were forced into mass migration, and came here and took American workin g people’s jobs, and lowered wages across the board.

    • Anne
      January 21, 2021 at 12:29

      There is much to be agreed with here because from the Brazeros onward…US working class labor was indeed pushed aside…(of course the main areas where this was true originally was previously part of Mexico itself, until we stole it from them by force of arms – of course it had all been indigenous peoples lands prior to the Spanish/Portuguese and Anglo invasions and genocidal ethnic-cleansings so one might accept that the indigenous of Central America would consider it righteous to be able to emigrate/work in the US…But it was the USE of this immigrating labor by the owners of capital/companies to undermine wages, unions that disgusts…

      And if we (the US) hadn’t done what we have done since the Dulles bros (and before) to Central America…overthrown such governments as Arbenz’s…enabled coups in such as Honduras, Nicaragua, be very willing drug buyers from further south while making their existence and use illegal…we very likely would NOT have had nor have the immigration problems of desperate impoverished, very frightened people from further south…

    • Lori Dvir
      January 21, 2021 at 12:46

      I enjoyed your writing style. I am not aware of the ‘corn dump’ so I will do some research. The whole storyline is interesting. You made me think of a different way to see why some people feel the way they do. The Mexicans can’t take jobs without a green card. If we had many more and stronger unions, the $25 an hour worker would have received a raise rather than a decrease.

  8. Deniz
    January 21, 2021 at 07:32

    32 dead in Baghdad from an ISIS attack, wow, that did not take long.

    You can add defunding CIA clandestine operations in the Middle East as one more thing Trump got right.

    • Anne
      January 21, 2021 at 12:19

      There might well not be an ISIS (let alone a Taliban or Al Qaeda/Al Nusra) were it NOT for the heinous machinations of the CIA back in the 1970s in Afghanistan…all to intentionally destroy the USSR…But Hey – the CIA and FBI and all the bloody rest are sainted characters now for the Blue Faces (and Red ones)…please…We need to stop interfering in other cultures, societies, countries, stop bombing them to hell and beyond, slaughtering their peoples, destroying their homelands for no reason other than it makes oodles of boodle for such as Raytheon and “justifies” the existence of such as the Pentagonal…And then start putting our own house right – end the outrageous inequality, tax the ultra wealthy at the rates that existed prior to the Nixon-Reagan era, provide free at point of service medical care (as almost all of the rest of the world does, including poorer countries), ensure that everyone is safely, decently housed and has access to a decent education (not one based on one’s zip-code) and jobs…this is humane-ness, this what our politicos should be aiming for – working for us, not the plutocratic corporate-capitalist-imperialist Moloch-Mammon worshiping elites…

  9. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    January 21, 2021 at 04:04

    Bush Jr. was worst than Trump. Yes, you are somewhat right on this but the only problem is, the real malignant actor in his case was that Dick, Cheney !

    Also it is quite inaccurate to say that Trump did not start any new war. Actually he did start one by re-inshoreing one that virtually threatened to degenerate into a full blown civil war pitting the highly polarized U.S. citizens and residents largely along partisan lines !

  10. The Truth
    January 20, 2021 at 20:28

    GENIUS!

    Yes, Donald Trump, one single solitary man, possesses all of this great power to autonomously have made all of those decisions. (SIC)

    I anxiously await the red-carpet (no pun intended) treatment from Consortium News for the Marxist-Communist Joe Biden & Co.

    I’ve noticed how Consortium News, over a period of perhaps the last two years, has shown its new colors; MOCKINGBIRD MEDIA.

    Good day.

    • michael888
      January 21, 2021 at 06:23

      Actually I’ve been impressed with CN lately, especially in the aftermath of the Capitol “Coup/ Insurrection”, which most THINKING progressives have noted was absurd, and importantly, paving the way for Patriot Act II. Since the abolition (“modernization”) of Smith Mundt, Project Mockingbird is no longer covert; the CIA Narrative IS the MSM/social media narrative (and at the moment, the DNC narrative). We are well beyond China and the Soviet Union in the sophistication of our propaganda. Undoubtedly alternative media like CN is filling the pressure.

      Robert Parry was the first to challenge Russiagate, and CN gave a forum for VIPS and their contributors. I do think in the interest of “even-handedness” there were also some dissenting views pumping up the MSM views. However TRUTH and evidence always trumps “even-handedness” (that should be allowed in the Comments section). Of course Russiagate has never ended for MSM and social media.

    • AElfwineNerevar
      January 21, 2021 at 09:20

      The fact that you think anyone in the American ruling class is a “communist” shows a deep seated ignorance. If you have been a reader of CN over any period of time you would know that they have consistently been critical of both parties.

    • ML
      January 21, 2021 at 11:07

      “Marxist-Communist Joe Biden”???? You people are so brainwashed. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Joe Biden is a right-wing warmongering old fool. There is no real Left in this country. But there needs to be!!

      • Anne
        January 21, 2021 at 12:10

        Oh so bloody true…It would appear that the vast majority of Americans, be they Blue or Red Face supporters of the Janus Party have absolutely zero notion about what Socialism or Communism are. ZERO….ignorance must be bliss, or whatnot…Definitely instilled in youthful minds by blindly greed mongering, blood thirsty folks born in the 1930s-1950s…

  11. Tom Kath
    January 20, 2021 at 18:46

    Like many people,I have personally in my mind, pardoned Trump for many things, but by not pardoning Assange, Trump has revealed himself as an absolute FRAUD. Neither history nor the foreseeable future will pardon HIM.

    • Donald Johnson
      January 21, 2021 at 16:14

      Will you say the same thing about Joe Biden if, as expected, he fails to withdraw the indictment against Julian Assange?

    • Eric
      January 21, 2021 at 18:17

      As had Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama,
      Trump also left two leading political prisoners,
      Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal, rotting in prison.

  12. Peter Schweinsberg
    January 20, 2021 at 17:33

    Thanks for this precis of DJT’s, did n’ didn’ts, Joe.
    Very helpful.

  13. Rob Roy
    January 20, 2021 at 17:18

    Thank you, Joe Lauria, for pointing out the realities of what Trump did and didn’t do. I would add something to this: “The Trump administration, however, reversed this thinking and prosecuted Assange after he was expelled from his asylum at the Ecuador embassy in London…” THIS arrangement Trump made with the new president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, to expel Julian Assange was the quid pro quo that was impeachable, a bribe offering Moreno 4+billion dollar loan from the IMF if he would kick Julian out of the embassy. Both things happened. On THAT charge, the impeachment would have gotten Trump indicted and found guilty, it was so obvious. Instead the DEMS used an obviously petty thing which, of course, didn’t work. The reason the DEMS didn’t impeach for the truly illegal thing was that Obama tried it first, but failed because Raphael Correa was an honorable man and couldn’t be bribed.

    • Alex Cox
      January 21, 2021 at 11:39

      So Obama’s failure to arrest Assange was due to President Correa’s refusal to take a bribe? If so that emphasizes how bipartisan this persecution of a journalist is.

    • rosemerry
      January 21, 2021 at 13:08

      Thanks Rob Roy- I was about to bring up this important issue. If Julian had not been betrayed and snatched by the UK police from his refuge, this situation, illegally brought on by Trump and Pompeo bribing Lenin Moreno, would not have arisen. By the way, the loan to Ecuador is being used to pay back creditors, not help the people; the poverty rate is now 52%.

  14. Guy
    January 20, 2021 at 17:13

    Any one see Q anywhere ?
    4 years of promises of draining the swamp . It is still there and with the inauguration of Biden has just gotten a bit higher and thicker.
    Good luck America .You will definitely need all the help you can get.

    • January 21, 2021 at 03:48

      “Q? I used to buy it back in the late 80s and 90s when it was a fine, well-written music magazine and there was no internet. It had long outlived its purpose when it ended publication in 2020,”
      writes a British reader.

  15. PEG
    January 20, 2021 at 16:40

    Brilliant article – couldn’t have formulated Trump’s “report card” better myself.

    The fact that a talented dilettante like Trump became President at all showed – in a way – that democracy works (however, it certainly helps for an outsider to be a billionaire, if he has ambitions to become President).

    However, regrettably, he lacked the ability and strength of will to carry out his occasional good ideas such as withdrawing from Syria (or refraining from bombing Syria, which it appears he was pressured to do); after all, as the article points out he was President, not just an impotent observer.

    At the end of the day, it was mostly talk and little action (or big hat and no cattle). The opposite of Theodore Roosevelt – speaking bigly and carrying a soft stick.

    The illustrations by Akira D. are marvelous – look forward to seeing more of her work.

  16. Frank Munley
    January 20, 2021 at 15:32

    Item 4 of things he didn’t do, regarding North Korea: “Trump’s error was to give in to Bolton (his first error was to hire him) who scuttled the diplomatic foray.” A link for verification of this claim would be most helpful. As I remember, Trump’s famous step at the demilitarized zone into the North Korean side to shake hands with Un was made with Tucker Carlson at his side, while Bolton was (of all places) in Mongolia.

    • Frank Munley
      January 21, 2021 at 10:48

      Thanks for the “scuttled” link explaining North Korea’s response to Bolton’s extreme insult, promoting a policy with North Korea that would mimic the policy with Libya which was betrayed by the US (under Obama) following its dismantling of its nuclear program.

  17. Tennegon
    January 20, 2021 at 13:52

    How interesting, that even Joe Lauria seems to have accepted the distortion that the POTUS has ‘the final say’ in declaring and perpetuating armed conflict, aka ‘wars’, not Congress, as our Constitution intended.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      January 20, 2021 at 13:57

      That ship, unfortunately, sailed long ago.

    • Maxine
      January 20, 2021 at 17:03

      Our Constitution??….Just a piece of paper.

    • Tristan
      January 20, 2021 at 17:08

      It seems like a fact these days to me. Although I doubt there would be any resistance from the Democratic side anyway.

    • dave
      January 20, 2021 at 21:06

      Yes. That’s why there have been no wars since WWII.

      • Thomas Scherrer
        January 21, 2021 at 04:11

        Wink, wink.

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