Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin still isn't pulling any punches when it comes to her disdain for Trump. Shortly after the news about Michael Flynn and his son in the Russiagate investigation was reported on MSNBC, AM Joy host Joy-Ann Reid asked her panel to weigh in on that and Trump's 12-day trip to Asia.
Rubin once again laid into Trump and his Republican enablers in the Congress who are still refusing to keep him and his flagrant violations of the emoluments clause in check.
Here's Rubin's exchange after host Reid and former State Department Senior Advisor Nayyera Haq discussed what Trump's real goals (his business interests) are during this overseas trip and how it undermines the standing of the United States across the world. As Haq noted, Trump's dealings make it look as though the U.S. is more interested in protecting corrupt business practices than protecting human rights, freedom of the press and freedom of speech.
REID: And, you know, Jennifer Rubin, to make that point, you have Donald Trump who owns a $200,000 a head private club, who we do not know who the members are, but we keep getting little inklings that perhaps members of that club can be protected from extradition if Donald Trump wishes, that there are special perks involved.
We do have in a sense Donald Trump becoming more like other world leaders that we could name that are not so savory necessarily, whose business interests and whose essentially financial interests get really deeply entangled with their interest in leading their governments. It's extraordinary.
RUBIN: It really is, and actually, the fee used to be $100,000. He doubled it once he became president because he can now monetize the presidency in a way that no one has ever done before. He began this trip in Hawaii where he was, again, touting a Trump property.
No one has used the presidency to advance his own personal business interests, and there's a reason why he's getting away with it. And that is that Republicans don't care. They could easily stop this. They could easily either pass legislation or invoke the emoluments clause and prohibit him from receiving income and monies from foreign leaders, but they roll over and play dead.↓ Story continues below ↓
And you're right, this is becoming a banana republic, a third world dictatorship where the rule of law is supplemented. The president's financial and personal interests are above national interests and he cavorts with people who share those rotten values—antidemocratic values.
I would say that as far as the Flynn thing goes, we should remember how we first learned about this or how he first got in trouble, and that was potentially lying to FBI agents discovered by Sally Yates, who then went to the White House, the White House counsel, to rat him out and say, listen, you can't have the vice president of the United States going around and repeating these things, and Flynn is lying.
So he's involved every which way. He's involved in Russia. He's involved in Turkey and he's involved in the dishonesty that we saw from Sessions, we saw from other people in trying to conceal these Russian contacts. So he's got about three pressure points and now that they have his son, they are going to pressure him and see if he coughs up some more information.
h/t Raw Story