My dad spent 25 years in the State Department, a careerist who worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He was at the table of countless negotiations with foreign powers, initiated well before anyone who had gone through a Senate confirmation walked through the door. Months of preparation, research, establishing initial contacts. By the time the big names sat down at the table for whatever ceremonial signing, the answer was already established, the direction already agreed upon and -- this is the thing my dad always stressed to us kids -- the consequences, intended and unintended, were considered from every angle. Intentions are well and good, but you must always consider the consequences.
I thought about my dad this week when the news broke that the Trump administration was putting transcripts of conversations with foreign leaders in a top secret server (the irony is just *chef's kiss*). Those conversations would not be available to whomever is doing my dad's job now. How much harder does that make their jobs? I promise you, negotiations will not be easy now. How much more difficult have you made the job of those who actually see to our national security? The consequence of Trump wanting personal benefits is the harm it does to our collective safety.
And when Trump released the redacted memcom of the call between him and Zelensky, he did so without any offical Ukrainian permission. How will the next negotiation go with foreign officials if they fear that anything they say may be released publicly? One of the things that the Trump administration thought was appropriate to not redact from the call was Zelensky showing that he already understood how to manipulate Trump: by flattering him and telling him he stayed at a Trump property. What is that telling the rest of the world of how to do business with the US?
Life is full of unintended consequences. Trump thought that he could continue to bluff and bluster his way through the presidency as a way to upsell his brand. Hopefully, his lack of respect for the institutions, norms, laws and the office has as a consequence, his impeachment.
ABC’s “This Week” — Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Panel: Julie Pace, Pierre Thomas, Chris Christie and Rahm Emanuel.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Schiff; Steve Scalise, R-La.; Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif; former Ambassador Michael McFaul. Panel: Yamiche Alcindor, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Hugh Hewitt and Mark Leibovich.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” —Giuliani; Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Terri Sewell, D-Ala. Panel: Paul Reid, Mike Morrell, Adam Entous and Rachael Bade.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Panel: Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), David Urban, Aisha Moodie-Mills and Bill Kristol.
CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” — David Cameron; Anne Applebaum; Dina Esfandiary; Thomas Friedman.
CNN’s “Reliable Sources” — Christine Pelosi; Christopher Ruddy; Susan Glasser. Panel: Amanda Carpenter, Susan Hennessey, Suzanne Nossel and Oliver Darcy.
“Fox News Sunday” —White House senior adviser Stephen Miller; Jeffries. Panel: Rich Lowry, Donna Edwards, Gillian Turner and Mo Elleithee.
I'm gonna need strength to get through a Sunday with Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham and Stephen Miller, so tell me what's catching your eye this morning?