More administration chaos: “Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein said Tillerson had not spoken to Trump and was unaware of the reason behind his firing. Goldstein said Tillerson was notified of the official termination in Trump’s tweet Tuesday morning and, in a statement, said Tillerson had ‘every intention of remaining.’ Hours after the statement was released, Goldstein himself was fired.” Truth-telling is a firing offense in this administration.
Oh, and the chaos extended to the White House. “President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was fired and escorted from the White House on Monday after being denied a security clearance over financial problems in his background, according to senior administration officials and people close to the former aide. People close to Mr. McEntee said problems related to online gambling and mishandling of his taxes prevented him from gaining the clearance necessary for the role.” And he has been there for the entire presidency.
Throwing the international trading system into chaos is never good. “Alienating nations around the world, with whom the United States has had long and mutually beneficial relationships is no way to bargain. Playing the bully is a horrible and damaging ploy. And whether Trump ultimately implements his proposed tariffs or eventually backs down, as many suggest he will, those long-standing and essential trading partners will have learned one thing: The United States is now an unreliable, unpredictable and unreasonable trading partner.”
If your firing was this chaotic, you wouldn’t be handing out compliments either. “What was …perhaps most obvious to everyone watching was the fact that at no point during [Tillerson’s] entire address was there even a moment of gratitude towards Trump. Not a single ‘thank you’ or ‘I enjoyed working with you’ or anything. Just a full-on snub when it came to saying thanks for the opportunity to the president.” Who can blame him?
Tillerson’s chaotic firing comes on the heels of the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to end the Russia investigation. “[T]he Republicans on the House intelligence committee announced that they had concluded the investigation of the Russian interference—and would soon publish a report acquitting Trump of collusion. Bad luck for them to release the report on the very day that Trump again demonstrated that something is very, very wrong in the Trump-Russia relationship.”
Induced chaos from the right reaches an audience less disposed to democracy. “Americans’ attitudes about democracy are rapidly polarizing along partisan lines. Whereas liberals and conservatives held anti-democratic views at roughly equal levels in previous surveys, self-described conservatives are now much more likely to favor a strongman leader than their more liberal peers. … Meanwhile, a lot of young people reject Trump out of hand—but are also growing so frustrated with the evident failings of democracy that they are more and more open to authoritarian alternatives.”
Russia creates chaos in democracies by election-tampering, and now seemingly by attempted assassination. “More ominously, [the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter] may have been designed to expose Britain’s new isolation: Now that it is leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom no longer has a set of allies it can rely upon to help craft a response. It has no favors it can draw upon either: For the past year, British diplomacy has been focused on Brexit to the exclusion of all else.”