Donald Trump’s mouth and Twitter account have been going a mile-a-minute; but, he’s probably trying to divert attention away from himself, and the things that many Americans are truly curious about. In this post, I will address Trump’s current diversions du jour—Secretary Clinton’s Email and the Clinton Foundation. Subsequently, I will discuss what he might be trying to hide.
By now, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s problems of 20-25 years ago are old news. Surely, they call attention to Secretary Clinton’s trustworthiness and judgement, especially with regard to her State Department Email; but, at least so far, hazardous stupidity is not a criminal offense. As a Cabinet Secretary, however, she had ultimate responsibility, not only for the potential danger of the information within her immediate and personal care, but for that of the entire State Department. And frankly, she doesn’t seem to be too embarrassed about the whole Email matter.
As FBI Director James Comey suggested, State as well as the overall Federal Government, needs to insure that security policies and procedures are updated, and in practice, for the Digital Age. This is something that should not be left to individual Cabinet Departments. Surely, when an emergency situation arises, especially at State or Defense, no one is going to drive back to the office while leaving a particular situation on hold. Immediate and secure communications must be established. Personally, I cannot believe that an intelligent person, such as Secretary Clinton, did not realize this—and consider the importance of Communications Security.
Switching gears now, Donald Trump’s characterization of any coordination between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation, on the other hand, as being “Pay-to-Play”, is spurious at best. In Washington, power and access are important characteristics for any high-profile person, let alone a Past President who is married to the Secretary of State. And, even Donald Trump contributed to the Clinton Foundation. But, there is generally not a profit motive, and no one has suggested there was one with the Clintons, or their Foundation. Consider the following:
1. When Presidents make important overseas trips, they often take a group of corporate executives with them. Such access has surely helped Boeing sell numerous airliners in the past, and GE to accept orders for multi-billion dollar engineering projects, among others.
2. Many Ambassadors are appointed from among a President’s campaign donors, or party hacks.
3. George H. W. Bush founded the Points of Light Foundation while he was President, and it continued throughout the Administration of his son, President George W. Bush, and it is still operating today, in some 30 countries.
4. John E. (“Jeb”) Bush was a popular Florida Republican Governor and politician, no doubt, due to his ready access to the Oval Office, through two Administrations. And certainly, that helped him attract campaign contributions and make introductions?
5. When Senator Bob Dole ran for President in 1996, his wife, Elizabeth (“Liddy”) Dole, was President of the American Red Cross, at the time.
More specifically for Secretary Clinton: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was one of 33 corporate sponsors of the Clinton Foundation Annual Meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Gates visited Clinton in her State Department Office to discuss the work that their Foundation was doing to combat Malaria, something which State was also involved with. A L’Oreal executive was a donor to the Clinton Foundation, while the L’Oreal Charitable Foundation was separately working with people at State on Women’s Issues in developing nations. How can this possibly be “Pay-to-Play?” And, shouldn’t the Secretary of State know about the good things that Americans are doing overseas?
Now, since I have described what Donald Trump has been using to hijack the public discussion, my next post will discuss some of the things that he might be trying to hide.