Trump transition: Tweaks, tricks and tweets (Washington Diary)
Washington, Nov 26 (IANS) The Washington Post warned them about “Trump tornadoes,” the Daily Beast alerted the liberals to “Trump tricks.”
Yet the media fell again and again for their would-be Tormenter-in-Chief’s preferred instrument of torture: the tweet.
As the New York Times looked askance at Donald Trump perched atop his Manhattan Trump Tower turning “the staid process” of cabinet formation into what it called “a spectacle”, the mogul fired a tweet.
“The failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly”
And as the TV pundits trained their guns on his strategic advisor pick Steve Bannon, his allegedly alternative right, or alt-right campaign chief, and a $25 million settlement in Trump University fraud cases, he fired two more.
“The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!” Trump tweeted.
He also demanded an apology from the cast of the “highly overrated” play “Hamilton” “for their terrible behaviour” towards Vice President-elect Mike Pence even as his deputy himself heard in the boos from the audience the “sound of freedom.”
And dismissing the Saturday Night Live show as “a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all,” the PEOTUS – shorthand for president-elect of the United States-demanded “Equal time for us?”
And lo and behold, the pundits were talking about how thin-skinned the would-be Commander-in-Chief was. The master manipulator had once again changed the topic and yet kept the limelight on himself.
While the pundits were still criticising the allegedly “racist” and “misogynist” Trump for choosing only five white men for top jobs, Trump named not one but three women to his inner circle.
Among them Nimrata “Nikki” Haley, daughter of Sikh immigrant parents from Punjab, as US ambassador to the United Nations, giving the Desis their first ever cabinet level position.
In yet another nod to diversity, he was also “seriously considering” former rival Dr. Ben Carson, a “greatly talented” black neurosurgeon for a top job.
Then he called all the TV pundits and their bosses for a “media summit” for what the eager beavers thought was an off-the-record discussion. Instead they got an earful.
“It was like a f-ing firing squad,” one source told the New York Post with a “Trump-style dressing down” for their “unfair” coverage that is estimated to have given the mogul $2 billion worth of free publicity.
And then all hell broke loose again as three Indian businessmen found their way among the parade of visitors to Trump Tower from iconic Henry Kissinger to Democratic lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard, the lone Hindu member of US Congress.
Meetings with his Indian partners building a Trump-branded luxury apartment complex south of Mumbai amid cabinet formation raised new ethical questions, said the Times crying “conflict of interest.”
“The law is on my side,” retorted the mogul in an on, off and on again interview with the Times that “continue(s) to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!”
“The president can’t have a conflict of interest,” he told them bluntly. “In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly.”
And as President Barack Obama gave his last presidential pardon to two turkeys in a Thanksgiving holiday tradition, the president-elect got a head start on the ritual by forgiving his rival Hillary Clinton.
“I want to move forward,” Trump said. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons… ,” he told the Times tweaking yet another campaign promise to “lock her up” over her email scandal.
And after turning his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexican border into part wall and part fence, he found waterboarding, as a torture instrument, “not useful” after a talk with his leading candidate for defence secretary, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
Meanwhile, as Clinton’s lead in the popular vote crossed two million, Trump’s final score in the Electoral College that actually chooses the president reached 306-232 with victories in 29 of the 50 states.
Trump, who had once called the Electoral College “a disaster,” now looked at it as “actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play.”
But “If the election were based on total popular vote” he would have campaigned differently “and won even bigger and more easily!” the billionaire tweeted again having the last word.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)