Trump has a Yates problem and it ain’t going away anytime soon!

Published: April 3, 2017
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There are murmurings from the greatest of Trump’s allies that consolidate the perception that he did indeed receive help from the Russians to win the elections.

I don’t even know where to begin but let me start with this – at the time of writing these lines, the bizarre saga of Russia hacking the US presidential election is moving along at a breath-taking pace.

The number of people allegedly involved from the Trump camp is as high as the sky, and if justice is allowed to take its due course, we may see a few heads rolling, and by that I mean some seriously important heads!

Sally Yates is a real life American hero. On the night of January 30th, when she stood up against Donald Trump’s travel ban and defended the people’s right to move around unfettered on God’s green planet, I, along with millions of others, saluted her for her integrity, bravery, fearlessness and courage to challenge a bully unleashed on us in the most inexplicable time of US politics that we’ve ever witnessed. Two months after being fired by the president, Yates is back in the news and it doesn’t seem that she’ll be out of Trump’s fancy hair anytime soon. Fearing that Yates has unique information that’ll prove to be detrimental to all and sundry involved within the Trump orbit, the White House recently influenced Yates to pull out of testifying on Russian ties in the Congress.

Despite repeated denials, it seems that in these days of momentous anxiety and chaos, someone, somewhere in the Trump food chain made an executive decision to play hardball and keep Yates out on the side-lines.

Yates is not your ordinary, ladylike softy who will back down easily. She’s a badass legal eagle capable of single-handedly destroying ‘tiny hands’ Trump, shred his truncated legacy and won’t hesitate to take him along with his minions behind the gym.

Here’s the rub though. We are living in uncharted territory, unscripted times never before experienced by any generation. While under normal circumstances, blocking Yates from testifying may come across as an act of obstruction of justice, in today’s political environment, this can just be considered a simple and acceptable norm.

What will it take for the Trump presidency to calm down and settle in? When can we expect to get out of this escalated slash crisis mode? When can the tweet-storms, the threatening language, the horrendous campaign rallies, the finger pointing end? When can we see some real statesmen-like governance working its way through to help the struggling American middle-class? Most importantly, when can one expect the Russian mania to come to an end?

Whereas I do not have answers to all of the above questions, I think I have a good idea about at least one – the Russian hacking issue is destined to hang with us for at least a little while.

Even though things are generally recklessly crazy in Washington anyway, they’ve turned particularly wild lately. If media reports and the 17 highly crafty and skilled intelligence agencies are to be believed, it’s totally mind-blowing how people close to Trump so consistently connived with the Russians to bring their opponent down.

In the larger scheme of things, the very idea of American democracy was attacked and mutilated by a formidable Russian cyber force that coordinated effectively with the Trumpsters to shatter whatever firewalls that ever existed within the formidable US technological environment.

Interestingly, there are murmurings from the greatest of Trump’s allies that point towards only consolidating the perception that he did indeed receive help from the Russians to win the elections – the latest being a statement from Trump’s defence secretary, General (retd) James Mattis.

I keep wondering if there’ll ever be a show stopping moment of this reality show? While a part of me would like to believe that sanity will hopefully prevail soon, the day-to-day tomfoolery doesn’t really support my optimism. The sceptic in me essentially fails me. Look at how idiotically the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, is handling the Russian investigation. Nunes is a fool playing into Trump’s hands. It won’t be surprising to see him say an unceremonious goodbye to his chairmanship in the coming days and weeks. He must go!

Another Russian monkey business example is the larger than life former advisor Mike Flynn who, according to some in DC, would’ve been wearing the Red Army colours had he not cared about his post-retirement US benefits. This guy soaked himself in with the Russians to not only help Trump’s cause but also had a wide array of links with Moscow. He’s now seeking immunity from persecution in exchange for his testimony since he knows fully well that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on in terms of defending his Russian connection. He might even implicate Trump along the way!

My friends tell me that the American system will eventually overcome these odds and will put things in order. I, however, am not sure if those cardinal principles and profound values that we stood for as the greatest nation in the world apply anymore. When I see third world type cronyism and nepotism being exercised, when the top leader is a top tax evader, I feel disillusioned and disappointed.

Trump is a menace for the ecosystem. His toxic presence can be neutralised by Yates, and other good men and women within the corridors of power must rise up and express dissent. The Russian investigation process could just be the start of a progression that will see Trump going down. Understood that he doesn’t care much about ratings or popularity or whatever the world thinks about him, this is not the Trump Organisation where he could bully people to extinction. This is the United States of America where people know their rights and no one is above the law or the nation itself.

Granted that I have no idea what the near-term future has in store for us, I can safely say that there’s no smoke without fire. Trump may be trying to convince the world that he’s clean, but things are not as rosy as he’d like us to believe. There’s definitely something that the intelligence community, the watchdogs, the whistle-blowers, the media and the people feel the need to be addressed and address we shall.

I hear there’s plenty of tracking, monitoring and reporting that’s all ready to be set free into the public domain from various nooks and corners of Washington DC by agencies that have been investigating Trump and associates for some time now. However, the only hurdles are the laws that restrict the dissemination of information without proper protocol. Once the leakage (remember the drip, drip, drip?) starts, it’ll all make beautiful news!

Yes, things are fluid at the moment and yes, I’m lost for answers and people are worried. However, I’m aware that we are in for a rocky run and Trump, or the Orange Neanderthal as my friend likes to call him, will endlessly keep us glued to our TV sets and computer screens.

As for Trump himself, well, you can’t polish a turd! The word on the street is that he will create circumstances that would make him indispensable. For all that it’s worth, he is, after all, a reality show guy. More importantly, he’s always right and he’s always a hero!

Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.