Trump to embattled EPA chief: "We got your back"

But what does that actually mean for Scott Pruitt?

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 5:49 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 5:51 AM

We know the President isn't exactly a policy wonk, and that he plays fast and loose with the facts in favor of broad strokes intended to froth up his most loyal supporters. But he's also shown that he plays fast and loose with peoples' lives and livelihoods, and doesn't care who he ruins in pursuit of power -- or even just political score-settling.

Those of his used and abused employees who found working in the White House to be less "The West Wing" and more "The Hunger Games" are largely staying quiet about their experiences (or at least not attaching their names to the commentary they whisper to the press). But one woman whose family found itself on the receiving end of President Donald Trump's factually-challenged ire is speaking out.

Jill McCabe, a pediatrician, former state congressional candidate, and the wife of recently-fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, published an op-ed in Tuesday's Washington Post detailing the ways in which, she said, Trump's attacks had harmed her family financially, socially, and psychologically.

Trump claimed, for example, that donations made to Ms. McCabe's campaign for Virginia state senate by Virginia's Democratic then-governor Terry McAuliffe influenced the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. Just one problem: Andrew McCabe, who was supposedly swayed by the money directed to his wife's run, wasn't yet the FBI's deputy director; the position he was in didn't give him decision-making power over the Clinton investigation. Andrew McCabe didn't begin work on the Clinton investigation until after his wife had lost her race.

Ethical safeguards are in place for a reason, and there should absolutely be heightened scrutiny on an FBI higher-up whose spouse or other family member is running for elected office. But this isn't about ethics or scrutiny. It's about a political gotcha from an unhinged, vindictive President who doesn't care whose life he torches in a bullying tweet.

How do we surmise this? For several years now we've seen Donald Trump attack everyone from teenage girls to professional journalists to sitting senators and prisoners of war. He crosses lines once considered sacred, and his base cheers.

It's also rich, this concern with ethics and impropriety, coming from a President who has thrown the ethics book out the window. Now seems like a good time to mention that Donald Trump still hasn't released his tax returns, despite what he promised in the campaign. He owns a hotel near the White House, and his family profits when foreign dignitaries stay there. American taxpayers fund his trips to Mar-a-Lago, his own private club.

His Cabinet members are no better, the most recent example being Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt, who was caught accepting what can only be termed a sweetheart housing deal from lobbyists and using public money for exorbitant travel expenses. Trump told Pruitt he has his back. Tom Price had to step down from his Health and Human Services post because of his habit of funding private jet travel with taxpayer funds. And Housing and Urban Development chief Ben Carson still has his job, despite ordering tens of thousands of dollars of office furniture on the taxpayer's dime.

Trump seems to believe the rules don't apply to him -- and to be fair, so far, he's been right. He was elected President, after all, and has paid virtually no political cost for knowing virtually nothing about policy; for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on golf getaways; for allegations that he had an affair with a porn star and sexually harassed and/or assaulted other women; and for attacking -- largely via Twitter -- private citizens like Jill McCabe.

But that doesn't mean his actions are cost-free. Only it's others who bear them -- human beings swept up in his incoherent and mean-spirited tirades, and regular people like Jill McCabe, who ran for office because, as an emergency room pediatrician, she thought maybe she could help outside of the ER in addition to in it.

Most of Trump's victims are cowed into silence; we never hear what this has cost them. McCabe's story, with its visceral details -- fearing opening packages from strangers and worrying about her teenage children -- should prick the conscience of every American who has given Trump's bad behavior a pass, either out of political sympathy or simple exhaustion. This is not normal, and it must fall on all of us, not just the bravest of Trump's victims, to demand consequences.

Malevolent loudmouth attacks on citizens who pursue public service are beneath the dignity of a sitting president. But then, this President has no dignity to lower.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
Clark114846
Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
Howard85565
Kosciusko82712
Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
LaGrange55410
Warrick55330
Vigo54310
Shelby53527
Grant52029
Dearborn47928
Morgan45134
Clinton4043
Henry36919
White35110
Montgomery34621
Wayne34610
Lawrence33727
Decatur32432
Harrison30923
Putnam2778
Miami2642
Daviess25920
Scott25710
Greene24134
Franklin23413
DeKalb2234
Jasper2192
Jennings21512
Gibson2084
Steuben2043
Ripley1947
Perry17912
Fayette1777
Starke1747
Orange16624
Posey1650
Wabash1613
Fulton1592
Carroll1572
Wells1542
Jefferson1532
Whitley1476
Knox1420
Tipton1296
Huntington1213
Washington1211
Spencer1193
Newton11410
Randolph1144
Clay1045
Sullivan911
Adams892
Jay840
Owen831
Pulaski751
Brown711
Rush714
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford592
Ohio574
Pike520
Parke501
Vermillion480
Crawford440
Switzerland440
Martin420
Union350
Warren201
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97471

Reported Deaths: 3618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17834521
Cuyahoga13141491
Hamilton9374252
Lucas5155320
Montgomery417487
Summit3433218
Marion291045
Butler282262
Mahoning2477254
Pickaway237842
Stark1766137
Warren171136
Lorain168977
Columbiana161860
Trumbull1481105
Fairfield130931
Delaware126319
Licking120247
Clark111514
Lake107338
Wood99358
Clermont89211
Medina88735
Miami81137
Tuscarawas76214
Portage74361
Allen69942
Greene65611
Belmont59226
Richland58911
Mercer57313
Erie55627
Ashtabula55045
Geauga54844
Wayne51958
Ross4444
Huron3885
Ottawa36825
Sandusky36316
Darke36027
Athens3531
Hancock3533
Madison34910
Holmes3266
Lawrence2420
Auglaize2395
Union2331
Jefferson2192
Muskingum2151
Scioto2111
Putnam19917
Washington19822
Knox1917
Seneca1903
Coshocton1886
Shelby1774
Preble1762
Crawford1715
Morrow1652
Hardin15912
Clinton1586
Champaign1571
Highland1461
Fulton1441
Logan1402
Ashland1373
Wyandot1368
Defiance1334
Williams1303
Brown1232
Perry1163
Guernsey1147
Hocking1149
Henry1132
Carroll1105
Fayette1090
Monroe9118
Pike750
Jackson730
Van Wert701
Paulding640
Gallia621
Adams592
Meigs330
Vinton302
Morgan230
Harrison221
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 78°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events