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.

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
Daviess154643
Fayette147733
Steuben143513
Jasper142111
Harrison141824
LaGrange140129
Montgomery139027
Whitley133412
Ripley128114
Decatur124643
Huntington123510
Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
Starke90621
Sullivan88916
Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
Franklin68626
Carroll67913
Orange66628
Vermillion5993
Owen5987
Parke5606
Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
Butler14769146
Lucas14317414
Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
Mahoning7276299
Lake682666
Lorain643499
Clermont577248
Delaware556436
Licking549276
Fairfield538464
Trumbull5305147
Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
Wood4491107
Medina447756
Miami425867
Pickaway399348
Columbiana347297
Portage344872
Tuscarawas328658
Wayne318793
Richland316638
Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
Muskingum240210
Auglaize231031
Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
Shelby190615
Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
Logan127816
Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
Highland101317
Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
Champaign9475
Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
Guernsey83914
Coshocton82613
Perry78712
Adams78313
Pike7451
Gallia73513
Wyandot71216
Paulding64611
Hocking62616
Noble60223
Carroll45710
Meigs39012
Monroe31821
Morgan2575
Vinton2195
Harrison2023
Unassigned00
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