Since so many members of the habitually kleptocratic Trump administration see the federal coffers as little more than their own personal piggybanks, the news that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have been using a taxpayer-funded staffer to walk his dog and collect his laundry is hardly a surprise.
Equally unsurprising (given what we know about this irredeemably corrupt White House) it turns out that the State Department Inspector General who Trump fired last week may have been investigating Pompeo’s staffer behavior.
Today, Trump was asked directly if he has any concerns that Pompeo requested the firing of the IG to shield himself from the staffer investigation. The president responded that he “doesn’t know anything about it” before immediately pivoting to defending Pompeo’s alleged exploiting of his staff for personal tasks.
After Trump finished his long-winded and unconvincing response, the reporter pushed him on the question of whether or not Pompeo may have subverted the will of Congress by working behind-the-scenes to facilitate prohibited arms sales to Saudia Arabia.
Rather than addressing the reasonable concerns, Trump launched into an extended rant about how the United States should be selling arms to every “friendly” country that wants them. True to form, he focused entirely on the idea of turning a profit and completely avoided the moral and geopolitical ramifications of flooding the world with weapons.
“We should take the money, we should make the deals fast,” Trump said, offering a perfect crystallization of his amoral, mercenary worldview.
“Even if it leads to human rights abuses?” the reporter asked.
“Why don’t you take your mask off? You know even just for a second. Please?” snapped Trump. The president has repeatedly refused to wear a mask himself even as cases of COVID-19 have begun to pop up in the White House.
“Even if it results in human rights abuses?” the reporter repeated. “That was Congress’s concern…”
“Human rights?” Trump said, as if he had never heard of the term.
“…abuses,” the reporter corrected.
“I don’t know. That I don’t know. I mean you know you tell me something that I’ve never heard of. Now, you’re talking about human rights abuses. You’ll figure something out I’m sure. Look, he’s a high-quality person, Mike,” Trump said, completely failing to engage with the question before quickly moving back to praising the Secretary of State.
The president’s obvious obfuscation boils down to the simple fact that he doesn’t care if foreign leaders use weapons to murder civilians so long as he can claim that he made a big “deal.” Money trumps innocent lives for Trump every time.
Watch the absolute trainwreck of it all below.
"We should take the money and make the deals fast" — Trump explains that he thinks the US government should sell arms to all countries, regardless of their human rights records pic.twitter.com/Zo6Kd7JytP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2020
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