The Trump administration has the right stuff
Armstrong Williams | 5/24/2018, 3:23 p.m.
The past few weeks have been historic ones for the Trump administration. President Donald Trump finally showed the moral courage to do what three previous presidents would not or could not, relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to its rightful place in Jerusalem.
Undoubtedly, it was not only the correct move to make but also one that finally righted a historic wrong. Since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act in 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all exercised a national security waiver to delay moving America’s diplomatic home in Israel to the historic and modern-day capital city of the Jewish state.
This act is just one of several foreign policy accomplishments for which President Trump deserves recognition. Just days before the embassy transition, the president announced America’s withdrawal from the woeful Iran nuclear deal. Whereas President Obama and his then Secretary of State John Kerry bent over backward to weaken the U.S. by acquiescing to the bullying demands of Tehran, President Trump put his foot down. He put the world on notice that America will not permit the terror-sponsoring and radical Islamist rulers in Iran to plow forward with developing the most destructive weapons known to man.
It is amazing what a healthy dose of resolve, common sense and bold decision-making can do. The French energy company, Total, one of the first large corporations to rush into the arms of the mullahs and do business with the regime, has now announced that it will wind down its operations there. President Trump’s announcement forced a hard choice for Total: do business with America or do business with Iran.
After all, who in their right mind would forego access to the U.S., the world’s leading economy, in favor of seeking short-term profits in Iran? We should expect a number of other companies and countries to follow suit. What this incident clearly shows is that when America leads and does the right thing, others will soon fall into line.
Meanwhile, the administration is still facing criticism on the domestic front for comments made by a White House staffer who reportedly made a crass joke about Senator John McCain, who is currently in declining health because of a malignant brain tumor.
It bears stating that jokes, comments or discussions, sensitive or otherwise, that are part of internal White House discussions should not become fodder for the media. Leaking is wrong, and it is un-American. It is a cowardly way for people who are supposed to be serving their country to knife each other in the back, to settle scores and to sow discord. It does not serve the greater good and instead only serves to distract from the real issues and important matters that should have the full attention of the White House.
Leaking is certainly not a new phenomenon. The Obama administration faced the same scourge and was aggressive in its efforts to stop the practice, which actually reached new heights under his watch. In an increasingly polarized political climate, leaking only makes things worse. When men or women choose to serve in the administration, they can and should express their opinions, but they should also have to understand that once decisions have been reached, it is their duty to move forward and accept them rather than seek to use gutter tactics to advance their positions or to maneuver against colleagues.
No, the private comments by White House staffer Kelly Sadler should never have become a public matter. But now that they have, they should be addressed and they should be condemned.
Senator John McCain is a man who has dedicated his life to the service of his country. Like generations of his family before him, he served with distinction and honor in the Navy. He displayed heroism throughout an ordeal that would have totally destroyed most men: being captured, imprisoned and brutally tortured for years in Vietnam.
In the decades since, he has selflessly continued to dedicate himself by representing the citizens of Arizona and tirelessly advocating for the men and women of the military and for doing what he felt was right to advance this country.
During his campaign for president, he showed real integrity when he took the microphone at a town hall meeting and forcefully rebutted an inaccurate claim by a woman who said she was “scared” of his opponent, then Senator Barack Obama, because he was an “Arab.”
While his own supporters in attendance booed, he said, “No, ma’am…he’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.” When he was ultimately defeated in his run for the presidency, he was both gracious and dignified.
Whatever political disagreements Sadler might have with McCain over past votes do not warrant her heartless remarks. Although she might not like that McCain has announced his intention to oppose the Trump administration’s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, there is never a justification for callousness and saying that it doesn’t matter what he thinks because he will soon be dead.
Her statements are her own, but they reflect poorly on the White House, where she works. The White House should distance itself from Sadler, hold her responsible and issue a formal apology to Senator McCain.