A panel of conservative columnists on Wednesday was stunned by the “defining down” of the presidency under Donald Trump, remarking that—despite their irreconcilable differences with former President Barack Obama—they have to admit he was “a class act.”
The panel was responding to the never-ending Stormy Daniels saga, including reports Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen tried to silence the adult film star through a “secret restraining order” last month.
“There is no other presidency where we could possibly be having this conversation,” Foreign Policy columnist Max Boot said. “I mean, could you imagine discussing a previous president paying off a porn star? This would be such huge news, would threaten the very continuation of the presidency. With Donald Trump it’s like the tenth story of the day.”
“The Stormy Daniels thing for Trump, this is chump change,” Boot added. “This is minor stuff. Whereas for any other president this is a nuclear blast.”
Referencing Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, CNN’s Don Lemon said “people lost their minds the president lied,” but added “no one seems to care when it’s President Trump.”
GOP strategist Rick Wilson agreed.
“Imagine for one moment the phrase ‘Barack Obama paid a porn star $130,000,’” Wilson offered. “Or ‘George W. Bush paid a porn star $130,000.’ This country would be in a complete meltdown if that were the case. This country would be having —we would be tearing our hair out and rending our garments if that happened. And in this case it’s sort of like we have defined presidency down so far, it’s like ‘Oh, yeah, Trump and porn star. Of course he is with porn stars.’ It’s a remarkable moment in the political history.”
“I was critical of President Obama,” Boot later added. “I was a lifelong Republican, I was critical of the Obama presidency. Everybody has to admit that Barack Obama is a class act. He was not an unethical president. He was a great father, husband, leader for our country. A man of—is there anybody in America who can possibly say that Donald Trump makes you proud? He makes me embarrassed. He makes me cringe. I can’t imagine there is anybody in the country who is proud to have somebody behaving this way in the White House.”
Even former Bush White House assistant Scott Jennings—who often defends Trump—had to agree with his fellow panelists’ assessments of Obama.
“I think Barack Obama is generally an honorable person,” Jennings said before launching into a ferocious critique of the former president’s foreign policy.
“Having, said, everybody is exactly right,” Jennings said after his anti-Obama diatribe. “If any other president had done this it would be the top story and we had be having a national freakout.”
“The president’s, you know, moral history is already baked into his politics and his approval rating,” Jennings said.
Watch below, via CNN:
‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.
"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."
Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election
In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.
Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.
Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.
Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.
Japan emperor to proclaim enthronement in ritual-bound ceremony
Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his ascension to the throne next week in a ritual-bound ceremony, but the after-effects of deadly typhoon will cast a shadow over proceedings.
Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, a day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.
But the transition will not be complete until his new role is officially proclaimed on Tuesday, in a series of events expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.
The event will come just over a week after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, killing nearly 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction.