Not the first time he has done this, President Donald Trump on Friday morning insinuated he would like to extend his term beyond the four years granted by the nation’s constitution when he posed as a question the idea of being granted back “stolen time” that was taken from him because of the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and accusations of misconduct by former FBI head James Comey.
The disastrous IG Report on James Comey shows, in the strongest of terms, how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated. Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool. We should be given our stolen time back?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2019
While the IG report this week chided Comey for handing off contemporaneous notes about his interactions with the president to a friend so that they could be provided to the press, the Justice Department said it would not pursue criminal charges against the former FBI director.
In reaction to Trump’s tweet suggesting he be given extra time on his current term, critics said the idea was ludicrous.
“Trump is talking about illegally extending his presidency again through a coup of his own making,” tweeted John Aravosis, liberal activist and editor of AmericaBlog. “It’s time Republicans started standing up for the country rather than the man.”
The "jokes" about serving more than 2 terms aren't funny anymore https://t.co/y6bvOuih4J
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 30, 2019
What do you mean "it's unclear what Trump meant" about getting his "stolen time back," @washingtonpost? You know exactly what it means: This shameless, lying grifter will refuse to leave office because he doesn't want to face charges. And the @GOP is fine with this.
— Cassie (@snarkysnowqueen) August 30, 2019
It’s not the first time Trump has talked about staying beyond his allowable limit or suggesting he would not cede the office.
In June, as Common Dreams reported at the time, Trump pinned a tweet to his timeline showing an online meme that depicted him holding power indefinitely. While critics then acknowledged that the behavior appears to be a form of trolling by the president, it still is a frightening suggestion that would be foolish not to take seriously or with at least some level of concern.
In response to Trump’s comments on Friday, many took the idea of “stolen time” and ran with it as they suggested that it was Trump’s presidency—predicated on racism, misogyny, xenophobia, environmental rollbacks, corporate giveaways, cruelty to children, fealty to wealthy elites, and an overall assault on decency and the common good—that had stolen so much time and progress from the country and the world.
“We should absolutely be given back our stolen time!” said one Twitter user, exemplary of many others. “And the whole Trump fiasco should be stricken from history. Everything Trump has done should be reversed as though it never happened.”
Trump and ‘soulless’ McConnell use the coronavirus crisis to ram through wretched judges, dirty air and worse
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Brace yourself: This might be Trump’s dirty and cynical plan for Dr. Anthony Fauci
This has gotten buried under the pile of horrific news about both the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump's multiple failures to handle the crisis, but there was a moment during Trump's daily propaganda dump on Sunday that was even more disturbing than usual. It came while Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was speaking, which usually means a respite from Trump's firehose of misinformation and self-aggrandizement and an opportunity to get real information from an actual expert who is not a sociopath.
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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.
He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”
It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.