Wife Beaters (Column, Cartoon and Video)
Last week, Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah addressed comments made by Omarosa Manigault about the turmoil in the executive branch by saying, “Omarosa was fired three times on The Apprentice, and this is the fourth time we let her go.”
I am not defending Omarosa, who has gone from the West Wing to the reality show Big Brother where she said she is “haunted” by Donald Trump’s tweets, that things are “bad” inside the White House and that it’s “not going to be okay” there going forward. She was perfectly fine with the Trump administration when she was a part of it when she said, “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”
Criticizing Omarosa is fine, but what is this “we fired her” stuff? My point of contention is Mr. Shah’s comments about them firing her for the “fourth” time. Raj, the White House is not The Apprentice. It is not a reality TV show. Or is it?
White House Secretary Rob Porter resigned this week after it was revealed he’s been accused of beating both of his ex-wives. A former girlfriend has also made some accusations. As it turns out, the White House knew this for over a year as Porter was never cleared by the FBI for a security clearance.
White House Counsel Don McGahn was aware of this as well as Chief of Staff John Kelly. Kelly even defended Porter and attempted to talk him into staying. Later, Kelly told the White House staff to lie and tell the press that he had moved aggressively to oust him once his misdeeds were discovered. Remember when Kelly was supposed to be the moderating influence on this White House? Sure, he lied about a black congresswoman, Lied about Obama not calling Gold Star families, and said Dreamers won’t get off their “lazy asses,” but other than that, he’s a great influence.
Adding to the turmoil, Hope Hicks, Communications Director, and Porter’s squeeze, issued statements from the White House supportive of Porter. Stand by your man, Hope.
Treatment of women has become a serious issue for this White House. Original Campaign Director Corey Lewandowski grabbed a female reporter at an event. Steve Bannon has been accused of violence against an ex-wife. Trump’s first choice as Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew as the nominee after questions arose about him assaulting his ex-wife. On Friday, another member of the Trump team, speechwriter David Sorensen, resigned after accusations came to light of him assaulting (take one guess) his ex-wife. And, of course, there’s Donald Trump who has also been accused of assaulting his first ex-wife.
Not counting Trump, five people associated with this administration have been accused of violence against women. Do you know how many during the 16 years of the Bush and Obama administrations faced those types of allegations? Zero. And, it’s only been a year for the Trump team.
It should also be noted how the White House handles these accusations and how seriously they take them. First, they kept Porter on for over a year after being informed of the accusations by the FBI. They even allowed him to handle classified information without having a permanent security clearance. Blackmail Schmackmail.
Trump has accused every woman claiming he groped them of lying, and that he’d eventually sue them all. He defended Roy Moore and argued that the man claimed he was innocent.
Friday, Trump talked about Porter and didn’t express any concern for the woman. He was only concerned for Porter and said, “he also, as you probably know, says he is innocent, and I think you have to remember that.” It’s interesting that Trump always repeats what the man claims, but never what the woman says.
When a woman is assaulted, what she needs most is to be believed. For some women, the most powerful man in the world is calling them liars and defending their attackers.
Equally disturbing is the fact there are multiple individuals in the White House who are working with classified information without a security clearance. Congress needs to demand how many are currently working without the clearance and who they are.
As ridiculous as it seems to go from the White House to competing on a reality TV show, perhaps everyone in the Trump administration needs to take a good hard luck at Omarosa’s current gig.
After sacrificing their dignity, credibility, respectability, humanity, and selling their souls, the only place that will take them seriously in their future will be reality TV.
Maybe Omarosa will scooch over and make room for them on the couch.
Email Clay Jones @[email protected]