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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Drain the Swamp: An administration bogged in Scandal


A few months ago I wrote a piece on then-Republican Nominee Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood tapes leak. In it I declared that it was Donald Trump’s “time to stop,” and for the Republican Party to disavow him because the myriads of allegations and concerns seemed enough to bring them both down come November. The polls showed it, the experts showed it, common sense and decency seemed to show it.

However, it turns out they (and I) were all wrong. Obviously not only was I wrong on Trump winning, but the Republican Party also won, and now holds a majority in Congress. My expectations and those of many others were absolutely turned upside down by the outcome.

I would say that I’m almost impressed by Trump’s ability to defy expectations and win “bigly,” but that would require me to ignore the fact that in a truly unprecedented turn of events, he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, and the swing states that he did win were won in extremely narrow margins. It’s more a mathematical miracle than an impressive feat.

Nevertheless, he did win. Donald Trump is now the 45th president of the United States. I may not be impressed, but I’m certainly not denying that fact. And out of respect for that, for a while I thought that maybe he’ll do OK, and I would try my hardest to give him a chance. So I haven’t written about Trump for some time, and I tried to give the situation a bit of a grace period.

I tried to give him the chance to “Drain the Swamp.”

But not even four weeks into the term, and not only is the “Swamp” still there, I’d say it’s gotten deeper, murkier, and more corrupt. The only thing Trump has done is refill the swamp, with ever more questionable and repugnant cabinet and administration officials: Steve Bannon, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, the list goes on.

The only difference is that this new swamp is loyal to him.  Even if we try to disregard anything done over the course of the campaign, and try to give Trump a clean slate as President, I personally believe that anyone with even an unbiased and neutral standpoint cannot deny the chaos that has been the last few weeks. And this is because his Administration is by all means of the word, a complete and utter disaster.

Scandal after scandal after scandal, the incompetence and childishness of the Trump administration is plain to see:

These are all just drops in the bucket of swamp water. It is not normal that as I write this piece, so far I’ve gotten at least three breaking news alerts on my phone regarding the Trump presidency, but I’ll get to that later.

The daily (or hourly) scandals and controversies are not normal, they are not the signs of a sustainable and competent administration, and they are exhausting the American people and putting the entire world on edge.

And it’s not only Americans that are affected. I’m currently across the Atlantic Ocean, studying abroad in Newcastle, England and I can’t escape it. Most people I talk to here seem on edge and worried when the topic comes up, they don’t feel stable.

On Jan. 30, at the foot of Grey’s Monument here in Newcastle, a large protest was organized in response to the travel ban and in defiance of the American President (as a matter of fact I’m sitting just in front of the monument now as I write). I’m not too keen on joining protests and whatnot, but as a journalism student, I knew I wanted to go and document it.

So I went, took pictures, heard what people had to say, and even interviewed a local musician about his thoughts on the subject. Most everyone expressed the same feelings of uncertainty and worry about the direction that the free world was being taken. They wanted to make it clear that what President does effects much more than he realizes.


President Trump and his administration need to understand that their decisions and shortcomings, while made in America, threaten the balance and stability of the whole world. “America First” does not mean the entire world should be left hanging by a thread.

But let’s focus our gaze back to the domestic landscape, and the event that pushed me to write this piece. The biggest story and controversy of the administration so far has just transpired, and this story was broken by the “fake news” organization known as The Washington Post.

National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has resigned from his position, just 24 days into the job. It was revealed that he was in contact with a Russian Ambassador discussing lowering sanctions on Russia on Dec. 29. It was the same day that former President Barack Obama announced sanctions in response to Russia’s attempt to influence our election, and one month before Trump’s inauguration.

In addition to this, Flynn lied about this communication to Vice President Mike Pence, which apparently was the tipping point leading to his resignation, not the fact that he committed a potentially illegal and treasonous act of unauthorized foreign policy.

The question remains: How much did the president know, and when did he know it? Side note: this was the main question asked by The Washington Post at the outcome of the Watergate scandal.

Legendary journalist Dan Rather chimed in on the situation in an eloquent Facebook post. “Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now. It was the closest we came to a debilitating Constitutional crisis, until maybe now,” he wrote. “On a 10 scale of Armageddon for our form of government, I would put Watergate at a 9. This Russia scandal is currently somewhere around a 5 or 6, in my opinion, but it is cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour.”

The questions surrounding the relationships between Trump, his administration, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russia, and the claims (that were verified by the FBI) of Russia’s meddling in the election don’t even end there.

The New York Times in a bombshell report says that according to several high ranking law enforcement and intelligence officials, phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Trump’s campaign were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials.

Read that again. Read it over a couple of times. That is a real actual thing that is happening in the United States of America in 2017.

In a country that is supposed to value its free elections and the power of the people, if you are not absolutely disgusted by all of the “coincidences,” all of the reports, and all of the suspicions that seem to lead us to believe that Trump is a Russian stooge and a puppet to Putin, than I truly don’t know what to tell you.

If even a fraction of the allegations that the U.S. Intelligence Community and common sense have thrown at Trump turn out to have a semblance of truth to them, than it would be too much. There are too many coincidences, too many questions, and too many uncertainties. There is too much smoke for there not to be a fire. Something is not right here.

The supreme irony in all of this is that if “Crooked Hillary” had half, no even a quarter, of the scandals and controversies the Trump administration has had, in her first 25 days in office, Congressional Republicans and Make-America-Great-Againers, would be calling for her head.

“But her Emails!”

The upcoming season of Netflix’s “House of Cards” really has their work cut out for them, because reality has officially surpassed fiction at this point. All of this news is absolutely mind boggling, it doesn’t even feel like real life anymore. As Will Farrell said in the movie “Zoolander,” I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. And every day it seems to get worse, the Swamp seems to get deeper.

Regardless of political affiliation, regardless of politics, even regardless of whether or not you voted for Trump, or against him, is irrelevant at this point. Denying the chaos and excusing the behavior of this administration is a danger to our American way of life, our values, and our country.

The Swamp needs to be drained, and this time for real.

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  • AnonymousSep 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm


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Drain the Swamp: An administration bogged in Scandal