Has Trump Already Chosen His Political Successor?
Donald Trump has made no secret of his fascistic tendencies. His campaign used economic angst to fuel nationalism & authoritarianism. He praised dictators such as Vladamir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Bashaar al-Assad. He threatened protesters and journalists. He threatened to disregard election outcomes. He brushed past requirements for transparency on personal wealth and income.
As President-elect, Trump has already appointed white nationalist and former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist, a new White House position.
Understanding that he is not allowed to control his business interests while serving as president - in order to avoid conflicts of interest. Trump promised to put them into a “blind” trust which his eldest heirs, Donald, Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, would manage – the exact opposite of a blind trust. Trump is either is too stupid to know or simply doesn’t believe that rules apply to him.
As President-elect, Trump has appointed said heirs to the executive committee of his transition team. Since the transition team is not a federal agency, federal nepotism laws do not apply. Then Trump asked about top security clearances for them, which requires formally listing them as national security advisors to the president. Apparently Trump’s lawyers are telling him that nepotism laws do not apply to him, since he formally requested such clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Reports are that they will likely argue that they can use special circumstances provisions (or simply not pay Kushner) and that courts may deem it a political issue and not get involved. Essentially arguing that the law does not apply to the president.
This is could be much more than simple nepotism. This is only my own conspiracy theory with no evidence to back it, but I was thinking about the example of Vladamir Putin, wondering who might be Trump’s Dmitry Medvedev, I thought Kushner a decent candidate – and now this! I’m not predicting anything, and again this is pure speculation, but…
Putin was a KGB agent who was frustrated that the Soviet Union was dissolved and that NATO and the West had reneged on our end of the deal to not expand eastward toward Russia. He ran a populist/nationalist campaign of restoring Russia to former glory (Make Russia Great Again). Russia had laws term-limits, so Putin helped his hand-picked successor and puppet, Dmitri Medvedev, get elected next. Medvedev appointed Putin prime minister, and proceeded to hand presidential powers to the prime minister. Prime Minister Putin eliminated presidential term limits, handed power back to the office of the president, ran for re-election as president, and now serves as a tyrannical dictator who controls state-run media and runs sham elections every four years.
Now Trump has his investor (businessman) son-in-law in an official advisory role (political/government/national security experience).
The whole Medvedev thing is how a worse-case scenario can play out, and besides, Trump is 74. It’s far more likely Trump sees Kushner as Hillary to his Bill Clinton. Regardless, it seems as though Trump is grooming his hand-picked political successor, should his efforts as president be successful.