It would be difficult to name another incoming President in America’s history with as many unanswered questions and public apprehension as current President-Elect Donald J. Trump. In fact, on November 21, 2016, Gallup published a poll indicating that 45% of the country feels the incoming President will unite the nation, while 49% felt he will make the populace even more divided.
Long History of Duplicity
When it comes to ‘the Donald’ and his sordid history of lies and deceit, one case that stands out is the scandal surrounding the infamous Trump University. The organization was hit with a class-action lawsuit, in which plaintiffs alleged the school misled students about its offerings, charged exorbitant fees, and failed to live up to their promises to deliver a high-quality real estate education. So naturally when the recently reported $25 million settlement was announced some saw it as an admission of guilt, especially given that during the campaign he promised to fight the suits.
Another move that will not soon be forgotten is how Trump promoted the Birther conspiracy which challenged the President Obama’s citizenship, going as far as to call for the release of the President’s birth certificate. After many grueling months, Obama gave in to the pressure and posted a copy of the certificate online, thus putting an end to the 8-year charade that began before he entered the national scene, only to be amplified during the 2008 election cycle and then again in 2012.
The Dishonesty Continues
Since winning the election in November, Trump has made little progress in the honesty department. In fact, the latest source of outrage has been the alleged Russian interference into the US election intended to tip the contest in favor of the Republication candidate. Not only have the CIA and FBI produced reports pointing to hacking by Russia but President Obama has ordered official sanctions against Russia in the wake of the scandal. The notion of a compromised election, especially in light of Trump’s claims of a “rigged” election throughout the campaign, have done little to instill public confidence in the incoming President
While the press, and even Trump’s enemies, have not gone so far as to accuse Trump of knowing about the hacking ahead of time or during the election, the President Elect’s actions on the issue have certainly raised questions. Trump has repeatedly questioned the findings of the intelligence community on the matter as well as Obama’s actions in sanctioning Russia.
He had the following to say in a recent statement on the matter, ‘While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations, including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election, including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines’.
Never has a President or President-Elect been so dismissive of the intelligence sources America relies on for its protection, which has raised many eyebrows amongst the press and public.
Conflicts of Interest
It is obvious going into the Trump presidency that the incoming Leader has a Russia problem. Trump has continually praised Russian President Vladimir Putin through the Election and has called for a thawing of the decades-old relationship between America and its old established rival. When you throw in the fact that the Trump organization has made millions of dollars in various Russian business dealings over the years, not to mention the current hacking allegations, then the incoming President would certainly seem to have a very real conflict of interest on his hands when it comes to Russia.
Another aspect to consider is Trump’s floundering when deciding what to do with his multi-faceted business interests. Although the press and politicians on both sides of the aisle have called for him to place his Trump organization in a blind trust, the incoming President has not done so and has given no indication that he will do so when he takes over the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump has continually announced press conferences to address the issue only to cancel them later. Can a President with vast global business interests honestly make decisions for the best of the Country or will self-interest and the promise of major profits win out? This is a question that has haunted Trump since the election, and he has done himself no favors in failing to address the issue.
Signs of Hope
“Maybe it really won’t be that bad.” This is a statement that has been on the lips of the more positive-thinking non-Trump-supporters since the Election, and Trump has been accomplishing some victories that have given hope to some. Trump has been fighting to keep American jobs within our borders, going directly at various plants and factories thinking of outsourcing their operations to keep those positions with American workers. While the results of these struggles can be contested and many have questioned the methods by which he has gone about addressing the factories at hand, it has been seen by many as an overall positive move on the side of the incoming President.
Never in recent times has the American public been as divided as it is today regarding an incoming President. There truly seems to be no middle ground. While avid supporters applaud Trump’s every action and Tweet, sworn enemies openly call for his immediate impeachment. And while Trump’s relationship with honesty has certainly been rocky over the years, it remains to be seen if the President Elect will truly take his forthcoming swear-in as the true oath our forefathers intended.