Jim Acosta did his job.
It’s clear, even after two years, that Donald Trump does not understand his own.
The CNN reporter asked the president about his “invasion” terminology of a bedraggled caravan hundreds of miles from our borders – justification for an election-eve rousting of enlisted men and women — ordered from their homes to stare at an empty southern horizon.
Acosta asked about the possibility of further indictments in Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian collusion and more.
Instead of answering like a president, this one answered like a schoolyard blowhard by grabbing Acosta’s press credentials on a wholly bogus charge that he manhandled an aide.
You’ve seen the type in your own schoolyard. He gets caught doing something wrong and threatens to pound anyone employing his or her two good eyes.
We saw Trump play politics with American troops, sending them to the border for no other reason than to ramp up the froth of his supporters pre-election. An “invasion” – oh, yeah. It’s only costing $220 million. We’ve got that, um, somewhere.
Supporters cheered at the rallies he held for Republican candidates. And for himself.
Reportedly we are on the verge of hearing from Mueller, just as Trump continues his 24/7 effort to undermine the investigation by getting rid of the man overseeing it and putting in charge someone who has loudly criticized Mueller.
Collusion? Mueller may not be able to prove it. Remember, though: It was obstruction of justice that brought Nixon down. With our very own corneas, we have witnessed obstruction from this president every day in every way.
It extended from his pressuring of James Comey to back off the probe, to his firing him because he wouldn’t back off, to the pressuring of other key investigatory figures, to the firing of Jeff Sessions and the demotion of Rod Rosenstein.
Now we have an acting attorney general who literally auditioned on TV – CNN, no less – with suggestions on how to stop Mueller.
Donald Trump, like Nixon, but even more zealously, is out to operate above and beyond the law.
Not so fast, said the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week in telling Trump he could not yank the rug from under DACA recipients seeking renewals under the program.
Not so fast, said U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in ruling that Trump cannot authorize the Keystone XL pipeline without an environmental review as our laws dictate.
Not so fast, said voters across the nation Nov. 6, yanking the House of Representatives away from the Party of Trump. Accompanying that was a raft of Democratic victories in statehouses across the nation.
Of particular interest was that the Democrats not only picked up seven governorships but also now have the majority of attorney general offices in the nation. These are positions from which the loyal opposition repeatedly and tenaciously will challenge Trump’s presumptive moves in court.
I can appreciate Trump’s mindset in telling Acosta, “I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN.”
Once again, Trump doesn’t get it. The country is not his to run. He’s an executive hired by the people of this country that is a republic with separation of powers. CNN is a private company that can do what it wants. Trump cannot.
I realize that some Republicans think of government as just another enterprise that can be awarded by a bid system. In it, the winner of that bid does whatever he wants until bids go out again. Yeah. Government is an even bigger Halliburton.
For those of you who believe that, think of it this way: The voters just decided to provide a check on the chief contractor awarded that bid in 2016. This check comes with awesome investigatory powers.
Just as Trump’s acting A.G. assumes that as Trump’s surrogate he can stop Mueller by denying him the funds to do his duty, so can the House of Representative wield the power of the purse to dictate what Trump can do with his power.
Of course, the ultimate check on Donald Trump comes in two years. Millions of Americans will count the days.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.