The United States continues to grapple with the rampant corruption allegations rocking the Trump administration, and even former President Barack Obama is feeling the heat. During a speech in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this past week, he noted how much his own administration had been able to achieve in the absence of the kind of never-ending carousel of criminal charges, resignations, investigations and beyond that have come to define Donald Trump’s time in office.
‘Nobody was jailed. We made mistakes. We were not perfect. But we maintained integrity and we were able to show that it is possible to achieve great power without corruption.’
Just in connection to the recently concluded Russia investigation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a full half dozen of Trump’s former associates have been hit with criminal charges, and a couple of them — including his former longtime “fixer” Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort — sit in jail right now. Obama’s presidency was not marked by either a lawyer of campaign manager of his getting jailed.
Ironically, Trump and company have recently leaned hard into their allegations of corruption on the Obama administration’s part, alleging that the Trump campaign was “spied on” during the course of the Russia investigation despite the complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing by the investigating authorities. Figures like Trump’s current campaign manager Brad Parscale like to talk about supposed questions like why the Russia investigations that did proceed ever got off the ground, implying their very nature is corrupt — but it’s not that complicated. There is clear, wide-ranging evidence of Russian efforts to tilt the 2016 U.S. elections and concurrent Trump team connections to Russians.
This represents how far off they’re operating from the main points of the Obama era. The former president described one of his hardest moments as president as “having to tell the parents of school shooting victims that he could not promise them America’s gun laws would change to prevent the massacre of more children in the future,” as Newsweek puts it. Obama remarked that:
‘U.S. gun laws do not make much sense.’
Former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping to capitalize on the contrast between the Trump team and his own, having served alongside Obama for eight years and now jockeying for the Democratic presidential nomination. Despite the general election remaining well in the future, Biden and Trump have already trained their sights on each other as if it’s right around the corner. Trump is banking his efforts on spectacles like praising North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s assessment of the former vice president as “low IQ,” while Biden is running on a platform of boosting the economy and reclaiming “the soul of America” and restoring “respected leadership on the world stage—and dignified leadership at home,” as his campaign website puts it.
Biden currently remains at the front of most polls measuring the Democratic presidential primary field, but there remain months to go before the first relevant votes are cast and the first debate hasn’t even happened yet. It’s set for next month.
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