President Donald Trump appears to have potentially broken yet another law while in office. Although market manipulation is blatantly prohibited, according to a new report from CNN, a description Trump offered of communication with Chinese counterparts about a supposed willingness to conduct trade negotiations didn’t actually match up to reality. According to aides, there was no behind-the-scenes progress along those lines in the ever-growing trade conflict between the U.S. and China, even though Trump seemed intent on the news of such boosting domestic economic markets with an eye towards boosting his re-election chances.
While at the G7 summit in France in recent days, Trump had insisted, speaking of the Chinese and alleged private communication from them:
‘They have been hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do, and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world. I think we are going to do.’
‘[A]ides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen they way he said they did. Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.’
In other words, we’re supposed to trust the handling of the economy to someone who resorts to desperate reaches about something as basic as who talked to who.
Notably enough, the weekend of that G7 summit, Trump’s own top economic adviser Larry Kudlow was on cable news saying he couldn’t promise there’d be a deal with China before the 2020 elections, which are still more than a year away. That would entail a year’s worth of additional losses from import taxes going both directions that Trump kickstarted. In June of this year alone, one study says U.S. businesses lost a full $3.4 billion they’d have otherwise had thanks to the tariffs situation.
In service of that scheme, Trump now appears to have engaged in an attempt at market manipulation. Consistently, following dismal developments in the U.S./China trade war like threats and actual impositions of new tariffs, the overall value of the stock market has taken a nosedive.
Market manipulation is not the only crime that Trump has seemed to just casually commit while in office, indicating how far off the rails that things have really gotten.
In perhaps the most infamous example, the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation outlined numerous instances of apparent obstruction of justice on the president’s part, although standing Justice Department policy bars the prosecution of a sitting president. Still, it’s there for all to see — time and time again, Trump has taken to Twitter or some other medium with some threatening message for some testifying against him.
It’s not working. Trump continues to poll significantly behind leading Democratic presidential primary candidates pretty consistently. His popularity is remaining low, voter opinions of his handling of a variety of specific subjects are low — and more. He’s just getting more consistently desperate, even while he’s supposed to lead the United States.
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