December 12, 2018
At long last, the President is saying something.
Donald Trump says he could intervene in the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou if it helps to avoid a further decline in US relations with China.
“Whatever’s good for this country, I would do,” the US president said.
Ms Meng, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant, was granted bail on Tuesday by a Canadian court.
She was arrested on 1 December and could be extradited to the US to face fraud charges linked to the alleged violation of sanctions on Iran.
Ms Meng, 46, denies any wrongdoing and has said she will contest the allegations.
She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and her detention, which comes amid an increasingly acrimonious trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, has angered China and soured its relations with both Canada and the US.
In an interview with Reuters news agency on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he would intervene in the US Justice Department’s case against Ms Meng if it would serve national security interests or help achieve a trade deal with China.
“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” he said.
No idea if this is too little too late.
What Trump should have done is: immediately after the arrest, he should have publicly order the Justice Department to drop the charges, demanded the Canadian government release her and issued an official apology to the Chinese on behalf of the country.
He should have then issued an investigation into who ordered the kidnapping.
This was so obviously an attempt by the so-called “deep state” to sabotage his dealings with China. It couldn’t have been any more plain. And he probably had the ability to act – he at least had the ability to demonstrate that he didn’t have the ability. He could have shown that to not just the Chinese, but to the American people, if that were in fact the case.
We could really use a lot more of these “pulling back the veil” moments. We’ve certainly had a lot of those with the courts, but we haven’t yet had a direct confrontation with the Justice Department. And he backed down from what would have been direct confrontations with the Department of Defense.
He could for example order the DoD to build a wall, and then let them tell him “no,” publicly.
That is one thing Trump is capable of doing: showing just how incapable he is. And I think people would be righteously angry if they were exposed to the fact that this President is being denied the legal authority that is vested in him as President.
The apparent problem with that plan is that Trump is too proud to admit how powerless he is.
In this particular situation with Meng, not doing anything and then coming out and claiming that he could do something if he wanted is the worst of both worlds – he is taking on responsibility for something he is clearly not responsible for.
The real question is: why am I not an advisor to Trump?
Surely, he could bring me in and just say “yeah, you know, he was just joking about all that stuff he wrote in the internets.”
I guess that will happen after the declaration of MARTIAL LAW.