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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Daily Combover - April 5, 2017

With the major news stories of the week continuing to be the nomination of Judge Plagiarizer and the Assad Sarin gas attack, the Combover has a chance to get back to basics with a look at Trump's day.

Trump had his usual day full of "long hours" of work:
11:55AM: President Trump and the First Lady welcome King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan

12:10PM: President Trump meets with King Abdullah II
12:30PM: President Trump leads an expanded bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II
1:10PM : President Trump and King Abdullah II hold a joint press conference – Watch LIVE
1:45PM: President Trump has a working luncheon with King Abdullah II
No wonder he only found the time for one Tweet today. And even then this looks like a staffer Tweet (Trump doesn't know how to link a video):
Let's be generous and give him a 2 hour lunch. That puts his total hours for the day in at a nice round 4 hours, including a 2 hour lunch. And that means he worked for half of his 4-hour shift. Not bad for an out-of-shape old man, huh?

The theme for today must have been Abdullah All The Time! Because that's about all he did. And why not? The 55-year old King Abdullah II is smarter, more popular, more respected, and better looking than Trump. Who wouldn't want to spend the day with him?

Let's dig in:

Trump finding out King Abdullah II is stronger than he looks.
1:10 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Your Majesty, thank you for being with us today.  Very much appreciate it.  This is our second meeting since my inauguration, but our first at the White House.  A very special place, I can tell you that.  I've gotten to know it well.  Long hours.  Very special.  
Yeah he just said "long hours." We just saw what those "long hours" entail on a given day...
It's really an honor to welcome you here today. But before we begin, let me say a few words about recent events.  
Yesterday, a chemical attack -- a chemical attack that was so horrific, in Syria, against innocent people, including women, small children, and even beautiful little babies.  Their deaths was an affront to humanity.  These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerate.  
The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks, for that matter.  
Something's missing. Oh I know! He didn't blame President Obama this time. Maybe that's because the smiles in this photo weren't forced:
Real Presidential Photo Ops

Your Majesty, Jordanians are known for their legendary hospitality, and we will do our very best to be equally gracious hosts.  They're also known, however -- I have to say this -- for their fighting ability.  And you are a great warrior, and we appreciate it.  Thank you.  
I'm not sure what he's trying to say here? The Jordanians are great innkeepers? But he is right. King Abdullah II served first in the British Army where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and then later in the Jordanian Armed Forces he reached the rank of Brigadier General and personally led special forces missions. Did I mention he was bonafide?

It's too bad the Fontange Fuhrer had bone spurs twice. He wouldn't have stopped at Brigadier General. He would have been the first 6-Star general. Believe me!
The historical ties and close friendship between our two countries dates back three-quarters of a century.  In that time, the Middle East has faced many periods of crisis and unrest, perhaps never like it is today, however.  Through them all, America has looked to Jordan as a valued partner, an advocate for the values of civilization, and a source of stability and hope.
Sort of. We kind of didn't really talk to them very much until 1991 especially after Black September where King Abdullah's father slaughtered thousands of Palestinians. But I digress. King Hussein has nothing on his son.
I am deeply committed to preserving our strong relationship -- which I will -- and to strengthening America’s longstanding support for Jordan.  And you do have tremendous support within our country, I can tell you that.  
As we know, the Middle East -- and the entire world -- is faced with one of its gravest threats in many, many years.  Since the earliest days of the campaign against ISIS, Jordan has been a staunch ally and partner, and we thank you for that.  Jordanian servicemembers have made tremendous sacrifices in this battle against the enemies of civilization, and I want to thank all of them for their, really, just incredible courage.  So many have been lost, and we pay homage.  So many.   
So many sacrifices which is why we're cutting foreign aid to Jordan.
In King Abdullah, America is blessed with a thoughtful and determined partner.  He is a man who has spent years commanding his country’s special forces.  He really knows what being a soldier is, that I can tell you.  And he knows how to fight. The King has been a leader in calling for a plan to defeat ISIS once and for all.  And I'm with you on that.  We’re both leaders on that, believe me.  That's what we speak about today, and that is what we are going to do.  And it will be a shorter fight than a lot of people are thinking about, believe me.  We've made tremendous strides as we discussed.
It'll be over before I finish this tirade, believe me.
As you know, we had a very, very fine delegation come over from Egypt and also from Iraq, and they said more has been done in the last six weeks than has been done in years with the previous administration.  And believe me, we're going to keep it that way.
You know exactly what was going on in Trump's head here. King Abdullah is an Arab. I just met some Arabs. time for a terrific name drop.
We will destroy ISIS and we will protect civilization.  We have no choice -- we will protect civilization.  King Abdullah and I also discussed measures to combat the evil ideology that inspires ISIS and plagues our planet.  In addition, we also acknowledge the vital role that Jordan has played in hosting refugees from the conflict in Syria.  We have just announced that the United States will contribute additional funds to Jordan for humanitarian assistance.  This aid will help countries like Jordan host refugees until it is safe for them to return home.  The refugees want to return home.  I know that from so many other instances.  They want to return back to their home.  And that's a goal of any responsible refugee policy.
Finally, we discussed to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, including peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.  And I'm working very, very hard on trying to finally create peace between the Palestinians and Israel, and I think we'll be successful.  I hope to be successful, I can tell you that.
He's working so very, very hard that he gave it to his criminal son-in-law to handle in his free time. That's some dedication.
The King has been a really tireless advocate for a solution, and he's going to help me with that and help me at the highest level.  And we will be consulting with him closely in the days ahead.   
King Abdullah, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership.  Working together, the United States and Jordan can help bring peace and stability to the Middle East and, in fact, the entire world.  And we will do that.  
Thank you very, very much for being with us.  (Applause.) 
King Abdullah takes over at this point, but for the sake of brevity, we're going to cut the remainder short:
This has been ongoing for seven years now, has descended into proxy wars from different parties with dubious agendas.  But at the end of the day, as you pointed out, Mr. President, it is the civilians -- women and children -- that are paying the heaviest price.  This is happening on our watch, on our conscience, as well as the global community.  And I know the passion and the emotion that the President has expressed and how this should not be tolerated whatsoever.  And this threshold of inhumanity and savagery that are being crossed every day is something that I know the President will not allow to happen, wherever it may be.  And I fully support and endorse the President in this issue.
This was about 3 minutes into King Abdullah's remarks and by this point I really began to wonder if Trump could even follow King Abdullah's words. You know he's going to call Flynn at 2am and ask him what a proxy war is.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We'll take a few questions.  Julie Pace.
Q    Thank you, sir.  I have questions on Syria for both leaders.  But if I could start with you, Mr. President.  You’ve condemned the chemical attacks in Syria, but you also appeared in your statement yesterday to pin some of the blame on the Obama administration.  You are the President now.  Do you feel like you bear responsibility for responding to the chemical attack?  And does the chemical attack cross a red line for you?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long time ago when he said the red line in the sand.  And when he didn’t cross that line after making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways, not only in Syria, but in many other parts of the world, because it was a blank threat.  I think it was something that was not one of our better days as a country.
So I do feel that, Julie.  I feel it very strongly.
We reviewed this yesterday, but it's pretty clear Trump still blames President Obama primarily because he dug all the way to the bottom of the Presidential Sand Box and couldn't find a red line anywhere.
Q    So you feel like you now have the responsibility to respond to the chemical attack?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I now have responsibility, and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly, I will tell you that.  It is now my responsibility.  It was a great opportunity missed.  As you know, I'll be meeting with the President of China very soon, in Florida, and that's another responsibility we have -- and that's called the country of North Korea.  We have a big problem.  We have somebody that is not doing the right thing.  And that's going to be my responsibility.  But I'll tell you, that responsibility could have been made a lot easier if it was handled years ago.  
Quick reminder that we're about to go to war with North Korea and the offical remarks from the State Department are, shall we say, brief:

Q    Before I move on to the King, could I just quickly ask you if the chemical attack crosses a red line for you?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It crossed a lot of lines for me.  When you kill innocent children, innocent babies -- babies, little babies -- with a chemical gas that is so lethal -- people were shocked to hear what gas it was -- that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line.  Many, many lines.  
It crossed so many lines it left a rainbow in its wake. And apparently it stole the red line from the sandbox. That red line is gone. We're beyond it now. Many, many lines beyond it.
Artist's rendering of Trump's lines.
 Thank you very much.

No, thank you for such deep insight. We'll stop right here, but the entire presser can be found here.

Catch you on the flip side.

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