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Donald Trump's public shaming of Jeff Sessions is shameful

President Donald Trump continu...

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 7:26 AM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 7:26 AM

President Donald Trump continued his long-running public shaming campaign of Jeff Sessions Wednesday, with a tweet bashing his attorney general's behavior as "disgraceful."

Tweeted Trump: "Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn't the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!"

Here's what is actually disgraceful: The president of the United States is engaged in a one-sided smear effort against the man who, less than 18 months ago, he nominated to be the top law enforcement official in the country.

Consider:

There's more.

But let's take it out of the context of a president talking about his attorney general. If a boss treated an employee this way -- denigrating him publicly, saying he would never have hired him if he knew then what he now knows -- we would say that boss was acting deeply inappropriately. Heck, the person being berated might even file a complaint with the human resources department because of the boss's behavior.

Go back even further in your life. If a kid at school called your kid "beleaguered" or "very weak" or "disgraceful," you would call that kid a bully and maybe even ask the school to do something about it.

And yet we seem to tolerate this sort of behavior from the President of the United States -- a man who holds a position of massive authority and import, someone who influences the behavior of people whether or not he intends to.

This is not to say "woe to poor Jeff Sessions." The former Alabama senator was a prominent Trump surrogate during the course of the 2016 campaign and spent enough time around Trump to know what he was getting into when he accepted the attorney general job. He wanted the job more than he worried about working for Trump.

Plus: Sessions could always quit. He could have quit after all of the past Trump slights. He could quit today.

He didn't. Instead, Sessions said this: "As long as I am the attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution."

This isn't about Sessions, though. Not really. This is about Trump redefining -- downward -- the sort of behavior we are willing to accept (or ignore) from our leaders.

The President touts himself as the biggest, baddest boss in town. If that's true, and if he really believes Sessions is doing as poor a job as he seems to believe, via his tweets, then Trump should fire the attorney general. If not, he should let Sessions do his job without undermining him at every turn.

That is what an adult does. What Trump is doing is the opposite.

And yet, with the exception of a handful of Republicans who have come to Sessions' defense, there has been little hue and cry over this latest attack from Trump.

Maybe that's because there's an ongoing feud between his chief of staff and his son-in-law. Or maybe it's because his communications director had admitted to telling white lies in support of him. Or maybe it's because the special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Trump's financial status -- and maneuvers -- prior to his decision to run for president.

I get it. Trump has a remarkable knack for making news. But when his attacks on Sessions aren't big news anymore, it amounts to a tacit acceptance that that sort of behavior is normal now. It isn't. Or it shouldn't be.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604687

Reported Deaths: 7643
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1250161780
Ramsey52519898
Dakota46852471
Anoka42789458
Washington27436291
Stearns22561225
St. Louis18146313
Scott17553137
Wright16383149
Olmsted13406102
Sherburne1202795
Carver1067448
Clay826592
Rice8204110
Blue Earth762744
Crow Wing681895
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620152
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue484074
Douglas475781
Mower470533
Winona461451
Itasca460163
Isanti440364
McLeod430961
Morrison424962
Beltrami407962
Nobles407750
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown308040
Le Sueur297326
Cass286332
Todd285633
Meeker263543
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182846
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault155219
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95518
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371226

Reported Deaths: 6056
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58274641
Linn21241339
Scott20311248
Black Hawk16180312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462285
Dubuque13515211
Dallas1129499
Pottawattamie11233174
Story1072048
Warren583891
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554196
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall487176
Des Moines467672
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista427040
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382556
Marion366176
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288761
Carroll287252
Boone268534
Crawford268340
Benton260355
Washington257551
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212271
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198935
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186943
Wright186140
Hamilton182051
Harrison179973
Clayton171157
Butler166535
Madison164519
Mills163924
Floyd163542
Cherokee159338
Lyon158941
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149724
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138813
Grundy137433
Emmet135841
Jefferson133335
Shelby131637
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129849
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126743
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke101124
Keokuk96832
Monroe96431
Unassigned9550
Ida91635
Adair87432
Pocahontas85822
Davis85325
Monona83431
Osceola78917
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7628
Taylor66812
Fremont6279
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
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Wayne54423
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