Washington Post / YouTube Trump visits North Carolina to survey...
Washington Post / YouTube

The Atlantic has what passes for an end-of-year, beginning-of-year review of the Trump presidency’s 50 worst and/or most outlandish moments … so far. It has already been outstripped by events. Calling a once-mistress “horseface,” getting laughed at by the collected U.N. General Assembly, or having an irredeemable penchant for blaming everyone else in the room but himself are indeed poor qualities for a supposed president, but it’s difficult to even place them alongside and became the target of a U.S. counterintelligence investigation after a series of presidential actions appeared to suggest the nation’s elected leader was working on behalf of a hostile foreign power.

There should probably be separate lists, is what I’m saying. One for the treason parts, and one for everything else.

Or one for the treason parts; one for the incompetence parts; one that just lists off the collected sins of character that render him unfit for office, regardless of the treason or the incompetence; and another purely gaffe-related one. Trump posing with the orb of power was a wee fun moment, to be sure, but cannot be compared to Team Trump’s construction of child prisons in a white-nationalist-fueled effort to terrify, through a program of mass detention and family separation, would-be asylum seekers.

So that’s another list. You could come up with 50 separate instances in which Trump and his subordinates promoted explicitly or implicitly racist policies, each lauded in white nationalist circles, or made white nationalism-promoting statements under the auspices of the presidency. You could probably cull all 50 by going through individual court filings.

Oh, but there’s also extremely credible evidence suggesting that Donald J. Trump has engaged in a lifetime of financial and tax crimes. Remember that? That broke and washed away again in a matter of weeks, as each new revelation about the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia made mere tax fraud seem piffling in comparison. But the New York Times put in the work, and the New York Times doesn’t have a fraction of the documents that federal and state prosecutors have access to, and the shrieking narcissist appears to have been caught dead to rights on that one. It isn’t likely to gain much attention until after he has left office and the rest of his “legacy” has been better dispensed with, but it’s not likely prosecutors will merely forget that the nation’s worst president also continues to be a shameless tax cheat.

How many lists is that? And should we bother compiling any of them before investigators are willing to tell us just what Donald Trump knew about his campaign’s ties to Russian espionage efforts, or just why he has made such elaborate attempts, as president, to sabotage investigations of those acts?

At this rate, the odds would seem to be non-zero that the worst American president ever will also be the first American president to seek asylum in a foreign country to avoid U.S. prosecutors. Not high, mind you. But not zero. Perhaps the odds-makers should start compiling some lists of their own?

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.



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