Imagine there is a giant Chinese telecom that spies on its customers, buys sensitive computer parts from U.S. firms, lies to U.S. regulators, has been declared a national security threat and was just slapped with a seven-year suspension on doing business in this country and a $1 billion fine for violating sanctions against Iran.
What should happen?
A. It goes out of business.
B. Donald Trump does a deal with China to save the company, specifically to "save Chinese jobs."
Oh and by the way, at the same time, a Chinese-owned bank just gave a $500 million loan to a company building a theme park in Indonesia featuring a Trump-branded golf club and resort. The Trump family is so excited!
Oh and by the way, Trump just got rid of the White House post of cyber security chief, the same shop that warned that the Chinese company posed a risk to the Pentagon and soldiers with cell phones, which can be traced on the battlefield. Trump's new national security czar, John Bolton, who has the finesse of a striking cobra, decided the nation doesn't need a cyber security chief even though Russia just hacked our last presidential election. Bolton says he is making his office "more efficient."
Guess what? There is such a company, ZTE Telecom, which makes phones for espionage, and this all just happened. Trump, as usual, tweeted about how proud he was to help the company, which was going out of business after the Commerce Department forbid it to buy U.S. goods.
That's because ZTE lied several times about not doing business with such countries as Iran, where it spied on citizens for the Iranian government. Yes, Iran, the same country with whom Trump just tore up a nuclear pact that Iran was abiding by and which stopped its march to nuclear weapons.
Never mind the appearance of impropriety, that Trump is reversing policy in an action that will directly benefit the Trump Corporation, of which he did not divest himself.
And never mind that Trump is making nice with ZTE after he slapped aluminum sanctions on China, which then retaliated by announcing tariffs against U.S. soybean farmers which China was probably never going to impose anyway. In other words, Trump created a trade crisis and then tried to fix it in about the messiest way possible.
And what is Trump thinking about? The evaporation of his plan to get a Nobel Peace prize for denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Oops. It seems he agreed to an unprecedented summit, which may not happen, without doing his homework. Oops, it turns out North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un might not be as "honorable" and "excellent" as Trump proclaimed, even while Kim kidnaps Americans and starves his people and tests nuclear missiles. It turns out Kim is not such a bad negotiator himself.
It also turns out that shoot-from-the-mouth Bolton offended Kim by comparing North Korean to Libya, which gave up its nuclear aims and whose leader then was brutally murdered. It also turns out that Kim has no intention of giving up his nukes.
"We will see what happens," said Trump. "Time will tell."
So, is impeachment on the table yet?
Republicans, who control the process, couldn't even bring themselves to ask Trump to apologize to one of their own, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after a White House communications aide said McCain could be disregarded as a force in the Senate because he is battling brain cancer and, said the aide horrifically, "dying anyway."
This White House does not apologize. For anything. But it's furious about whoever leaked their aide's nasty comment.
Republicans are going back home and falsely accusing Democratic candidates of trying to have Trump impeached and, really, the country does not want that, for heaven's sakes.
The November midterms won't be a blowout for Democrats after all. They will pick up seats but they won't win the Senate and they may not win the House.
Republicans are sticking by their man in the White House because they want to make November a referendum on Trump, whose poll numbers are ticking up, the more absurdly he makes a mockery of decency and normalcy.
As for November, we'll see what happens. Time will tell.
But don't even think you will be able to afford the new Indonesian Trump golf course. Not unless you're one of the corporate titans getting millions more in salary and stock options because of Trump's tax cut.
– Ann McFeatters is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at email@example.com.