The interval since the US election on November 8th has brought us multiple examples of the buffoonery of America's president-elect. From the angry tweets about SNL to how he may or may not structure his business affairs to his phone call to the Taiwanese president that has China in an uproar, the Trumpster has come across as clumsy, immature, even reckless - a guy who hasn't a clue what it means to be the president of the United States.
The Guardian's Richard Wolffe casts these blunders in a more sinister light. He contends that Trump knows exactly what he's doing and we should take that as a warning.
Too many of Trump’s troubling tweets aren’t actually gaffes. He is intentionally blowing up global stability for the sake of an extremist agenda concocted by hawkish aides who make Dick Cheney look like Kofi Annan. That’s why the strange case of the Taiwan telephone call is worth examining because it is surely a sign of things to come.
At first, Team Trump dismissed the call with the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen as an innocent congratulatory message. Mike Pence, the vice-president elect, suggested it was no big deal, telling ABC it was “nothing more than taking a courtesy call”.
“It’s fair to say that we had some influence,” Dole said. “When you represent a client, and they make requests, you’re supposed to respond.” That influence included special attention at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, attended by a Taiwanese delegation, where the party platform was changed for the first time to include several commitments to Taiwan’s security.
Another president-elect might consider such money-making from national security dangerous, disloyal or worse. But Taiwan newspapers have reported that the Trump Organization itself is interested in a possible hotel project close to Taiwan’s international airport.
A president gone rogue even before his inauguration? Let's hope not. Hope.