Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Today in Trump: Incompetence among the super-wealthy, and manufactured martyrdom

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

[Regarding this story: Ex-Aide Saw Gordon Sondland as a Potential National Security Risk]

There’s a pervasive sense among the super-wealthy that they are also super-competent by virtue of their wealth, no matter the the manner in which that wealth came to be.

Fiona Hill’s testimony concerning Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, depicts him as so incompetent as to be a national security risk. The text messages provided by Volker give a glimpse of that notion, but evidently Hill buried him.

Of course, he’s still nominally our ambassador to the EU and probably will be until Trump tunes into Fox News and they weigh in.


Sondland’s only qualification to oversee this potentially politically delicate region was having given $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee and owning some nice hotels.

His incompetence doesn’t even qualify as a scandal in this shitshow, but it’s useful context since he’ll be testifying tomorrow before the House, where he’ll be attempting to walk a thin line, contradicting a key Trump talking point to escape his own liability while somehow remaining at his job.


[Regarding this story: Donald Trump and Bill Barr Are Setting a Religious War Trap]

Claims of religious persecution from evangelicals are typically cynical attempts to safeguard the supposed right to treat minorities as second class citizens, but they usually flare up, for instance, when some baker decides that being compelled to make a cake with two men’s names on it is basically like being ordered to denounce their faith at gunpoint.

But this week Trump, Pompeo, and Barr manufactured martyrdom from scratch. Get used to it because this is probably the campaign strategy: gin up outrage and immediately claim the resulting outrage is their persecution.

Happy to have had a minor assist in Dahlia’s great piece.

Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email