Category Archives: US Executive

Was last week the worst of Trump’s Presidency?

It has been an awful press week for Donald Trump. On Monday, a new book was published by Bob Woodward called Fear: Trump in the White House. This book claims to feature a number of sources close to the President outlining the chaos and disunity at the heart of Trump’s administration. Among other things it says:
  • Aides have hid government papers from the President to “protect the country”.
  • Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, described the President as “unhinged” and it said it was the worst job he had ever had.
  • Trump failed a practice interview with the US Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, and would have perjured himself if the interview were real.

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What did Alexander Hamilton call the ‘Benign Prerogative’?

The first Secretary of the Treasury, and Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton famously called Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution the ‘benign prerogative’. This is what the article says:

“he [the President] shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”.

Yet there have been times in US History where the prerogative has been anything but benign. The number of pardons issued by different Presidents varies greatly. The highest number was issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt who pardoned 3,687 individuals, many of whom had fought in the Second World War. Contrarily, Presidents William Harrison and James Garfield both issued a grand total of zero pardons.

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Fire and Fury and the 25th Amendment

This week an explosive new book called Fire and Fury: Inside the White House was published. The book was written by journalist Michael Wolff who claimed to have ‘fly on the wall’ access to the White House and its staff.

Fire and Fury

Wolff’s book has caused a storm across Washington

Among the key claims in the book are:

  • Members of Trump’s campaign team were certain he would not win. It is claimed that Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, was already job-hunting before Election Day.
  • Trump eats so much fast-food because he is worried about being poisoned.
  • That the First Lady, Melania Trump, was disappointed by Trump’s election victory.
  • Staff in Trump’s White House describe him as ‘Child-Like’.

The book featured ‘on the record’ interviews with former Trump campaign strategist Steve Bannon. Among the claims about the Trump administration by Bannon were:
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