Larry Gellman

The Trumpenyahu Syndrome–The Manchurian Candidate?

The stunning and striking parallels between these two national leaders continue to emerge. Not only is each a pathological liar with an insatiable ego and seemingly limitless personal greed but we are now seeing each of them facing the possibility of being thrown out of office  as revelations about their past behavior come to light.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing the continued possibility of early elections and criminal indictment since the Israeli version of the FBI has recommended that he be indicted on multiple charges of accepting brides and dereliction of duty.

President Trump is also facing an investigation into his political and financial shenanigans but American laws insulate him from facing criminal charges and jail time. But impeachment looms as an increasingly likely outcome.

It is Trump who has been making the big news this week with his shocking and sudden firing of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for no apparent reason.

Trump watchers like to explain away his bizarre behavior by citing his unpredictability and personality defects.  But it is looking increasingly like that something far more sinister is at work and that Trump may simply be a Manchurian Candidate under the control and being blackmailed by his Russian handlers.

Let’s look at the Tillerson story.

It is true that Tillerson famously called his boss “a moron” last year but as recently a few months ago, Trump himself tweeted that reports that he was considering the firing of Tillerson to be “fake news.”

Tillerson has also refused to help Trump in the president’s efforts to crush the Iran Deal for no reason and has steadfastly insisted that the deal is working and is in America’s best interest.

But that too is not breaking news.

So what changed to cause Trump to suddenly and unceremoniously dump Tillerson in a classless pre-dawn Twitter announcement this week?

One possible answer could the one that was given by a leading Russian news anchor who responded to the news of the Tillerson firing by celebrating on the air–that “Trump is in our pocket.”

She was referring to the fact that just hours before his firing, Tillerson publicly agreed with British Prime Minister Theresa May who stated as fact that Russian agents were behind the murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England a few days earlier.

Trump, as usual, refused to go along with that assessment and be even the least bit critical of Putin and his thugs.  He once again downplayed obvious Russian wrongdoing when the whole world and his own Secretary of State strongly disagreed.  It was just hours after Tillerson’s comment that he was booted out unexpectedly.

Meanwhile, reporter Megan Kelly just completed a long interview with Vladamir Putin and concluded “I think there is a very good chance that Putin knows some things about Donald Trump that Mr. Trump doesn’t want repeated publicly.”

And just today John Cassidy wrote an article in the New Yorker headlined “Rex Tillerson Gets Fired the Day After He Criticized Russia.”

Still, most of the mainstream media is unwilling to state or even speculate about the obvious.  For more than a year now, Trump has behaved as though Putin and the Russians have evidence of his collusion with them to rig his election or something equally toxic regarding under the table Russian money funding his businesses for decades which has enabled them to blackmail him into doing their bidding from the White House.

It seems so obvious to a reasonable person.

Look at the way Trump dumped his FBI director James Comey in an equally sudden and disrespectful way after Comey made it clear that he would not drop his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Look at the way Trump has defied all of his intelligence and security leaders who have made it clear that there is incontrovertible evidence of Russian meddling on Trump’s behalf.

Look at the way Trump has kept his tax returns under lock and key even as more and more evidence mounts that his family members used their positions in his inner circle to secure billions of dollars in foreign loans for their private business ventures.

At the same time, a mountain of evidence has been revealed by the Israeli police showing that Trump’s political twin in Israel traded political favors for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and gifts for himself and his family.

And like Trump, Netanyahu’s response has been to viciously attack the news media and his political opponents and critics for simply reporting and stating the facts as they emerge.

I agree with those who say that Israel and the U.S. are countries where a person is innocent until proven guilty.  But that doesn’t give our government officials and news media the right to simply ignore repeated cases of very suspicious and telling behavior.

As Americans we may have a lot more serious things to worry about than Trump’s ego and personality traits.  A lot more serious.


About the Author
Larry Gellman is a retired Managing Director--Wealth Management at a private worldwide investment firm. He has studied and lectured on Jewish wisdom and ethics in Israel and the U.S. . He has spent 40 years as a major Jewish philanthropist and a current National Board Member of organizations including J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and CLAL and a past chairman and former board member of Israel Bonds, Jewish Federations, AIPAC and Jewish Day Schools in Tucson and Milwaukee. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN MY WRITINGS ARE MINE AND MINE ALONE. IDO NOT SPEAK ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONS WHERE I SERVE AS A BOARD MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER.
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