Juan Williams: We must not become numb to Trump's abnormality


How about a summer in which Americans are not allowed to travel to Canada or Europe? Seriously. That’s due to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE’s failure to halt the high rate of coronavirus infections in the United States.

That’s not normal.


Is it normal for an American president to stand in the White House Rose Garden and begin ranting? Trump said if presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore HuffPost reporter: Biden's VP shortlist doesn't suggest progressive economic policies Jill Biden says she plans to continue teaching if she becomes first lady MORE wins this year’s election, Biden will do away with the suburbs and windows.

Yes, he really said that.

There is so much that is not normal at the Trump White House that Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowHere are top contenders to be Biden's VP Juan Williams: We must not become numb to Trump's abnormality Mary Trump claims she's heard Trump use racist, anti-Semitic slurs: He's 'virulently racist' MORE, the MSNBC host, recently spent an entire segment reading off a stunning list of scandalous acts now accepted as normal in the Trump era.

Is it normal, she asked, that Trump “put his son’s wedding planner in charge of federal housing in the northeastern United States ... fired one inspector general who was investigating the secretary of State ... advertised his wife’s jewelry line on the White House website?"

Any of the Trump scandals, Maddow said, would have amounted to “the biggest scandal to ever afflict any other presidency — but by virtue of the sheer number of scandals that surround [Trump] like flies around a pigpen ... [they] have just become part of what we expect, right?”

And it keeps going. Here’s an example from last week.

“The Trump Administration lifted a ban on sales of [gun] silencers to private overseas buyers that was intended to protect U.S. troops from ambushes,” The New York Times reported.

And there’s an eye-opening kicker to that tale.

The Times reported the ban was lifted as a result of strenuous lobbying by a lawyer currently working in the Trump White House. That lawyer previously worked for a firearms group. Now, firearms companies might make $250 million a year in potential sales overseas, the story noted.

That’s definitely a huge scandal in any other administration, sure to stir outrage from defenders of the American military.

It’s just another day in the Trump presidency.

But what about the obvious conflict of interest in that episode?

Well, it is hard to get attention for that argument.


As the Times explained, Trump’s Cabinet features “a former coal lobbyist as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a former lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon Technologies as defense secretary, a lobbyist for the auto industry at the helm of the Energy Department and a former oil and gas lobbyist as interior secretary.”

This administration is a gusher of conflicts of interest.

That’s why it is easy to become numb to the Trump administration crossing red lines that define normal, ethical behavior by people at the highest level of government.

At this point you might be scandal fatigued. You might agree that it is bad but excuse it as not the end of the world. But then you find out there is more.

How about the attorney general pressuring career prosecutors to recommend a lighter sentence for Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneNew HBO documentary lets Gaetz, Massie, Buck offer their take on how to 'drain the swamp' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Democrats blister Barr during tense hearing MORE, an old friend of the president who had been convicted of lying to Congress?

Yes, Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGOP lawmaker calls for Justice Dept. to probe international court Barr pulls over to thank pro-police rally in Virginia Trump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent MORE twisted the arm of federal prosecutors to take it easy on Stone on the basis of “political considerations,” according to congressional testimony from an assistant U.S. attorney, Aaron Zelinsky.


Then Trump took it to the next level. He commuted Stone’s sentence.

Even the conservative editors of National Review couldn’t swallow that one. They wrote that “Trump’s handling of the matter is indefensible. It is another indication of his perverse, highly personalized view of the criminal justice system.”

“An American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” is the way Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (R- Utah) described the astonishing act. He summed it up as an act of “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

While that was taking place, the attorney general also looks to have been trying to help another of the president’s friends get out of legal trouble.

In that case, Barr tried to force out the prosecutor reportedly investigating the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCoronavirus concerns emerge around debates Giuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group Commission on Presidential Debates rejects Trump campaign call for earlier debate MORE. Barr wanted to install a new U.S. attorney with no experience as a criminal prosecutor.

Geoffrey Berman, who was the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Manhattan, told Congress that Barr made him an unseemly offer if he agreed to quit.

Berman testified that Barr told him he could take over the civil rights division of the Justice Department but really use his time to build up a “book of business,” or list of clients that could help him get a big payday when he took a job at a private law firm.

Now that is a scandal in any other administration. But, again, it is just another day in the Trump presidency.

After all, this is the attorney general who ordered federal troops to use chemical agents and smoke bombs against Americans protesting police brutality. Why? So, the president could create a photo-op. Really.

This is not normal.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.