Donald Trump is a Sleazeball

Donald Trump is a Sleazeball

© David Burton 2023


SLEAZEBALL: A disreputable, disgusting, or despicable person; An odious and contemptible person; A person of low moral character; A morally reprehensible, disreputable, or sleazy person; a cad; A person who lies, cheats and steals to get what they want; A person who knowingly violates rules to prosper as long as they don't get caught; A person who manipulates others to join in their unethical behavior; A person with no character; A person with no ethics, or who is unethical; A dishonest person.

     As we approach the election year of 2024, it both saddens and shocks me that so many supposedly intelligent people remain ardent supporters of that sleazeball, Donald Trump. The time has long since passed for anyone to be unaware of all that make Trump unqualified to lead this great nation.

     The American electorate is supposed to be intelligent and fair-minded. But to consider electing as president of the United States of America someone as devious and unprincipled as Donald Trump is proof that such is not the case. Perhaps I should not be surprised at such behavior by the unwashed masses. After all, did not a supposedly intelligent and sophisticated nation like 20th-century Germany freely elect as their leader Adolph Hitler - one of the most evil individuals in the history of the world?

     The evidence of Trump’s disqualification to lead and represent this nation is plentiful and grievous. The signs of malfeasance were there before Trump became president in 2016, during his term in office from 2016 to 2020 and after he was voted out of office in 2020.

Donald Trump is a Notorious Womanizer

     In 2019, E. Jean Carroll filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in New York in which she accused Trump of defamation for denying her allegation he raped her, attacking her integrity. In May of 2023 Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation and fined $5 million. Carroll continues to pursue a separate defamation case against him.
     The ex-president had filed a counterclaim against Carroll, which a judge in New York dismissed. The judge said that Carroll’s charges that Trump had assaulted her in a changing room of a New York department store in the mid-1990s were, “substantially true”. Carroll’s allegation was followed by charges from a host from other women who said Trump assaulted them during his career in real estate and entertainment, before entering politics.[1]

     Donald Trump blurted out lewd and sexually charged comments about women as he waited to make a cameo appearance on a soap opera in 2005. He bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife and he boasted that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” He added: “Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.” The comments appeared to condone sexual assault.
     Trump has had a long history of making lewd and highly sexual comments toward and about women. The Associated Press reported that during his years as a reality TV star on the “The Apprentice,” the GOP nominee repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, rating female contestants by the size of their breasts and talking about which ones he’d like to have sex with.[2]

Donald Trump Stands Accused of Falsifying Business Records and Committing Witness Intimidation

     In New York in early 2023, Trump was charged with falsifying business records to, among other things, conceal hush money payments. In connection with the charges, Trump stands accused of witness intimidation. As a result, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sought to limit Trump's social media posts about the hush-money case against him. Bragg urged a judge to limit Trump’s access to sensitive documents in the felony case that accused the former president of falsified business records. The District Attorney argued his precautions were based on Trump attacking witnesses, jurors and investigators in the past, including DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and 2 House impeachments of Trump. Trump was charged with falsifying the business records in order to hide payments to silence two women who claimed to have had sex with him before the 2016 election.

Donald Trump is Accused of Violating National Security Laws

     Also prior to the runup of the 2024 elections, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith was investigating hundreds of classified documents seized at Trump’s Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago. Smith was investigating Trump’s irresponsible handling of highly sensitive security material some 18 months after Trump left the White House. At stake in the case are documents that contained some of the country’s most important secrets, including the names of undercover agents overseas. A conviction for illegally retaining sensitive records could disqualify Trump, who was campaigning for the White House, from holding federal office again. Trump apparently considered himself above the law and that national security was of little importance when it concerned him.

Donald Trump is Indicted on Charges that He Attempted to Subvert a Federal Election

     Former Vice President Mike Pence's 2023 testimony before a federal grand jury was one of the high-profile developments in the investigations of former President Donald Trump's attmpts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. Pence, as president of the Senate, was key to Trump’s strategy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He testified before the grand jury in Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Trump’s role in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. Pence was a key figure because Trump and his allies pressured him to single-handedly reject electors from seven states won by President Joe Biden. Such an action by Pence would have flipped the election to Trump. Pence refused to accede to the demands of Trump and his cronies.

     Trump tried to block Pence's testimony by appealing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. But a three-judge panel denied his appeal.

     Not all despicable acts of Donald Trump have resulted in impeachments and/or court cases. Some of his actions have been just plain appalling.

     We’ve had presidents who were used by members of their own family for personal gain, like Ulysses S. Grant. We’ve had presidents who stocked their Cabinet with greedy, self-serving mediocrities who took advantage of the public trust, like Warren G. Harding. We’ve had presidents who swore to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, only to then abuse it, like Richard Nixon. And we’ve had presidents who, thanks to a presumptive sense of entitlement, lived less than admirable private lives, using countless women before tossing them aside — Harding again, plus John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

Donald Trump Repeatedly Violated the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution

     President Donald Trump falls into every single sleazy category, squarely and shamelessly. In 2019, during Trump’s term in office, we learned that he would hold the 2020 Group of Seven meeting (with leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) at his own Doral golf resort in Miami.
     It was another example of how Trump, who never divested from his businesses, continued to make millions from them. It was also another reminder that he constantly violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which was supposed to ban presidents from accepting money from foreign governments.
     Unlike other presidents, Trump never bothered to place his assets in a blind trust. Instead, while in office, he allowed his family to run his trust, and he remained its one and only beneficiary.
     The emoluments clause didn’t stop diplomats, representatives of government-owned businesses and other foreign visitors from buying Trump’s properties and running up big tabs at his resorts and hotels. That amounted to stuffing cash, albeit indirectly, into Trump's pocket.
     Trump’s children were reported to have exploited his office. As Bloomberg's Stephanie Baker noted, they "have continued working with foreign business partners from Dubai to Indonesia and India while their father sits in the White House." First daughter Ivanka and hubby Jared Kushner raked in an estimated $82 million in 2017 alone, records show.
     Trump’s infidelities fall short of those of Harding and Kennedy. But sleaze is sleaze: He has cheated on all three wives and, in the case of porn star Stormy Daniels, did it right after his third wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron. At last count, no fewer than 25 women had accused him of either “misconduct” or flat-out assault.
     Trump said every single one of these women was making it all up. Trump, as you know, is a Boy Scout and would never lay so much as a finger on anyone. And that “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced in 2016, in which he bragged about assaulting women? Fake. Sure. “And If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.”[3]

     The most astonishing aspect of former President Donald Trump’s fourth criminal indictment is not the scale of an alleged multi-layered conspiracy to steal Georgia’s electoral votes in 2020 from their rightful winner. It is that Trump – the accused kingpin of the scheme to overturn Joe Biden’s victory, who was charged along with 18 others – could in early 2025 be raising his right hand as the 47th president and swearing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution he was accused of plotting to shred.

Donald Trump Faces 91 Criminal Charges in 4 Separate Court Cases

     The grave political crisis created by Trump’s aberrant presidency and subsequent efforts to hold him to account deepened significantly with the unsealing of yet another indictment against him – this one from a grand jury in the critical swing state of Georgia. The charges in this state case – which bring to 91 the total number of criminal charges he’s facing across four separate cases – intensified an already epochal collision between Trump’s now extreme legal quagmire and the 2024 election.
     The 98-page indictment includes 41 counts that chart in stunning detail an alleged conspiracy to pressure local officials, make false statements about electoral fraud to state legislatures, harass election workers, and solicit Justice Department officials and then-Vice President Mike Pence. It also alleges an attempt to unlawfully breach election equipment in Georgia and elsewhere and includes a list of actions by Trump and associates that it says were all attempts to advance the conspiracy.
     It is surreal. But Trump has now made indictments of a former president – which were unprecedented just months ago – seem routine. In addition to the Georgia case, he has been charged in two separate federal cases related to the mishandling of classified documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The ex-president also faces a trial in Manhattan in a case arising from a hush money payment to an adult film actress in 2016.
     Taken together with the federal indictment of Trump on election subversion charges, the charges in Georgia dwarf any modern American political scandal, including the Watergate drama that felled President Richard Nixon, the affair with a White House intern that led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton or even the attempt by Trump to coerce Ukraine into investigating Biden that caused the first of his two impeachments.
     Indictments represent the best presentation of the evidence by the prosecution. The arguments therein have not yet been tested in court or cross-examined by Trump’s attorneys and typically do not include exculpatory evidence that could mitigate the charges. Trump, like any other citizen, enjoys the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
     Yet millions of Americans have already heard the recording of Trump telling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on a telephone call that all that was needed was for the Republican official to find 11,780 votes to overturn Biden’s win in the state. The indictment will strike millions of Americans as an appropriate response to one of the most flagrant assaults on democracy in the country’s history by a notorious sleazeball.[4]

     At least Frankenstein’s monster was self-aware enough to feel shame and to exit the scene. Mary Shelley’s monster - unlike our monster, Donald Trump - had self-awareness and a reason to wreak havoc. He knew how to feel guilty and when to leave the stage. Trump’s malignity stems from pure narcissistic psychopathy — and he refuses to leave the stage or cease his vile mendacity.
     It never for a moment crossed Donald Trump’s mind that an American president committing sedition would be a debilitating, corrosive thing for the country. It was just another way for the Emperor of Chaos to burnish his title.
     The House Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time hearing was not about Trump as a bloviating buffoon who stumbled into the presidency. It was about Trump as a callous monster.
     The hearing drove home the fact that Trump was deadly serious about overthrowing the government. If his onetime lap dog Mike Pence was strung up on the gallows outside the Capitol for refusing to help Trump hold onto his office illegitimately, Trump said, so be it. Despite his malevolent bleating, Trump knew there was no fraud on a level that would have changed the election results. Trump’s data experts told him bluntly that he had lost. Trump just couldn’t stand being labeled a loser. He maniacally subverted the election out of pure selfishness and wickedness, knowing it was easy to manipulate people on social media with the Big Lie.
     It was fine with him if his followers broke the law and attacked the police and went to jail. It’s amazing that no lawmakers were killed. When the Capitol was attacked in 1814, it was by the British. This time, it was by an enemy within, egged on by the man at the heart of the democracy he swore to protect.
     It’s mind-boggling that so many people still embrace Trump when it’s so plain that he cares only about himself.
     The hearing on the attack on the Capitol was mesmerizing, describing a horror story with predatory Proud Boys and a monster at its center that even Shelley could have appreciated. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for his attempted coup — and not just in the court of public opinion.[5]

     Donald Trump’s indictment in Georgia may not have diminished his supporters’ devotion, but it will hopefully challenge Trump’s fraudulent conception of reality. In 2020, Donald Trump was ready to bring down the American republic rather than admit that he had lost a presidential election. Scholars speak of “losers’ consent” as an essential prerequisite of a democratic system: without it, there can be no peaceful transfer of power. For two and a half centuries, that model held in the U.S. But in 2020, it ran into a man who would rather destroy his country than wear the scarlet letter L for loser on his forehead.
     The result was the indictment against Trump that was issued in a Georgia courtroom. Across 45 pages, Trump was charged with plotting to overturn a democratic election – to thwart the will of the voters who had rejected him at the ballot box and thereby remain in power.[6]

Donald Trump Believes he is Above the Law and Has the Right to Do Whatever He Wants as President

     None of this should come as a surprise. Trump never hid who he was or what he intended. In 2016, he refused to say whether he would accept the outcome of the election he fought against Hillary Clinton: “I’ll keep you in suspense,” he said, and he was similarly coy four years later when he didn’t conceal his belief that his seat in the Oval Office put him above the law. Referring to the second article of the US constitution, he told an audience of teenagers in 2019, ”I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
     Trump has compounded his arrogant disregard for America, for its Constitution, for the people who unwisely voted him into office in 2016 and for the law of the land by arrogantly claiming, back in January 2016, that he could stand on Fifth Avenue and “shoot somebody” and he would not lose any voters. So far, murder has not appeared on any Trump charge sheet, but the prescience of the remark still stands.
     Nobody is above the law. While Trump claims to be the victim of political persecution, the truth is that it would have been an intensely political decision not to pursue him, especially when more than 1,000 of his devotees have been charged for storming the Capitol on 6 January 2021. If they can be prosecuted for seeking to overturn the 2020 election, why can’t he?[6]

Donald Trump is a Proven Notorious Liar

     The most important principle at stake here may be that there is such a thing as the truth. Trump has challenged that notion from the very start. Not just by lying – he’s not the first politician to do that – but by shaking public faith in the very idea that truth is even possible.
     The former president spread specific lies claiming decisive electoral fraud in key states – as the indictment memorably puts it, “These claims were false, and the defendant knew that they were false” – in order to construct the big lie of a stolen election. He built an alternative reality on that lie that persists to this day – a reality made up, incidentally, of the kind of “alternative facts” to which we were introduced within hours of his taking office. That episode related to the seemingly trivial matter of the size of his inauguration crowd. But it established Trump’s post-truth position: that there are no commonly accepted facts – not even those you can see with your own eyes – only claim and counter-claim.
     Now, though, Trump’s brand of post-truth is set to face its most severe challenge. A courtroom is the one place where truth and reality count. Up until now, Trump has succeeded in persuading half the country that they cannot trust awkward, discomforting facts, including those uncovered by unbiased federal investigators, because all such people – FBI agents, judges, independent prosecutors – are tools of the deep state. In Trump’s distorted mind, every morsel of evidence can be dismissed as the handiwork of the “globalists and communists” who constitute America’s “corrupt ruling class”.
     This Trump tactic has been remarkably effective. The acid of Trumpian post-truth has corroded large parts of the US system already, breaking public trust in elections, the media and much else. Will the courtroom that hears the United States of America v Donald J Trump be able to shut it out and remain free of its sulphuric touch? On the answer to this crucial question, much more than the fate of one poisonous man depends.[6]

     Donald Trump’s lies test the limits of the presidential bully pulpit. He is now facing dozens of criminal charges in four separate indictments, two of them anchored in his lie that he did not lose the 2020 presidential election Trump’s propensity for falsehoods and his right to utter them are at the core of his legal defense. Trump, in effect, is arguing that his words as president carried no special force and he was simply exercising his free speech rights.
     Most presidents have had a sense of the importance of language — of the written word, of the spoken word. Some of them were not particularly good at it themselves, but they rarely were quite so dismissive of it as Donald Trump has been. Trump abandoned many of the basic tenets of presidential communication during his time in office.
     The bully pulpit has been and still is one of the more unique and useful tools that is available to a president. Because it is such a powerful tool, presidents have to wield it carefully and with great thought and intention.
     President Dwight Eisenhower paid special care to how his words were being translated abroad, as did President Ronald Reagan, whose speechwriters were well aware how his rhetoric was being heard in the former Soviet Union. Domestically, Roosevelt used his platform to push his environment and conservation agenda. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt later used his trademark fireside chats to communicate with an anxious public through the Great Depression and World War II.
     Then there was Trump.[7]

Donald Trump Uses Political Violence to Maintain His Power Against the Democratic Will of the American People.

     Contrary to what many professional centrists and hope-peddlers in the American mainstream news media and political class would like to believe, the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol was not the climax of the Age of Trump. In reality, Jan. 6 was a proof of concept for how the Trump fascists would use political violence to obtain and keep power against and over the democratic will of the American people.
     As proof, we note that in response to the various indictments for his alleged crimes of Jan. 6 and the larger plot against democracy, Trump has been escalating his threats of violence, both direct and implied, against Special Counsel Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Judge Tanya Chutkan and the other prosecutors, members of law enforcement, and potential jurors who are attempting to hold him accountable under the law. Law enforcement and other experts in domestic terrorism and national security are continuing to warn that Trump, his MAGA followers and the larger white right constitute an extreme danger to the country's security.
     Autocratic actors like Donald Trump use six tactics to gain and maintain power. These six tactics are:
(1) Big Ideas/Big Lies, (2) Misinformation/Disinformation, (3) Marginalization of Opponents, (4) Dependency of Allies, (5) Divide and Conquer, and (6) Threats, Repression and Violence.
     We are witnessing Trump telling America that if he doesn't get his way — regardless of democratic norms like elections or the rule of law — then you will get violence. This is similar to what Putin was saying to the Ukrainians. We should take both Putin and Trump at their word and we should unite and stand up to their attempts to overturn democratic norms, whether they are international in the case of Putin or domestic in the case of Trump.
     The challenge for the media is the assumption that the norms of our democracy apply to Trump. Our democracy and its institutions are based on the idea of a win-win game, where even if you don't get all of what you want, you get enough to make it worthwhile. This plays out when a candidate loses an election and their supporters consent to be governed by the winner of the election and not resort to violence because they know that there is another free and fair election in a few years.
     The problem for the media is that Donald Trump isn't playing a game based on democracy's rules. He and his supporters believe that for him to win, the other side must lose. This game is the one all autocratic actors play. For Trump, he must return to office to escape being held accountable and potentially spending the rest of his life in jail. The media typically misses that Trump uses the norms of our democratic system to further his own ends rather than to maintain the benefits of democracy.
     Donald Trump is facing multiple criminal trials. He is escalating his threats of violence and mayhem. He is only going to get worse. Autocratic actors like Trump have the same objective: to gain and maintain power. They use the same strategy: creating a perception of inevitability and invincibility through fear. Donald Trump isn't playing the game by the rules of our democracy. We have to recognize when we have someone playing a zero-sum game. There is no potential for a win-win upon which our democracy depends. We must be prepared to take him at his word that he is going to try using violence if he has to in order to win.
     The best way to ensure that Trump fails is to ensure that he can't use the threats to our democracy to destroy our democracy. That means he must be held to the same laws and justice system as any other American, and it means he must be resoundingly defeated in the next election.[8]

     The prospect of Trump resuming the American presidency in 2024 is looked upon with disbelief and concern by governments around the world. In many respects, as opposed to the blind admiration of Trump’s obedient lap dog supporters, most foreign government officials recognize who and what Donald Trump is – a dangerous sleazeball.

     In Europe, the prospect of a second presidential term for Donald J. Trump has many officials worried about alliance cohesion, NATO and the war in Ukraine. For most European governments, it is almost too upsetting to think about
     A European Union diplomat said, “It’s slightly terrifying, it’s fair to say . . . we were relieved by President Biden and his response to Ukraine . . . but now we’re forced to confront the Trump question again.”
     During his presidency, Mr. Trump threatened to pull out of NATO and withheld aid to Ukraine as it struggled with a Russian-backed insurgency, the subject of his first impeachment. He spoke with admiration of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
     A second Trump term “would be different from the first, and much worse,” said a former German government official who is now with the German Marshall Fund in Berlin.
     For many European officials, Mr. Biden restored the continuity of the United States’ commitment to Europe since World War II as a dependable, even indispensable, ally whose presence eased frictions among former European rivals and allowed the continent to cohere, while providing an ironclad security guarantee. In contrast, Trump has threatened to reduce or withdraw American commitments. Europeans are deeply, deeply concerned about the 2024 election and how it will impact the alliance. There is also concern that a Trump victory could breathe new life into anti-democratic forces in Europe.[9]

Donald Trump Throws Friends and Supporters to the Wolves

     Donald Trump has proved that he is self-centered, egotistical and has no sense of allegiance to former supporters. Rudy Giuliani has been one of Donald Trump’s earliest and most loyal supporters. In return, Trump is apparently hold back on paying his legal bills to Giuliani.

     Donald Trump's advisors say he's is "very upset" that Rudy Giuliani was indicted, but not enough to pay him what he's still owed. Giuliani was indicted alongside Trump in Georgia over their attempt to overturn the 2020 election.[10]

     Rudy Giuliani is currently running out of money and he is looking to collect from his longtime client, ex-president Donald Trump, who has yet to pay. Giuliani and his lawyer made personal appeals to Trump over a two-hour dinner in April at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and in a private meeting at his golf club in West Palm Beach. Those entreaties largely failed.
     For the better part of a year, as Giuliani has racked up the bills battling an array of criminal investigations, private lawsuits, and legal disciplinary proceedings stemming from his bid to keep Trump in office after the 2020 election, his team has repeatedly sought a lifeline from the former president. Even as the bills have pushed Giuliani close to a financial breaking point, Trump has largely balked at paying up.
     In the past, Trump has entered dangerous territory by not paying an associate’s legal bills when the case was connected to him, most notably with his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who has since become a chief antagonist and star witness against him. With Donald Trump, loyalty has proven has to be either a one-way street or a dead end.[11]

Trump Supporters Close Their Eyes, Hold Their Noses and Shut Down Their Brains

     No matter how badly it appears that Donald Trump has behaved, there are numerous Americans who still support him and claim they will vote for him to once again be their president. They say they will vote to re-elect him even if he is proven guilty of any or all of the charges brought against him. They say they will once again make him president even if he is sent to prison!

     I grieve for the future of this country when we have been brought so low as to wish to be represented and led by a sleazeball like Donald Trump. For a citizen of these United States to unashamedly say that he/she could, in all good conscience, vote to re-elect Donald Trump after all the evidence that has been presented that show that he is nothing but a loudmouthed sleazeball is incomprehensible to me. It’s true that we must presume that Donald Trump is innocent of any and all crimes until such time as he is proven guilty by unbiased and independent jurors. But, with all the charges and evidence that have come to light. It’s difficult to ignore that old adage, “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” And then to say that, even if he is convicted and sent to prison, a person would still want Trump to lead and represent them makes me sad and despairing for this country’s future.

  1. Judge says E Jean Carroll allegation Trump raped her is ‘substantially true’ in court dismissal , Martin Pengelly,
    The Guardian, 7 August 2023.
  2. Explicit audio emerges of Trump sexually objectifying women, Jonathan Lemire, PBS News Hour, 7 October, 2016.
  3. Trump's unmatched sleaze: Grifters, women, trampling Constitution and now G-7 at Doral, Paul Brandus, USA TODAY, 18 October 2019.
  4. Trump’s fourth indictment moves America closer to an election precipice, Stephen Collinson,, 18 October 2019.
  5. Donald Trump, American monster, Maureen Dowd, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 June 2022.
  6. Finally, three reasons for Donald Trump to be afraid: a courtroom, a jury and the truth, Jonathan Freedland,
    The Guardian, 4 August 2023.
  7. Trump’s lies tested limits of the bully pulpit. , Seung Min Kim, Boston Sunday Globe; Pge A11, 20 August 2023.
  8. "You will get violence": Leading democracy expert says Donald Trump is not running to win election, Chauncey Devega, Salon, 10 August 2023.
  9. In Europe, Few Even Want to Talk About Trump Part 2, Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, 19 August 2023.
  10. Trump's advisors say he's 'upset' Rudy Giuliani got indicted too — but not enough to pay his legal bills, Maggie Haberman told CNN, Rebecca Cohen,, 16 August 2023.
  11. Giuliani keeps asking Trump to pay up, Maggie Haberman and Ben Protess, Boston Sunday Globe, Pge A11,
    20 August 2023.

  5 October 2023 {Article 595; Politics_85}    
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