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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump’s purge shows there is no power this president will not abuse

Alexander Vindman
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman walks down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington on Jan. 27.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

To the editor: President Trump’s firing of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council, Vindman’s twin brother and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland brings to mind the Saturday Night Massacre, banana republics and even Josef Stalin’s show trials and repeated purges.

For Trump, even a hint of independence or disloyalty is unacceptable. Truth? Totally irrelevant. This narcissist president without a conscience has a natural talent for finding the weakest links in the chain of our democratic checks and balances.

American voters must quickly learn what the German establishment in the 1930s, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the military brass that Trump reportedly called “dopes” and “babies” learned too late: It is not possible to control this president.

The only power Trump will not abuse is the power he does not have.

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Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: You may call it “revenge” if you choose, but no president, Democrat or Republican, would appreciate having people actively undermining his policies in his administration.

The framers of our Constitution, in their ultimate wisdom, deliberately made it virtually impossible to remove a sitting president by way of impeachment. However, they did put in a much stronger check on the presidency: elections.

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We have them every four years; the next one is just months away.

Geoffrey C. Church, Los Angeles

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To the editor: When Sondland donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, he was awarded an ambassadorship. For the same price, Sondland found out what the truth costs in Trump’s world — ultimately, a public flogging and the loss of the award.

I wonder if Sondland can ask for a refund since he didn’t get what he paid for in the end. Unfortunately for him, Trump’s people already cashed his check.

Lesson learned.

Barbara J. Boozell, Palm Desert

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To the editor: Trump’s enablers say that the president, as head of the executive branch, can hire and fire whomever he pleases. People like the Vindman brothers and Sondland serve at his pleasure.

Yes, this is true. But the decision to fire Vindman and escort him out of the White House was cruel and disrespectful with the obvious message to all other federal employees: Disagree with the president, and you will be publicly shamed and humiliated.

Sidney Morrison, Los Angeles


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