One crisis after another in Trump White House

Cindy Liu , Asst. News Editor

In the months since Donald Trump took office, the White House has fallen into chaos as unfolding events bring into light the blaring ineptitude and questionable legitimacy of the Trump administration.

In one of the defining scandals of the Trump campaign, Donald Trump Jr. met a Russian lawyer seeking incriminating documents on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. As new details and questions surface about the convoluted situation, they bring up the possibility of Russian influence on the election.

According to a series of emails Trump Jr. published on Twitter, the original email sent to Trump Jr. explicitly mentioned that the documents came from the Russian government. Minutes after Trump Jr. received the message, he responded, saying “I love it.”

Trump Jr. later attended the meeting with the Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner. Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner now face questioning about their roles in the situation by the Justice Department and congressional committees.

In an attempt to help steady the White House from the storm of controversy and shift the blame away from himself, Kushner released a statement saying that he “did not collude with the Russians” and did not know anything about the incriminating information.

The White House’s reaction to the situation—Trump Jr.’s eagerness to accept the proposal, coupled with contradicting statements from Kushner and President Trump about their relationship with Russia—hardly is a sign of a well functioning administration.

In another instance, at the recent G20 Summit meeting in Germany, the U.S. was left isolated when Trump was the only world leader among the 19 other participating leaders who didn’t support the irreversible Paris climate agreement. America’s withdrawal from the agreement will have a large impact, seeing as how the U.S. is the world’s second largest producer of emissions after China, and may spell uncertainty for the success of the agreement.  

Out of the 190 countries that signed the agreement, the U.S joins Syria and Nicaragua— the former opting out because of its war and the latter out of protest because the regulations weren’t strict enough— as the only countries that didn’t sign.

Trump’s reasoning for his refusal was that the Paris agreement’s energy restrictions would hold back the U.S.’s economic growth and would’ve only cut two tenths of one degree Celsius in the world by 2100. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology climate change researcher John Sterman, however, the numbers are closer to a full degree Celsius. Although one degree Celsius may not seem like much, it presents major changes in the world.

According to CNN, a two degree Celsius increase in the global temperature would mean that low island nations would be submerged by rising sea levels, one third of the species on Earth would be at increased risk for extinction and droughts and storms would be magnified.

“White Houses reflect the person at the top, and the chaos, or perceived chaos or lack of competence, in my opinion, reflects more about Donald Trump than anything else,” Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff, said.

Although Trump supporters have counted on the president “making America great again,” it seems that the U.S. is far from that, given the recent events. With Trump’s presidency off to a rocky start and the Trump administration dealing badly with the turmoil within the White House, hope that Trump can effectively face more critical situations in the future grows dimmer with each new turn of events.