It is getting to the point where one wonders what Donald Trump could possibly lie about next, and how will he profit the Russians. He did, after all, help quench Vladimir Putin’s thirst for oil when he appointed a Russian oil company executive and close friend of Putin’s as America’s Secretary of State. But of course that had nothing to do with Trump’s debt to the Russians and it does profit the new Secretary of State’s other oil industry interest Exxon.
Now, after just last week hearing Trump reiterating that if the Canadian corporation building a tar export pipeline through America’s agriculturally-rich heartland don’t agree to use American-made steel exclusively, the project will not happen. Period, okay? Oh, and Trump also lied and said the same conditions apply to building the hotly-contested Dakota pipeline; either use American-made steel exclusively “or we’re not building one;” unless there is a Russian Trump friend involved in foreign steel manufacturing.
That “American steel or else” provision was a “solemn” pledge from the liar-in-chief to TransCanada and an assurance to America’s steel workers that their hero was laying down some serious conditions on that Canadian corporation if they want to despoil America’s heartland. But to no-one’s surprise, that pledge was as phony as the proverbial “three-dollar bill,” like the man who uttered it, Donald J. Trump.
So it turns out that no matter how often Trump preached throughout the campaign that in his administration it would be nothing but “America first” because that is the only way to create jobs and bring those sent overseas back to make America great again, he was lying. Like everything the Trump says, and promises, the American steel or else “pledge” was just another misleading campaign slogan to trick the rubes into voting for him and of course it worked; rubes will believe anything and that goes quadruple for Republican rubes.
On Friday, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump wasn’t lying and didn’t break last week’s pledge, he just meant something else entirely. What the Trump really meant to solemnly pledge was that any brand spanking new pipeline projects would have to use America-made steel; not the two that Trump just approved to be built but only if they exclusively used steel manufactured in the United States. That broken “pledge” made just last week means that Canada can proceed using steel manufactured in India, Italy and by a Russian subsidiary of Evraz, a corporation partly owned by a Russian oligarch with “longstanding personal and political ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin” and a close family friend of who else, the Trump.
The Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, is one of the world’s wealthiest people worth approximately $8.9 billion landing him at number 151 on Forbes list of the 500 wealthiest humans on planet Earth. Allowing the foreign corporation TransCanada to build its pipeline with Russian steel through the agricultural heartland will help Mr. Abramovich move up a spot or two on the world’s wealthiest list and strengthen Trump’s bona fides with the man he most wants to endear himself to, Russian President Vladimir Putin. All those American steel workers Trump lied to in order to garner their votes were never part of Trump’s America first slogan; he didn’t make that solemn pledge to endear himself to steel workers, just to fool them into putting him in a position to enrich the Russians and the oil industry.
As noted at Huffington Post, the Trump-Putin administration’s announcement on Friday that Trump’s pledge last week was not really a pledge is “an example of how a presidential directive can produce an immediate benefit to a Russian billionaire with direct links to Vladimir Putin;” even if Trump keeps real President Barack Obama’s 2014 sanctions in place to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. Come Hell or high water, Trump is determined to enrich Putin, and by approving the KeystoneXL pipeline, he is also helping enrich the Trump family friend and Russian oligarch, Abramovich. It is noteworthy that Abramovich and Putin are so close that the oligarch “gifted Putin with an 187-foot yacht worth 25 million British pounds ($30,518,975) after he became Russian president” according to a report by Desmog.blog. There is also a Hell-of-a-lot more Russian steel being used for KeystoneXL than is being cited by various sources. The report continues:
“40 percent of the steel created so far was manufactured in Canada by a subsidiary of Evraz, a company 31-percent owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a close ally of Putin and a Trump family friend. Evraz has also actively lobbied against provisions which would mandate that Keystone XL’s steel be made in the U.S. Evraz describes itself as ‘among the top steel producers in the world based on crude steel production of 14.3 million tonnes in 2015.”
Notice that Trump broke his pledge to American steel workers under “active lobbying” by the Russian oligarch’s company to forego the provision mandating that TransCanada exclusively use American steel to build KeystoneXL or “we’re not building one.” Whether it is because Trump is indebted to Putin for interfering in America’s democratic process, or because he is close family friends with the oligarch Abramovich, the “stunning reversal” on the prohibition against non-American-made steel is yet another gross conflict of interest for the Trump. However, he will continue on as if his administration is immune from investigation and scrutiny because it is with Republicans going to the mat to protect their rubber stamp in the Oval Office.
What is still mind boggling, really, is that despite shafting millions upon millions of Americans for personal gain, Trump’s supporters, including steel workers, are not storming the White House or rampaging in the streets demanding Trump’s head on an “American-made steel” pike. Apparently, the thought of Trump following through on his campaign pledge to purge the nation of Mexicans and Muslims is keeping the steel workers, at least, in thrall of their hero who just screwed them out of promised jobs to enrich his wealthy friends in Russia and create jobs in foreign countries. It is Trump’s idea of “America First.”