President Donald Trump began his term in office with a flurry of activity, keeping campaign promises. But in recent days he has reneged, backing globalists, war, and cronyism.
On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump got crowds roaring with his signature promise to “Drain the Swamp.” But now that he is President Trump, could the infamous establishment swamp of Washington, D.C., be draining him instead of the other way around? Maybe. At this point, it is hard to tell for sure. But the warning signs are certainly flashing brighter, and getting harder to ignore. Already, known swamp creatures are operating across the administration in key posts. And now, Trump is waffling on key promises and sidelining key anti-establishment voices.
But Trump insists he is following through on his promises — and the battle may not be over yet. As far as following through on his key promises goes, the Trump administration has been a mixed bag so far. At first, despite backing down on the bid to jail “Crooked Hillary” for her crime spree, things were going fairly well. (See article on page 10.) But his recent backtracking should not be ignored. On the campaign trail, Trump proclaimed that “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.” Yet by late April, he was singing a very different tune. “I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” Trump was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal. “I’m both.”
Swamp Creatures Creeping In
If “personnel is policy,” as the oft-quoted saying from the Reagan era goes, then Trump’s personnel choices are certainly very revealing regarding whether Americans can hope for a swamp draining. Indeed, among Trump’s most recent and important selections were Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster to serve as National Security Adviser and Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — both of whom have been listed as members of the establishment globalist swamp known as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). There were already several CFR-linked officials in the Cabinet before the latest additions — and of course the CFR represents the very same forces that viciously libeled and attacked Trump in their failed bid to stop him.
This article appears in the May 22, 2017, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
The controversial CFR group’s agenda is rarely discussed openly in the media. And that is despite the fact that much of the establishment media is actually listed as “corporate” members of the CFR, and the CFR typically has hundreds of members in the upper ranks of presidential administrations, regardless of which party is ostensibly in charge. The outfit’s membership is often quoted as supposedly dispassionate sources in the media, too. But despite the lack of attention, evidence of the organization’s agenda — global governance, open borders, Big Government, surrendering sovereignty, attacking self-government, and more — is hardly difficult to find.
Indeed, prominent patriotic Americans, including CFR members, have been sounding the alarm for generations. The late U.S. Admiral Chester Ward, for example, who served as the judge advocate of the U.S. Navy, was a CFR member for 16 years before resigning in disgust. “In the entire CFR lexicon, there is no term of revulsion carrying a meaning so deep as America First,” said Admiral Ward, whose comments on the CFR shed light on why the group would be entirely hostile to Trump’s central promise as a pro-America, anti-establishment political candidate promising to put “America First.”
But it’s even worse than that. “The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence, and submergence into an all-powerful one-world government,” the admiral warned, adding that “this lust to surrender the sovereignty and independence of the United States is pervasive throughout most of the membership.” In other words, not everyone in the CFR is a fanatical globalist determined to sell out America’s sovereignty, but most are.
That sinister agenda becomes clear from reading the CFR’s own magazine, Foreign Affairs. In April 1974, for example, Richard Gardner, former deputy assistant secretary of state, explained how the agenda for world government would be pursued. “In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down,” he wrote. “An end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.” The magazine also regularly promotes regional government, war, and attacks on national sovereignty. In other words, the opposite of everything Trump ran on.
For some additional perspective, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted in a speech that the CFR gives her instructions on “what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.” Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney once bragged: “I’ve been a member [of the CFR] for a long time, and was actually a director for some period of time. I never mentioned that when I was campaigning for reelection back home in Wyoming.” Countless similar statements exist acknowledging the CFR’s deceptive practices, its dangerous agenda, and its hijacking of U.S. policy.
And yet, on the campaign trail, Trump blasted what he described as a “cabal” seeking “global government” and vowed to put an end to such machinations. “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First,” Trump promised. He also vowed that “America First” would become U.S. policy across every sphere of government activity including foreign policy, economic policy, trade policy, national security, immigration, and much more.
Of course, it is true that Trump’s administration and Cabinet have fewer establishment globalists and CFR members than any White House in recent memory, of either party — Obama, Clinton, and both Bushes each installed hundreds of CFR members in top positions within their administrations. But with some of Trump’s more recent appointments, the trend toward adding more and more CFR members has raised questions and concerns even among some of his most ardent supporters.
Did the so-called Deep State find a way to get to Trump? Is Trump simply unaware of the CFR’s well-documented agenda to undermine U.S. sovereignty, liberty, and prosperity? Are there globalist CFR operatives who have burrowed their way into senior positions in the administration, and are now working to bring in more swamp creatures to mislead and sabotage Trump? The months and years ahead should make that more clear.
Trump’s CFR-minded Swamp Creatures
Trump’s appointees with CFR backgrounds cause justified concerns. First, Gorsuch. Trump’s selection to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat will have immense influence on the future of America — far more than America’s Founding Fathers ever intended an unelected justice to have. As soon as the announcement was made, many well-known conservative and establishment voices sprang into action to support the nomination. Some prominent voices expressed hesitation — both on pro-life issues and gun rights — but overall much of the Republican Party was pleased, ranging from constitutionalists and conservatives to the neocon and establishment wing of the GOP.
A number of concerns ended up being raised about him, though. And more than a few liberals, including some far-left pseudo-journalists, have applauded the choice. The headline at the anti-Trump Washington Post, for example, reads: “Simply stated, Gorsuch is steadfast and surprising. The Supreme Court nominee resides on the right, listens intently to the left and often finds a homespun truth somewhere in between.” An opinion piece at The Hill, meanwhile, suggested approvingly that Gorsuch might even be a secret liberal.
However, one crucial point on his résumé has flown largely under the radar, even among many usually well-informed voices who would have promptly sounded the alarm. That is the fact that Gorsuch was listed as a term member of the CFR in the organization’s 2008 Annual Report Membership Roster. He was also listed as a member in his 2006 nomination by President George W. Bush. And aside from Internet commentators in comment sections, the only major analyst who seems to have noticed is Kelleigh Nelson.
CFR operatives must have noticed, too, though, recently calling Gorsuch “well qualified” for the spot — while perhaps inadvertently sending out a major warning sign for conservatives and constitutionalists. “Trump arguably had one good day in his first two weeks, on Jan. 31, when he rolled out the nomination of the well-qualified Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court,” the CFR’s warmongering neoconservative Max Boot wrote in an op-ed published in Foreign Policy that viciously attacked Trump and his agenda.
Then there is Lieutenant General Herbert R. McMaster, Trump’s new national security advisor who took over after non-CFR member Mike Flynn resigned amid what appeared to be a well-orchestrated hit job by the so-called Deep State. By all accounts, McMaster is a superb soldier, officer, and military man. He has received a wide array of awards, medals, and recognition for his service in the U.S. Army. His insights into the failures of U.S. military leadership in Vietnam have received widespread praise, too.
However, McMaster is listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, too — and his membership is current as of late April, according to the CFR’s online roster. And while there are undoubtedly some non-globalists who have joined the CFR over the years for reasons other than believing in its anti-American, anti-freedom agenda, McMaster’s record suggests he may not be among that small group.
A decade ago, for instance, he joined the globalist-minded International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London as a senior research associate. According to the organization itself, his mandate was described as “conduct[ing] research to identify opportunities for improved multi-national cooperation and political-military integration in the areas of counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism, and state building.”
There are a number of terms and phrases there that are cause for alarm — including standard globalist rhetoric such as “multi-national cooperation” and “political-military integration,” which sounds a lot like sovereignty-stealing schemes such as NATO and the European Union. There was also the term “state building,” which critics pointed out resembles the “nation building” that Trump specifically vowed to stop under his administration following costly and deadly failures by Obama and Bush.
The New American’s Warren Mass reported on the developments when McMaster’s name was announced. “One would have expected an interventionist, neoconservative CFR member such as John McCain to have appointed a man such as McMaster to his inner circle,” Mass wrote. And indeed, true to form, globalist neocon McCain, who has expressed nothing but contempt for Trump and his supporters, was very pleased with McMaster, calling him “an outstanding choice for national security advisor — [a] man of genuine intellect, character and ability.”
Other Globalist Swamp Creatures
McMaster and Gorsuch are only the two most recent CFR additions to the Trump Team. Others have already been documented in the pages of The New American. And a regular commentator in the comments section of this magazine’s online portal, who goes by the username St_Robert_Bellarmine, has compiled a significant list of Trump’s senior CFR-linked and globalist-tied appointees, some of whom have attended the globalist Bilderberg summit or have ties to globalist billionaire David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, a CFR-type group focusing on America, Europe, and Japan.
Among them are Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, who is listed as a current member of CFR, despite the globalist outfit’s key role in imposing the very multilateral “free-trade” regimes that Trump has opposed for harming America and undermining U.S. sovereignty. Another is Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a CFR member with troubling links to the Communist Chinese dictatorship. She also happens to be married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and may have been a bargaining chip in getting other nominees approved by establishment Republicans in Congress.
Then there are a number of non-members who nevertheless have troubling ties to the CFR and other globalist organizations. Exxon-Mobil, of course, is a “founder” corporate member of the CFR. And despite not being an official member himself, Rex Tillerson boasted to CFR members in a speech that he shared their views on globalism. “Like the Council’s founders, I believe we must choose the course of greater international engagements,” Tillerson said in a 2007 event at the CFR. Since becoming secretary of state, he has behaved as a typical establishment globalist, advocating regime change, shipping in UN-selected “refugees” by the tens of thousands, and working closely with globalist international organizations.
Another controversial figure is Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary and a former executive with “vampire squid” international bank Goldman Sachs. Like Exxon-Mobil, the globalist bank is also listed as a “founder” corporate member of the CFR. And Mnuchin, while not listed publicly as a member of CFR, was a member of the secret “Skull and Bones” society at Yale that has been exposed for being involved in dark and deeply disturbing rituals. George W. Bush and John Kerry were also members, though both refused to talk about it while running against each other for president.
Then there are at least two Cabinet members in the Trump administration who have attended the annual Bilderberg summit, where top globalists, politicians, bankers, communists, royalty, and crony capitalists meet once a year to plot policy behind closed doors and recruit useful idiots to their globalist cause. The first is former Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican who serves as Trump’s energy secretary. While Perry often portrays himself as a conservative, his political history — including his support for North American integration — suggests he is an establishment swamp creature dressed up to fit in among Texans.
The other known Bilderberg attendee in Trump’s Cabinet is Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a military man who attended the 2015 Bilderberg meeting in Austria as a “distinguished fellow” of the Hoover Institution. After his confirmation, Mattis promptly got to work filling the Pentagon’s upper ranks with establishment globalists, far-left extremists, and even Obama and Clinton lackeys. Among them: Rudy de Leon, a senior fellow at the Soros-funded establishment “progressive think tank” known as the Center for American Progress (CAP) founded by Clinton campaign boss John Podesta. Mattis’ first choice to be his deputy was reportedly Michele Flournoy, Obama’s undersecretary of defense for policy, who was widely viewed as the person Hillary Clinton would have chosen as defense secretary.
The name Rothschild — the unfathomably wealthy banking dynasty — often pops up in connection with Bilderberg, billionaire George Soros, and other organs and individuals associated with the globalist establishment and the central-banking cartel. And it just so happens that Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, was a senior managing director at Rothschild, Inc., before joining Trump’s team. Apparently Ross, while serving the globalist Rothschild dynasty, helped Trump’s business empire when it was in trouble in the early 1990s. Soros, the extreme left-wing agitator, was also a Rothschild protégé.
But even some of Trump’s top officials not directly connected to establishment globalist organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations or Bilderberg nonetheless have a history of pushing the globalist agenda. Among those who come to mind is Betsy DeVos, the billionaire heiress whom Trump put in charge of the U.S. Department of Education after suggesting on the campaign trail that he would work to shut down the department. DeVos and her organizations played a key role in saving Common Core in Michigan. And she even served on the board of Jeb Bush’s pro-Common Core “education” organization.
Of course, hoping for a Cabinet devoid of people with links to the establishment swamp — at least for now — might be a bit unrealistic. After all, the nominees had to get through Senate confirmation, and there are more than a few CFR operatives and globalist shills still haunting the halls of Congress. And to be fair, on the campaign trail, Trump did even say he had “respect” for CFR boss Richard Haass, a leading globalist operative who has publicly grumbled about Trump and his agenda. Trump’s team has also said publicly that all Cabinet members agreed to go along with the president’s America First agenda.
However, at this point in the Trump presidency, and especially in light of the policies, it is starting to seem as if there are too many swamp creatures in the White House for comfort. And being surrounded by globalists and establishment operatives gives them the chance to mislead Trump, sabotage his agenda, and more — assuming Trump was not secretly one of them from the beginning.
Anti-globalist, Anti-establishment Forces Sidelined at the White House
Not all of Trump’s top people are well connected to the globalist establishment, or even affiliated with it, at least publicly. Among those who have a documented track record of independence and being outsiders are Trump officials such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. Trump’s National Trade Council director Peter Navarro has also defied a key tenet of the globalist agenda by exposing Communist China and its establishment-backed efforts to undermine America. And White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, despite his background with Goldman Sachs, is said to be a committed anti-establishment, anti-globalist voice.
But nonetheless, the anti-establishment forces that put President Donald Trump in power are reportedly being sidelined within the administration and the White House, and the globalist establishment could not be happier. Indeed, countless establishment media organs were openly celebrating throughout much of April.
If all of what the media claim about Trump’s recent “flip flops” is true, the sense of betrayal already expressed by many of Trump’s most fervent and dedicated supporters in recent weeks is likely to get worse. And while the establishment media (rightly ridiculed by Trump for the constant stream of “fake news” they publish) are not generally a credible source of information, in this case, there may be some truth to the claims. At least it looks that way. For instance, on April 11, Trump himself appeared to distance himself from Bannon in an interview with the New York Post. When asked whether he still had confidence in his chief strategist, Trump refused to offer a definitive “yes” to end the establishment media claims and speculation.
Instead, Trump downplayed Bannon and his role within the Trump team. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump was quoted as saying. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.... Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.” By “them,” Trump was referring to Bannon and other figures in his administration, such as son-in-law Jared Kushner, who were reportedly at odds with the chief strategist. As reported publicly, Bannon was lobbying for Trump to fulfill his anti-globalist mandate, and Kushner and others wanted Trump to be more “moderate” on everything from the homosexual agenda to the climate-change “hoax,” as Trump repeatedly referred to the man-made warming theory.
And beyond Trump’s statements practically disavowing Bannon, concrete progress in what appears to be the deliberate and systematic sidelining of the chief strategist has already been achieved. Most obvious, perhaps, was the fact that Bannon was recently stripped from his powerful position on the National Security Council — and that follows the ouster of another outsider, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In short, that leaves McMaster, a globalist from the CFR, to run the “National Security” apparatus free of any interference from anti-globalist types.
Considering that Bannon is perhaps the most well-known official close to Trump among the anti-globalist, anti-establishment faction that propelled the president into the White House, Bannon’s apparent fall from grace is likely significant, even if it is being over-hyped by the press. Another anti-globalist Trump senior advisor, Stephen Miller, is also said to be increasingly sidelined as establishment globalists surround Trump and burrow their way into the administration.
For months, the “fake news” establishment media, as Trump puts it, painted Bannon as both a powerful force in the Trump administration and as some sort of extreme nationalist right-winger at best. At worst, Bannon was dishonestly painted as a hardcore racist anti-Semite, similar to the bogus smears hurled indiscriminately at Trump and many of his top aides by the extreme globalist press. More recently, fake news from the dying propaganda establishment organ Newsweek, which sold for $1, absurdly tried to link Bannon to Putin, at least “ideologically.” Of course, the lies about Bannon’s alleged racism and anti-Semitism were typical of the lies and “fake news” smears put out by the press. For example, the media endlessly harped on an article about Bill Kristol published by the news service Bannon ran, which referred to the neocon warmonger as a “renegade Jew.” What the establishment media did not mention amid the frothing at the mouth was that the article was actually written by a Jew — a fact that, if known, would completely undermine the establishment media’s bogus narrative about Bannon and Breitbart News, the influential and widely read right-of-center online publication backed by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer. The fake news about Bannon’s supposed “ideological ties to Russia” and Putin was even more transparently fraudulent.
Before joining the Trump campaign and helping lead it to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, Bannon was the executive chair of Breitbart News. While Trump had already spoken out regularly against globalism, Bannon is credited by more than a few analysts with helping to focus and fine-tune Trump’s wildly successful anti-globalist, “America First” message to voters. Trump also warned of Clinton’s links to a “cabal,” including “international bankers,” that was plotting “global government.” The message was a resounding success — Trump won a landslide victory in terms of electors, despite virtually the entire media and political establishment lined up against him.
What is happening with Bannon is hard to determine exactly amid the endless stream of fake news from the establishment media. But it appears that key Trump people are seeking to drive him out. Two leading anti-Trump newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, cited alleged anonymous sources to report on the supposed feud. Citing Trump’s reversal on so many key issues, the anti-Trump Post reported that “moderates” — basically the establishment’s preferred term for establishment-minded globalist and statist extremists — were taking over the administration. “It was the clearest sign yet that an alliance of moderates in the White House — including Cohn; senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and another influential Goldman Sachs alumnus, Dina Powell — is racking up successes in a battle over ideology and control with hardcore conservatives led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who held sway at the start of the administration,” claimed the Post, which lost virtually all of its remaining credibility during the 2016 election.
Of course, whether Bannon and the broader anti-establishment wing are really out remains unclear. David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, told Vanity Fair that Bannon was not going anywhere. “Steve is part of the team,” he was quoted as saying. “He was part of the team during the campaign. He is part of the team now. It is not about Steve. It is about the ideas that elected Donald Trump.” At the same time, as news of Trump supposedly abandoning his base and his promises began making headlines, Trump also countered that essentially nothing had changed and that the administration was “keeping our promises.” And while that is true of some key promises, many more are yet to be kept. Indeed, three months in, work on a border wall that Mexico will pay for has not even started.
Reacting to Trump’s Realignment
Of course, many analysts all across the political spectrum have noticed what is happening. Ann Coulter, who was on the Trump train when practically everyone else in America was laughing at Trump, sounded close to tears during an interview with New York City radio personality Mark Simone following the attack on Syria. “The magnitude of this catastrophe cannot be underestimated,” she said. “I’ve had a knot in my stomach since he’s been filling up his administration with these warmongers and Wall Street types.... We may have just as well had Jeb.”
Michael Savage, one of America’s top radio hosts who constantly had Trump on his program throughout the campaign, wondered: “Who got to you, Mr. President?” “Like Trump, Woodrow Wilson ran on an America First platform,” Savage continued. “He was elected largely because he kept us out of the war in Europe. But someone got to him, too.” Top conservatives, libertarians, and others in the Trump coalition have come to similar conclusions.
To those on the Left, the trends are obvious too. Damon Linker, a senior correspondent at the left-wing website TheWeek.com, did not frame the battle as one between Trump and the swamp. Instead, he described it by framing it as one between Trump’s stated positions versus neoconservative warmongering and the “liberal internationalist variation on hawkishness.” However, in his column, headlined “Why Trump Succumbed to the Hawks,” he came to similar conclusions about Trump going back on his promises to take on the establishment.
“For the first time since Reagan’s victory in 1980, it looked possible that neoconservatives would exercise no discernable influence on the formulation of a Republican president’s foreign policy — a fate, in political terms, worse than death,” he wrote. “No one should be surprised — or perhaps even overly disappointed — that it lasted barely 12 weeks. Trump’s ignorance and temperamental recklessness made the prospect of him undertaking significant strategic changes hugely risky — for the United States, for the West, and for the world.”
“Once the ‘America First’ faction in the West Wing started to lose its grip on power, it was probably inevitable that neocon ideas would fill the policy vacuum,” he added. “Still, it’s bewildering to think that all the tumult of the past 18 months may have all been some kind of passing episode that will end up making no lasting difference to the direction of the Republican Party or American foreign policy. You can wound neoconservatism, apparently, but it Just. Won’t. Die. And that might be the most distressing thing of all.”
Of course, as his defenders and apologists point out, Trump does have some reputable patriots working for him, many of whom have been highlighted in these pages. To avoid becoming another victim of the establishment and its swamp of globalism and war, though, Trump must change direction and exercise extreme caution with all the swamp creatures now surrounding him. Trump voters — conservatives, patriots, working-class Americans, and more — are certainly justified in expressing concerns about the direction policy and personnel are going in the Trump administration. With enough public pressure, it may still be possible to get Trump to reverse course and keep the “Trump Train” on track to, as he put it, Make America Great Again. But at this point, it seems more likely that the swamp will end up draining Trump.
Photo: AP Images