by WorldTribune Staff, January 17, 2017
For all of his talk of a smooth transition, President Barack Obama is laying down a slew of landmines that Donald Trump must defuse before he can get comfortable in the Oval Office, the New York Post said in a Jan. 17 editorial.
“Presidential transitions are traditionally apolitical and nonpartisan. It’s sad that the Obama team chose to give America one last sour dose of ‘change,’ ” the Post said.
Some of those landmines “are plainly Obama’s doing, from that anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution to slamming the door on Cuban refugees. But the nastier ones — the Justice Department inspector general probe of FBI chief Jim Comey’s announcements on the Clinton email investigation, and the leak about that ‘Russian dossier’ — have more deniability,” the editorial said.
“The Cuba move may be the most ironic, given fears on the left that Trump would close the door on refugees. Yet here’s Obama, denying to Cubans who flee the island dictatorship the protection — instituted by President Bill Clinton in 1995 — of legal residency if they make it to U.S. soil. At least that one’s easy for the next president to reverse …
“… The UN move, by contrast, will complicate U.S. efforts at Middle East peace for years, maybe decades — by hamstringing any effort to get Israel and the Palestinians to find compromise on all their outstanding issues. It’s also a direct strike at the pro-Israel policies Team Trump had signaled.”
The Post continued: “We’ll likely never know just who leaked to CNN that a key Trump intelligence briefing included a summary of the ‘Russian dossier.’ But that leak was plainly a bid to undermine Trump, since it falsely implied that the intel community believed the absurd allegations — which strongly suggests the leak came from some Obama political appointee, rather than any career intel officials.
“The IG probe also looks political — stirring up yet again the idea that Comey handed the election to Trump by reviving voter worries about Clinton’s email abuses. The Trump team is left with the ugly choice of shutting down a potentially embarrassing probe — or letting a potentially partisan effort proceed. The best bet will likely be to ensure the investigation covers everything — even though we’d all hoped to be done with the Clinton scandals now.”
In a separate piece on Jan. 17, the Post noted that Obama has also “rushed to fill nearly 100 federal government vacancies during a frenzy of appointments in his final few weeks in office.”
Since Jan. 1, Obama has named 72 people to federal job openings and nominated another 17 for positions requiring Senate confirmation.