Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


What I’d like to hear the president say to the American people

We will be hearing more about the details of the Mueller investigation. As he departs from this thankless task, I want to thank Robert Mueller and his team for their service and unrelenting integrity.

Without asking for any thanks, or any — shall we say – emoluments, I have taken the liberty of drafting a statement that I recommend the current incumbent in the Oval Office deliver to the American people in the near future. It goes like this:

“Of course I’m pleased and relieved that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up his investigation without charging me personally, or recommending I be charged, with any crimes in connection with the various allegations of collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election. I want to thank him for his excellent service to the country.

“I also need to express my regrets, and apologize to the American people that I and many people associated with my campaign said and did so many things that generated suspicions about such a conspiracy. And, of course, I regret that several people associated with my campaign broke the law and are serving prison sentences.

“I know that many allegations of possible crimes by people associated with me have been referred to other prosecutorial agencies, and I pledge to cooperate fully, and hereby instruct those in my administration to do the same.

“I pledge that going forward I will be very careful to hire and appoint only people of the highest integrity and to send to them and to the public a clear and unwavering signal that everyone in my administration is expected to obey the law and tell the truth to the American people.

“I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I need to own them and learn from them. For one obvious but important example, I should not have continued trying to develop a hotel project in Russia while running for president. I should not have publicly, or privately of course, asked Russian authorities to release hacked emails detrimental to my opponent in the campaign. I should never have led, nor even tolerated, chants calling for my opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton, to be locked up. I also ask my supporters to put an end to that ludicrous and offensive chant.

“Those are just examples of lessons I have learned. I won’t bore you with the full list. But I should have made sure that everyone working for my campaign understood clearly from me that while we wanted to do everything honest and lawful thing I could to win, we needed to avoid anything dishonest and certainly anything illegal.

“I have less than two years left in my term, before I face the American people again to ask for another term, if I decide to do so. My pledge to you today – and I ask everyone in my administration and in my party of join me in this – is that we take this moment to make a new start and set a new tone for this administration, of honesty, integrity and openness with the American people, and respect for all, including those who honestly disagree with us about the best way to make America as great as it can be.”

Comments (20)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/25/2019 - 02:13 pm.

    I’m sorry, but I’ll never be convinced that someone who surrounded (surrounds?) himself with so many people of criminal character does not possess criminal character himself. If his talent is knowing just how far he can go and how to then stop just short of indictability, then I find that almost worse. Especially in a President.

    The sad day for America continues.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 03/25/2019 - 03:24 pm.

      It’s more dangerous, anyway.

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 03/26/2019 - 12:58 pm.

      I must agree. It’s been a very LONNNNNNNNNGGGGG sad day for America. I don’t believe the POTUS has enough character to ever say the things that you write about, Eric, but I agree he should. Why do I feel that the late President Nixon is rolling over and over in his grave??? Too bad he didn’t have as many Republicans standing behind him during and after the Watergate scandal. I feel we owe him and former President Bill Clinton, both an apology. Just because President Trump believes himself to be exonerated, it doesn’t mean he is innocent. And I, for one, would like to bring a sense of dignity back to the Oval Office. Not gonna happen from a man who picks on the deceased, namely, the late, GREAT Senator John McCain. How disgusting and wholly inappropriate have been the remarks/insults/tweets that President Trump has made concerning one of the last great patriots of our generation who sadly, has now been gone around seven months. He is greatly missed.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/25/2019 - 03:22 pm.

    I won’t be holding my breath for anything even vaguely similar to this suggested statement to the public by the President. Such a statement would be admitting to error(s) in judgment and behavior that brought undeserved harm to others, and offhand I can think of no instance wherein Mr. Trump has admitted to such errors, either directly or by implication when apologizing to people he has unjustly attacked via electronic or print media. If nothing else, the Mueller report seems to be an acknowledgment that Mr. Trump has pretty much perfected precisely the behavioral territory that Pat Berg finds most disturbing – behavior that walks right up to the narrow edge of indictability without stepping over it.

  3. Submitted by Howard Miller on 03/25/2019 - 03:46 pm.

    Erik, does this mean you’re an optimist about Trump’s ability to change into a decent moral person? Or is it an exercise in keeping sane, despite his daily communications using an unsecured cell to tweet venom and spit? Either way,

    I join you in wishing he’d say such thoughtful servant-leader oriented things.

    Fat chance, eh?

    My fondest current wish is he neither crashes the economy through stupid tariff battles, nor starts a war in the middle east to satisfy his base of conservative evangelicals, until we can replace him and the nest of vipers he appointed to high public positions.

  4. Submitted by ian wade on 03/25/2019 - 03:51 pm.

    The one silver lining of the Trump presidency is his gross incompetence. If this guy had any semblance of critical thought, this presidency could end the Republic. Fortunately, he’s appointed a virtual clownshow of characters which has rendered his administration little more than a punchline. Whatever political capitol he’s gained from the Mueller report, one thing is for certain, Donald Trump will squander it in short order.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/25/2019 - 04:24 pm.

      The Donald may squander it, but you can bet his enablers in Congress and the RNC will milk it for all it is worth.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/26/2019 - 07:15 am.

      The next Don Trump will be competent.

      Watch out.

      • Submitted by Mark Gruben on 03/27/2019 - 09:43 pm.

        I only hope that you mean “competent to stand trial.” Because, frankly, the prospect of a Trumpian dynasty – the father, succeeded to the White House by his son – is too hideous to contemplate.

  5. Submitted by cory johnson on 03/25/2019 - 04:37 pm.

    This seems like a ridiculous speech to give to people who hate him and will continue to spend every waking moment trying to destroy him. The Dems have obviously decided that just existing and effectively implementing his agenda is enough reason to pursue investigations with the goal of impeachment. George W proved that taking the high road doesn’t stop or even slow vicious attacks from the leftists.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/26/2019 - 08:44 am.

      Well, there was that little deal about inviting a hostile foreign power to interfere in an American election. While he, Individual 1, was seeking a large a multi MILLION dollar real estate deal with that hostile foreign power.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/26/2019 - 09:38 am.

      “Ridiculous” doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s almost as if he thinks the President of the United States is the President of all Americans, not just his supporters. Try for reconciliation and suggest that we move forward together? It is to laugh! Real Americans don’t need to put up with any of that rubbish.

      Let’s get down to the real business of punishing Democrats, and hating on liberals.

    • Submitted by Brian Gandt on 03/26/2019 - 10:26 am.

      Let’s be honest Cory: The right wing has hated liberals for a while. The hate machine was put into high gear by Gingrich.

      It’s unfortunate, but at some point people begin to hate back. Add to that a complete con man authoritarian wannabe in the White House that receives unconditional support from what was once the law and order/national security party? I don’t mind arguing policy, but what Gingrich sowed, we are now reaping, and that is beyond mere policy differences.

      As to President GW Bush taking the high road, he came off as a decent guy in terms of demeanor. He also led us into a military situation which will cost us for decades. So, there’s that. Do you think that since he received substantial push back that it’s ok for a Duterte clone to take over?

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 03/27/2019 - 05:59 pm.

        When those like Mr. Johnson talk about “hate” on the left it is, tediously, all about projection. I don’t “hate” Trump. He is nothing, pathetic, an example of how empty a human being can be. What I harbor is not hate, which comes from the corroded soul, but anger, which comes from sober reasoning. I am angry that not Trump, but Republicans in power, their authoritarian followers, and enablers in the media and the Democratic establishment, are doing everything possible to bring human civilization to the ground, and in the lifetime of my children.

        And Mr. Black, please stop these ridiculous “what I’d like to hear Trump say” pieces. I’d like to hear my dog suddenly break into an inspired rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but it isn’t going to happen.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 03/26/2019 - 01:12 pm.

      What “agenda” would that be, Mr. Johnson? So far, it seems little more than waking up in the morning and watching Fox to garner more ideas on how to “own the libs.” The sad part is that there are too many of his supporters who seem to be just fine with that.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/26/2019 - 02:42 pm.

        “Owning the libs” is precisely why he was elected. Except for the three easily remembered monosyllables of “Build the Wall” veered all over the map, and have largely been forgotten (his acolytes, if they think they’re being clever, will now trot out old references to “if you like your doctor . . .”). It wasn’t policy that got him elected, it was his willingness to voice the correct hatreds and promise to hurt the people “he needs to” hurt.

  6. Submitted by Arthur Swenson on 03/25/2019 - 05:08 pm.

    President Bone Spurs has made a career of flouting law and accepted norms of behavior, while surrounding himself with a veil of plausible deniability when the actual law-breaking is carried out at his direction.

    He is a coward, unwilling to confront anyone in person. He only attacks when he is sure that he is safely out of danger, even if that means he must attack people after they have died.

    We will be waiting for a long, long time for any comment from the “current occupant” along the lines suggested in Eric’s article.

  7. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/25/2019 - 06:05 pm.

    Barr’s best spin on the Mueller report…..

    ….Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to think he could convict Trump or his campaign staff of direct criminal collusion with Russia’s social media and hacking operations…..

    Not quite the complete exoneration certain parties think.

    If the Mueller report completely exonerated Trump, the Mueller report’s own conclusion would have been released in whole.


  8. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/25/2019 - 06:13 pm.

    Sorry to say, I don’t believe Donald Trump is capable of learning anything form his mistakes,…

    or anything else, for that matter.

    As always, he’s been able to hire “fixers,”…

    in this case, Republicans hoping to gain political advantage,…

    i.e. passage of policies favorable to business, industry, finance, banking, and scam artists everywhere,…

    (but lately that sounds as if I’m repeating myself)

    or at least a few of the crumbs that fall from the “master’s” table,…

    to cover over his mistakes,…

    while he skips away to make even more and bigger ones.

    He’ll be president for his full term,…

    four years from which it will take decades for us to recover,…

    unless, of course, Global climate change kicks in in such major ways that we lose the ability to recover.

  9. Submitted by Mark Gruben on 03/27/2019 - 10:38 pm.

    As far as I’m concerned, Trump lost his very last chance to convince me that he’ll ever be anything more than a lying scoundrel on the afternoon of January 19, 2019. This was the day that he, according to a Tweet he had sent earlier in the week, planned to make a “major announcement” which many interpreted as a step toward resolving the partial-government shutdown. And as Trump spoke that afternoon, that did appear to be the case. He proposed a deal: give him the $5.7 billion he wanted for his wall, and in return, DACA recipients and TPS-identified persons would be “protected” for the next three years. What’s more, Mitch McConnell would bring a bill with those very provisions to the floor of the Senate within the next few days. All of this would, presumably, help lead to an end to the shutdown. However, the bill McConnell presented, just three days later, had no such provisions; instead, both the DACA and TPS programs would be severely curtailed, and major limits would be placed on the asylum process. Not only was Trump’s “major announcement” a deliberate, bald-faced lie, he had the gall to name the bill after himself: the Trump-McConnell Bill. Given the fact that this bill was presented in just three days, it’s reasonable to assume the bill was already written, even as Trump lied about its contents. Needless to say, the Senate rejected it in very short order. And accordingly, I have officially rejected Donald Trump. All that being said, I’d like to believe that Trump might, at some point, give the speech that Eric Brown has so generously written for him. Anyway, I’d like to believe he would. But I don’t believe he will. Even if he did, I’d be unable to believe him. Donald Trump is incapable of speaking the truth, and I’m incapable of hearing the lies.

Leave a Reply