Aunt Verlie was panic-stricken by the time I arrived at the If You’re Not Livin’, You’re Dyin’ Eldercare Villas. Someone had been calling all day long - actually, several someone’s - leaving messages saying her assets (Seriously? Four half empty bottles of Nivea lotion and a CVS heating pad with cold spots?) were going to be SEIZED and her Social Security number had been “fatally compromised.”
The voicemails were stern, forceful, of the devil.
I wrapped an arm around Verlie’s thin shoulders, turned on “The Property Brothers” to keep her calm and reminded her it’s not rude to hang up on creepy scammers, ever.
I couldn’t help but think how these wretched souls remind me of the Trump administration’s state department which has been, according to The Washington Post, notifying staffers who worked with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton their emails have been “retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations.”
Trump’s state department says this has nothing to do with the president; it just takes a long time to go through all those emails. But to anyone with an above room temp IQ, it’s obvious this is another example of the president abusing his power to punish his political adversaries.
Why would we expect anything else?
There is no difference whatsoever, ethically speaking, between what the state department goons are doing and what honestly happened to Aunt Verlie on a sunny Saturday at a location I made up. Who knows? Maybe it’s the same people? Maybe “Mr. Adam Drake from the Internal Revenue Service” moonlights.
The Post quotes letters to Clinton’s former staffers and other Democratic key personnel as “You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability” in, supposedly newly uncovered “security incidents.”
Who does that sound like? Hmmmmm?
Now the wacky thing here is Trump’s state department clutching its pearls and gettin’ the vapors over Hillary using that private email server years ago but turning a blind eye to Trump’s repeated blathering nonstop on insecure cell phones and routinely sharing classified information to foreign officials with all the circumspection of a drunk 12-year-old at a slumber party.
You gotta love the stones on this Mike Pompeo guy. Trump’s most recent Secretary of State is said to be overseeing this nonsense at the behest of Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, 118, of Iowa, who is believed to be the only person still alive who regularly uses the word “consarned” with nary a trace of irony.
That’s the same Mike Pompeo, by the by, who thinks it’s OK to withhold millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine until sufficient dirt is uncovered on Joe Biden because Trump’s woke to the fact that sleepy Joe could beat him.
The threatening language with its “I know what you did last presidency” is typical ham-handed thuggery from an administration that will stop at nothing to divert attention from its crimes.
In the words of that great immigrant, Melania Trump, using your immense power to bully others kinda suck-ski’s.
Wilmington, North Carolina’s Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.