Dick Morris: The Deep State Is Framing Trump on Ukraine


Encased within the Democratic efforts to oust Trump is the determination of the deep state to limit presidential power to conduct foreign policy and the desire of allies of the EU to resist efforts to enlist the new Ukrainian president in their nationalist coalition.

Conservatives and Republicans are well aware by now of the deep state that permeates the Intelligence Community, having seen it operate to try to impeach President Donald Trump over phony charges of Russian collusion.

Now, meet the Deep State at State! The State Department and the National Security Council are filled with deep state operatives working feverishly to bring Trump down over the Ukraine affair.

Their pique at Trump’s heavy-handed intervention in Ukraine is rooted in their deep-seated belief that the president must be kept out of foreign policy despite the constitutional mandate that unambiguously puts in his lap.

Recognizing the president’s formal power, the deep state folks work overtime to get the president to do their bidding on foreign affairs.

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William Taylor, former charge d’affaires of the U.S. embassy in Kiev told House investigators that he “began to sense that the two decision-making channels [formulating U.S. policy toward Ukraine] — the regular and the irregular — were separate and at odds.”

Translation: How dare the president conduct foreign policy without consulting us!

Atlanticist to the core, the deep state is heavily invested in the idea of globalism and the institution of the European Union. It watched, with alarm and dismay, the defection of the UK from the EU. They see Brexit as a tragedy. But now their focus turns to the eastern border of the EU as it threatens to defect as well.

There, a determined effort led by Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban (a former client) is eroding the power of the EU. Allying with like-minded leaders in Poland and Italy, he is crafting an independent course away from Brussels.

President Trump set off alarm bells in the State Department deep state when, according to The New York Times, “Trump met, over the objections of this national security advisor, with one of [Ukraine’s] most virulent critics, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary.”

At that meeting, The Times said, Trump “was exposed to a harsh indictment of Ukraine” that “set the stage for events that led to the impeachment inquiry.”

Orban’s sin is opposing the EU, restricting Muslim immigration and battling with fellow Hungarian George Soros. Defying the EU, he has built a wall around Hungary to protect his country of only nine million from a hostile takeover by Muslim refugees and immigrants. He refuses to admit his quota of refugees assigned Hungary by the EU.

Eager to protect the 150,000 Hungarians living in Ukraine from forced assimilation, he has battled for permitting Hungarian to be used in the regions in which they live.

Seeking to preserve national identity is a no-no in the world of the EU.

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And Orban also struck at left-wing billionaire George Soros who founded the Central European University in Budapest after the fall of communism. It’s increasingly leftist, anti-nationalist orientation has drawn criticism from Orban who has moved to restrict its government funding.

Orban is building a nationalist coalition in Eastern Europe that opposes immigration and resists EU domination. His Polish ally, Jaroslaw Kaczyński (another former client) just won the election there a few months ago. Leaders in Italy and other eastern European countries have backed Orban’s crusade.

When Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine earlier this year, Donald Trump and Viktor Orban may have sensed a kindred spirit. When Zelensky said Ukraine wanted to build “a strong, powerful, free Ukraine, which is not the younger sister of Russia, which is not a corrupt partner of Europe, but our independent Ukraine,” the pro-EU deep state must have gotten worried.

And with Trump meeting Orban who echoed his nationalist agenda, the word must have echoed in the halls of the State Department and the NSC: “Trump is loose!” No telling what he’ll do now.

When Trump picked up the phone and called Zelensky without consulting the deep state, their fears crystallized. Searching for new grounds for impeachment, now that accusations of Russian collusion had gone up in flames, the deep state seized on the call as a trigger for a new impeachment probe.

This same deep state resentment against presidents personally conducting foreign policy was evident to me when I worked with President Clinton in 1994-1996. The president once described the advice he usually got from the NSC: “They always give me three options: do nothing, blow up the world, or do what they suggest.” Complaining “I never get options” from his foreign policy advisors, he went outside Washington to recruit civilian experts to advise him on policy.

When I attempted to draft the foreign policy section of the annual State of the Union Speech, the NSC came down hard to stop me. Foreign policy was their prerogative and they intended to keep it there.

During the Russian election of 1996, I worked with my former business partner Dick Dresner and with the president on helping Boris Yeltsin win another term. NSC Director Sandy Berger cautioned me to stop showing Clinton Dresner’s polls and to stop advising him to get involved. When I told President Clinton of his admonition, he instructed me to give him the data but “tell Sandy you aren’t.”

Now, these folks are guarding their Ukraine policy and even going to the lengths of impeaching Trump for daring to do it himself.

The fear of politically motivated intervention in foreign policy keeps them up at night, even though, in a democracy, it would seem to be the peoples’ right.

Encased within the Democratic efforts to oust Trump is the determination of the deep state to limit presidential power to conduct foreign policy and the desire of allies of the EU to resist efforts to enlist the new Ukrainian president in their nationalist coalition.

The bureaucrats are always trying to wrest power from elected presidents and give it to unelected bureaucrats.

At the end of the last century, for example, they lifted the formulation of economic policy away from the chief executive and vested it in the Federal Reserve Board. Now they are trying to do the same thing with foreign policy.

That is what their eager testimony to bolster attempts to remove Trump is all about.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.