Donald Trump Really Has It In For the State Department

What happened while I was at lunch? Let’s see. Jeffrey Lord got fired from CNN for tweeting “Sieg Heil” at someone. Scientists announced that pig-human transplants will be available soon. Other scientists have created mutant ants. And Donald Trump thanked Vladimir Putin for kicking out hundreds of American diplomats.

Wait. What?

“I want to thank him,” Trump said at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, “because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.”

Ha ha ha. That’s a good one, Mr. President. A real thigh-slapper.

I suppose Trump was just trying to deflect a pesky question, but it hardly matters. The president of the United States publicly told a bunch of career diplomats that they weren’t doing anything worthwhile and he’s happy to have an excuse to fire them. He won’t, of course, but that doesn’t matter either. What matters is that we have a president who thinks it’s funny to say stuff like this. I wonder how he’d feel if someone said something similar about our overseas troops?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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