Grey Bull: Barrasso’s latest shameful defense of Trump is an embarrassment to Wyoming

Grey Bull: Barrasso’s latest shameful defense of Trump is an embarrassment to Wyoming

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For Wyoming’s soon-to-be senior U.S. Senator John Barrasso to call John Bolton the “darling of the liberal left,” is to blatantly ignore the outrage that Democrats feel for Bolton to choose his book deal over supporting the impeachment trial, and to totally overlook the profoundly serious allegations of corruption and ignorance that threaten the trust that both liberals and conservatives need constituents to have for our government —especially during a crisis. All Americans, regardless of partisan politics, should be angry at the thought of corruption in our highest office, and even angrier that someone would willingly withhold evidence to keep us in suspense for a mediocre memoir.

The easy dismissal of someone as far right as Bolton as a “darling” to left-leaning Democrats should be a warning sign to all of us on how unwilling Senator Barrasso is to criticize President Trump. The former National Security Adviser tells us that our president is “a danger for the Republic,” and the response from Senator Barrasso is the same unabashed deference he’s shown towards Mr. Trump since he was elected. What makes matters worse is that Barrasso pulled his Wyoming constituents into this mess during his defense of President Trump. What Barrasso referred to in his interview with Fox Business as simply a “President thinking about his own reelection” is a shocking reduction of Bolton’s allegations that Trump has used his foreign influence to solicit help winning November’s presidential election. Senator Barrasso then had the audacity to invoke Wyoming farmers.

Bolton writes in his book that Trump pleaded with Chinese president Xi Jinping to buy up soybeans and grain to win him favor and agricultural clout in the upcoming election. Barrasso doesn’t seem to care what the cost is for national security or the Constitution itself, saying flatly “I’m for that!” When it comes to deals to sell Wyoming’s agricultural products, it seems like no cost is too high for the senator, even when it concerns our freedom itself. The fact that Barrasso invokes Wyoming as an agricultural state in response to these allegations that agriculture is being used by the president to subvert the Constitution and steal an election is more than worrisome. It is disqualifying for federal office.

Wyoming, like all agricultural states, has suffered deeply under President Trump’s “leadership.” We cannot act as if the trade war Trump started with that same Chinese leader did not devastate Wyoming farmers by interfering with one of the largest agricultural markets in the world, or that his failure to lead during the COVID-19 crisis has not plunged this state’s agricultural economy into chaos, forcing Wyoming farmers to destroy food and people to go hungry.

To see Barrasso blatantly ignore Trump’s comments on concentration camps while defending his interactions with the Chinese leader is hard to stomach. Trump allegedly told President Xi that his concentration camps for China’s ethnic minority Uyghurs was “exactly the right thing to do” and to “go ahead building the camps.” It is horrible to see any senator make light of this, but Wyoming has a painful enough history of Japanese internment camps with the Heart Mountain Relocation Center right here, that you would think we don’t have to sit through watching the Wyoming senator make light of Trump’s support for China’s concentration camps. Barrasso’s dismissal of Bolton’s allegations is also in contrast to the terrible context of the historical trauma of the Holocaust for Jewish and Romani U.S. citizens who are now facing a new threat as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates what is left of the Holocaust survivors, stealing away our last living testaments to some of the gravest crimes against humanity ever witnessed that were, lest we forget, committed in concentration camps.

But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Barrasso has failed Wyomingites as consistently as he has defended President Trump’s corruption. He has virtually given away Wyoming’s public lands in his role as the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, favoring the interests of his major campaign contributors over Wyoming’s citizens. He has also ignored the plight of some of our state’s most vulnerable people: when he was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs he did absolutely nothing to address the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis that is devastating our indigenous communities.

U.S. Congressional candidate Lynnette Grey Bull (D) from the Wind River Indian Reservation can be reached at www.lynnettegreybull.com

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