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Monday, August 20, 2018

Bugs in the Office

I wouldn’t want Michael Cohen as an attorney. I would not ask Omarosa Manigault Newman to be on my team. And I would not want to ever report to Donald Trump. Frankly, it would very difficult to choose any of them as friends.

You know their names, right? Michael Cohen has been the high profile personal attorney for the president. Omarosa Manigault Newman is the former reality TV star who became a top White House aide to President Trump. No explanation is needed for The Donald. But let me start there.

I’ve only worked for two bosses in my life who I would describe as controlling. They lacked the touch of human kindness with employees. They were inflexible.

President Trump carries a lot of that in his management style. What really sets him apart as a leader, however, is his spirit of revenge. Cross him in a way that hurts his pride, and look out. We saw it in the primaries with fellow Republicans. We see it with the press being called “the enemy of the people.” And we see it when a former team member doesn’t measure up.

Michael Cohen has been President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer. He is currently under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York for certain unscrupulous business activities including payments made to certain women with sexual claims regarding the president. He is also the guy who made secret recordings of his conversations with Donald Trump. How is that for a “trusted counselor?”

Omarosa Manigault Newman is another story. By most accounts, the president gave her wings via her television appearances with him and a White House job. Once in her role, the story goes that she didn’t measure up and was terminated. It happens. What followed, however, virtually never happens.

Omarosa covertly recorded conversations both in the White House and with Lara Trump. She saved those recordings until the recent release of her book, Unhinged. The book purportedly is an insider's discrediting of President Trump. Now she is sharing audio she should never have recorded.

Dana Perino was commissioned as a special assistant to the president and served as a deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush in 2005. She, along with many others who have worked inside that prestigious White House, has likely heard and seen much that’s unpleasant. But you don’t secretly record people!

Regarding Omarosa’s taped conversations, Perino blogged, “That is galling, despicable behavior. And even if Omarosa didn’t think that the president of the United States–the one who had given her the opportunity to try to achieve great things–doesn’t deserve better from her, I believe the citizens of this country do.”

During her tenure, Perino recalled that a White House employee wrote a book that criticized former President Bush. Dana was hurt and angry. That word got to the President. According to Perino, “He didn’t ask me to fight. He asked me to forgive.” And as President Bush told her, “working in the White House…isn’t about the self but it is about the people of this nation. They deserve the best work ethic White House employees can muster.”

That attitude and the words of forgiveness from President Bush reflect a far cry from the tweet barrage shared by President Trump following Omarosa’s pitiful actions. It’s demeaning to all involved. Yes, we deserve better.

The Michael Cohen and Omarosa Manigault Newman stories do send a warning to us all. We are being watched more than we realize. And recorded as well. And tracked by Google. Beware.

Jesus of Nazareth said there would be a day when what seems private will be revealed. “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” (Luke 8:17, NLT) Something we should all keep in mind to guide our daily behavior.

In the meantime, don’t bother calling Terminix. These bugs in the office are much more sophisticated.

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