It’s only Wednesday, and President Trump has already had enough scandals this week to last an entire year.
First there was the report that he revealed highly classified information to Russian officials. Then the next day, The New York Times reported a memo written by former FBI director James Comey showed Trump asking Comey to move on from investigating Michael Flynn.
Needless to say, Trump’s agenda is going nowhere at the moment, the White House is at DEFCON 1 over these scandals and the media, arguably Trump’s greatest opponent, is having a field day ripping the administration to shreds.
All of these leaks appear to emanate from one decision Trump made last week: firing Comey.
The termination of the former FBI director, at first, appeared to be greeted with bipartisan support. Then an hour after the news broke, the media and Democrats began treating it as the equivalent of a coup. More importantly, it angered many in the intelligence community, which now seems dead set on paralyzing the Trump administration.
All tough decisions come with blowback, of course, and it should have been expected that firing Comey would come with serious consequences. But the problem for Trump is this: what the hell did he hope to gain by making such a controversial move?
You could say he could get a better FBI director who could shed the taint of appearing too cozy with the Clintons during the 2016 campaign. But two of the top choices for the job are acting Andrew McCabe, who has strong ties to Clintonworld, and Merrick Garland, the liberal judge Democrats tried to claim was a lovable moderate.
It’s hard to argue it’s a huge win for Trump to go from Comey to Director Merrick Garland.
You could say that with Comey gone that the president can now bring Hillary Clinton and other political foes to justice, as many Trump supporters have claimed. First, it’s unclear how engaging in an insanely contentious prosecution of Hillary over her emails would make America great again. It’s also not clear why anyone on the Right still cares about the former secretary of state after her humiliating defeat in November.
Second, judging by the massive fallout from the Comey firing and the subsequent scandals, the very small chance Clinton or any other prominent foe would be prosecuted has disappeared. A White House besieged by such turmoil is not going to #LockHerUp, especially with someone along the lines of Judge Garland at the helm of the FBI.
You could say Comey was one of the worst critters of the swamp, and that he had to go so Trump could fulfill his promise of draining the rancid body of water that is the Washington establishment. There may be some merit here, but in terms of the swamp creatures who are actively undermining the Trump administration and preventing his agenda from getting enacted, Comey was not one of the top offenders.
Most of the previous leaks that have hurt the administration appear to have come from other elements of the bureaucracy — agencies like the Department of Justice that are staffed with staunch leftists who are dedicated to stopping Trump. It’s worth remembering Comey, at times, was willing to separate himself from the D.C. establishment, such as warning about how America couldn’t properly vet many Syrian refugees.
In terms of offense, the former FBI director was just a guy who kept saying Russia too much.
And now with him gone, the Russia hysteria has been amped up to epic proportions and the swamp is united in bringing down Trump. It’s also very likely Comey isn’t finished with leaking to the media in order to cripple Trump. Guessing by the possible picks for FBI director and a growing number of Republicans calling for a special prosecutor, it appears a beleaguered Trump is trying to compromise with his enemies instead of continuing with the draining.
The likely reason for Trump firing Comey wasn’t for any of the stated reasons, or liberals’ preferred opinion that he was trying to obstruct the discovery the Kremlin has him controlled by a brain chip. It seems more likely the decision happened because Comey outshined Trump and spent too much time on TV talking about Russia — a subject Trump thinks undermines his electoral victory.
The president was encouraged by oblivious advisers, such as his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who thought Democrats would greet the firing with cheers, since they blame Comey for their 2016 loss. Unfortunately, Kushner forgot Democrats will turn anything into fodder for attacking Trump, even if it makes them look like hypocrites.
It’s not like the media is going are going to go hard on anti-Trump lawmakers and call them out for the hypocrisy.
Amid the chaos unleashed by the Comey firing, there is one positive sign for Trumpists. One of the notable adviser who cautioned Trump against terminating the FBI director was one Stephen K. Bannon, and the old nationalist may get his influence back in the administration with the moderate wing so badly discredited by the firestorm.
If Trump can survive the fallout, it’s possible he could come out of this mess re-dedicated to the agenda he campaigned instead of the one foisted upon him by Kushner and co.