BOSTON, United States — Even if the president and his staff are completely innocent of collusion with Russia, Trump’s done nothing to put those rumours to bed by firing the man leading that probe just days after requesting additional resources for it. It stinks.
The White House’s press release says Jeff Sessions recommended Comey be sacked because he is ‘not able to effectively lead the Bureau’. How are everyday Americans supposed to read that? Either Comey found something damning and Trump’s trying to shut him up, or he’s guilty and frustrated that Comey hasn’t figured it out yet. Somehow, we’d have a tough time believing it’s the latter.
SESSIONS: ‘How’s that investigation going, Jim?’
COMEY: ‘Goin’ well. Haven’t found anything – just a few false starts, a few dead ends. I think we can wrap it up pretty soon.’
SESSIONS: ‘Good, good.’
SESSIONS: ‘Mr President, I’ve just spoken to James Comey.’
TRUMP: ‘He hasn’t found my texts to Vlad, has he?’
SESSIONS: ‘No, sir.’
TRUMP: ‘Ah! That’s one thing I can’t stand. Incompetence.’
SESSIONS: ‘Yes, but sir—’
TRUMP: ‘What can’t I stand, Jeff?’
SESSIONS: ‘Incompetence, Mr President.’
TRUMP: ‘Exactly right. Couldn’t’ve said it better. If the director of the FBI can’t break WhatsApp encryption, how is he supposed to prevent a terrorist attack? Total loser.’
SESSIONS: ‘That might be, but—’
TRUMP: ‘Total. Loser. Wouldn’t you say?
SESSIONS: ‘Yes, Mr President.’
TRUMP: ‘Mmm. So what now, Jeff?’
SESSIONS: ‘… Maybe it’s time to let him go.’
TRUMP: ‘I think you’re right.’
That he didn’t even warn Comey beforehand – apparently, he discovered he’d been canned while watching TV – just looks menacing, like House of Cards meets The Godfather.
Now, I’ve learned nothing in the last year if not to trust Trump. He always seems to know what he’s doing, even when no one else does. And all the evidence we have say the Trump campaign is completely innocent of collusion with any foreign powers. But it’s becoming very hard for unbiased observers – and even the President’s supporters – to hold that line. Trump’s base deserves some closure. They’ve stood by him, and he’s wrong to put them in this difficult position. It’s sheer ingratitude.
So maybe it’s time for the Praetorian Guard to stand down. Now that it’s begun, we deserve a full and impartial investigation into any contact the campaign may (or may not) have had with Moscow. Maybe it is time for a special prosecutor. Frankly, the White House should do everything in its power to wash his hands of this debacle.
Let me say this in closing: Comey was terrible at his job. Sessions was right to say that ‘a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI.’ He bungled the Clinton investigation, and he’s notorious for abusing his power as head of the Bureau. Most of his subordinates hated and feared him.
That must be said, because this was a good move. The timing just couldn’t be worse. Not for Trump, and not for his faithful.
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