Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey has plunged the US into a civil war like situation that few dare talk about in public. While it is in Trump’s executive authority to do so, as he did on May 9, the chaos that has gripped the White House immediately after news hit the airwaves has exposed what is wrong with the Trump regime.
His aides were not available for public comment immediately after the news emerged. Their statements, made away from the microphones and cameras and off the record, suggested that Comey was fired at the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
But White House officials as well as Trump issued contradictory statements all suggesting total chaos among the American ruling elite.
The Washington Post reported on May 10 that Trump had already decided to fire Comey but wanted the case against him put in writing. He asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, to make the case for Comey’s firing.
They provided the arguments in writing and Trump fired Comey on May 9. In a bizarre twist, Trump did not advise Comey directly; instead the president’s bodyguard delivered the firing letter to Comey’s office.
The FBI director was at a meeting with FBI officials in Los Angeles when he got the news from the media.
What was Comey’s crime? He had asked for additional funds to pursue investigations into allegations that Russia had influence last November’s presidential election.
Another bizarre twist was the manner in which Trump mentioned in his letter that Comey had assured him that he [Trump] was not under investigation over the Russian interference. Why would Trump be so anxious if he had nothing to hide about the Russian allegation?
According to the New York Times (May 11, 2017), during a dinner with Comey a week after he was sworn in as president, Trump had tried to seek Comey’s loyalty. The only assurances Comey offered Trump was that he would deal with the matter “honestly”.
That, however, was not good enough for Trump. He wanted an FBI director who would carry out his orders and pledge loyalty to him personally. Tin pot dictators of the world would be blue with envy!
Since then, other contradictions have emerged. Now Trump says he did not base his decision on Rosenstein’s recommendation. Rosenstein had threatened to resign when the news first emerged from White House staff that his letter led to Comey’s firing.
There is total disarray in the White House and nobody knows what bombshell Trump might drop next. Impetuous, arrogant and extremely egotistic, Trump is very erratic. But what is certain is that he is clearly in trouble.
Even some Republican Senators have expressed dismay at the manner in which Trump fired Comey. Comparisons have been made with Richard Nixon’s firing in 1973 of the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox who was investigating the Watergate break-in.
That let to impeachment hearings in Congress and Nixon was forced to resign a year later, pushing him into ignominy.
Would Trump face a similar fate? The Democrats and media are having a field day.
Trump has started attacking Comey in public calling him “showboat” and used other unflattering expressions for him. Is all this necessary?
In a tweet on May 12, Trump said: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our [dinner] conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
What has Trump to hide even if there are any tapes? It is unclear if such tapes exist.
Welcome to the American civil war!