On Monday, FBI director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee regarding the investigation into the connections between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.
During the hearing, Comey confirmed for the members of the committee — and all those following along at home — that there is an ongoing investigation.
‘The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election.’
This news from Comey has stunned many, including presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. In an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Brinkley said, “There’s a smell of treason in the air.”
‘Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.’
Brinkley later commented that this investigation is coming at a very inopportune time for President Trump, as he already has the lowest approval rating of any U.S. President at this point in their first term. On Sunday, the latest Gallup poll revealed that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, while 58 percent disapprove.
Brinkley went so far as to say of the beginning of Trump’s presidency, “This is the most failed first 100 days of any president.” He continued:
‘To be as low as he is in the polls, in the 30s, while the FBI director is on television saying they launched an investigation into your ties with Russia, I don’t know how it can get much worse.’
This is not the first time Brinkley, who has authored several presidential biographies, has criticized President Trump. Just last week, while speaking to POLITICO about the President’s voracious appetite for right-wing conspiracy websites, Brinkley said that Trump is “going to get just ravaged in history.”
‘Donald Trump, like millions of Americans, is susceptible to conspiracy theories. He tends to just pick things up from right-wing talk radio and the alt-right if it fits his agenda of the day.’
‘We’ve never had a president operate like this. The long-term damage is you’re going to get just ravaged in history.’
The President’s penchant for conspiracy theories was also addressed during Comey’s hearing on Monday. In response to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff about Trump’s accusation that President Obama had wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower, Comey said:
‘With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets. And we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components.’
As Brinkley noted, the President’s first 100 days are shaping up to be an absolute embarrassment, and this statement from the director of the FBI saying that there is no evidence to support one of Trump’s most serious accusations certainly doesn’t help. If things keep going as they are, who knows how long Trump will remain in office?
Featured image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.