The past week in political news has been one maelstrom after another. It was just Tuesday that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey amidst a tightening investigation into the Trump campaign team’s collusion with Russian government operatives and by Friday, the tale of a belligerent and possibly even unhinged president has emerged.
Trump has often cited the White House leaks, coming from those often referred to as the “deep state” and whom Trump has insisted are holdovers from the Obama administration, as the most notable and dangerous problem in the country. The president has often railed against those who would leak information out of the White House and has grown increasingly paranoid about who may be the source of the leaks.
If Trump wanted those leaks to stop, he went in exactly the wrong direction with the firing of Comey.
One former transition team official, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said:
‘It’s image-making on the inside and people trying to protect themselves. There is a deep streak of paranoia among staff. The communications team s— the bed on the Comey firing and now the war with the FBI has them all scared and throwing each other under the bus. Thank God I don’t work there. If I did, I’d be dialing up my attorney.’
Tales of Trump tantrums and the real catalysts behind Comey’s firing – his refusal to pledge loyalty to the president, weekly briefings on the Trump/Russia collusion story that became daily briefings, the FBI director’s refusal to prioritize the leaks over the Russian election interference investigation – have coming pouring from the White House ever since.
At least some of the backlash has come from the FBI itself, as the FBI and other intelligence agencies have seemingly turned against Trump due to the firing. Intelligence officials refused to cooperate with the president’s insistence that those within the FBI were distrustful of Comey and glad to see him gone. FBI officials told a Senate Congressional hearing that they would not stop investigating the Trump campaign team’s possible collusion with Russia, as no one can “stop the FBI from doing the right thing.” No matter how hard the president’s administration tries to spin one story, the intelligence community simply refuses to go along.
Perhaps Trump is right. It seems that the leaks may actually be the most dangerous and important story coming out of Washington.
In fact, they may even take down a president.
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Featured image via Getty/Alexander Shcherbak