Donald Trump has made no attempts to hide his efforts to put both partisan and personally beneficial influence on government agencies that should operate independently and without political bias. Of course, what else can be expected of a man who finds a way to blame Democrats for his own public and private mistakes?
On Sunday, Trump went into a rage spiral with six morning tweets accusing the Obama administration of having “spied” on his campaign in a reprisal of his earlier accusations during the first days of his presidency when he claimed that Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower. When that claim was debunked, Trump refused to acknowledge it and is now resorting to a whole new story of how victimized he’s been.
On Monday, Trump met with deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both of whom are Trump appointees, to discuss what the White House is calling a “range of topics,” but it is the subject matter around the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian government operatives and Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice that the president seems to be most concerned about.
ABC News has learned President Trump will meet today at the White House with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The meeting is scheduled for 3pm. I'm told this "demand" will be a topic of discussion … https://t.co/vd7uHo5ctf
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) May 21, 2018
ABC News reports that in a Sunday afternoon statement from Justice Department, spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said:
‘The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election…As always the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct.’
JUST IN: President Trump is set to meet with Deputy AG Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Coats and FBI Director Wray at the White House at 3 p.m ET. pic.twitter.com/32bKSz1J3J
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 21, 2018
Even though the department had already agreed to the investigation, Trump is sure to continue to push his belief that he has “absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” as he told an interviewer in December. Rosenstein, a man Trump has berated publicly for his appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian hacking, as well as the possibility that Trump’s campaign team colluded in that hacking, said on Sunday that:
‘If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.’
Apparently, that’s not good enough for Trump.
Sarah Sanders tells NBC News Pres. Trump will meet at 3pm today at the WH w/ Dep AG Rosenstein, DNI Coates, FBI Dir. Wray and Kelly to “discuss their response to congressional requests on a range of topics.”
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) May 21, 2018
Questions still surround Trump’s numerous claims that President Obama or anyone in his administration “spied” on his campaign. One very important question that still goes unanswered is how the surveillance of Dr. Carter Page and George Papadopoulos constitutes “spying” on 2016 campaign when Trump and everyone who speaks for him has insisted publicly that neither Page nor Papadopoulos were ever involved in the campaign beyond their roles as “unpaid volunteers.”
Pre. Trump meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, one day after tweeting he would "demand" DOJ investigate whether his 2016 campaign was improperly "infiltrated or surveilled." https://t.co/MAIyzZKpga
— ABC News (@ABC) May 21, 2018
Nor can Trump explain how a FISA warrant could be obtained after years of surveillance, most of them before Trump ever announced his candidacy, that was motivated by the Steele dossier, which wasn’t brought to the FBI’s attention until 2016.
If Trump has his way, those are questions that will never be answered.
Featured image via Getty/Bloomberg