Wiretap: Sure, Trump fired the FBI director, but White House says he did not fire no deputy

The White House says Donald Trump played no role in the early departure of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. And while that may or may not be precisely true, it is no secret that Trump wanted him gone. All you have to do is look at the president’s Twitter feed. And now we all wonder who comes next. (Hint: Rod Rosenstein? Robert Mueller? Anyone who ever knew Hillary Clinton?) Via The Atlantic.

According to The New York Times, it was FBI Director Christopher Wray — appointed by Trump to head the agency after Trump had fired Jim Comey — who gave McCabe the final push out the door.

The Justice Department said the release of a staff-written memo on alleged FBI surveillance abuses would be “extraordinarily reckless.” And yet, not so extraordinarily, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release it anyway — and not to release a Democratic rebuttal. It all begins, of course, with the FBI’s look at alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign. Now it’s up to Trump to decide whether it gets released. You probably know which way to bet. Via The Washington Post.

You may not ever hear this on Fox News, but, as the great Ron Brownstein explains for CNN, one of the great ironies of the Trumpists’ anti-immigrant stance is that Trump voters are the ones who need immigrants to come to America. Or as Fred Hiatt puts it in The Washington Post, without immigration, the American economy will stagnate and will turn into Japan’s.

Walter Shapiro writes in Roll Call that the last thing you can expect from Trump’s State of the Union speech is anything resembling substance. You can expect, though, a close reading from the teleprompter in which Trump sounds as if he’s an English-as-second-language student.

To this point, the real surprise in the run-up to the State of the Union is that, unlike virtually every other White House staff, this one doesn’t seem to think the speech is that big a deal. Via The New Yorker.

From The National Review, the Koch brothers and their little organization are pretty happy with Year One of the Trump era. Now, all they have to do is figure out Year Two and the November midterms.

It’s not the legislation, which, for better or worse, is little different from what any Republican president would have put forward. It’s the rest of the stuff that defines the Trump presidency. And if you think of it that way, laments Ezra Klein in Vox, Trump seems to be winning.

There’s the Nunes Memo and then there’s Mark Warner telling Politico that the Senate Intelligence Committee has new information that will almost certainly expand the committee’s Russia probe.

Photo courtesy of FBI, via Flickr: Creative Commons


  1. McCabe was eligible to retire in March. March is a month away. If he had accrued vacation and/or sick time or other time off, he simply did what so many people do and used it at the end of his career. Why would he want to stay working in such an administration where he is the target of a ranting lunatic?

  2. I don’t get it. Why go early. In a DOJ weaponized by politicians in order to protect a traitorous president, why make it easier for Nixon…er…Comrade Trump…to further impede law enforcement?

    This development makes it easier for Comrade President* to replace Rosenstein, who is responsible for making the call on Mueller’s report. That might make the Nixonian Republicans happy, considering they’ve been on the side of Russian foreign agents from day one, but for the majority of the country who support this investigation and not the president*, it’s troubling…and yet completely inconsequential.

    If Rosenstein is replaced by a Russian agent/Trump appointee, hired specifically to repress Mueller’s report, this would force the political hand of the remaining Republicans who have yet to sell their spines to Putin/Trump.

    That is super bad for Republican midterm chances at the polls. Like, catastrophic…to use the president’s* vernacular.

    This scenario would mean that Republicans would either have to try to rationalize not making public the inevitably damaging report on the election and Republicans’ dealings with Russia, after which they’ll lose the House and maybe the Senate, spawning a surefire impeachment of Comrade Chump, or…they can release the inevitably damaging report on the election and Republicans’ dealings with Russia, and then refuse to act on impeachment proceedings before the election, after which they’ll lose the House and maybe the Senate, spawning a surefire impeachment of Comrade Chump.

    The third, albeit least likely scenario, is that Republicans find their spines, do the right thing, and begin impeachment proceedings on the president*. As crazy as it sounds, and in this day and age, Republicans and crazy go together like peas and carrots, this is more than likely the only way that Republicans have even a remote chance of keeping the House and remaining a majority in the Senate.

    That’s a weird place for Republicans to be in…one could even say counterintuitive, considering their history. They could do the right thing, throwing a lawless president* to the legal wolves, and thus be more competitive in the midterms, or do the wrong thing, continue to be complicit in Russian interference in our government, and suffer the resulting (inevitable) Nixonian consequences.

    In essence, they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Either way, the piper has come calling for the payment of the price they agreed to for “winning” the election last year, and it ain’t gonna be cheap. The decision they have to make now is whether they’ll pay in political and legal currency, or just political.

    Either way, it is going to be fun to watch.

  3. Proving that patriotism is not dead and respect for the US military remains high a California high school teacher who also serves on the city council has been placed on administrative leave after a virulent anti-military rant was captured on video.

    Among other things Gregory Salcido referred to military members as “a bunch of dumbs‑‑‑s” and “the lowest of our low.” No word yet on whether Mr. Salcido reads the Colorado Independent.


Comments are closed.