Saturday, May 13, 2017

Trumplandia

Just in case you were enjoying your life on a tropical island somewhere without a TV or internet service, let's catch you up: 
  • On March 20, 2017, FBI Director James Comey announces that the FBI is investigating the connection between the Trump Campaign and Russia. You remember James Comey don't you?  He was he guy who, days before the election, felt compelled to remind American voters that Hillary Clinton was still under investigation for email-gate (which turned out to be nothing more than Anthony Weiner up to his usual shenanigans).
  • Fast forward to last week, Director Comey requests additional funding from Congress for more prosecutors and agents to accelerate the investigation between Trump and Russia
  • On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, President Trump fires Director Comey.  Interestingly, Trump states in his letter: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to lead the Bureau.” We'll come back to this part later.
  • On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Trump administration surrogates like Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway take to the cable news shows to explain why Trump fired the FBI Director.  The answer given: because Comey reminded American voters days before the election that Hillary Clinton was still under investigation for email-gate.  (wait, didn't that actually help Trump get elected?)  Another important talking point that is advanced is that Trump "had no choice" but to fire Director Comey because it was the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions who, by the way, had to recuse himself from the Russia investigation due to his own connections with Russia.  Indeed, Trump's surrogates cite to, and Kellyanne Conway on several news shows even went so far as to literally read from, the letter written by Rosenstein as evidence that the recommendation came straight from Rosenstein and that Trump was merely acting on that recommendation. Got that part? OK good because...
  • On Thursday, May 11, 2017, Donald Trump himself sits down for an interview with Lester Holt on national television and literally says "I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation. He [Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein] made a recommendation . . . But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire him."  What's more, Trump also revealed during the interview that he invited Director Comey to dinner on more than one occasion to specifically ask Comey -- who at that time was leading the FBI investigation into Trump's ties with Russia -- whether or not Trump was under investigation for his ties with Russia.  According to Comey, he refused to comment on an ongoing investigation. According to Trump, Comey told him flat out that he was not under investigation - a fact which, if true, actually amounts to Presidential interference with a federal investigation.
  • Oh and to add insult to injury, also on Wednesday, in the middle of all this Russia business, Trump actually invites Russian officials into the Oval Office for a meeting.  American press was banned from the meeting, but Russian press was allowed and, as it turns out, leaked the photos of the meeting. 
To recap, the Trump administration is under investigation by the FBI for its ties with Russia, President Trump fired the head of the FBI who was leading the investigation into himself, and then he invites the Russians to the White House for a secret photo op. 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Trumplandia. 






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