Donald Trump said he was going to be the jobs president and keeps saying that every chance he gets. As he does there is one thing we’re learning with him, and fast: If you are a member of this country’s Justice Dept. and you make him mad, he still might have huge plans to create jobs for the Americans who helped elect him. But he’s sure going after yours.
So Sally Yates, acting attorney general who wouldn’t play ball with Trump on his Muslim travel ban, she goes. Preet Bharara, a U.S. Attorney out of New York’s Southern District, he goes. Now so does James Comey, director of the FBI. Trump couldn’t make the investigation of possible links between his Presidential campaign and Russia go away. So he makes Comey go away instead. Biggest and best “Apprentice” ever.
“(Comey) wasn’t doing a good job,” Trump says at the White House on Wednesday, which begs the kind of question NBC’s Lester Holt will surely ask on Thursday night when he has his sit-down with the President:
Wasn’t doing a very good job as of when? Now they say Comey lost the confidence of the Justice Dept. When, Monday night?
It comes out that Comey is axed by Trump days after he asked for more money and more manpower for the FBI’s investigation into possible connections between Russia and its interference in the election that now gives Trump the power to fire Comey like he’s a White House usher.
We are also supposed to believe that is just one of those crazy coincidences that you get in life sometimes, at a moment in our political history when we are likewise supposed to believe that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, confirmed in the Senate about 20 minutes ago and already treated like the most honorable figure in the history of Justice, came into his new office, arranged the photographs of his wife and daughters, found a perfect place for the framed copy of his law school diploma, and then immediately set about finding a way to shoot the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation out of a cannon.
Finally we are supposed to believe, despite all the praise Trump lavished on Comey during the last campaign, that Comey has to get the gate and right now because of the way he mistreated Hillary Clinton, even though Trump himself treated her like the greatest criminal to come out of Chicago since Al Capone.
But those in Donald Trump’s White House are apparently convinced that there are enough Americans who would believe him if he told them that water has ceased being wet. Only now he has created a problem for himself in the ham-handed way he hands Comey his walking papers:
He starts to make at least some of the people who supported him start to wonder if he thinks that our system of checks and balances in government, and our justice system, applies to everybody except him. And really does act as if he thinks he got elected king.
In addition, this President shines a huge, beautiful spotlight than ever on two questions that never seem to go away for him: What might the Russian government have on him? And what might the FBI get on him? Everything else, from him and both parties and both houses of Congress and even Kellyanne Conway, who thinks she is a branch of government all by herself, is just more noise, from what is already the noisiest administration in history already.
It’s the whole ballgame: What might Russia have on him, and what might Comey have found out? People aren’t making the comparison between Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, when Nixon’s attorney general Elliot Richardson and his deputy Bill Ruckelshaus resigned after Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, because they’ve decided Trump is the kind of criminal Nixon was. They are making the comparison because the timing of this action against Comey and its circumstances have reasonable people wondering about a cover-up.
It is interesting to note that on the day after Comey’s firing, one of Trump’s White House guests was Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Presumably Kissinger was there just to talk to the new President, and not pray with him the way he once did with Nixon in his final days in the place.
So the jobs president takes James Comey’s job now. Says it’s for the good of the country, and seems righteously and positively shocked now that the people who criticized Comey when he refused to shut up about the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s emails are shocked by what he did. But through it all, amidst all the usual sound and fury from him and around him, he continues to act scared about something. Or as if he might have something to hide.
Maybe a couple of short prayers with Kissinger wouldn’t have been such a bad idea after all. They could have started by saying one for the rest of us.