Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to US national security. He is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr Putin.
â€” Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) March 16, 2018
This was tweeted before Andrew McCabe was fired, possibly costing him his pension and proving to the world that Donald Trump is a nothing but a malicious son of a bitch. And today the SOB couldn’t keep himself from compounding the damage:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
Trump is a disease. Some are trying to argue that McCabe’s firing was recommended by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, meaning it wasn’t really a political decision, but Trump himself blew that argument out of the water with that tweet. We don’t know what the OPR’s reasons were, but nothing short of criminal activity should have cost McCabe his pension, IMO.
This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administrationâ€™s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counselâ€™s work.
McCabe is vowing to talk, talk, talk.Â Which makes one wonder what Trump thought he was going to accomplish.
It’s readily apparent why getting McCabe fired mightÂ send a message that Trump likes. But might it also come back to bite Trump?
Trump has now, after all, cemented the enemy status ofÂ a top-rankingÂ official at the FBI (its No. 2) and onetime acting director. He previously did that by firing McCabe’s superior, former FBI director James B. Comey, and Comey has rewarded that decision byÂ leaking unhelpful thingsÂ andÂ testifying about Trump in a negative light. He is nowÂ set to release a book.
But the McCabe and Comey situations are also somewhat different. Trump arguably terminated Comey more out of fear of how he was conducting the Russia investigation; he appears to have gone after McCabeÂ because ofÂ vendetta and possibly to send a signal to othersÂ in law enforcement who might run afoul of him. Trump’s successful push to get McCabe fired is also undeniably more personal in nature, given McCabe was ousted just 26 hours before he was to gain full retirement benefits. McCabe was already basically out the door, and firing him now â€” regardless of how valid the reasons in the yet-to-be-released inspector general’s report (and those reasons might be completely valid!) â€” comes off as even more spiteful.
This former CIA Director sounds concerned.
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj
â€” John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018
But let us turn to the other issue of the day, which is Russia. Two days ago, after prolonged foot-dragging, the Trump Administration finally announced sanctions on Russia.
In its toughest challenge to Russia to date, the Trump administration accused Moscow on Thursday of an elaborate plot to penetrate America’s electric grid, factories, water supply and even air travel through cyber hacking. The U.S. also hit targeted Russians with sanctions for alleged election meddling for the first time since President Donald Trump took office.
However, many have noted Trump himself is holding back in criticizing the Russians.
When it comes to Russia, there is the Trump administration â€” and there is the president.
The Trump administration denounces Russia for using nerve agent on British soil. President Donald Trump says nothing for days, then calls it â€œa very sad situation.â€
The Trump administration castigates Russia for indiscriminate killing in Syria. Trump says nothing about it.
The Trump administration sanctions Russian hackers for meddling in the 2016 election. Trump muses that it could have been China or â€œmany other people.â€
The Trump administration condemns Putinâ€™s unveiling of a new generation of Russian nuclear weapons. Trump remains silent.
Trumpâ€™s intelligence community stands by its conclusion that the Kremlin sought to help elect Trump in 2016. Trump insists the Russians actually opposed his election because heâ€™s â€œa big military person.â€
Trumpâ€™s national security adviser calls the evidence of Russian interference â€œincontrovertible.â€ TrumpÂ rebukes himÂ on Twitter the next day.
The Trump administration pushes to harden Americaâ€™s defenses for the 2018 midterms. Trump wonâ€™t even convene a meeting on the subject.
The Trump administration reassures NATO countries that America has their back against Russian intimidation. Trump complains incessantly that they need to pay more for their own defense.
You know, if a foreign country had been responsible for cyber hacking into America’s electric grid, factories, water supply and air travel, any other president would have raised hell about it. Trump can’t be bothered.
Of course, it’s possible that this has little to do with Putin. See (from a a couple of months ago) â€œSet aside Putin and follow the moneyâ€: a Russia expertâ€™s theory of the Trump scandal:
Putin is happy to sow confusion and distrust in Americaâ€™s system, of course, but to assume thatâ€™s the basis of this operation is to overlook a much simpler motive: money.
The financial connections between Trump and various Russian banks and oligarchs (business elites with ties to the Kremlin) stretch back decades, which is likely a big reason why Trump wonâ€™t release his tax returns. Trumpâ€™s election, Gunitsky contends, presented Russian oligarchs with an opportunity to recoup losses and leverage Trumpâ€™s debts for political gain.
So that’s it, folks. America is being sold out to the Russian oligarchs.