OUR WORLD: Mr Trump is in Washington

Caroline Glick, JPOST

It is time for Trump to delegate the dirty work of attacking his opponents to his attorneys, advisers and supporters.


U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks at the Amphitheater after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery as part of Memorial Day observance, Arlington, Virginia, U.S., May 29, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Thursday afternoon, US President Donald Trump reacted to former FBI director James Comey’s Senate testimony by telling an audience of his supporters, “We are under siege.”

He was right.

Trump and his presidency are besieged by an army of investigators whose apparent goal is to delegitimize, with the goal of destroying, his presidency.

This was the lesson of Comey’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comey came before the committee to share his assessment of the connection between his firing last month and the FBI’s ongoing investigation of ties Trump, his advisers and associates maintained with Russian agents during the 2016 elections and the transition period that preceded his inauguration on January 20.

Despite the fact that the investigation was launched well before the November election, no evidence has surfaced of criminal wrongdoing by Trump or his associates.

So what purpose does the investigation serve? Among the important things Comey shared on Thursday was the answer to that question.

The first important piece of information Comey shared was that Trump is not and never has been under investigation.

Second, Comey told us he views Trump as a uniquely unacceptable president. Whereas Comey kept no notes of his meetings with former president Barack Obama; and whereas he wrote no summaries of his meetings with former president George W. Bush, Comey said that he wrote summaries of all of his communications with Trump.

Comey explained the disparity by noting, repeatedly, that he views Trump as singularly untruthful.

This is notable because, as Comey made clear Thursday, in everything related to the two men’s dealings since November, it has been Comey, not Trump, who has been deliberately misleading.

In his termination letter to Comey last month, Trump wrote that Comey had informed him three times that he was not under investigation.

And yet, in his March testimony before the Senate, Comey refused to admit that Trump was not a subject of investigation. To the contrary, Comey’s statement on the issue was deliberately vague and therefore misleading.

Even more damning, Comey admitted Thursday that he used a friend as a conduit to leak selected, and as it turns out, misleading, portions of his memo summarizing a meeting he held with Trump in February to The New York Times.

The article that the Times published on the basis of that memo alleged that during that conversation, Trump pressured Comey to close his criminal investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser Lt.- Gen. Michael Flynn.

During his testimony Thursday, Comey admitted under questioning that Trump did no such thing; Trump merely expressed his hope that Flynn would be cleared of criminal suspicion.

In other words, it was Comey, not Trump, who lied about the contents of their meeting.

Finally, and most crucially, Comey explained that he deliberately misled the public about Trump’s statements to him through his selective leak to the Times in order to achieve a political goal.

“I asked” my friend to communicate the contents of the memo with a reporter “because I thought that might prompt the appointment of the special counsel,” Comey said.

Indeed, the media storm set off by the Times’s story compelled Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Comey’s close personal friend, former FBI director Robert Mueller, to serve as a special counsel.

Mueller’s mandate is expansive. Not only is he empowered to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” he is also empowered to investigate “matters that arise or may arise directly from the investigation and other matters within the scope of [the federal statute governing special counsels].”

In other words, Mueller is empowered to investigate anything he wants. He can charge people for illegal ties with Russia. And he can charge people who did nothing wrong with obstructing his investigation if he doesn’t like the way they answer his questions on Russia.

And, Mueller can keep the investigation open forever, keeping the pall of criminality over Trump’s presidency until the day he leaves office even if Mueller never indicts anyone.

So what can Trump do? As former House speaker Newt Gingrich and others argued following Comey’s testimony, Trump can and should fire Mueller.

Since Comey’s manipulative and misleading leak fomented Mueller’s appointment, and since Mueller is Comey’s close friend, Mueller cannot credibly be considered an impartial investigator.

Finally, since Trump is not under investigation, and given that both the House and the Senate are carrying out separate investigations into the same alleged collusion between Trump’s associates and the Russian government, there is no rationale for a third investigation by a special counsel.

Beyond firing Mueller, Trump should move immediately to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing by Obama administration officials.

Whereas Republican lawmakers are cooperating with Democratic lawmakers in the congressional probes against Trump and his campaign officials, Democratic lawmakers refuse to cooperate with their Republican counterparts in investigating any aspect of suspected illegal behavior by Obama administration officials.

Consider the case of former attorney-general Loretta Lynch.

Comey served up Lynch on Thursday when he told the Senate that she had instructed him not to refer to the criminal probe of then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s transfer of State Department documents, including classified documents to her private Internet server, as an investigation. Instead, in line with the language used by the Clinton campaign to diminish the significance of the probe, Lynch instructed Comey to refer to the investigation as “a matter.”

Comey’s statement alone provided the basis for a criminal probe of collusion between the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton campaign.

Then there is the issue of alleged abuse of NSA intercepts by senior Obama administration officials to spy on US citizens.

Given the Democrats’ stonewalling of their Republican colleagues, it would be eminently sensible for Trump to appoint a special counsel with the power to investigate all aspects of alleged unlawful spying on US citizens allegedly conducted by the Obama administration.

Finally, and most importantly, the time has come for Trump to recognize that he is no longer running for office and to begin to use the powers of the presidency presidentially.

The most urgent aspect of this is for Trump to fill the thousands of federal positions that are now being filled by Obama’s political appointees.

Once Trump hires professionals not loyal to Obama to fill mid-level and senior positions, the deluge of classified material daily making its way to the media will dry up. People who support, or at a minimum do not oppose, Trump’s presidency will have no impetus to abuse their positions to damage his presidency.

Staffing the federal government with people who do not hate Trump will also enable him to implement his presidential agenda far more effectively than he has to date. And that’s the thing of it: In areas that Trump has managed to advance his agenda – for instance, during his trip last month to the Middle East and Europe – he has been tremendously successful.

So too his legislative agenda is working its way through Congress. Although it is taking longer than he had hoped, it, too, is likely to pass. Lastly, Trump should recognize that governing and running for office are two different things.

When Trump went on the offensive against his Republican rivals in the primaries and against Clinton in the general election, he was punching up. He was empowered by those attacks, while his more established rivals were diminished when they responded.

The moment he swore the oath of office, Trump’s position changed. Now when he attacks his opponents, he diminishes himself and empowers them. When he says that Comey is a liar, he expands Comey’s importance.

It is time for Trump to delegate the dirty work of attacking his opponents to his attorneys, advisers and supporters. He must devote his public appearances entirely to advancing his own presidential agenda.

By firing Mueller, appointing a special counsel to investigate the Obama administration, removing Obama’s political appointees from government and replacing them with his own hires, and concentrating on implementing his agenda, Trump will end the siege on his presidency. He will defeat the self-proclaimed “resistance” whose purpose is to defeat him politically through administrative and bureaucratic abuses.

Whether Trump’s presidency will eventually be successful will still be an unanswered question. But, at the very least, it will finally get off the ground.

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. SHmuel HaLevi

    President Trump must organize his leading associates to crush the so called “msm” and thread heavily on Soros-Clinton and obamaites. There is evidence that the ghastly aggregate fronted by Obama intended all along to effect a coup after loosing what they thought was a sure win.
    Not longer participate on “the Russian and derivatives” fabricated gallops. Get rid of the planted Counsel.

  2. yamit82

    The head of WH office of personnel is a known “NEVER TRUMPER” He has just fired 1800 Trump loyalists from the campaign (Temps) and replaced them or most of them with anti Trump staffers on a permanent basis. Essentially Trumps Presidency is finished because he never drained the swamp the swamp has even grown more powerful under his brief time in office…… He is relying on what he is :a self proclaimed cult of personality leader.

  3. Abolish_public_education

    Comey said that he wrote summaries of all of his communications with Trump.

    Oh, how bureaucratic and legalistic!

    Trump was so right to fire that guy. Unfortunately, Trump is a firm believer in the necessity of the unconstitutional, federal police force, so we cannot expect him to fire the rest of the gang.

  4. Abolish_public_education

    issue of alleged abuse of NSA intercepts by senior Obama administration officials to spy on US citizens.

    What, has the statute of limitations runout on Bush?

    Trump is a firm believer in the Snoop state, just so long as no Trumps are targeted.

  5. Abolish_public_education

    [Trump must urgently] fill the thousands of federal positions that are now being filled by Obama’s political appointees.

    This lady is a DISASTER.

    Yes, of course Trump should fire them, but he should NOT replace them.

    It makes little difference to taxpayers whether their money gets wasted on Obama holdovers or newly-minted Trump-loyalists.

    But this is all white noise compared to the necessity of Trump firing (and not replacing) a few MILLION civil servants.

  6. Michael S

    Being Jewish, Carolyn is joined with other Jews — who, in turn, are joined at the hip to the Democratic Party. With such a relationship, I can understand why she even follows the investigation “hall of mirrors” that has been going on since Donald Trump was elected as US President.

    For my part, I couldn’t give two shakes of Schumer’s posterior, what the investigators, nor anyone else inside the DC Beltline, have been up to. From my perspective in “Deplorables” USA, I see a bunch of smoke rising from Washington, DC, which Charles Krauthammer rightly notes is all smoke and no fire.

    The very “best” outcome to all of it, is that the investigations might become the Iraq & Syria of US politics — that the Dems would get so engaged fighting phantoms and tilting at windmills, that the American people get utterly disgusted at them and they become irrelevant. I say “best”, from the standpoint of the “Deplorable” camp — to which I, as a Trump voter, have been relegated. In the long run, I fear that even this “best” outcome may not turn out very good. We stand a very good chance, in this delicate situation, of altogether losing the Democrats as a Presidential Party, as we did in 1984. Back then, we could handle the lopsidedness of it all, because the Dems continued to be powerful in Congress. If these Schumeranigans continue, 2018 and 2020 could see the re-emergence of a One Party state, something we haven’t seen since 1820.

    Big Brother is watching this all, with interest.

  7. M. A. Cohen

    Caroline is a committed Israeli and her Analysis is always correct.
    Coming out of 8 years of a traitor in the White House, another one
    as Ambassador at the UN, another one as Secretary of State, her
    and her husband the worst corrupt bunch to ever enter politics in
    the US, the so-called Dems just lost-it, ready for the loony bin.
    The fact is that the spectacle of pure insanity as demonstrated by
    their behaviour will relegate them to complete irrelevance.

  8. Sebastien Zorn

    I wonder if Trump isn’t playing a game of lulling his opponents and picking them off one by one when their guard is down, as he did Comey. I think he may be worried about a coup by the deep state if they feel too threatened. Things have already gotten pretty extreme even without that.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/337710-nearly-200-democrats-file-emoluments-lawsuit-against-trump

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-climate-confederacy.html

    http://abc30.com/news/gop-congressman-among-5-injured-in-virginia-shooting-while-practicing-for-charity-baseball-game/2097223/

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