Holy cow. Last week I thought I was processing a week’s worth of wild news. Little did I know.
Little do we know, still, what the heck is going on.
The story of the latest can be told by three quotes. First by David Plotz of the Slate Political Gabfest, during an introduction to Thursday’s podcast:
“It is exhausting keeping up with the machine gun fire of self-inflicted political scandal in Trump world.”
So exhausting, but I think worthwhile to stay aware, despite the ugliness and confusion.
Apparently Donald Trump let slip a few kernels of super secret information to the Russians during their meeting last week (whoopsie daisy.) Apparently, the information’s source was our special friend Israel. Apparently, during that same meeting, Trump had a few choice words to say about axed FBI director James Comey, calling him a “nut job” and expressing relief to have halted the pesky investigation.
Apparently, Trump had previously asked Comey to stop investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who had been firied for lying about his conversations with — you know who — the Russians. This request made Comey nervous, so he wrote down all of his interactions with Trump in memos, in case his recollection should come in handy down the road.
Which it now will, because the deputy Attorney General appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI’s Russian investigation. (The actual Attorney General isn’t supposed to be involved, because of misleading statements he made about his conversations with the Russians.) Comey will also testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after Memorial Day.
We really don’t know much for sure yet, though, because all these “apparent” stories slipped to the papers via leaks from the FBI, CIA, and Trump’s administration. The investigations will be revealing.
The second quote is from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, talking Sunday to John Dickerson on Face the Nation:
“Well, look. I mean, I don’t understand why people are that shocked. This president ran a very unconventional campaign. I was there for a big part of it at the beginning alongside being one of his competitors. And that’s what the American people voted for. And in essence, you know, this White House is not much different from the campaign.
I mean, people got what they voted for. They elected him. Obviously it’s in the best interest of this country to try to help him succeed. As far as the drama’s concerned, yeah, I mean, it’s unique. It’s different from anything we’ve ever confronted. I think our job remains to do our work.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio stands above the fray, here. He conveys a sense of maturity, a man whose job is to clean up after the mess of the silly voters.
Now, what he offers is probably the strongest argument against impeachment: No, Trump wasn’t obstructing justice, he’s just an ass clown, and everyone knew that already.
It’s yet to be determined whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia or whether Trump’s actions thus far amount to obstruction of justice. But Rubio can’t stand blameless. He’s among the spineless Republicans who knew better. He once called Trump a “con-artist,” but later endorsed him in the general election. You helped make him acceptable to Republican voters, it is your job to hold him accountable.
The final quote comes from the New York Times, because I trust the media and the leaks 100,000 times more than I trust Trump or anyone who speaks for Trump. Everything the White House claims is inevitably contradicted 24 hour later, if it’s not already an egregious lie. At this point, if Sean Spicer announced the sky was blue, I would think, oh crap what happened to the laws of physics, and go outside to check for myself.
From an article last week about the chaos inside a besieged White House:
There is a growing sense that Mr. Trump seems unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to keep himself out of trouble and that the presidency has done little to tame a shoot-from-the-hip-into-his-own-foot style that characterized his campaign.
Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn. General McMaster, in particular, has tried to insert caveats or gentle corrections into conversations when he believes the president is straying off topic or onto boggy diplomatic ground […]
In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president for divulging classified intelligence to the Russians: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of his briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm American allies.
The more we know, the more is painfully clear: Trump is not fit for office. The sooner he is no longer president, the better.