Trump vs. Trump Appointees vs. Trump.
Trump has long been wrapped in “Deep State” paranoia, just another one of his wacky conspiracy theories. He has used the term directly to assault the very executive agencies he runs.
The FBI is run by Christopher Wray, a man Trump hand-picked for the job after Trump’s controversial firing of James Comey. Wray’s FBI has come out strongly against releasing releasing the Nunes Memo. Notably, the FBI’s criticism of the Nunes Memo was not the concern for releasing classified information that many have expressed, rather it was that the memo was simply wrong. The FBI stated it has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
As head of this FBI, this moved Christopher Wray firmly into the Deep State in President Trump’s mind. Trump, as is typical, attacked via Twitter.
It’s hard to believe that the top leader of the FBI is Trump’s hand-picked man, but he is, and here is where we get to the Trump vs. Trump part. Let’s look back to June 7th when Trump nominated Wray, describing him as “a man of impeccable credentials.”
If that’s not strong enough for you, consider the White House Announcement of Wray’s nomination, quoting President Trump as saying:
“I am proud to announce Christopher as my choice as the Director of the FBI . . . He is an impeccably qualified individual, and I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity once the Senate confirms him to lead the FBI.”
So Christopher Wray, a registered Republican, who donated generously to Republican candidates over the years, who represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate scandal, who was originally nominated to an Attorney General position by George W. Bush, is now the “top leadership” of the FBI who has “politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans.” I certainly hope my readers are not dumb enough to believe that.
Of course, Trump’s tweet attacking the FBI’s “top leadership” was quick to distinguish between the “politicized” leadership (that Trump appointed) and the “rank & file” who Trump declared “are great people.” So let’s check in with that “rank & file” and see where they stand on this. The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) released the following statement, firmly siding with its top leadership:
“The FBI Agents Association appreciates FBI Director Chris Wray standing shoulder to shoulder with the men and women of the FBI as we work together to protect our country from criminal and national security threats. As Director Wray noted, FBI Special Agents have remained steadfast in their dedication to professionalism, and we remain focused on our important work to protect the country from terrorists and criminals — both domestic and international. Special Agents take a solemn oath to our country and to the Constitution, and the American public continues to be well-served by the world’s preeminent law enforcement agency.”
The FBIAA even not so subtly reminded the President of the United States that their loyalty oaths are to the Constitution and the American public, and not to him.
It should be noted what the Nunes Memo and this controversy are all about. The Nunes Memo claims the FBI used the supposedly discredited “Steele Dossier” to justify a FISA warrant against Carter Page, Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisor. Trump claims the FBI did this to “misleadingly spy on Team Trump.”
There is a huge flaw in this reasoning that Trump is not telling you. Carter Page was under a FISA warrant since at least 2014, long before the Steele Dossier even existed. This is part of the the “material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy” that the FBI referred to in its criticism of the Nunes Memo.
The real scandal here is why did Donald Trump, in March 2016, hire as his Foreign Policy Advisor a man already under investigation, for at least two years, for working with Russian spies? When the FBI got the first FISA warrant on Carter Page in 2014 it had to show probable cause then that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign government in a way hostile to the United States.
That probable cause for FISA warrants against Carter Page existed long before the Steele Dossier even existed is but one of the “material omissions” in the Nunes Memo. Another is that the Steele Dossier only corroborated information the FBI already had regarding suspected Trump Campaign collusion with Russians. The FBI also already had the information from now convicted George Papadopoulos bragging to an Australian diplomat about how he was getting Hillary Clinton email dirt from Russian officials.
To be clear, in the Summer of 2016 when the FBI sought a probable cause finding to extend the existing FISA warrant against Carter Page the basis for that probable cause could have included all of the following:
- All the evidence the FBI previously used to get FISA warrants on Carter Page.
- The additional evidence provided by the Australian diplomat of Papadopoulos bragging about his connections with high levels Russians to get Hillary Clinton email dirt on behalf of the Trump Campaign.
- The Steele Dossier.
That is what this stink is about, and it’s about the Nunes Memo dishonestly discussing only that last piece of evidence as if it alone was decisive.
It is this flimsy reasoning that serves as the basis for Trump’s attacks on the senior leadership of the FBI and DOJ, to include Trump’s own hand-picked Director of the FBI. History also shows that the FBI investigated both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, but before the election, only told the public about its investigation of Clinton.
This one-sided public disclosure was devastating to the Clinton Campaign, particularly the public disclosure just a couple weeks before the election that the FBI was re-opening its investigation of Clinton. The evidence is clear that, for the election, the investigative process favored Republicans, and Trump in particular, to the great harm of Democrats. So Trump is once again backwards to the facts.
In the meantime, Trump has become the very epitome of the Pogo quote, “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Trump has met his enemy and he is Trump.