#PutiTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor
The lede from Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima for the Washington Post:
President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.
And, you know, maybe the theme this week will be something about wondering who is actually surprised. Last week, after all, seemed to focus on President Trump’s apparent inability to not insist on his own impeachment.
Bombshells and breaking news might seem overdone, these days, but this really should not feel so mundane. The president apparently hoped to enlist Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael S. Rogers to step up for pushback in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on 20 March. The WaPo report explains:
Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.
Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.
It seems almost a change of subject, but, please, think about it for a moment: Is there nobody in this White House who is even capable of comprehending what is happening? That is, as President Trump is running around trying to meddle with investigations … well, right, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus apparently tried to enlist Congress, so it really does leave one to wonder, as questions about obstruction of justice reverberate from sea to shining sea, and beyond, if nobody actually knows, or simply that nobody actually cares, because if in the end President Trump will be left to plead that, hey, he’s not a professional politician, so how was he supposed to know, then who all failed to explain to him that there are some things presidents just are not supposed to do?
At some point, the statistically ineffable incompetence required to foster any narrative exonerating the Trump White House will become so unbelievable that perhaps people will finally get over themselves and finally start dealing with proper solutions for the problem.
Image note: A child walks past a graffiti depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the walls of a bar in the old town in Vilnius, Lithuania, 14 May 2016. (Photo by Mindaugas Kulbis/AP Photo)
Entous, Adam and Ellen Nakashima. “Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence”. The Washington Post. 22 May 2017.