Nothing New Under the Sun

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is part of a Congressional delegation scheduled for an overseas trip, speaks to members of the media January 17, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. In a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), President Donald Trump announced the postponement of the trip to visit U.S. service members in Afghanistan, and a stop in Brussels to meet with NATO officials. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Steve Benen notes—

For what it’s worth, it’s not altogether clear why Trump and his team would find this so upsetting. There’s a limited universe of officials who have the experience, skills, and clearance necessary to work on highly sensitive intelligence matters. The idea of aides having a stint at the National Security Council, before making the transition to the staff at the House Intelligence Committee, isn’t especially odd.

United States President Donald Trump reacts to being laughed at during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, 25 September 2018. (Image credit: FOX News)Indeed, the inverse happens, too. Kashyap Patel, who helped co-author the unintentionally hilarious “Nunes memo,” recently left his staff job on Capitol Hill to join—you guessed it—the National Security Council.

So why is it, exactly, that Schiff’s personnel decisions “enraged” the president and some members of his senior staff? Is there concern inside Trump World about what former aides might say about their impressions of the White House’s work?

—and perhaps it seems strange, but, yes, Hot Fuzz, the Wright/Pegg comedy, comes to mind, and that somehow makes perfect sense.

Specifically, one of the best aspects of the story is the overlap of the obvious conspiracy theory with something insanely banal.

To the other, this isn’t quite conspiracism. Or, rather, the question of why the President is “enraged”, or “furious”, as CNN has it, undoubtedly involves concerns about who knows what and is willing to be helpful to the inquiry, but the flip side is to wonder when Mr. Trump isn’t in high dudgeon about the political scandals threatening to overwhelm his term.

The White House perceives a need to say something in response to House Intel investigation, but there is nothing particularly new, for instance, in Donald Trump complaining that an investigation is “nuts”, being wrong about history, or bawling about a “Witch Hunt”.


Image notes: Top — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA28), Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks to the media 17 January 2019, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Detail of photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)  Right — President Donald Trump reacts to being laughed at during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, 25 September 2018. (Image credit: FOX News)

@realDonaldTrump. “….The Dems and their committees are going ‘nuts.’ The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!” Twitter. 7 February 2019.

Benen, Steve. “Why Trump is accusing Schiff of ‘stealing people from the White House'”. msnbc. 8 February 2019.

Collins, Kaitlan, Manu Raju, and Kevin Liptak. “Trump furious after Schiff hires former NSC aides to help oversee his administration”. CNN. 8 February 2019.

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