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17 May 2017

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Jonathan House MD

"There is only one problem with this story--the investigation has continued unabated. So, no matter what Trump may have said, the investigation has not been derailed nor disrupted."

A failed attempt to rob a bank is still a crime, a failed attempt to murder is attempted murder. A failed attempt to interfere with the investigation is etc.

So if the memo(?s) exist and fairly reflect what Trump did/said then it would seem etc.

Jonathan House

Tyler

The people outside of the wonk class and Beltway Jerkoff/Blue Checkmark Twitter fail to comprehend that these stories have zero traction among the Deploreable Caste.

They are playing with fire when they tell all the Americans who voted for Trump "We the people who sue Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or shutter their doors have decided that you may not elect a President."

Buckle in, boys and girls. My body is ready.

Lars

Most of Mr. Trump's problems are self-inflicted and due to his lack of fitness for the office. Being POTUS is not even close to being a TV game show host. This will become even more obvious as he tries to badly play the part. His low expectations are becoming even lower and many of his aides are destroying their reputations by trying to come up with excuses.

I doubt that this will end well.

turcopolier

Jonathan House

The acting director of the FBI testified before the senate that there had been no attempt to impede the Russian investigation. What bank robbery? pl

Jonathan House

FWIW, someone said he was not including the Flynn investigation as part of the Russian investigation. If so, it would be careful phrasing but no more careful than McMaster's.

And, I suppose there would be no crime if it turned out the building wasn't a bank but an empty building. So IF 45 did ask Comey to drop the investigation that would be troublesome (? a crime) whatever the acting director said (or knew) when he testified.

Tyler

Lars,

When you get your helicopter ride, just remember: you chose this because you couldn't leave well enough alone.

turcopolier

jonathan house,

Once again, the FBI is not independent of the Executive Branch chain of command. Flynn was not the subject of a criminal investigation so why should Trump NOT tell them to lay off. He had already fired the man had he not? pl

Fredw

"This is going to continue until Trump carries out the equivalent of a public execution. "

Three immediate reactions:
1. This seems to be precisely what the firing of Comey was intended to be.
2. Lots of people have been fired lately. Do the people running the country not know how to do this and to whom?
3. Really? There are people with that kind of fanatical loyalty to Obama? I wouldn't have guessed it.

Overall this article reads like an argument for the incompetence theory. I learned a long time ago that right and wrong have limited relevance to the presidency or other high level management. What does matter is the ability to control events and get things to come out well for the organization you manage. Trump was very skilled at managing media stampedes as a candidate. Live off uproar, die from uproar?

Ghostship

Russia-gate - one year and nothing.
Flynn - several months and nothing.
It's time to shut these down because if nothing has been found so far, the chances of anything being found at all in both investigations approximates very closely to zero. And in the Flynn investigation what further evidence can there be? His conversation with Pence was recorded and his influence peddling for the Turks is nothing to do with Russia - the only possibility now is for the FBI to get out the Ouija board and see what comes through from the spirit world.

As head of the Executive it's Trump's right to direct the people working for him and he only suggested to Comey that there were better things to be done with the time and resources being wasted on two investigations that are going nowhere. Perhaps he should have given Comey a few more weeks but time's a wasting.

Fredw

By the way, I do agree that the media sensations are overblown and unfair. But handling that is part of the job. That's the job he asked and we gave him.

Old Gun Pilot

Just because an action is legal does not make not proper. Nixon was fully within his legal rights to fire Archibald Cox, but at least in that case Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus recognized the impropriety of the action and acted accordingly. Here it appears there is either nobody around to tell Trump it is a dumb thing to do or else he is too stupid and arrogant to realize it.

Jonathan House

I am confused. If there was no criminal investigation, what was Comey supposed to 'lay off' from? A non-criminal investigation? A criminal investigation that involved Flynn but of which he wasn't the subject.

In other words, especially if one does not question the President's authority over the FBI and on the assumption that (1) the memo(s) are as detailed in the press and (2) the memo(s) are fair representations of what 45 said/meant, what might 45 have been asking Comey to 'let go'?

LeaNder

And a protocol you wrote would be a solid proof?

It might be, had it been sent to confirm matters as understood. Plus ideally, the one you wanted to confirm it, did not simply ignore it, but answered you that, yes, you understood correctly.

Ghostship

lack of fitness for the office
And Clinton was fit for office? By her own admission she would have gone to war with Syria by now and bugger the consequences - war with Russia. Trump was elected on a platform that included decent relations with Russia so how is delivering on an election promise treason? No, it's the Clintonists who are showing they're unfit for office and most of the media who are showing they're Clintonist propagandists.

Nancy K

I don't believe Catholic hospitals are being sued to perform abortions. It is your body due with it what you will, but please don't tell women what they can or cannot due with theirs.

BillWade

The MSM reminds me of the convicted killer professing his innocence until the end. Their lies are increasingly falling on deaf ears and only hardening the resolve of us "deplorables" who have been far too altruistic for far too long.

Lars

What helicopter ride would that be? I have maintained that Trump is unfit for the office since the day he announced his candidacy and he has done absolutely nothing to make me change my mind about him.

The question now is how long and how far is he going to be allowed to damage the nation?

Lars

At least HRC had high level government experience and Trump has none and it shows.

turcopolier

jonathan house

Yes, you are confused. It was a counter-intelligence investigation into the content of Flynn's telephone contacts with Kisliak. IMO the president had every right to tell Comey to bring the thing to an end. pl

turcopolier

Lars

How is Trump "damaging the nation?" pl

DC

Respectfully to all: we are now at a point where it matters little whether "The Borg" or "The Media" or the democrats are out to get Trump. If the substance of Comey's notes are correctly reported, Trump almost certainly was intending to persuade the Director of the FBI to draw back on an investigation of Flynn. This is a textbook case of obstruction of justice, legally speaking, or is at least prima facie evidence of such, imo. It is a question of fact rather than a question of politics or judgment. In contrast, you can quibble about matters of conflict of interest or collusion, neither of which are questions of fact. Impeachment proceedings are now unavoidable, and it is Trump's own doing, no one else's.

Lars

As POTUS, he is losing credibility both domestically and internationally. That will have far reaching consequences. He has turned the office into a subject of ridicule, of uncertainty and incompetence. None which is good for the country.

I am sure the Republic will survive this too, but the damage is increasing seemingly on a daily basis. At some point, even Republicans will have to act, or their political future will be imperiled.

Joe100

I see much criticism of Trump for not having his act together yet - including firing moles, etc. I find it hard to understand why it is reasonable to expect that Trump (or any "insurgent" candidate) could "take over" as quickly as a mainstream party candidate who would arrive in office with an extensive "rolodex" of potential staff/candidates. Perhaps this is why the hysteria is so high, as the longer Trump is in office the more likely he will be able to "take over" and effectively fight back.

Also, it is not clear how much traction the media/political hysteria is gaining. While i am sure that tracking MSM has close to 100% penetration in then DC area, I recall that Larry Johnson posted some polling before the election showing that a relatively small portion of then US population gets their "news" form MSM (TV/print). There is also some recent social media "issues" tracking that showed the latest "Russia" meme was not catching fire. I am not hearing any chatter on this in my community, but I also avoid political discussions particularly with friends/colleagues…

I quit watching network TV about four years ago, having previously learned that topics I have deep knowledge about were never reported accurately on TV (NPR, etc.) and deciding watching TV news was a waste of time vs. seeking more reliable info on the web (which always requires some healthy source assessment). I quit reading the NYT about half-way through the presidential election given the obvious biases and lack of accuracy/honesty in their coverage. And I will never buy a copy again..

Annem

This stuff about Trump & Co. really IS about Russia, but not about Flynn and others in the WH and possibly the president himself. It is the fact that Trump's foreign policy deviates from Washington orthodoxy, which has of the last few years, perhaps as far back as the Georgia conflict declared Russia the enemy of our times.

This "establishment" was NOT made up of fans of Barack Obama, who deviated on Iran as well as his attempt to reset relations with Russia early in his presidency. [Bill Clinton and George W both wrecked the Bush I agenda for bringing Russia into the global system.] The former worked but the latter was sabotages. The neocons and others share the goal of regime change in Syria, and are beside themselves over recent developments. For them, the goal was regime change, even breaking up of countries into smaller autonomous entities. After Syria, the next stop is Iran, and in some circles a couple of years ago, the neocons were hyping the ethnic diversity of the country, reasoning that the Azeris, Turkic tribes, Arabs, Kurds, Persians and Baluch along with yet others, not to mention sectarian differences. This plan, of course, defies history, since successive Persian Empires over millennia have ruled over this diverse country.

Should this be accomplished, there will be no real predator states to threaten Israel, which has developed political and intelligence relationships, not to mention commerce with many of the Arab states. Hezbollah, minus support from Iran, can be dealt with. If you recall, it has been part of some right-wing US groups that there would be an exchange of populations in Lebanon, with the Shia forced to move north out of the Israeli border area and the Christians inhabit that area instead.

Remember how the bombing in Syria and Afghanistan temporarily forgave Trump his trespasses, so if he buys the world view of Saudi and Israel and changes course on Syria, the temperature could be lowered.

Even paranoids and the incompetent have enemies and even the best organized and professional machine in the WH, the establishment would have come up with something to counter Trump or try to get him out. But alas, the WH is a chaotic mess. Draining the swamp has meant that the WH has NO significant staff that knows how the USG operates and what the rules are. If he is, as has been rumored, Trump should appoint a chief of staff with long experience in how inter-agency communications and guide him on how to run the country. This does not have to be a former WH person. A respected long-time member of Congress or staff officer that dealt with the executive branch or one of the senior people that populated the cabinet under Bush II would do, as long as he or she understands that THIS assignment is about PROCESS, not policy.

Finally, Trump came into office in awe of our senior military, serving and retired as well he should have. What is problematic, though, is that all these Generals, Mattis, McMaster and Flynn to a certain extent, support the Washington worldview about our ties with Russia, Iran and Syria, not Trump's pragmatic view. It is interesting that during the campaign, Trump's Middle East "experts" were a scary lot, including Frank Gaffney and Walid Phares and probably some lesser lights. Many years ago, Phares, wrote a book about Lebanon suggesting this population exchange. At that time, before he reinvented himself as a counter terrorism expert, he had been a member of one of the Lebanese Christian militias during that country's vicious civil war. Surprisingly, their ideas seem not to be part of the Trump agenda with the exception of the deep-rooted anti-Muslim orientation, shared by the likes of Flynn.

Jim P.

Sure enough Nancy.

And while we are at it, in the spirit of fairness and equality, I'm sure you'll agree that men should stop paying child support because it's their life and money and women and the state shouldn't tell them what they can or cannot due with theirs. Right? I mean a woman's body is a woman's body and therefore birth control and whatnot is solely her responsibility and has nothing to do with the man. We just need to get the law in line with this logic. In the name of progress.

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