Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 11:46:34 am
It should come as no surprise to anyone that our so-called president was determined to release "the memo" before he ever read it.
Because after all, his far right supporters and his Fox News sycophants were telling him to do it.
Greg Sargent makes some pertinent points about this latest disgraceful episode in the sad saga of the Trump administration: These alarming leaks on Trump’s handling of the memo suggest danger ahead.
- Trump appears to have decided very early to release the memo, before seeing it himself and before the White House heard from top intelligence officials who warned against it. At least some of this thought process was influenced by “cable television segments about the memo.” As one adviser put it: “There was never any hesitation.”
- Despite Trump’s advance decision to release the memo, “White House aides were determined to show they were following an official process in reviewing whether … to release the memo” (emphasis mine). White House advisers knew it would be “fruitless” to resist Trump’s decision, and they knew intelligence officials would bitterly object, but they had to create the impression that a real process of deliberation was underway.
- Top intelligence officials repeatedly warned senior White House officials that releasing the memo would compromise national security, expose classified information and paint a misleading picture of the FBI’s methods. (If true, that last one in particular threatens to undermine public confidence in law enforcement.) White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly was “not swayed.”
- White House officials worried the memo might be a “dud,” so they left the “public cheerleading for the memo’s release largely to Republican lawmakers,” to create “distance” from it if necessary. The reporting suggests that they worried more about the politics of the memo’s release than about other senior administration officials’ objections on national security grounds.
Make no mistake: this action is leading the nation straight into a constitutional crisis, because we have a Republican Party that's completely dedicated to protecting Donald Trump at all costs to keep their stranglehold on the government intact as long as possible. And it's also very clear that the release of the memo is intended to give Trump the pretext he needs to fire the people investigating him, starting with Rod Rosenstein.
Read the Nunes memo, annotated