Always kick down and never self-examine. That’s our President. In a deeply reported story in today’s Washington Post, we find more details of how FBI Director Comey’s firing was handled by the President and those few minions who knew he was thinking of it.
Trump’s team did not have a full-fledged communications strategy for how to announce and then explain the decision. As Trump, who had retired to the residence to eat dinner, sat in front of a television watching cable news coverage of Comey’s firing, he noticed another flaw: Nobody was defending him.
The president was irate, according to White House officials. Trump pinned much of the blame on Spicer and Dubke’s communications operation, wondering how there could be so many press staffers yet such negative coverage on cable news — although he, Priebus and others had afforded them almost no time to prepare.
It couldn’t possibly be Trump’s fault that no one was speaking for him in the media, could it? I mean, he’d sprung this on his entire (understaffed) team with no warning whatsoever. That may work when you’re running a 100-person family name-branding business and your impulsive decisions don’t affect thousands of people and tarnish your image; it doesn’t work very well as President of the United States.
According to the story, the FBI agents (and there are about 17,000 of them) are pretty angry at Trump.
Within the Justice Department and the FBI, the firing of Comey has left raw anger, and some fear, according to multiple officials. Thomas O’Connor, the president of the FBI Agents Association, called Comey’s firing “a gut punch. We didn’t see it coming, and we don’t think Director Comey did anything that would lead to this.’’
Many employees said they were furious about the firing, saying the circumstances of his dismissal did more damage to the FBI’s independence than anything Comey did in his three-plus years in the job.
One intelligence official who works on Russian espionage matters said they were more determined than ever to pursue such cases. Another said Comey’s firing and the subsequent comments from the White House are attacks that won’t soon be forgotten. Trump had “essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI,” one official said. “I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind.”
I wonder if Trump has ever heard of J. Edgar Hoover’s files? No sensible government employee wants to make an enemy of the FBI.