The word “dysfunctional” is defined as “not operating normally or properly.”
Dysfunctional is an apt term for the total White House operations lately. The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was heading the Russian probe, vividly shines a light on the lack of any leadership among the staff and the administration’s inability to provide a singular theme over the Comey firing event.
The first statement to come out of the White House was that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recommended the director’s firing because of his mishandling of Hillary Clinton’s private-server issue.
Later in the week, President Trump stated that he had decided to fire Comey well before the attorney general’s recommendation.
It appears that no members of the White House senior staff or the Justice Department staff know what’s going on in the decision-making matrix of President Trump.
What is clear is that Trump admitted on camera that he fired Comey because of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s documented influence in covertly supporting Trump in the 2016 election. The FBI and Congress are continuing to investigate whether the Trump campaign and the president were complicit in helping the Russians in that effort.
The interesting fact is that Trump fired the director shortly after Comey had requested additional funds for the investigation and testified before Congress. The day after his firing, the Russian ambassador and foreign minister showed up at the White House to meet Trump with smiles on their faces. Interesting coincidence.
Clearly, the president’s impulsive decision to fire Comey was based on the false assumption that both Democratic and Republican critics of his tenure at the FBI would support the firing. Nothing could be further from the truth. The decision has encouraged congressional members on both sides to call for the appointment of a special persecutor.
One cannot help but see some similarities between President Nixon’s firing of his attorney general when he refused to fire a White House special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.
The president, in his decision to fire Comey, is skating very close to the appearance of obstruction of justice. This is not the time to bend to partisan politics. We may be on the verge of a constitutional crisis.
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