US government “under assault and eroding”

James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, says that America’s founding fathers created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now “under assault and is eroding.”

Fox News: Clapper: US govt ‘under assault’ by Trump after Comey firing

…Clapper on Sunday described a U.S. government “under assault” after President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to fire FBI director James Comey, as lawmakers urged the president to select a new FBI director free of any political stigma.

“I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that’s the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system,” Clapper said. “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”

Clapper spoke following Trump’s sudden firing of Comey last week, which drew sharp criticism because it came amid the FBI’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.

Clapper said America’s founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now “under assault and is eroding.”

Politicians from both sides also have concerns.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the new FBI director should certainly be someone “not of partisan background” with “great experience” and “courage.” He left open the possibility that Democrats might try and withdraw support for a new FBI director unless the Justice Department names a special prosecutor.

Under rules of the Senate, Republicans could still confirm an FBI director with 51 votes. Republicans hold 52 seats in the chamber to Democrats’ 48.

A new FBI director without wide support from both parties would add to the current problems and concerns.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said promoting an FBI agent to lead the agency would allow the nation to “reset.”

“It’s now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or is of such a reputation who has no political background at all who can go into the job from Day 1,” the South Carolina Republican said.

“The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created,” Graham said, adding, “I have no evidence the president colluded with the Russians at all, but we don’t know all the evidence yet.”

Only the FBI know all the evidence they have at this stage.

It is certainly very messy, but what are the chances that Trump will tidy up the mess rather than make it worse?

Trump is even blaming his own press team now.

Wall Street Journal: Trump Weighs Shake-Up of Press Team

President blames team for failing to contain Comey controversy and hasn’t ruled out replacing Spicer

President Donald Trump is considering broad changes to his communications team and strategy, which he blames for failing to contain the controversy surrounding his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to multiple administration officials.

Among other moves, Mr Trump is again weighing replacing Press Secretary Shaun Spicer.

I’m not sure there will be many people willing to volunteer to take over from Spicer.

Trump has also suggested he may scrap the daily press briefings and hand out a two weekly printed statement instead. The press briefings have been done for about a century and it will raise eyebrows if they are scrapped, but currently they are of little use given how uninformed Spicer and his deputy have been, and/or how quickly the White House story keeps changing.

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15 Comments

  1. David

     /  May 15, 2017

    I don’t recall Clapper invoking “America’s founding fathers” when he lied to the American public about his mass surveillance program. I wonder why it is now an issue for him?

    Reply
    • Oh no, you gave me WaPo, isn’t that lefty propaganda?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 15, 2017

        But I thought you would like that, PG?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 15, 2017

          I lked it. A good article I thought. Just waiting to see how shambolic the next stage of the show will be.

          Reply
        • I don’t mind different sources, it’s you and a few others who rule sources out for being too something or other, unless they say something that supports your argument.

          So can we establish that WaPo can be a reputable and reliable source?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 15, 2017

            WaPo occasionally publishes a reputable and reliable source.

            Reply
        • I think the article is a good contribution to the issues. Comey has certainly jeapoardised his position with some of his actions and if a former attorney general says he thinks Comey had to go then I’d put some weight on his opinion.

          Barr concluded:

          In short, responsibility for the integrity of the Russia investigation is vested in the hands of two highly regarded Obama veterans. Senate Democrats were well aware that Rosenstein would be overseeing the Russia investigation when they overwhelmingly joined with Republican senators in confirming him by a 94-to-6 vote.

          Furthermore, the day-to-day work in that investigation was being done not by Comey but by career prosecutors and FBI agents, whose professionalism and integrity do not depend on the identity of the FBI director. Indeed, as the acting director, Andrew McCabe, just testified, FBI agents working on the investigation will do a thorough and professional job regardless of who is serving as the bureau’s director.

          According to news reports, the investigation is in full swing, with the Justice Department using a grand jury to subpoena relevant information, indicating a degree of thoroughness not evident in the investigation into Clinton’s email server. Comey’s removal simply has no relevance to the integrity of the Russian investigation as it moves ahead.

          Sounds fair enough doesn’t it?

          The problem here is Trump’s integrity (and the very messy way the sacking of Comey was handled with changing reasons given – Rosenstrein was reported to be unhappy with the position the White House put him in). As I’ve previously said, a lot may depend on who he proposes as the next AG.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 15, 2017

            AG? I presume you mean FBI Director. He will be appointed by Rosenstein and Sessions as his immediate superiors. Rosenstein’s recommendation to fire Comey was unequivocal. Whatever he was unhappy about, if actually true, it certainly wasn’t Comey’s departure.

            So you are happy the FBI’s Russian adventures are not compromised? What exactly are you whinging about then?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  May 15, 2017

              The problem to me is that Trump seems to have sacked him for personal reasons-whether he should have been sacked for other reasons is another issue. If Trump sacks those he dislikes, he is a dictator.

              The remarks about the tapes of the conversations is unworthy of a country’s leader.

              Even if I could do Sean Spicer’s job, I’d have to be offered more money than is remotely likely to be offered to anyone before I’d take it on.

            • Alan: unless mistaken, AG = Attorney Genera;. At Federal level the AG is part of the Department of Justice whom the Director of FBI reports to, with recommendations about prosecutions that are taken on by DOJ prosecutors. The FBI does not have powers to prosecute, they can arrest on the basis of warrants or cause, but do not have judicial powers.

  2. Look at this, and weep about Clinton’s attitude to security.
    https://fas.org/sgp/othergov/stateoig.html

    Reply
  3. Bill Brown

     /  May 15, 2017

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/526296/

    Just watched the ” Get me Roger Stone” movie on Netflix….. in a word fascinating

    Worth a watch

    Reply
  4. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 15, 2017

      That other showboat won’t be having any of that❗️😡

      Reply

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