Trump scandal ‘worse than Watergate’

NZ Herald:  Former US intelligence chief ranks watergate less of a scandal than Donald Trump Russia investigation

A former US intelligence chief today ranked Watergate as less of a scandal than the revelations now ripping through the administration of President Donald Trump.

“I think if you compare the two that Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we’re confronting now,” James Clapper told the National Press Club in Canberra.

There even were concerns among US intelligence authorities about forwarding information to the Trump White House, according to Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Barak Obama.

Clapper pointed to the possibility of further damaging revelations when James Comey, the former FBI director sacked by Mr Trump, gives evidence on allegations of Russian interference in US politics before a congressional hearing Thursday, Washington time.

The Comey evidence is yet to come, but in a preliminary to his appearance Top intel officials Coats and Rogers say they’ve never been ‘pressured’ on Russia investigations

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers told a Senate panel Wednesday that they would not answer questions about whether President Trump asked them to downplay possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in last year’s election, but they said they did not feel “pressured” to interfere or intervene in the Russia investigation.

Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he did not believe it was appropriate for him to publicly discuss conversations he has had with the president.

“I have never felt pressured to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relation to an ongoing investigation,” Coats testified in response to a question from Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va.

Rogers also refused to answer Warner’s questions about his conversations with Trump about the Russia investigation.

“In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, unethical, immoral or inappropriate,” Rogers said, adding that he has never felt “pressured” to do so.

This saga is likely to continue for some time yet. Comey’s appearance will be on Friday New Zealand time.

In the meantime there are other potential problems for Trump:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested he could resign amid rising tension with President Trump

As the White House braces for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday, sources tell ABC News the relationship between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become so tense that Sessions at one point recently even suggested he could resign.

The friction between the two men stems from the attorney general’s abrupt decision in March to recuse himself from anything related to the Russia investigation — a decision the president only learned about minutes before Sessions announced it publicly. Multiple sources say the recusal is one of the top disappointments of his presidency so far and one the president has remained fixated on.

Trump’s anger over the recusal has not diminished with time. Two sources close to the president say he has lashed out repeatedly at the attorney general in private meetings, blaming the recusal for the expansion of the Russia investigation, now overseen by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

But sources say the frustration runs both ways, prompting the resignation offer from Sessions.

There seems to be a lot of frustrations and diversions in Trump’s administration, but he and his Fox friends are trying to look positive.

This may or may not be evident here:  Under Trump, regulation slows to a crawl

Before he took office, Donald Trump promised to roll back the reach of the federal government, saying that he would end the “regulation industry” on the first day of his presidency. The effect has been immediate and dramatic: According to data compiled by POLITICO, significant federal regulation since Trump’s inauguration has slowed to an almost total halt.

From Inauguration Day until the end of May, just 15 regulations were approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the White House department that reviews important new federal rules. That’s by far the fewest among comparable periods since recordkeeping began in the 1990s: Ninety-three rules were approved during the same period in Barack Obama’s administration, and 114 under George W. Bush.

The near-total freeze in regulations is likely to keep GOP supporters happy, converting on a long-held conservative dream of a government that stays out of the way. “It’s a reason to celebrate,” said Stephen Moore, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who informally advised Trump during his campaign.

But rulemaking is the key way a White House shapes policy, and for an administration that has struggled to populate federal agencies and get laws passed through Congress, the rulemaking gap denies the administration its biggest chance to make an impact on how America runs. The slowdown has begun to concern some business groups, who worry that key regulations simply aren’t being issued as expected—and liberals warn it could leave the government playing catch-up with major changes.

Trump has said he will live tweet during Comey’s appearance – good grief!

UPDATE: But he has been preempted with the release already of Comey’s prepared statement:

CNBC:  ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty’ — read James Comey’s explosive statement about Donald Trump

  • Former FBI Director James Comey will testify that President Trump told him “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”
  • “I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed,” Comey says in his prepared remarks to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

 

18 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 8, 2017

    Usual Herald WaPo crap. Find a disaffected Obama accolyte and quote his unsupported bile.

    • Gezza

       /  June 8, 2017

      Have an antacid, Sir Al. You sound a little *acidy* yourself. 😀

  2. The post has been updated with Comey’s statement he will give the the hearing. It has been pre-released.

  3. MaureenW

     /  June 8, 2017

    What is the Trump scandal exactly?
    Looks to me like an untreatable, infestation of Democrat lackeys.

    • Gezza

       /  June 8, 2017

      If it’s untreatable, then the organism may be ultimately doomed Maureen.

      Thanks for your comments last night. I may come back to them today somewhere.

  4. MaureenW

     /  June 8, 2017

    So apparently Comey want’s Trump impeached?
    Meanwhile, the Senate Committee has just launched an investigation into the Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. I wonder whether anyone is going down with all of this, or who is going to go down first?
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/04/senate-committee-launches-a-new-clinton-investigation/

  5. David

     /  June 8, 2017

    Is this the same James Clapper who lied to Congress about the mass surveillance of US citizens?

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  June 8, 2017

      Yup… and the same trump who lies to the American people every time he opens his mouth

      • Gezza

         /  June 8, 2017

        😀 Well, maybe not every time, Joe. But he’s certainly told a frakin lot more blatant whoppers than Clapper.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 8, 2017

          His puerile deliberate misquoting of the ‘no need to be alarmed’ words do him no favours-full marks to Mr Khan for not letting himself be goaded. The unlucky girl who had to answer questions on that was visibly squirming.

      • David

         /  June 8, 2017

        “Yup… and the same trump who lies to the American people every time he opens his mouth”

        He is allowed to lie to the American public.

        Your not allowed to lie when under oath in front of Congress.

    • Blazer

       /  June 8, 2017

      he might be like Sir Honky Tonks….’bulk collection’ not…mass…surveillance.

  6. Conspiratoor

     /  June 8, 2017

    Outside the beltway, fake media firestorms and a few hysterical bloggers who actually gives a shit as long as Trump delivers results …like laying waste to a bloated bureaucracy. As a consequence compliance costs are in free fall…

    Historic: 90% cut in new regs, costs slashed to just 0.12% of Obama’s’

    President Trump is winning on one key campaign promise, cutting regulations and virtually eliminating the release of new ones.
    In fact, he has cut the output of costly regulations so deeply that a group that charts the federal government’s output of rules has called the shift “historic.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-slashes-output-of-regulations-90-costs-to-just-012-of-obamas/article/2625050

    • Gezza

       /  June 8, 2017

      Ok, good stuff, & the media circus & his twitter rants are a source of more amusement to me than anythibg else. Results, good results, long term, for the little people who were promised the earth, are what counts, c. Still watching his foreign policy antics.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  June 8, 2017

        If I’m not around tomorrow G would you direct sir Al to this news. As a man with a pathological loathing of beaurocracy this is sure to give him a warm tingly feeling down the inside of his leg. Cheers,c

        • Gezza

           /  June 8, 2017

          I would be glad to c. Although, given my almost pathological hatred for his politics, I am just quietly entertaining a vision of him stuck, at a counter somewhere due to an error of some kind in the system somewhere, disrupting his holiday, & fuming at bureaucrats in any kind of organisation which is involved. As you know, other than his politics, I quite like the grumpy beggar. But don’t let him know. It’ll only make him more insufferable.