Incompetence? No, intent.
The latest excuse from Congressional Republicans for Trump after yesterday’s devastating Comey hearing? That the president is “new at government” and is “a political neophyte who is still learning the presidency.”
Here are four reasons why that’s absurd:
1. Trump intentionally cleared the Oval Office of all other White House officials before directing Comey in private to drop the FBI’s probe of Flynn.
2. Trump later lied about the incident during a May 18th press conference. Asked whether he asked Comey to end the investigation, Trump said: “No, no, next question.”
3. Trump routinely undermines and humiliates his staff — with the exception of Michael Flynn, who he is uncharacteristically and singularly committed to defending:
- Trump installed Flynn despite knowing he was under FBI investigation for taking $500,000 in undisclosed lobbying payments from Turkey.
- Trump refused to fire Flynn even after January 26th, when he learned Flynn was also under FBI investigation for his contacts with Russia.
- Trump only fired Flynn after public pressure intensified, and has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on Flynn’s part other than “misleading” VP Pence.
- Trump told advisers and staff that he believes firing Michael Flynn was a “mistake” and hopes he might rejoin the White House in some capacity.
These are not innocent flubs by the leader of the free world, these are intentional patterns of behavior.