President Donald Trump weighed firing his FBI director for more than a week. When he finally pulled the trigger Tuesday afternoon, he didn't call James Comey. He sent his longtime private security guard to deliver the termination letter in a manila folder to FBI headquarters.That's the first things that jumps out at me; the sources for all of this are Trump staffers close enough to the president that they watch tv with him, but they are eager to trash him to Politico. There's a tight ship.
He had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said. . . .
The second thing is, how could Trump possibly have thought that this would get his Russia troubles out of the news?
By ousting the FBI director investigating his campaign and associates, Trump may have added more fuel to the fire he is furiously trying to contain — and he was quickly criticized by a chorus of Republicans and Democrats. "The timing of this firing was very troubling," said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican. . . .There is it again; somebody close enough to Trump to know how he reacted to a phone call eager to tell Politico what a fool his boss is. And he is being a fool; firing Comey is about the worst possible way to put this behind him. Kevin Drum:
But the fallout seemed to take the White House by surprise. Trump made a round of calls around 5 p.m., asking for support from senators. White House officials believed it would be a "win-win" because Republicans and Democrats alike have problems with the FBI director, one person briefed on their deliberations said.
Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told him he was making a big mistake — and Trump seemed "taken aback," according to a person familiar with the call.
Trump's astronomical ignorance has finally caught up with him. He seems to have had no idea that firing Comey wouldn't stop the investigation—nor that a new FBI director wouldn't dare quash it. In fact, all the firing does is make the investigation untouchable. Trump's astronomical narcissism has caught up with him too. He has so little insight into other humans that he simply couldn't conceive of anyone hating Comey but still defending his right to serve out his term. In Trump's world, you reward your friends and punish your enemies and that's that.I continue to think that nothing will ever really come of this. Anyone in a position to know of a deal between Putin and Trump would be a thoroughly unsatisfactory witness, and any document could too easily be dismissed as fake. But this looks likely to trundle on for months, maybe all the way to the 2018 election.