On Sunday, Trump’s simmering anger over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s year-old Russia probe spilled over into a series of well-worn recriminations in several tweets, including that the investigation was politically motivated and had its roots in the administration of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
Read Sunday AM tweets from @realDonaldTrump: they are a portrait of a man alone, paranoid, isolated, hearing the footsteps, anxious, untrusting, knowing what will be revealed, intent on creating diversions, consumed with his own future, not the country’s.
— Mike Barnicle (@mikebarnicle) May 20, 2018
But this was more than Trump’s tired denial of any collusion and repeatedly dismissing the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
First of all, now we are actually making presidential orders by tweet. But mostly, this tweet is actually ITSELF using the FBI and DOJ for political purposes.
Trump also escalated his attacks on the Justice Department on Friday, suggesting that the FBI may have planted or recruited an informant in his 2016 presidential campaign. He cited unidentified reports that at least one FBI representative was “implanted” for political purposes into his campaign. Nobody seems to know what these “reports” are and who wrote them, but it recalls the time when Trump insisted that “Obama” had his phones tapped. But in September, the Justice Department said it had no evidence to support another of Trump’s unsubstantiated assertions: that Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.
It was unclear what kind of response Trump was seeking from the Justice Department this time, since investigations are kept secret and designed to be insulated from political influence and White House meddling.
But hours after the tweet, the Justice Department responded by saying it had asked its inspector general to expand an ongoing review of the applications to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser “to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”
This was Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein who ordered this, not Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself.
I HOPE to God they are just trying to appease him, because Trump’s suspicions make no sense. Clearly if the FBI were trying to destroy Trump, it would not sway the election for Trump by openly talking about the Hillary emails and NOT talking about the then-burgeoning investigation into collusion. Nor would it, almost two years later, reveal that it was quietly looking into the campaign during 2016. It seems possible that Rosenstein punted the matter to the inspector general to avoid a direct face-off between the White House and the Justice Department.
Another reason Trump is being ingenuous and stupid? Here’s an NBC news article from last December (December 2017):
In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter.
The warning came in the form of a high-level counterintelligence briefing by senior FBI officials, the officials said. A similar briefing was given to Hillary Clinton, they added. They said the briefings, which are commonly provided to presidential nominees, were designed to educate the candidates and their top aides about potential threats from foreign spies.
The candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns, the officials said.
So if Trump ignored the warnings, which he clearly did because he never saw anything wrong with Russia, it makes sense to have the FBI seek informants.
This weekend also brought this NY Times story:
Followed by this in Newsweek today:
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney reportedly “made up” his claim that the special counsel investigating Russia’s election interference planned to end his inquiry into possible obstruction of justice by the president on September 1.
Rudy Giuliani, who has represented the president for the last month during which he has given numerous interviews in defense of Trump, told The New York Times on Sunday that Mueller’s investigators laid out a timeline to him of how the probe would progress while discussing a potential interview of the president.
But an unnamed source familiar with the probe told Reuters that Giuliani’s claim was “entirely made-up” and “another apparent effort to pressure the special counsel to hasten the end of his work.”
The source also defended Mueller’s work, adding: “He’ll wrap it up when he thinks he’s turned over every rock, and when that is will depend on how cooperative witnesses, persons of interest and maybe even some targets are, if any of those emerge, and on what new evidence he finds, not on some arbitrary, first-of-the-month deadline one of the president’s attorneys cooks up.”
It is unclear what Giuliani’s strategy is with these bizarre lies and press interviews. Maybe, like most things, he is playing to a constituent of one: Donald Trump.