Donald Trump Moves the Goalposts On Acceptable Behavior and Then Rages When Others Do The Same
This morning, the President tweeted the following:
In one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018
For those you who need some context, Peter Strzok was an FBI Agent first tasked with investigating the Hillary Clinton email probe and then later he was involved in Special Counsel Mueller’s Russian investigation. He was having an affair with another FBI Agent, Lisa Page. The two, as people in a romantic relationship often do, texted each other frequently with their opinions on political matters (it is not illegal for an FBI agent to have a political opinion, nor is it illegal to have an extramarital affair, is it Donald Trump?). They spoke frequently of their issues with Donald Trump, but also with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and Ted Cruz, and apparently everyone else involved in the campaign. They had a lot of opinions and engaged in a lot of trash talk. Once Bob Mueller became aware of those text messages, however, Strzok was immediately removed from the Russian probe. That was last summer.
Now, thousands of the text messages between Strzok and Page have gone missing. The FBI blames a software glitch. Maybe in those missing texts, Strzok and Page trash talked Donald Trump. Maybe they were suspicious of Donald Trump, and you know what? They had every f**king right to be. The man has never spoken an ill word about Vladimir Putin, a man who imprisons political enemies and has journalists murdered. What FBI agent wouldn’t be suspicious of that?
But also, Donald Trump can’t stand up in front of the CIA and deliver political speeches, or politicize a Boy Scout’s rally, or trash talk Obama in front of the troops and then turn around and complain if a couple of FBI agents express political opinions in private conversations with one another. Trump created this partisan environment — he pressured James Comey for loyalty; he fumed and nearly fired Jeff Sessions for not defending him; the guy Trump got to replace Comey, Christopher Wray, nearly quit because Trump was pressuring him to fire Andrew McCabe for political reasons, and now Trump is complaining of treason because two FBI agents express private political opinions that Trump may have a screw loose?
What would make them believe that? Is it maybe Donald Trump’s daily erratic behavior? Is it his disregard for Democratic institutions? Or his clear animosity toward the intelligence community? Remember when he compared the intelligence community to Nazis? He can barely go a week without sh*tting on the FBI. Why? Because the FBI’s investigations keep implicating Trump or members of his staff in illegal or unethical behavior. He’s trying his damnedest to discredit the intelligence community because the intelligence they keep gathering reflects poorly on Trump.
The FBI owes no allegiance to the President. The FBI owes its allegiance to the country. The FBI has a duty to root out criminal behavior, and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Trump and his staff are up to no good and/or possibly colluded with our biggest geopolitical enemy. There’s no law against having political opinions, but the FBI is required to ensure that the facts lead their investigations and not their opinions. There’s no evidence here to suggest otherwise.
You can’t have it both ways, Donald Trump. You can’t politicize the intelligence community and then get angry when an FBI agent expresses a private political opinion that jibes with roughly 65 percent of the country. Trump wants the FBI to be political; he just wants it to politically favor him.
And look, Donald, before you suggest that James Comey went too easy on Hillary Clinton, remember that you ostensibly fired James Comey because he treated Clinton unfairly during the email probe. Remember that? You had your Deputy AG write a whole memo about it. Again, you can’t have it both ways: You can’t claim that the FBI — which more or less cost Clinton the election — was unfair to Hillary and then turn around and say that the FBI expressed a preference for her when you are the fucking President because of the FBI. And look: if Donald Trump is going to move the goal posts on what’s acceptable as POTUS, I’m OK with nudging the goal posts slightly on what’s acceptable for an FBI agent.
Also, WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THE EMAILS. Goddamnit, it’s been 14 months.