It was reported yesterday that Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire was fired and a political hack with absolutely no intelligence experience who is currently the Ambassador to Germany would become the new DNI, a guy named Richard Grenell–who will continue to serve as Ambassador to Germany while serving as acting DNI! Trump of course would rather have a loyal yet incompetent toady in his administration than a competent pro–that’s what Trump does–but this is the person who oversees our entire national security and intelligence effort. What the hell is going on here?
Turns out, a week ago Trump received a briefing from the Intel community that informed him (as well as Congress) that Russia was again hacking our election, this time hacking not only the general election, but also interfering in the Democratic primary, to benefit Trump’s re-election. This revelation comes as a shock to no one, yet Trump was reportedly enraged that the Intel community would have the audacity to give him a report that went against the narrative (lie) he’s been spreading for three-plus years–that Russia didn’t hack the 2016 election–despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
Trump was so angry that he fired DNI Director Maguire whose deputies were responsible for the briefing and found a replacement who would never do anything without Trump’s approval. In other words, Trump fired Maguire for telling the truth and hired a man with no National Security expertise. Trump continues to evade the advise-and-consent role of Congress by seating many “Acting” Directors in his administration who are temporary and don’t need to be confirmed by Congress. Rather than hire a competent person for the job, Trump would rather hire someone so bad and unqualified that they would never get Congressional approval and when the temporary term expires, replace them with a similarly unqualified hack.
Moreover, Trump is once again trying to bury the truth of Russian interference in our elections at the expense of our national security. He’s committed to doing nothing about an ongoing attack on the very foundation of our Democracy and creating a smoke screen that obscures the fact that Putin and Russia want him to continue to destroy our government and institutions from the inside out. Putin knows what a toxic and destructive force Trump has been to our politics and our governmental traditions so of course he wants him to stay in office. He also knows how weak Trump is on foreign policy and how accommodating he’s been to corruption and oligarchy, especially in Russia. Trump hides his embarrassing Russia support while our Democracy burns–all aided by a feckless and unAmerican Republican party (cult) in Congress.
Lawrence O’Donnell said last night, “The president is a Russian operative.” And it’s sadly true. It’s disgusting and dispiriting but we can’t let ourselves surrender to the chaos and exhaustion of Trump’s crimes and scandals. I’ll keep saying it: I’m going to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. None of them are nearly as bad as Trump. None of them are wannabe dictators. None of them are pathological liars devoid of empathy. None of them want to subvert the rule of law and destroy our institutions. None of them want to go backwards on climate–quite the opposite. None of them are even close to Trump’s level of malignance.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”