The President of the United States is losing his bearings. Just like Watergate, the firing of one underling for violating protocol and (more importantly) the law is proving to be just the tip of the iceberg. General Michael Flynn’s transgressions are becoming secondary to the Trump team’s Russia connections, which we now know were (and remain?) broader, deeper, and more regular than we imagined. As in Watergate, the president is engaging in a coverup, trying to shift attention to Flynn, the liberal media, the intelligence community’s leaks, even the Clinton campaign.
Trump’s late-night tweets on February 15 reveal a man on the run.
- At 3:40 AM: “The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred.@MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!”
- At 4:08 AM: “This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
- At 4:13 AM: “Information is being illegally given to the failing@nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia”
- At 5:13 AM: “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!”
But the strategy of diversion is not working. Some Republicans in Congress are supporting a wide-ranging probe of the Russia connection, and my guess is that many more will clamber on board as it becomes impossible to support an administration that is so undeniably corrupt, incompetent, and chaotic. As Tim Weiner writes: “It’s been a long time, but remember this: The road to Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon began in April 1969, three months after his inauguration, when the President ordered Mr. Kissinger to wiretap members of his own staff in an effort to stop embarrassing leaks of secret information. One thing led to another until the commander in chief was athwart the Constitution” (www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/opinion/on-the-road-to-another-watergate.html).
We’re now starting the ascent up the ladder of responsibility. Who’s next?