Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described Sunday a U.S. government “under assault” after President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
“I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that’s the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system,” Clapper said in a televised interview with CNN. “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”
When he was asked, “Internally, from the president?” Clapper said, “Exactly.”
Clapper’s comments came after Trump’s sudden firing of Comey last week, which drew sharp criticism because it came amid the FBI’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.
Clapper said America’s founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now “under assault and is eroding.”
Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday and later said Comey was a “showboat” and a “grandstander” who was not doing a good job. Trump said in an interview with NBC that the investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey. The changing rationales the White House offered added an element of chaos to the president’s action. Read FoxNews article
Whether former NSA Director Clapper is a friend or foe of President Trump is not clear, in light or the past chaotic week for the White House, his statement, “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally,” is something for as all to think about. The firing of the FBI Director for a misstep in the Hillary Clinton email scandal doesn’t make any sense at all. Even if the president had no dealings whatsoever with the Russians interference with the election, he now places himself in even more question. I don’t know if the dark cloud will lift off the Trump administration over the Russian scandal, but one thing for sure, firing the nation’s top cop who was investigating and scheduled to report to congress on the matter is not going to help matters.
Back to Clapper’s statement about our institutions “under assault internally.” Given such an important arm of the government as the FBI, the events since the election till now do not give a sense of security for our nation. Clapper referred to the “checks and balances” that our founding forefathers built into our government for the purpose of insuring against the abuse of power from one of the three branches of government. With this recent firing of FBI Director Comey and others, one question whether or not agencies like the FBI, IRS, CIA, Defense, NSA, and Homeland Security will be to continue to do their jobs if that in some upsets the current resident of the White House.