Obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now, and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Republican Bob Corker
By Roger ChildsAn inauspicious and insecure administration
It has long been known that Donald Trump lacked intelligence, humility and honesty, however, the last week has shown other glaring deficiencies such as a lack of prudence and discretion.
Overall his presidency has been little short of a disaster.
He promised much on the campaign trail, but in his four months in office he is yet to chalk up a legislative success, although a bill to replace Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act has passed the House of Representatives.
His one success has been to appoint a conservative judge to the Supreme Court.
However there have been major underlying issues, such as power struggles in the White House, and the cloud of Russian involvement and collusion both in the campaign and since, has been hanging like the Sword of Damocles over Trump’s tenuous administration.
Hiring and firing
Businessman Trump had a penchant for firing people and he has continued this practice as president with Acting Attorney General Sally Yates first on the list.
Since then his presidential campaign director Paul Manafort has gone, as well as National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Now there are rumours that Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, and Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, could be for the chop.
Trump may feel a sense of power is getting rid of undesirable people from the White House staff, but it comes with dangers.
Every sacked official becomes a potential enemy, and these people may well feature as witnesses for the prosecution if a Special Prosecutor is appointed to investigate the tangled Russian connections.
Sharing secrets with the Russians?
The big story today, May 16, has been revelations in the Washington Post that Trump in discussions with the Russian Ambassador, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, may have compromised US intelligence sources when talking about strategies for dealing with the Islamic State.
These talks were held at the White House last Wednesday, but the press was not allowed a briefing or a chance to ask questions.
According to the Washington Post Trump disclosed information that not even close allies like the Britain, France and Germany were aware of. Some intelligence experts believe that Russia cyber experts could trace back what the president told them to the sensitive sources of the material.
Not surprisingly, the White House is vigorously denying the story. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was at the meeting, said: At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.
This potentially damaging development comes hot on the heels of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. The president’s motives for that action are not clear. Initially the White House claimed it was because of Comey’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton emails issue prior to the election last year, but the media has ridiculed this idea.
The president later hinted that it had something to do with the FBI’s investigation of possible links between Trump and the Russians both before and after the election. Comey was said to be on the verge of asking for more resources to carry out the agency’s inquiry.
Justification for impeachment?
Not yet. The case against Trump for disclosing classified information is not proven. However, if evidence does show that the president has committed a crime such as breaching the Espionage Act, Trump could be impeached on the grounds of high crimes and misdemeanors.
With Comey off the scene many politicians are calling for a Special Prosecutor to be appointed to thoroughly examine the Russian connections, free of White House interference.
Back in 1973 Archibald Cox was appointed as Special Prosecutor to investigate the charges against Richard Nixon following the Watergate break-in. And we all know how that ended.
Donald J Trump lives to skate another day but the ice is getting very thin. The beginning of the end will come, when Republicans in Congress decide they’ve had enough.
This may be as a result of further proven revelations of potentially treasonable interactions with Russia.