Wednesday, 7 June 2017

America into crisis

Something in Trump’s reaction disturbed Comey. “I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo,” he recalls in testimony prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The compulsion to record the conversation was fierce and immediate; Comey didn’t even wait to get back to his hotel. “I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting.” From then on, Comey began documenting all his meetings with Trump. “This had not been my practice in the past,” he says. “My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship,” Comey says. Trump would soon make that perfectly clear. “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” the president told his FBI director.

In subsequent meetings, Trump would ask Comey to “lift the cloud” Russia was casting over his presidency, to announce publicly that Trump was not being investigated, and to squelch the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s activities. In their final conversation, Trump asked for Comey’s cooperation, saying, “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” Comey says he did not know what “that thing” was. Shortly thereafter, Comey was fired.

Comey’s testimony is being parsed for evidence that Trump has obstructed justice, and thereby committed an impeachable offense. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin thinks the case is open and shut. “Comey's statement establishes obstruction of justice by Trump,” he writes. “Period.”

That is an important discussion to have, but I want to focus on the bigger, simpler picture. Donald Trump’s presidency has thrown America into crisis.

Elon Musk Quits Donald Trump

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said Thursday he would leave the president’s advisory boards over the Paris agreement withdrawal.
On Wednesday, as rumors of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord swirled, Musk said he was leaving the advisory councils over the move. On Thursday, after Trump announced the nation would indeed exit the agreement, Musk followed through on his promise:

Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017

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