Thursday, May 11, 2017


Here's another wild Trump story, this one from The New York Times:
Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief.

... The president ... turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.

Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense....

By Mr. Comey’s account, his answer to Mr. Trump’s initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said. Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty.

Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him “honesty” and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation.

But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be “honest loyalty.”

“You will have that,” Mr. Comey told his associates that he responded.
The FBI director is supposed to have a loyalty to the law, not to the president. So this conservation was, to put it mildly, not normal.

I think there's an obvious conclusion to be drawn from this: The president needs to pick a new FBI director. Isn't it inevitable that Trump is going to make the same demand of everyone he interviews for the job? And isn't it self-evident that pledging loyalty to Trump will be a necessary step to getting the appointment from him?

I hope senators will ask the appointee whether he or she was asked to pledge loyalty personally to Trump. I expect the appointee to lie -- but when we have a president who thinks everyone in the government personally works for him, and a majority in Congress that lets him get away with this, asking the question is the best we can do.

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