President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump has found himself in boiling water with Liberals calling for his head by way of impeachment and the American people losing even more confidence in him after he gave away classified information to an American non-ally: Russia.
The situation is so stormy, conservatives are considering the Vice President, Mike Pence, as a better alternative to Trump.
One of his most vocal supporters and friend, Piers Morgan, has outlined Trump’s offences and how he can move on from them, if he’s going to save his presidency. These are the seven things we learnt from Piers’ article.
1 Trump’s second 100 days are off to a disastrous start
This has been the worst week of Donald Trump’s presidency.
And it may yet turn out to be a defining, disastrous one.
It erupted last Tuesday with the sudden, shocking firing of FBI director James Comey, and reached a chilling crescendo with last night’s bombshell New York Times report that Trump tried to make Comey stop the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Advisor, General Mike Flynn.
Make no mistake, if that claim is proven – and the White House vehemently denies it – then President Trump is in very serious trouble.
It would appear to represent a clear attempt to obstruct justice, and that would very likely constitute grounds for impeachment.
2. Trump put himself in this hot mess
Trump will doubtless be hurling blame left, right and centre for all the negative headlines in the past few days.
But I’m afraid he only has himself to blame after a series of spectacular missteps that have dragged him to a very dangerous precipice.
First, he should have fired Comey with more grace and political common sense.
The decision was correct after Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington.
But doing it the way Trump did it was unnecessarily savage and demeaning to a decent man who made mistakes.
This is not the Celebrity Apprentice; public humiliation is not a pre-requisite of ending someone’s lengthy career of outstanding service to his country.
Yet Comey found out his fate when news broke on TV screens behind him as he spoke to some of his FBI staff in Los Angeles.
He assumed it was a prank, but no, the joke was on him.
To rub salt into those gaping wounds, Trump accused Comey of being a ‘showboat’ and ‘grandstander’, two qualities that one might assume this particular President would see as virtues, not faults.
Even worse, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Comey had committed ‘atrocities’ with his actions over Hillary Clinton’s emails – a ridiculously inaccurate and offensive use of a word normally reserved for war crimes and human rights abuses.
All this was guaranteed to make Comey come out fighting, which he now has to devastating effect.
Trump’s second big mistake was to admit he fired Comey over ‘this Russia thing with Trump and Russia’.
That ‘Russia thing’ is the on-going FBI investigation into whether Trump’s campaign team colluded with the Russians to fix the US election.
Trump is perfectly entitled to view the ‘Russia thing’ as a ‘made up story’ as he put it in the same interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, particularly as there has been no evidence yet that any such collusion ever happened.
What he is NOT entitled to do is fire the FBI director simply because he is doing the job he is paid to do, even if that job is making life uncomfortable for the President.
By indicating the Russia investigation was indeed a reason for the firing, Trump also directly contradicted previous statements by his own White House staff and Vice President, Mike Pence – making them all look ridiculous.
This after having failed in the first place to give his PR team almost any warning of the storm to come then leaving them to flounder around, essentially making up a narrative as they went along.
No wonder it fell apart within a day.
3. Trump needs to take a class on optics
Trump’s third big mistake was the very next day to invite the Russian foreign minister and US ambassador to to a meeting in the Oval Office. The meeting may well have been on the schedule for a while, but that doesn’t matter. The optics were terrible and the meeting should have been postponed.
Trump’s fourth big mistake was to ban the US media from covering that meeting but allow Russian media to do so. This was a deliberate two fingers to the press he so loves to brand ‘Fake News!’ but again, the optics stank.
For a US President to offer favourable treatment to Russian media over his own American media for a meeting at the White House is completely unacceptable and deserved all the opprobrium it received.
4. Trump has a leaky mouth
Trump’s fifth big mistake was to then tell the Russian delegation classified information about an ISIS terror plot. Putin’s men are not a trusted ally, and should not be treated as such.
President Trump’s loose tongue with top-secret intelligence that had been passed to his government in strict confidence by the Israelis was not illegal but it was very ill-advised and a gift to his many enemies.
This, as they swiftly reminded us, was a man who spent most of his campaign screaming that Hillary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with classified information. Yet here he was casually handing it to an American foe like he was giving them a box of caviar.
As President he can declassify whatever intel he wants but to do so without checking with the agency that supplied it and balancing the offence caused to the country that provided it to the US and the danger in which it may have placed the life of their human source against the benefit of sharing with Russia was reckless, to say the least.
5. Trump might just be another president Nixon
All this, though, pales into relative insignificance compared to the sensational new claim that Trump asked Comey to drop an FBI investigation into General Flynn.
Comey made a detailed note of this extraordinary request in a contemporaneous memo he wrote immediately after a meeting on February 14 at the White House.
The ex FBI chief is apparently famed for covering his back in writing, and he shared this memo with FBI colleagues.
So there is a paper trail.
The timing of this was incredibly sensitive.
Flynn had just been fired for lying about conversations he had with Russians in which he inappropriately discussed sanctions.
But the FBI investigation continued and may yet lead to charges and a whole heap of damaging new headlines for the Trump administration.
Comey alleges that Trump said to him: ‘I hope you can let this go.’
Those seven damning words may come back to haunt the President, because they offer the first documented evidence that he may have directly tried to influence the Justice Department and FBI probe into inappropriate links between his team and Russia.
This couldn’t be more serious because obstruction of justice is a federal crime and that could trigger presidential impeachment as it did with Richard Nixon over Watergate.
Of course, it is important to state again that Trump denies Comey’s dynamite claim, and that there may be no way of proving it other than the memo.
So Trump may well survive a push for impeachment on the basis of a confused ‘he said, he said’ claim and counterclaim.
But I hope he doesn’t underestimate either the severity of this crisis, or his own role in it.
6. Trump is a bull in a china shop
He needs to get a grip fast on both his own erratic behaviour and that of those who work for him before it brings him down.
Donald Trump is a not a conventional politician and didn’t win the election by being one.
He is a brash, cocky billionaire business tycoon who plays by his own rules and sees himself as a people’s hero bull careering around the tired, elitist, intransigent Washington china shop.
But when you become President of the United States, there are certain rules you HAVE to play by, as he is now discovering.
Trump has grandiose plans to make America great again, and much of what he has been doing is worthy of praise, but he will never achieve his goals if the current incessant chaos continues to plague his presidency.
This past dreadful week should be the catalyst for a dramatic overhaul of his top team.
There are still people who want him to succeed and are prepared to accept that his frequent missteps are down to inexperience and naivety rather than plain craziness or corruption.
But if he wants to keep that goodwill much longer he has to admit to himself that he has a lot to learn.
7. Trump needs a better team
He must create a tighter, far more disciplined ship, and surround himself with experienced and, crucially, respected political operatives who know exactly what they are doing and have the ability to calm rather than worsen the constant storms that batter any White House administration.
Right now, he is seemingly surrounded by a bunch of headless chickens that have no idea how to put a brake on all this mayhem or how to exercise any form of control over their boss when he goes rogue.
Some, like his beleaguered press secretary Sean Spicer and advisor Kellyanne Conway have become objects of open mockery and derision.
Others, like supposed chief strategists Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, need to step up to the plate fast or get traded out of the White House, because strategy is being swamped by scandal.
My favourite TV drama was The West Wing.
Trump will never be a president in the style of Martin Sheen’s character Josiah Bartlet.
But he desperately needs his own Leo McGarry, CJ Cregg, Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler; razor-smart people with razor-smart political antenna, infused with basic honesty and the strength of character to stand up to him when he is about to make a big mistake.
And he needs to acquire the humility to listen to them.
In other words, President Trump needs people who can save him from himself. And he needs them fast.
This article was first published in The Daily Mail
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