Pretty incredible stuff here from Phillip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Devlin Barrett and Robert Costa of the Washington Post:
At his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., Trump groused over Comey’s latest congressional testimony, which he thought was “strange,” and grew impatient with what he viewed as his sanctimony, according to White House officials. Comey, Trump figured, was using the Russia probe to become a martyr.
Back at work Monday morning in Washington, Trump told Vice President Pence and several senior aides — Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon and Donald F. McGahn, among others — that he was ready to move on Comey. First, though, he wanted to hear from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his trusted confidant who soon arrived at the White House for a pre-scheduled meeting with the president. He brought along the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, to whom Comey reported directly.
When the conversation shifted to concerns about the FBI, which both men outlined in detail, the president gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey.
This feels more like a mobster flick than what should happen in a stable Democracy. I find it almost funny that the president had to go to Sessions and Rosenstein justify the hit, as if they would lend more credibility to Comey's firing.
The Post also gives incite into the mood at the FBI right now, hours after their Director was terminated:
One intelligence official who works on Russian espionage matters said they were more determined than ever to pursue such cases. Another said Comey’s firing and the subsequent comments from the White House are attacks that won’t soon be forgotten. Trump had “essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI,” one official said. “I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind.”
Honestly - this could be the script for the next Martin Scorsese film.
The media explosion was immediate and the political backlash was swift, with criticism pouring in not only from Democrats, but also from some Republicans. Trump and some of his advisers did not fully anticipate the ferocious reaction — in fact, some wrongly assumed many Democrats would support the move because they had been critical of Comey in the past — and were unprepared to contain the fallout.
Well - OK - maybe it would be better served as some kind of Cohen Brothers-esque political farce. That Trump thought this move would be well received by Democrats either means that our president is completely delusional, or getting fed so much BS from his advisors that he can no longer see reality.
People spend a lot of time talking about how Trump is some kind of evil mastermind who wants nothing more than world domination, but the more we learn about how he conducts business, he comes off as a thuggish boar, acting on impulse and incapable of seeing more than two moves ahead on the political chessboard. There's so much more in the article, which reads like something between an episode of Veep and a horror film.
I'm not sure what scares me more, the Machiavellian tyrant or the destructive fool.