RNC chairwoman: Comey deserved to be fired

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel brushes off Washington Post reporting that President Trump asked acting FBI director Andrew McCabe who he voted for in 2016, saying Trump was just making conversation.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 7:44 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 7:44 PM

Shortly after firing FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump brought then-acting Director Andrew McCabe to the White House for a meeting. He had a very important question for McCabe: Who did you vote for in the 2016 election?

That episode, recounted by The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday night, is just so damn telling about how Trump views the government -- and law enforcement in particular.

The most important thing to him is loyalty to him. Not loyalty to the Constitution. Or the law. Loyalty to him.

Trump views absolutely everything through this loyalty lens -- how he feels about you depends entirely on how loyal he believes you to be to him. This has been proven time and again in his interactions with everyone from Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon to Comey.

Which is why Trump needed to know where McCabe stood on him before he could properly evaluate his future job prospects. According to the Post, Trump also grilled McCabe on donations his wife, who was a candidate for state Senate, accepted from a political group affiliated with then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons.

It's also why Trump told Comey, during a meeting at the White House in January 2017, that "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."

Comey, according to the written testimony of the episode he submitted to Congress, recalls that he "didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner."

Trump's obsessive need for loyalty among those who work for him can be directly traced back to his years as a businessman in the private sector and his ongoing misunderstanding of how serving as president is different than being a successful person in the private sector.

In his past life, everyone in his company worked for him. They could be hired and fired by him if he didn't think they were doing a good enough job representing his interests. There was only one goal: To advance the Trump brand and make as much money as humanly possible.

The government is not a for-profit entity. Yes, the President of the United States is, technically, the head of the federal bureaucracy, but the loyalty of the employees of the government is, ultimately, to the people, and, in the broadest way, to the Constitution of the United States.

Federal workers actually take an oath. The words "President" and "Trump" are not mentioned. The pledge is to uphold and defend the Constitution.

If you work for the FBI -- as McCabe and Comey did for a very long time -- your loyalty is to the law first, second and last. That's how it should be, at least. And it's why both men, reportedly, were taken aback by Trump's loyalty pledge.

Attempts by Trump allies to downplay the oddness of the President's requests to McCabe and Comey are close to laughable. "I think it's just a conversation," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel told CNN's "New Day." "I don't think it intends, you know, all of these terrible things that people are trying to put forward."

Think of it this way: Your new boss calls you into his office. He immediately asks you if he can depend on you, if you are someone who is going to have his back. Would you think that was simply "a conversation"? Or would you think your boss wanted to make clear that his expectation was that he had your loyalty or else?

Right. Context matters. Which is why McDaniel's follow-up quote -- "I ask people who they vote for sometimes. I think it is just trying to get to know somebody." -- makes no sense. These loyalty pledges were in the context of what effectively was a job interview. Not a casual conversation.

Trump, who has never spent any time in government or law enforcement prior to winning the White House, seems to not understand the boundaries that past presidents have respected between the executive and some of the critical agencies -- like the FBI -- within the government.

Whether he doesn't know or doesn't care about those boundaries is largely meaningless since it produces the same result: A President of the United States who thinks that everyone in the federal bureaucracy must be loyal to him over being loyal to anything (and everything) else.

That is abnormal. Hugely so.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 601937

Reported Deaths: 9593
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion831111322
Lake44972678
Allen32498545
Hamilton29039315
St. Joseph27133380
Elkhart24291343
Vanderburgh19160246
Tippecanoe17799130
Johnson14871292
Porter14631167
Hendricks14188247
Madison10851219
Vigo10636178
Clark10520137
Monroe9299110
Delaware9055134
LaPorte8972160
Howard8134142
Kosciusko800382
Warrick665197
Hancock6575103
Bartholomew637999
Floyd6322109
Wayne6076161
Grant5937113
Dubois552578
Boone544967
Morgan530594
Henry503464
Marshall499884
Cass478663
Dearborn470745
Noble468357
Jackson420747
Shelby410781
Lawrence387478
Clinton370642
Gibson365559
DeKalb344264
Montgomery340754
Harrison340544
Knox333139
Miami317344
Steuben311545
Whitley301725
Wabash299747
Adams299035
Ripley296545
Putnam292049
Huntington288659
Jasper287634
White270340
Daviess266073
Jefferson257938
Fayette245148
Decatur244883
Greene238162
Posey236927
Wells233350
LaGrange226361
Scott221838
Clay220932
Randolph212148
Jennings195836
Sullivan190833
Spencer188019
Fountain182127
Washington182022
Starke174443
Jay166322
Owen162837
Fulton162330
Orange156333
Carroll155415
Rush153318
Perry151227
Vermillion147334
Franklin146933
Tipton130932
Parke13018
Pike115626
Blackford110522
Pulaski96137
Newton90521
Brown86833
Benton85910
Crawford7839
Martin72313
Warren6757
Switzerland6455
Union6227
Ohio4787
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 849704

Reported Deaths: 10518
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin100046706
Cuyahoga845231068
Hamilton63092447
Montgomery42660405
Summit34405754
Lucas31041611
Butler30546229
Stark25443429
Warren19436140
Lorain18767223
Mahoning17163337
Lake15882153
Clermont15697110
Delaware1422678
Licking13067137
Trumbull12680313
Fairfield1262180
Greene11915136
Medina11439167
Clark10802265
Wood10230158
Allen9774126
Portage9163107
Miami907373
Richland9035117
Marion7420113
Tuscarawas7280179
Columbiana7263124
Pickaway719550
Wayne6954169
Muskingum690741
Erie6090127
Hancock547590
Ross543487
Scioto533664
Geauga501155
Darke465591
Ashtabula449373
Lawrence447053
Union444928
Sandusky433062
Mercer432088
Huron423541
Seneca423465
Auglaize419662
Shelby419421
Jefferson415469
Belmont411240
Washington383340
Athens37379
Putnam372674
Madison349929
Knox347922
Ashland342538
Fulton335243
Defiance327782
Crawford319472
Preble318437
Brown307121
Logan304132
Ottawa289243
Clinton286643
Williams275866
Highland271818
Jackson261345
Guernsey249825
Champaign249328
Fayette234429
Morrow23014
Perry228318
Holmes222864
Henry216849
Hardin210133
Coshocton203521
Van Wert200545
Gallia194726
Wyandot193851
Pike172417
Adams172015
Hocking169824
Carroll153216
Paulding143221
Noble119940
Meigs106823
Monroe100331
Harrison87821
Morgan82229
Vinton68913
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