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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: 710607

Reported Deaths: 13248
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion968581722
Lake51908949
Allen39337672
Hamilton34643406
St. Joseph34306543
Elkhart27477432
Vanderburgh22099394
Tippecanoe21927213
Porter17987301
Johnson17571374
Hendricks16854310
Clark12715190
Madison12367337
Vigo12240244
Monroe11510166
LaPorte11204204
Delaware10382184
Howard9698211
Kosciusko9165114
Hancock8014139
Bartholomew7913155
Warrick7702155
Floyd7568176
Wayne6917198
Grant6855171
Boone6568100
Morgan6414138
Dubois6091117
Marshall5801109
Dearborn571276
Cass5698104
Henry5588101
Noble543683
Jackson494172
Shelby481395
Lawrence4349118
Gibson429589
Harrison429171
Clinton420953
Montgomery418986
DeKalb413284
Whitley382239
Huntington379780
Miami373365
Knox367189
Steuben367157
Putnam353460
Jasper352546
Wabash348178
Adams338253
Ripley335469
Jefferson318080
White308854
Daviess289999
Wells286881
Decatur279592
Fayette277362
Greene271085
Posey269533
Scott261553
Clay255445
LaGrange255470
Randolph236080
Washington231631
Spencer228131
Jennings225448
Fountain209345
Sullivan208042
Starke206252
Owen192756
Fulton192140
Jay186429
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178353
Rush170824
Vermillion166343
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford133931
Pike130734
Pulaski114345
Newton104234
Brown100740
Crawford97914
Benton97413
Martin83115
Warren80215
Switzerland7698
Union70110
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1058395

Reported Deaths: 19033
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1229981360
Cuyahoga1080042072
Hamilton785031170
Montgomery50326998
Summit45710915
Lucas40568768
Butler37858572
Stark31586896
Lorain24333473
Warren23964293
Mahoning21029584
Lake20143365
Clermont19480229
Delaware18162130
Licking16185207
Fairfield15796197
Trumbull15666461
Medina14961259
Greene14765236
Clark13697293
Wood12828185
Portage12481196
Allen11374229
Richland11102198
Miami10568214
Muskingum8729127
Wayne8619209
Columbiana8589226
Pickaway8454121
Marion8409135
Tuscarawas8393240
Erie7644154
Hancock6746124
Ross6727146
Ashtabula6563166
Geauga6563146
Scioto6314101
Belmont5657159
Union560247
Lawrence5483102
Jefferson5372149
Huron5333114
Darke5285121
Sandusky5208120
Seneca5163120
Washington5095108
Athens509256
Auglaize477683
Mercer473785
Shelby458092
Knox4418108
Madison426559
Putnam423199
Ashland414488
Fulton411667
Defiance405596
Crawford3894102
Brown387755
Logan375176
Preble372498
Clinton364060
Ottawa359578
Highland348460
Williams330074
Champaign322357
Jackson309351
Guernsey308749
Perry290949
Fayette278448
Morrow277239
Hardin265964
Henry265066
Coshocton261058
Holmes255199
Van Wert239863
Pike234231
Gallia233346
Adams230252
Wyandot228354
Hocking210759
Carroll189747
Paulding169239
Meigs141738
Noble133037
Monroe129041
Morgan107723
Harrison105936
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
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