Donald Trump and his administration huddled with the Republican congressional leadership at Camp David this weekend to discuss… at this point no one knows. Trump is no longer coherent enough to put together a sentence that anyone can understand, and the GOP Congress no longer appears to have any goal other than protecting Trump and Russia. So whatever the official cover story for this summit, it almost certainly wasn’t whatever was claimed. That was all but confirmed when Trump’s handpicked CIA Director Mike Pompeo surfaced at Camp David.
Most of Trump’s cabinet members were with him at Camp David, but there was no above-board reason for the Director of the CIA to have attended some kind of supposed legislative policy-driven summit between Trump and the Republican Congress. Whatever Pompeo was doing there, he wasn’t trying to hide his presence. In fact, when Trump led a surreal press conference about “Sloppy Steve” Bannon and his own mental stability, Pompeo was standing right beside him. This led to immediate questions, and theories, from experts.
It was Lawfare editor Benjamin Wittes who first tweeted “Dumb question, but what is the CIA Director doing at this presidential press conference? I’m no expert on the protocol for this kind of thing, but that’s not normal, right?” This led Ned Price, formerly of the CIA, to provide this explanation to Wittes: “Think it’s more appropriate to think of him as a POTUS confidante rather than DCIA. Also explains why the DNI isn’t there.” But there may be more to it, particularly when you consider who wasn’t there.
Donald Trump left his Attorney General Jeff Sessions at home while inviting nearly the entire rest of his cabinet. This isn’t shocking, as Sessions has recently fallen even more out of Trump’s favor than ever, largely due to ongoing hard feelings and controversy over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself in the Russia scandal. When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was supposedly on his way out, Trump floated CIA Director Mike Pompeo as a possible replacement. Now that Sessions is supposedly on his way out, suddenly Pompeo is there by Trump’s side at a summit where he has no business being. Something, as always, is afoot. It’s time to impeach.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report