It’s not that there was ever a time in which Donald Trump’s angry ranting represented anything close to a rational perspective or coherent thought. But now that intel has leaked alleging that Russia has blackmail videotapes of Trump engaging in urine fetish with prostitutes, he’s gone off the deep end in a manner which is almost indescribable. He can’t stop talking about the scandal, making it even bigger. And now, in a move which threatens to destabilize his administration from the outset, he’s randomly accusing the CIA Director of having somehow been behind the entire thing.
It’s been well established that the intel report in question was written by a respected former British MI6 intelligence agent. It’s also been established that Senator John McCain retrieved the report last month from an overseas contact and turned it over to the FBI, which shared it with the other U.S. intel agencies, who collectively decided that both President Obama and Donald Trump needed to be briefed on its existence. What’s not as clear is just who gave a copy of it to BuzzFeed, which published it. But it passed through so many hands in so many agencies and nations that it was bound to inevitably leak out.
Don’t tell that to Donald Trump, however. He was apparently watching Fox News this evening and heard that CIA Director John Brennan had said Trump was underestimating the Russian threat. In a semi coherent tweet, Trump blasted Brennan and then asked, “Was this the leaker of Fake News?” Based on his obsession with referring to the entire Russian pee pee scandal as “fake news,” it’s clear Trump is accusing the head of the CIA — presumably without any evidence at all — of leaking the MI6 report.
Although John Brennan is set to retire and will never have to work under Donald Trump, the decision by Trump to publicly and falsely accuse the CIA Director of leaking this intel is likely to have lasting reverberations. Who within the CIA, after seeing Trump do that to their outgoing longtime boss, will trust him or cooperate with him?
It sets up a situation where Trump and the CIA may be unable to work with each other at all. And it raises the question of whether the CIA might end up continuing its Trump-Russia investigations behind his back, until it can find enough dirt to take him down. This is seemingly not a fight Trump can win.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report