An already tense relationship between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to have deteriorated even further after a series of Trump tweets were launched this morning in attack of his once close ally Mr. Sessions. Maybe even more outrageous is his attack on longtime FBI agent and senior official (now acting director) Andrew McCabe. The increasingly untenable relationship with Sessions and the FBI appears to be on the brink of Sessions’ inevitable resignation (or firing) which raises the reasonable question: Why does President Trump have such little respect and regard for American law enforcement? In fact, cops around America should be outraged.
Let’s first be clear. Though the Attorney General is a political appointment, once he passes congressional approval, he sits at the top of the U.S. legal system. He is officially the head of the Department of Justice and is considered both the chief law enforcement office and chief lawyer for the United States government. But he is presumed to have independence in that role. Maybe even more so for the FBI.
Trump has made clear that he is still very upset by Sessions decision to recuse himself, which started a series of events that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the general election.
But by any bipartisan and legal measure, Sessions absolutely did the ethical and right thing by recusing himself from an investigation into a campaign in which he took an active part. This has been asserted not just by Trump critics, but also longtime allies like Rudy Giuliani, and new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramuci. This appears to be one of many sides to this unraveling story lost on President Trump.
Defenders of Donald Trump often point out that he is an outlier from Washington establishment, and his behavior often underlines his disruptive role and status in respected political norms. But let’s be clear; undermining of the authority of his own Attorney General and the Director and now the Acting Director of the FBI, should outrage any agent or police officer in the country. In the end, Trump is saying law enforcement in America can’t be trusted. No President in modern history has been so demeaning to the men and women in blue.
This is beyond “not normal,” it is unacceptable for anyone who believes in legal authority and independence for investigations, whomever the target might be.
Sure, Donald Trump has addressed rooms full of police chiefs and officers during his campaign and has done a number of photo ops with men dressed in blue. But those press events cannot obscure the outrageous manner in which he is treating not just individuals but the entities they represent.
While the politics of the “men in blue” have been more closely aligned with the “Make America Great Again” approach of this White House, one wonders how long that can last. Simply put, you can’t be pro-police and regularly insult the top law enforcement officials. This stuff trickles down and once Trump loses law enforcement support, he loses a critical and respected piece of America.
Colby Hall is the Managing Editor of Mediaite.com and is extremely proud to have family members who serve in New York’s finest. Follow him on Twitter @colbyhall.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.