Although the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in our most recent presidential election and possible Trump team cooperation with that interference is ongoing, one thing has so far become clear — the president is not interested in either cooperating with or helping the investigation along.
He has taken steps drastic enough in an apparent effort to undercut the Russia investigation that he’s attracted credible allegations of obstruction of justice, allegations that Mueller is widely understood to be investigating. The actions prompting such allegations on the part of the president include his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey last year and his alleged efforts to get Comey to curtail the Russia investigation while he was still on the job.
Now, FBI Director Christopher Wray — who replaced Comey — has provided a disturbing view of the behind the scenes aspects to Trump’s disregard of the seriousness of the Russia scandal.
Besides his efforts to undercut the actively undercut the portion of the Russia investigation that questions whether or not his team was involved in Vladimir Putin’s meddling, the president has also refused to acknowledge the actual problem of Russian election meddling itself, apart from questions of whether or not his team helped any such meddling.
You’d think that if the president and his team members were truly innocent that they would seek to address the real issue of Russian election meddling that had roped them in, but that’s not what’s going on. Instead, the president has routinely sought to elevate Putin’s denials of election meddling and downplay assertions from U.S. intelligence agencies that he’s lying when he denies that his country hacked the Democratic National Committee, among other nefarious activities.
In light of these issues, Rhode Island’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jack Reed asked Wray on Tuesday during a Congressional hearing:
‘Has the president directed you and your agency to take specific actions to confront and blunt Russian influence activities that are ongoing?’
Wray responded by commenting that his agency is “taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt Russian efforts,” before being countered by Reed, who pressed him again on whether or not he was taking those steps at the direction of the president.
Wray responded that no, the actions his agency has been taking to confront Russian election meddling efforts have not been taken at the direction of the president.
Check out the video below.
Sen. Reed: “Has the president directed you and your agency to take specific actions to confront and blunt Russian influence activities?”
FBI Director Wray: “Not as specifically directed by the president.” pic.twitter.com/agGhVa843e
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 13, 2018
This isn’t the first indication we’ve had that even if the some in government are attempting to address Russian election meddling efforts, the president is doing no such thing.
Just recently, during an appearance on MSNBC, Joe Biden, our most recent former vice president, spoke about the fact that there has not yet even, apparently, been a single interagency meeting to address Russian election interference efforts.
Through all of this, the president’s actions are tied together by his distinctly un-American disdain for our systems of law and order. He’s expressed this disdain both through endless verbal attacks on government entities like the FBI and through such means as the recent declassifying of a biased memo produced by GOP House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes alleging abuses of power at the FBI perpetrated against the Trump team.
These alleged abuses of power have been touted by the Trump team as evidence that the whole Russia investigation is supposedly a sham, but on a very basic level, the issues covered aren’t the extent of the investigation.
Wray himself played a part in the controversy surrounding that memo, having expressed opposition to its release.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video