[Weekly Review]| May 16, 2017, by Joe Kloc | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Trump held a meeting in the Oval Office with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, inviting one Russian photographer, but no U.S. journalists, to attend.

U.S. president Donald Trump, whose attention span NATO officials announced they will accommodate by limiting their speeches to four minutes, fired FBI director James Comey, who had been overseeing the FBI investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government. The president stated that he made the decision based on the recommendation of his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein; Rosenstein threatened to resign because he had never made any such recommendation; and Trump said that “regardless of recommendation” he was going to fire Comey because “Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”[1][2][3][4][5] Trump’s principal deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who once tweeted that “you’re losing” when “you are attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation,” said that “the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence” in Comey, and the acting director of the FBI told Congress that Huckabee’s statement was “not accurate” and that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI.”[6][7][8] Trump, who once tweeted without evidence that former president Barack Obama had carried out a “Nixon/Watergate” plot against him, tweeted that “James Comey better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.”[9][10] Trump held a meeting in the Oval Office with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, inviting one Russian photographer, but no U.S. journalists, to attend; a White house official said the Russians had “tricked” them into allowing the photographer in; and the photographer published a photo revealing that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak was also at the meeting, despite not being on the White House schedule, not being shown in any official White House photographs, and not being mentioned in any subsequent White House accounts of the meeting.[11][12][13][14][15][16] It was later reported that during the meeting Trump revealed “highly classified” information concerning the Islamic State to Kislyak, whom current and former U.S. intelligence officials have described as a top spy, and whom several Trump campaign surrogates and administration officials have falsely claimed not to have communicated with. Trump’s national-security adviser, H. R. McMaster, who took office after it was discovered that his predecessor, Michael Flynn, had lied about his communications with Kislyak, said that “the last place in the world” he wanted to be was with reporters.[17][18][19][20] One senior Trump aide said, “We all know how this looks,” while others hid from reporters in their offices, and a former KGB spy said he was “shaking” his head at “the incompetence” of the White House staff.[21] A German lawmaker said that if Trump shared classified information with “other governments at will” he would become “a security risk for the entire Western world”; a European intelligence official said that his country may stop sharing intelligence with the United States; Trump’s deputy national-security adviser, Dina Powell, said that reports about the president sharing classified information were “false”; a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry described the reports as “yet another fake”; and Trump, who once called for the execution of Edward Snowden because the former NSA contractor had “given serious information” to Russia, tweeted that he did in fact “share with Russia.”[22][23][24][25] A former U.S. intelligence official referred to the situation as a “nightmare,” and Public Policy Polling found that more Americans now support than oppose impeaching Trump, who once told a reporter that, when he isn’t having a nightmare, the content of his dreams is “always fucking.”[26][27][28]

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