Time for a Mass Exodus from the Trump Administration

Time for a Mass Exodus from the Trump Administration July 17, 2018

Yesterday’s behavior at the summit with Putin in Helsinki really should be the final straw for Republicans. Will it be? I doubt it. In fact, I say categorically that it won’t. But I agree with Ruth Marcus that it’s time for a mass exodus from the Trump administration, for people to quit in droves and start talking about just how dangerously incompetent Trump is. Because if this is how he behaves in public, imagine how much worse it is in private.

Everyone who works for President Trump: Quit now. Save your souls. Save your honor, such as it is. Save your reputation, such as it remains. Russia attacked our democracy. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, and did so again with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, that he doesn’t care and won’t defend his country.

If you work for this man and you call yourself a patriot, it is time for you to go.

This may sound excessive, even irresponsible. Indeed, for months I have agonized over the question of public service in the age of Trump.

Of course, as a general matter, it is better to have more grown-ups around Trump, mitigating his worst impulses, providing wisdom born of experience to counter his ignorance and petulance.

But that assessment assumes facts not in evidence: that Trump is educable or containable. Actually, it contravenes the available evidence. There is none that Trump has done anything but what Trump wants to do. Monday’s news conference made that clear.

Dan Coats, Mike Pompeo, General Paul M. Nakasone (head of the NSA) and Christopher Wray should jointly announce their resignation and hold a press conference in which they lay out in specific detail all of the intelligence that Trump is ignoring (the intelligence that isn’t classified, that is) and exactly the threat he poses to our national security. If they honestly don’t see that threat, they are dangerously naive and ignorant themselves.

And it can’t just be people within the administration. It also has to be the Republicans in Congress who revolt. The Republican leadership of both chambers should hold a joint press conference in which they point out those same dangers of Trump in the White House and that they are going to run against Trump in the midterm elections, not for him. Then they should pass a number of bills that tie his hands with regard to Russia, that protect the Mueller investigation from his interference, and then start drawing up the impeachment papers.

Failing that, there is nothing that can stop him. It’s time for the real patriots to put the interests of the country over their party. If they don’t do that, they have shown their true colors, now and forever.

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