An enraged president stewing

The Times has the inside scoop on how it all went down inside Trump’s brain psychotic rage organ and the surrounding buildings.

The countdown to President Trump’s dismissal of James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, began last weekend with an enraged president stewing over Mr. Comey’s testimony to Congress last week, when he admitted to being “slightly nauseous” about doing anything to get Mr. Trump elected.

Mr. Trump, according to people close to the president, had been openly talking about firing Mr. Comey for at least a week. Despite the objections from some of his aides about the optics and the lack of an obvious successor, the grumbling evolved into a tentative plan as he angrily watched the Sunday news shows at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort.

I guess he thinks of underlings as more or less janitors, who are there to please him and if they stop doing that they gotta go.

By Monday, capping off months of festering grievances, Mr. Trump told people around him that he wanted Mr. Comey gone, repeatedly questioning Mr. Comey’s fitness for the job and telling aides there was “something wrong” with him, several people familiar with the discussions said.

I bet I know what’s wrong with him! He doesn’t kiss Trump’s bum enough.

At first, Mr. Trump, who is fond of vetting his decisions with a wide circle of staff members, advisers and friends, kept his thinking to a small circle, venting his anger to Vice President Mike Pence; the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II; and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who all told him they generally backed dismissing Mr. Comey.

Another early sounding board was Keith Schiller, Mr. Trump’s longtime director of security and now a member of the White House staff, who would later be tasked with delivering the manila envelope containing Mr. Comey’s letter of dismissal to F.B.I. Headquarters, an indication of just how personal the matter was to the president.

Wise counselors all, I’m sure.

Bannon advised delay, saying there would be less of a backlash if he waited. (Why would that be? More time would merely be more time for Trump to act like an unhinged greedy lunatic, so how would that help?) Anyway Trump was having none of it.

Mr. Trump was adamant, denouncing Mr. Comey’s conduct in both the Clinton and Russia investigations, and left aides on Monday with the impression that he planned to take action the next day.

He’s decisive! He’s bold! He’s strong! He’s resolute.

Ok he’s petulant and stubborn. Whatever.

Early Tuesday, he made his final decision, keeping many aides, including the president’s communications team and network of surrogates, in the dark until news of the firing leaked out late in the afternoon.

Ah that’s sweet. “Surprise!!” It must be fabulous working for him.

Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server — a justification that was rich in irony, White House officials acknowledged, considering that as recently as two weeks ago, the president appeared at a rally where he was serenaded with chants of “Lock her up!”

I wouldn’t call it irony, exactly. Shameless lying? Cynical brutality? Abusing our intelligence?

On Wednesday, the president and his staff had widened their criticism of Mr. Comey’s conduct on the Clinton inquiry to include a wider denunciation of his performance. “He wasn’t doing a good job,” Mr. Trump said, before entering a meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, early Wednesday. “Very simply, he was not doing a good job.”

How would he know? He has no idea what a good job is. He thinks it’s making money by whatever means come most readily to hand.

Yet even in his letter to Mr. Comey, the president mentioned the Russia inquiry, writing that “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.”

Jeffrey Toobin is emphatic on how utterly inappropriate that was if it happened. He’s also quite sure it didn’t happen as described. He’s also emphatic on how inappropriate it is for Trump to say it, whether it’s true or not.

And that reflected, White House aides said, what they conceded had been his obsession over the investigation Mr. Trump believes is threatening his larger agenda.

The hostility toward Mr. Comey in the West Wing in recent weeks was palpable, aides said, with advisers describing an almost ritualistic need to criticize the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation to assuage an anxious and angry president.

And that angry, anxious, obsessive president has access to the nukes.

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