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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Loyalty

“I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty! I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket.”  -- Lyndon B. Johnson



At the New York Times, Michael S. Schmdt reports on a January 27 dinner meeting between Trump and Comey:
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
 ...
By Mr. Comey’s account, his answer to Mr. Trump’s initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said. Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty.
Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him “honesty” and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation.
But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be “honest loyalty.”
“You will have that,” Mr. Comey told his associates he responded.
Peter Beinart at The Atlantic:
It’s not just that Trump has never worked in government. He’s never worked in a job devoted to a cause larger than self-enrichment or self-aggrandizement. He’s spent virtually his entire professional life in a family business where he sets the rules and where people answer to him. Note how promiscuously Trump’s uses the first person possessive: “my generals,” “my African-American.” Last spring, when journalists asked him who his Israeli advisors were, he wheeled out his Jewish lawyers. He sends his children on diplomatic missions, where they also hawk his products. He doesn’t really distinguish between public and private interest, between obeying the law and obeying him.
It’s telling that one of the people Trump complained to about Comey was Keith Schiller, his director of security. And that he sent Schiller to tell Comey he was fired. The Times and Post both suggest that Trump thought Schiller and Comey were in the same line of work. They were his cops. And by that standard, Comey was doing a terrible job.
As Conway admitted, the United States is currently led by a man who equates allegiance to the country with allegiance to him. As Americans learned this week, this mentality is a grave threat to American law enforcement. It’s only a matter of time until it threatens the American military too.