FBI investigating Trump

The FBI is investigating potential dealings between Donald Trump's presidential campaign team and Moscow. The intelligence service's head also said that it has no information to support claims that Obama had Trump wiretapped during the election campaign. The scandal and Trump's handling of it have weakened his position and that of his administration, commentators observe, and warn that a constitutional crisis could lie ahead.

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Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Trump degrading America, not making it great

President Trump is a far cry from making good on his electoral promise to make America great again, Ilta-Sanomat observes:

“The investigation may last a long time and it is a waste of time to speculate over how it will end. In any case Trump's credibility has been compromised. ... The Trump-induced chaos has paralysed the US government. What's more, the administration lacks competent people in key posts because not all of Obama's staff have been replaced. ... This paralysis extends all the way to US foreign policy, which is drifting this way and that with no set course. In addition to Russia, other countries will find it difficult to resist the temptation to extend their zones of influence. In his election campaign Donald Trump said he wanted to make America great again. Within two months President Donald Trump has degraded the US.”

eldiario.es (ES) /

Trump using smoke and mirrors

Trump is using diversionary tactics to try to wriggle his way out of the debacle, eldiario.es observes:

“We all know that it is just a matter of time before the Russian connection of Donald Trump's campaign catches up with him, no matter how fast he tries to run. The current occupant of the White House seems to know this and has embarked on a marathon of lies full of confusion, post-truths and noise, casting himself as the victim of a cruel system with the sole objective of spreading the idea that everyone spies on everyone and that everyone has a lot to hide regarding how they finance their campaigns and how they obtain their election victories. … The show must go on in a way that makes it almost impossible to say with any certitude which part of it is real and has consequences, which part is fabricated and pure fiction, and which part is pure lies.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Why Moscow favoured the Republican

By getting himself into trouble with the FBI Trump has weakened more than just his own position and that of his administration, Handelsblatt comments:

“The president is the biggest disruptive element in the chaotic Republican troop that makes up the government. Trump himself drove [FBI chief] Comey to make his statement. In a nutshell: No, Obama did not wiretap Trump. Case dismissed. But what is far from settled is the suspicion that Trump's aides were in cahoots with Russian agents to defeat Hillary Clinton. The FBI investigation continues and could dog the White House for years to come. Even before the Congressional hearing Trump's approval ratings were at an all-time low. Now they will continue to drop. Never has a US president made himself so unpopular in such a short period of time. With each day that passes it becomes clearer why Russia backed the Republican in the election campaign and actively supported him with cyber attacks: Trump is weak - and he is weakening the West.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

US sliding towards constitutional crisis?

In his hearing before the House of Representatives committee FBI director James Comey made it clear that Trump's allegations against Obama were unsubstantiated. With this statement he came very close to saying that Trump was lying, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“This damages Trump's reputation and that of the office of president. In the worst case a permanent conflict between the White House and the intelligence services could lead to a constitutional crisis. It is not clear whether the Kremlin affair will have more consequences than the continuing decline of an already less than successful presidency. Comey's investigation may go on for months. … So far this is a political thriller without a smoking gun. But the scope of the ties [between Trump and Moscow] and the fact that the American side is lying right left and centre about them is fuelling distrust. And this distrust is hanging over the White House like a dark cloud.”