If even a 10th of what Michael Wolff reports is true, we should really be worried.
The sole grounds for the hastily-made decision, Wolff reports, was the president’s anger at the rapidly expanding Russia investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia. Trump and his family were worried about what the FBI would find out about their finances — and wanted the investigation quashed. The final decision, on May 9, was made with virtually no input from his team; most of the West Wing staff reportedly found out about it from Fox News.
“In presidential annals,” Wolff writes, “the firing of FBI director James Comey may be the most consequential move ever made by a modern president acting entirely on his own.”
Wolff’s description of the Comey firing has gotten less media attention than some of the book’s more inflammatory nuggets, like the idea that Trump didn’t actually expect, or want, to win the 2016 election. But it illustrates perhaps the book’s most important takeaway: The way in which this White House makes major foreign policy and national security decisions is fundamentally broken, and the root cause is Donald Trump himself.
From bombing Syria to the surge in Afghanistan to the standoff with North Korea, Trump behaves largely as he did during the deliberations over whether to fire Comey: ignoring the facts of the situation, making decisions rooted principally in his own personal feelings or connections, then failing to understand the consequences of his actions even after they’ve been taken.