President Donald Trump’s obsession with loyalty resulted in him not picking retired General John Kelly as the new FBI Director because he would be loyal to the Constitution instead of him.
At least that’s what a new book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt alleges according to Axios.
When government officials take office, they recite an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend it. That’s especially true of military officers.
That’s one reason why Trump could have a difficult time staying in power if he loses in November and refuses to leave office. The military would salute the new duly elected president and would likely drag Trump out of the White House kicking and screaming.
And so, when it came to selecting a new FBI director, Trump chose Christopher Wray instead of Kelly because Trump didn’t like that Kelly would be loyal to Constitution and country.
Trump wanted someone who would be more loyal to him.
“Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump,” Schmidt wrote in his book, Donald Trump v. The United States. “In addition to illustrating how Trump viewed the role and independence of senior officials who work for him, the president’s demand for loyalty tracked with Comey’s experience with Trump.”
Indeed, former FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly said that Trump demanded absolute loyalty to himself even though government officials like the FBI director and Attorney General are supposed to be loyal to the Constitution and the country.
The book then goes on to describe how Kelly had to frequently stop Trump from going full dictator.
Kelly has told others that Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do. Aside from questions of the law, Kelly has told others that one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO — a move that Trump has repeatedly threatened but never made good on, which would have been a seismic breach of American alliances and an extraordinary gift to Putin.
This is yet another sobering example of how Trump feels about the Constitution and democracy. He wants government officials to be loyal to him and him alone at the expense of the rule of law and our country.
Our government cannot be for the people if our officials are required to be loyal to Trump. That’s how dictators arise. Officials should only pledge an oath to the Constitution, not the president. And that’s why Trump needs to be ousted from office in November.
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