Ex-deputy FBI director describes how Trump behaves like the head of a 'classic criminal enterprise'
New reports suggest that the Justice Department is preparing for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government as early as next week. And no matter what new information that report reveals, the sheer scope of everything we know already about Trump and his allies' links to Russia, the number of conspirators indicted or convicted in the affair, and the extent to which Trump has gone to try to end the investigation is already enough to tarnish this administration in perpetuity.
Asked about his final impressions of the Russia scandal by MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on "Deadline: White House," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pulled no punches.
"As someone who prosecuted Russian organized crime, what does that conduct look like?" Wallace asked him.
"It looks terrible," said McCabe, who briefly served as acting director of the FBI after the president fired James Comey, and has opened up about his experiences in the Trump administration as he promotes his new tell-all book. "I think all Americans, wherever you stand or sit on the political spectrum, whether you supported this president or you don't, you voted for him or you didn't, put all that aside and just ask yourself, have we ever had an administration that had this volume of connections with our most considerable, our most formidable adversary, and gone to such extents to cover those connections up?"
"Why would the president try to potentially obstruct justice and negatively impact our investigation into Russia?" McCabe continued. "Why are his associates and the people around him and the people in his key positions lying about their contacts with Russians?"
"Did you ever investigate a mob organization where Uncle Sal and everybody told the same lie, but the person at the top didn't know about it?" Wallace pressed him.
"No," said McCabe. "This is classic criminal enterprise behavior, right? You have a strong leader who rules by force of will and personality who demands unquestioned loyalty from those people around him. That is an act of self-preservation — that leader knows that he's got to have that loyalty, he's got to be sure that people are on his side, if you're not on his side you're against him, and if you don't have that, it's a threat to his very existence ... those are some of the same traits that I saw interacting with the president and the folks in his administration."
"This is classic criminal enterprise behavior. You have a strong leader who rules by force of will and personality… https://t.co/dMCumb56k9— Deadline White House (@Deadline White House)1550702705.0