A little more than a year and a half into his first term — and with the shadow of an obstruction of justice probe hanging over his head — President Donald Trump has fired or threatened most of the senior officials related to the Russia investigation.
The Washington Post published a rundown Thursday of each official and how Trump either gave them the ax or threatened them in some fashion, prompted in part by the president’s decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.
> President Trump says that although he has never obstructed justice in the Russia investigation, he does “fight back.”
> And, as of Wednesday, he had “fought back” against a majority of top officials involved in leading, overseeing or making administration decisions about that probe. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, of the more than a dozen officials with what could be construed as leadership roles in the investigation, more than half have been fired and/or threatened with official recourse.
Along with revoking Brennan’s security clearance, Trump produced a list of several more of his perceived enemies who remain under threat of the same treatment.
The Post notes that not every fired individual lost their as a direct result of action taken by Trump or in relation to the Russia investigation:
> FBI officials Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, for instance, were terminated by the bureau after highly critical inspector-general reports, and former acting attorney general Sally Yates refused to defend Trump’s travel ban in court.
Regardless, each were targeted by Trump, and three found themselves on the list of officials who could have their security clearances revoked at the whim of the president.
Here is the Post’s full rundown:
> Attorneys general
> Loretta E. Lynch: Has not been criticized by Trump for Russia investigation but has been for Clinton investigation
> Sally Yates (acting): Fired for refusing to defend Trump’s travel ban, security clearance threatened
> Jeff Sessions: Threatened with firing or being forced out via tweets and private comments
> Rod J. Rosenstein (acting for Russia investigation in light of Sessions’s recusal): Threatenedrepeatedly
> FBI director
> James B. Comey: Fired, security clearance threatened (despite apparently not having one)
> Andrew McCabe: Fired for issues unrelated to Russia probe (with Trump’s approval and after strong Trump criticisms), security clearance threatened
> Leading Russia probe
> Peter Strzok (as top FBI counterintelligence official): Fired for issues unrelated to Russia probe, security clearance threatened
> Robert S. Mueller III (as special counsel): Threatened with firing, which Trump reportedly attempted twice
> CIA director
> John Brennan: Security clearance revoked
> Mike Pompeo: Trump ally who later became secretary of state
> Director of national intelligence
> James R. Clapper Jr.: Security clearance threatened
> National security adviser
> Susan E. Rice: Security clearance threatened
> Michael Flynn: Fired for issues unrelated to Russia probe
> H.R. McMaster: While officially a resignation, Trump essentially fired McMaster in March after repeatedly publicly embarrassing him and a month after Trump bristled when McMaster said evidence of Russian interference was “incontrovertible"