SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

GOP lawmakers call for second special counsel

Skeptical of Mueller's investigation, a group of GOP lawmakers are calling for a special counsel to investigate the special counsel.

Posted: May 23, 2018 7:23 AM
Updated: May 23, 2018 7:23 AM

President Donald Trump is all in on pushing the idea, accurate or not, that the FBI may have inserted a spy into his campaign.

He teased it again Tuesday, on the odd occasion of a meeting with the South Korean President.

"A lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign," he said of the FBI he now leads, as his foreign counterpart looked on. "If they had spies in my campaign that would be a disgrace to this country. It would be very illegal."

The truth, which appears to be that the FBI spoke with a confidential source about his dealings with Trump campaign officials, requires some nuance. But as with his unfounded claims that then-President Barack Obama "wiretapped" his phones at Trump Tower, the President has taken a kernel of truth and contorted it into an all-out conspiracy theory of entrenched bureaucrats out to get him.

Some of his Cabinet secretaries are joining him. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that she was "unfamiliar" with the US intelligence community's repeated and unanimous assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election in an effort to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Trump's tortured relationship with his Department of Justice is the heart of the "deep state" fears he brought into the White House but it seems to have festered as morsels of information emerged about the methodical and apparently wide-reaching special counsel investigation into possible collusion with Russians by Trump campaign officials.

Trump has not been cowed into silence by the probe, but rather has lashed out on social media and during talks with reporters, calling the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller a "witch hunt."

If you put together the wiretapping allegation, the apparently failed demands of personal loyalty from people like former FBI Director James Comey and now the teased idea of a government spy infiltrating his campaign, you come away with the picture of an executive ready to uproot portions of government.

"You have a President who truly believes there is such a thing as a 'deep state,' the FBI is at the center of the deep state and is out to get him. There simply has been no evidence brought forth to support that," Bob Baer, a former CIA agent and a CNN analyst, said Monday.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump's spy theory "a major threat to the rule of law."

In attempting to protect himself from Mueller and erode trust in the special counsel and FBI with these outbursts, Trump has also declared war on the institutions of American government, inviting the public to question them in the same way he does.

It's working, too.

CNN's most recent polling, conducted in May, suggested Republicans were shifting more negative on the Mueller probe as the President turned his rhetorical fire against it.

And it's not just the Mueller probe that Americans, particularly Republicans, are beginning to doubt.

A Pew survey released in February showed the favorable view of the FBI among Republicans and Americans who lean Republican was down 10 percentage points -- from 65% to 55% -- in one year. Negative views of the FBI among that subset rose from 21% in 2017 to 36% in 2018. Democrats, meanwhile, view the FBI more favorably.

That's still a majority favorable view for the FBI in February. Trust in government more broadly is much lower, 18%, according to a Pew survey out in December.

Trump seizes on that distrust and fuels it with his "deep state" conspiracy rhetoric.

Trump has been fueling theories about conspiracies for years. When he didn't like Obama, he became a major backer of the silly but subversive idea that Obama was not born in the US and therefore not a legitimate president. Later, when Trump was the underdog to win the White House, he said over and over that the system was rigged, presumably so he could dispute the results if he lost.

But he won. When he didn't win the popular vote, he became adamant that millions of votes had been cast illegally, oddly working to cast doubt on the Rust Belt wave that swept him in. Frustrated by court decisions, he's called out the 9th Circuit and said the system is "broken and unfair." And now, faced with Mueller, he cries "witch hunt" and suggests a "deep state" within government was spying on him.

Trump does not trust the government he leads -- and if that wears off on people, it could end up being a legacy of his presidency.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 124439

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32336965
Ramsey13342347
Dakota9251133
Anoka8093148
Stearns537035
Washington525967
Scott318534
Olmsted307029
St. Louis264763
Wright227614
Nobles214016
Clay203243
Blue Earth19707
Carver16957
Rice15789
Sherburne156221
Kandiyohi15494
Mower148912
Winona118918
Lyon9256
Waseca9129
Crow Wing87921
Chisago8552
Benton8415
Beltrami7687
Otter Tail7436
Todd7232
Steele7212
Itasca67617
Nicollet67317
Freeborn6324
Morrison6076
Douglas6043
Martin58616
Le Sueur5855
McLeod5703
Watonwan5674
Goodhue51111
Pine5090
Polk4924
Becker4893
Isanti4873
Chippewa3793
Carlton3781
Dodge3620
Mille Lacs3528
Pipestone32616
Wabasha3230
Cass3115
Hubbard3092
Meeker3073
Brown2983
Rock2971
Unassigned26553
Yellow Medicine2655
Cottonwood2620
Redwood25011
Murray2483
Fillmore2380
Sibley2383
Renville22911
Faribault2090
Jackson1951
Roseau1930
Swift1921
Wadena1880
Kanabec18610
Houston1811
Stevens1681
Lincoln1650
Pennington1631
Koochiching1624
Aitkin1542
Pope1480
Big Stone1270
Wilkin1244
Lac qui Parle1232
Lake1030
Mahnomen941
Norman940
Grant894
Marshall871
Clearwater760
Red Lake602
Traverse530
Lake of the Woods421
Kittson270
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 107481

Reported Deaths: 1537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk17984282
Woodbury682088
Johnson563830
Black Hawk519196
Linn5047126
Dubuque467952
Scott404134
Story385317
Dallas329143
Pottawattamie295644
Sioux229712
Buena Vista220012
Marshall192636
Webster170014
Plymouth153925
Wapello147162
Clinton135525
Muscatine133958
Crawford130912
Cerro Gordo124923
Des Moines12139
Warren11496
Carroll10288
Jasper102034
Henry9785
Marion92410
Tama90037
Lee8719
Wright6871
Dickinson6847
Delaware6798
Boone6778
Mahaska61422
Bremer6128
Washington61011
Harrison5768
Jackson5283
Lyon5147
Benton5031
Louisa49115
Clay4844
Hamilton4433
Winnebago43716
Winneshiek4339
Hardin4285
Poweshiek42811
Kossuth4220
Floyd41511
Jones4113
Emmet39914
Buchanan3933
Cedar3855
Iowa3776
Franklin37318
Guthrie36914
Cherokee3652
Sac3643
Clayton3503
Page3470
Butler3442
Shelby3441
Madison3432
Fayette3412
Mills3361
Allamakee3278
Chickasaw3221
Clarke3123
Cass3052
Humboldt2913
Palo Alto2861
Hancock2814
Grundy2804
Calhoun2644
Osceola2480
Howard2479
Monroe23811
Mitchell2300
Monona2281
Taylor2202
Pocahontas2092
Union2094
Appanoose2013
Jefferson1901
Lucas1866
Fremont1781
Ida1772
Greene1730
Van Buren1572
Davis1554
Montgomery1555
Keokuk1401
Adair1331
Audubon1291
Decatur1290
Worth1270
Wayne1123
Ringgold822
Adams670
Unassigned190
Rochester
Overcast
31° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 34°
Albert Lea
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Austin
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Charles City
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 36°
Temps will rise before the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Partnership helps feed Minnesotans

Image

Covid-19 more deadly for cancer and heart patients

Image

Nursing students run a pop-up vaccine clinic

Image

Political rivals discuss bipartisanship

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Tuesday

Image

Bullying Prevention Month

Image

Mother speaks out after child's death

Image

Bus Safety Week

Image

Program Helps Victims Become Survivors

Image

New Debate Rules

Community Events