Panetta: Trump operates by chaos

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta shares his thoughts about what might happen if President Trump were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Posted: Sep 23, 2018 11:55 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2018 12:13 PM

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta on Friday said the US has been "in a constitutional crisis" under Donald Trump's presidency.

Panetta, who also served as chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and secretary of defense in the Obama administration, had pointed to several recent actions by Trump that he considered erratic when he was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" if the US was headed toward a constitutional crisis.

"I frankly think that we have been in a constitutional crisis for a period of time," Panetta replied.

Panetta said Trump's decision to back away from his earlier demand for the "immediate declassification" of various documents and text messages related to the Russia investigation raises concerns.

"I see it as additional evidence of the kind of erratic behavior by this President," Panetta said, adding, "He's basically walking that decision backwards, and it creates the impression, very frankly, that the President doesn't really take the time to understand the decisions that he makes."

Trump sent two tweets on Friday stating that the Justice Department inspector general has been asked to review the documents on an expedited basis, while saying he still could ultimately decide to declassify the materials.

Regarding the bombshell revelation Friday afternoon from The New York Times that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had discussed wearing a "wire" to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, Panetta said it was "not a new story."

"The problem is that this President has been extremely critical of our law enforcement authorities," Panetta said. Trump has frequently railed against Rosenstein -- who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation -- and against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation.

Rosenstein denied the New York Times report Friday in two separate statements.

Asked if Trump should fire Rosenstein, Panetta cautioned, "He's got to think very carefully about the implications of taking actions here."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 125531

Reported Deaths: 2299
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32544966
Ramsey13430347
Dakota9321134
Anoka8154148
Stearns544336
Washington530567
Scott320934
Olmsted308929
St. Louis268963
Wright229614
Nobles216416
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Blue Earth19717
Carver17077
Rice15819
Kandiyohi15704
Sherburne156621
Mower149113
Winona119918
Lyon9286
Crow Wing91521
Waseca9119
Chisago8792
Benton8575
Beltrami7977
Otter Tail7726
Todd7323
Steele7242
Itasca68417
Nicollet68217
Freeborn6384
Morrison6296
Douglas6123
Martin58916
Le Sueur5855
McLeod5693
Watonwan5684
Goodhue51511
Pine5110
Becker5033
Polk5024
Isanti4953
Chippewa3973
Carlton3861
Dodge3660
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Wabasha3270
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Rock3011
Brown3003
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Murray2533
Redwood25011
Fillmore2380
Sibley2383
Renville23011
Faribault2130
Roseau1990
Jackson1981
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Swift1921
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Houston1811
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Wilkin1254
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Lake1050
Mahnomen971
Norman970
Grant904
Marshall881
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Red Lake592
Traverse530
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Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 108620

Reported Deaths: 1562
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18087283
Woodbury685392
Johnson566030
Black Hawk526596
Linn5114127
Dubuque476354
Scott410537
Story387418
Dallas331043
Pottawattamie299844
Sioux230414
Buena Vista220412
Marshall193736
Webster172814
Plymouth154426
Wapello147562
Clinton136926
Muscatine136158
Crawford132112
Cerro Gordo126323
Des Moines12409
Warren11596
Carroll10388
Jasper103034
Henry9865
Marion93510
Tama90737
Lee8819
Wright6951
Delaware6898
Dickinson6877
Boone6819
Mahaska63723
Bremer6239
Washington61111
Harrison5868
Jackson5393
Benton5211
Lyon5177
Louisa49415
Clay4884
Hamilton4513
Winneshiek4479
Winnebago44517
Hardin4315
Poweshiek43011
Kossuth4280
Floyd41811
Jones4133
Buchanan4033
Emmet40214
Cedar3935
Iowa3848
Franklin37518
Guthrie37215
Sac3694
Cherokee3682
Page3620
Clayton3533
Shelby3511
Butler3472
Fayette3462
Madison3442
Cass3402
Mills3391
Allamakee3358
Chickasaw3271
Clarke3163
Humboldt2993
Palo Alto2912
Hancock2864
Grundy2834
Calhoun2724
Howard2519
Osceola2480
Monroe24511
Mitchell2360
Monona2311
Taylor2252
Union2164
Pocahontas2112
Appanoose2063
Jefferson2031
Lucas1896
Fremont1821
Ida1792
Greene1740
Van Buren1622
Davis1584
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Keokuk1421
Audubon1341
Worth1300
Decatur1290
Wayne1123
Ringgold822
Adams700
Unassigned50
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