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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: 60898

Reported Deaths: 1698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19271835
Ramsey7572265
Dakota4414106
Anoka3683114
Stearns289320
Washington212845
Nobles17646
Olmsted173223
Scott155919
Mower11012
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Blue Earth9185
Wright8845
Carver8613
Clay78440
Sherburne7238
Kandiyohi6961
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Todd4262
Lyon4253
Freeborn3591
Steele3482
Nicollet33713
Benton3203
Watonwan3080
Winona26116
Beltrami2400
Crow Wing23514
Le Sueur2201
Martin2075
Chisago2011
Goodhue1969
Otter Tail1943
McLeod1810
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Becker1571
Pipestone1579
Polk1534
Waseca1480
Itasca14712
Douglas1441
Carlton1370
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Swift531
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Houston420
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Norman400
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Wilkin343
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Marshall290
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Wadena270
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle70
Cook50
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 48781

Reported Deaths: 929
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10309207
Woodbury371952
Black Hawk312766
Linn237588
Johnson209619
Dallas188535
Buena Vista179412
Scott171814
Dubuque167631
Marshall144426
Pottawattamie132526
Story116614
Wapello90033
Muscatine84748
Webster8017
Crawford7283
Sioux6343
Cerro Gordo62517
Warren5641
Tama55129
Jasper47826
Wright4721
Plymouth4629
Clinton3973
Dickinson3814
Louisa37814
Washington29810
Boone2583
Hamilton2461
Franklin24110
Bremer2267
Clarke2013
Carroll1921
Emmet1924
Clay1901
Shelby1841
Hardin1810
Des Moines1792
Marion1730
Poweshiek1598
Benton1561
Jackson1561
Allamakee1554
Floyd1552
Mahaska13917
Cedar1331
Guthrie1325
Jones1302
Buchanan1271
Henry1254
Hancock1222
Butler1212
Madison1212
Pocahontas1152
Lee1143
Lyon1132
Delaware1121
Humboldt1111
Cherokee1081
Harrison1071
Clayton1043
Taylor980
Iowa971
Winneshiek971
Page940
Kossuth910
Monona910
Mills890
Sac850
Jefferson840
Palo Alto840
Winnebago840
Calhoun832
Osceola830
Fayette820
Grundy791
Mitchell780
Union771
Cass741
Monroe737
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Davis572
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Appanoose493
Howard490
Fremont420
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Keokuk351
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Ida290
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Wayne191
Adams160
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