The onslaught of news from Washington D.C. took a serious turn on Tuesday when it was reported that President Donald Trump allegedly pressured former FBI Chief James Comey to drop the investigation into National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.
This, which comes on the heels of multiple other stories over the past week surrounding controversial incidents within the Trump administration, comes with possibly criminal implications.
If Comey testifies at a hearing scheduled for May 24, there’s a possibility that the President could even face charges of obstruction of justice.
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To sort through the deluge of information and find out exactly what this might mean for Trump, Simi Sara spoke to Global News Washington Bureau Chief Jackson Proskow on Wednesday.
Proskow says standing alone, the report doesn’t have positive implications, but combined with the other controversies from the White House it’s downright disastrous.
On Monday a report emerged claiming Trump disclosed highly-classified information to Russian diplomats, what would normally be the biggest news story of the week.
“Who would have thought that something could blow that story out of the water in less than 24 hours,” Proskow says. “And yet here we are.”
The quickly mounting controversy has created a chaotic atmosphere around the White House, Proskow says.
The Trump administration hasn’t made spokespeople available to speak about the issues, and congressional Republicans have been declining chances to defend Trump in television interviews.
Proskow says this is a sign of changing tides for President Trump.
“You kind of get the sense that for a good number of Republicans, this could be the point that things change drastically.”
He says those Republicans realize a controversy of this magnitude won’t just blow over like the others.
“This is as close to allegations of obstruction of justice as one can get.”
And it definitely isn’t a good look for President Trump, Proskow says.
“Add that to the fact that last week the president went on national TV and admitted that he fired James Comey because the FBI’s investigation into Trump ties with Russia was still ongoing.”
But it seems that pressure is being felt inside the White House as well, with reports coming out that Trump has begun turning on his close advisors.
“The president is surrounded by so much chaos that on day 117 of his administration he really has nothing to lose,” Proskow says. “There’s no reason to keep anybody around at this point.”
The problem, according to Proskow, is not his advisors but the President himself.
Proskow says it’s difficult to establish a clear message around the controversy, and when one is established Trump ends up contradicting it on Twitter anyway.
It results in a situation where the administration reacts to allegations like these with complete radio silence.
“At this point, it’s just lock down, hunker down, and just try to ride this one out, but I think that’s pretty much impossible,” Proskow says.
And with Trump leaving the country on his first international trip, Proskow says that messaging doesn’t look to get much clearer.
“This White House is going to struggle to control this message, and all the people who would do that are going to be overseas.”
With the allegation hearing scheduled for next Wednesday, while Trump is out of the country, Comey’s willingness to testify could decide the fate of the current administration.
With files from Tristan Martin-Woodhouse