Trump is in 'the worst mood of his presidency,' and reportedly spent Labor Day weekend calling friends to rant about Christopher Wray, the man he personally chose to lead the FBI.
With the Russia investigation closing in on the Oval Office and a growing number of Trump's allies facing legal troubles of their own, Trump is apparently feeling the heat — and he's aiming his fire straight at his own handpicked FBI director, Christopher Wray, who he reportedly blames for failing to sufficiently protect him.
According to NBC News, Trump has added Wray "to his list of key members of his administration whom he complains about," grouping him in with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and other top law enforcement officials he personally appointed to their respective positions.
Citing multiple sources familiar with the situation, NBC reports that Trump is in "the worst of mood of his presidency" and spent most of Labor Day weekend calling friends to complain about Sessions and Wray.
"Until now, the president has been cautious about publicly criticizing the person he appointed after firing former FBI Director James Comey," the report noted.
But that has changed as Trump has become increasingly frustrated that Wray and Sessions are not protecting him by stopping or obstructing the Russia probe.
Furthermore, NBC reports, Trump blames Wray for the FBI's hesitance to open its vaults to congressional Republicans looking for evidence to twist in an attempt to undermine the investigation or discredit special counsel Robert Mueller and his team.
"Trump has criticized Wray as another figure in the Justice Department who is not protecting his interests — and is possibly out to undermine his presidency," sources told NBC.
Trump personally selected Wray to lead the FBI after he fired Comey in May 2017. The circumstances of Comey's firing are currently being investigated as part of a wide ranging probe into potential obstruction of justice committed by Trump.
Among the factors that could weigh into a potential obstruction case is whether Trump demanded loyalty from Comey, as he appears to expect from Wray and other top law enforcement officials.
Trump's increasing hostility toward the man he chose as FBI director comes just after he publicly berated Sessions for letting the Justice Department do its job by indicting two Republican congressmen in unrelated cases.
In recent days, Trump has also repeatedly and publicly begged Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia probe, fire or prosecute Mueller, and launch investigations into his current and former political opponents.
More than a year and a half after taking office, Trump still seems to believe that it's the job of the Justice Department to protect him from facing consequences for his own behavior, and apparently to protect his political allies, too.
Sally Yates, who served as acting attorney general until Trump fired her for giving the White House sound legal advice, described Trump's rhetoric as "nothing short of an all out assault on the rule of law."
Of course, it's not hard to see why Trump would be trying so hard to undermine the rule of law. With his former campaign manager found guilty of eight federal crimes and his former fixer and personal attorney pleading guilty in a case that implicates him, Trump has a lot to fear from the law right now.
But instead of, say, not engaging in behavior that potentially violates the law, Trump has chosen to attack those he personally appointed to enforce it. This could end in many ways, but none of them are good for Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.