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Sun May 21, 2017, 06:01 PM

A turning point

By Evan Osnos

... On Monday, the Washington Post revealed that Trump had shared .. classified material with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian Ambassador. Aides disputed the story ... Trump undermined them ... His response revealed a tenuous grasp of his situation. The critics weren’t disputing his rights; they were decrying his judgment ...

On Tuesday, Trump confronted ... reports of a memo by .. Comey alleging that the President had urged him to stop investigating Michael Flynn ... “I hope you can let this go,” Trump reportedly told Comey .. a potential obstruction of justice. On Wednesday, as the Dow sank nearly four hundred points, the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the rapidly expanding Russia investigation ...

The day after Robert Mueller’s appointment, Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican consultant and a Trump critic, urged the President’s aides to quit ... Some members of the Administration have a great deal to lose. Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, was among those sent out on Monday to deny that Trump had shared secrets with Russia. John Weaver, a Republican strategist, tweeted, “General McMaster spent decades defending this nation, earning his integrity and honor. Trump squandered it in less than twelve hours” ...

... Trump embarked on his first foreign trip ... Many Presidents in crisis savor .. escape to distant capitals and stately photo-ops, but Trump hates sleeping away from home, and he knows little about the complex issues and figures he will encounter. More to the point, less than an hour after Air Force One left for Riyadh, Washington was absorbing the latest astonishment: the Times had reported that Trump, in the meeting with Russian officials, called Comey “crazy, a real nut job,” adding that firing him had relieved a “great pressure.” The Washington Post added its own revelation: the F.B.I. is investigating a current senior White House official — “someone close to the President” — as a “significant person of interest” in the Russia case ...


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