United States

May 19, 2017

Rundle: it’s Watergate on speed now

Not only is there the Comey issue, but added to Trump's troubles is a White House believed to be melting down in conflict and incompetence.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Well, time to hit ctrl-shift-F5, for the old Private Eye thing. “With phrases like ‘Watergate — come off it’, ‘Trump is fine’ we may have given the impression … this was an error in sub-editing … the story should gave read …”

Yeah well OK, now it’s like Watergate. Now it’s Watergate on speed. President Donald Trump’s deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein has appointed a special prosecutor, former FBI director Robert Mueller, to investigate links between Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Russian government. The move comes days after a Washington Post report suggesting that Trump had asked other former FBI director James Comey to “let go” the earlier investigation into Russian influence on the US election. “Flynn’s a good guy, let it go.”

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

25 thoughts on “Rundle: it’s Watergate on speed now

  1. form1planet

    Somebody on Twitter suggested that the standard ‘-gate’ suffix denoting a scandal should now be replaced with ‘-a-lago’. Fully concur, but I don’t even know what you would put before the suffix for this omnishambles.

    1. zut alors

      ‘mal-a-lago’ is an apt generalisation.

      1. tonysee

        Rush-a-go? [As in speed and that big, bad country east of Europe]

        1. tonysee

          D’oh! I meant Rush-a-lago.

          1. Dog's Breakfast

            The Hugo A-gogo-a-lago. Not that it’s even remotely relevant. That fiend from the Batfink cartoon was always such a good name for a villain, and adding another a-lago at the end just makes such a nice sound, mellifluous, even!

            First thing I thought of, anyways. Carry on.

    2. Mike Smith

      If you keep -gate, I want it to be Ritzgate. Because at least the Ritz is a hotel as well, and well,
      “Putin on The Ritz”

    3. John Newton

      Trump-a-lago has a ring to it.

    4. lykurgus

      I propose “Naco-a-lago”; “naco” is the Mexican word for “bogan”

  2. Saugoof

    That old American mantra that “anyone can be president” suddenly doesn’t sound like such a great idea anymore.

  3. Karen

    Everyone in Washington sees Trump as a liability now. The Russians are openly laughing. This government is cringeworthy and embarrassing apart from appalling. Why does not this ‘core’ group of poor white folk out in the sticks of America abandon this guy? They would have been creamed under the Trumpocare Act, had it not been for the Washington Republicans to water it down. Don’t this group realise that Trump doesn’t give a rats for them other than to use them for support when he goes on his weekly rallies? What an unbelievable farce.

    1. Saugoof

      They will eventually drop him. Once they realise that they were used, that those mid-western jobs are not magically coming back, that Trump was only ever in it for himself, once that happens they will turn against him. And they will turn on him hard!

      It’s easy to write those people off as a bunch of rednecks and bigots, partially because many of them are, but a large part truly held out hope that things would change for them and that a President Trump would make a difference to their miserable lifes. When you’re desperate, easy answers always sound good. Trump gave them all those easy answers but either had no interest in following through or what he promised was just flat-out impossible.

      Give it a year or two and his voters will lose patience and will no longer be satisfied with empty showmanship and promises.

      This is why I truly hope Trump will not be impeached. Impeachment lets him off easy. I want him to be around when people turn against him. I want people to realise that populism and demagoguery does not work. If Trump were impeached, those same people who voted for Trump will vote for a similar idiot next time around.

      Besides, if Trump was gone, the US would end up with an Pence administration. Pence is as vile as Trump, but more competent. He’d have a much better chance to push through some of the vile policies he has in store.

      1. Mike Smith

        Pence will be worse. But if you impeach Trump, why should Pence get the job? Pence is part of the same administration that you’re impeaching. They should both go.

        1. Saugoof

          Pence is a vile, but he’s not dumb. He’s one of the few people in the administration who has so far not had any suspicions about links to Russia or done anything improper that could be used to impeach him. I suspect that’s quite likely his plan anyway. Get Trump impeached and stay clean enough to become president.
          Pence will automatically become president if Trump goes. There is absolutely zero chance that both, Pence and Trump, will go at the same time. But if that were to happen then the speaker of the house (Paul Ryan) would be third in line. But this is simply not going to happen.

          1. lykurgus

            Nobody’s ever tried the Succession Act out; and its constitutionality is no sure thing.
            Nor does it have any provision for WHEN (not IF) the incumbent does this…

      2. Steve Hutchison

        I totally agree. Trump’s a disaster for the US but Pence would be so much worse. Hopefully the Democrats come to the same conclusion and save him.

    2. Charlie Chaplin

      His core isn’t poor white folks out in the sticks, Karen. The poor don’t vote in America: in many states they can’t, they were disenfranchised; in most cases, they don’t bother, they’ve been sold out too often by too many- first W Clinton, then B Obama .

      The breakdown of Trump voters after the election proved them to be the relatively affluent middle class- even college educated ones. Those with a little more to lose will vote for the status quo while ever it works for them ( or they can be convinced it does or will, which is why they supported Neoliberalism for more than 30 years) – and when it plainly doesn’t, they will turn against it hard – hence Trump, and here in Australia, Hansen.

      How do you reach the affluent middle class, who are actually oing pretty well, but are convinced they are going to lose the lot because they have been told so? Debt and deficit disaster; budget emergency; we spend more than we earn and must cut spending. They’ve also been told who’s to blame: immigrants taking their jobs/sponging of welfare; single mothers and “dole bludgers”; the “inefficient, non-competitive” public service and lazy, too powerful public servants .

      Thirty years of propaganda aimed at justifying deregulation, privatisation and austerity has caught up, because the anxious middle classes were listening and absorbed the message. How do you go about telling them it was all self-serving lies without admitting the lies if you are business or politicians? In short, you don’t: you just blame populists and the poor white trash you can claim voted for them.

      1. DanBIllin

        Very interesting take.

  4. klewso

    Trump thought “letting Flynn go” would be an end to all this?

  5. Pedantic, Balwyn

    Must be nice for Presidential staff to know that Trump will cut them adrift over the Russian or likely any other issue to save his own skin.

  6. Richard

    Jim Kavanagh over at CounterPunch has opined that Trump will only ever be impeached if 1) both the Dems and Repugs want him gone and thus far, Repugs are still onside.
    2) Israel want him gone.. The reveal that Israeli was the source of so called leaks, (concerning.. already talked about ‘laptop bombs’) is curious and the beat-up suggests a deeper motive of course. So deeply are they embedded in all Western governments and so slavishly are their interests served above others’ national interests, if the Israeli (Zionist) puppet masters say jump, Congress will be only to happy to grease up and bend over!
    I am no admirer of anything the orange crested one does, but thawing relationships with Russia has to be good for every living thing on this planet, even the Neo-Neocon warwhore pond scum.

  7. klewso

    “The question for many is what sort of outlandish action he would take as a distraction and delay of such procedures”? “Assange”?

  8. rhwombat

    Predictions: Trump will be forced to resign some time before the 2018 mid-terms, so that Pence can limit the damage to the Republican Senate. Trump will not be impeached, ’cause that would doom the Billionaire’s tax relief (which is now why the Repiglican Party exists.
    If the Democrats get both the Senate and the House (which I suspect they will, ’cause enough of the US that can be persuaded to vote will be sick of getting sneered at by the rest of the world for electing someone more stupid than Bush), Il Douche will get blamed for the entire disaster and be charged (and may still dangle from a 5th Avenue gibbet by his heels). If the Dems get less than a supermajority in the Senate in 2018, or if they can’t overcome the Repiglican House gerrymander, Pence pardons Trump and gets as much of billionaire donors’ agenda through as he can before Warren wins the 2020 Presidential election.
    The other possibility is that one of the Military/Financial/Rupertarian establishment factions dispenses with the Kabuki and stages a discrete coup – though that may already have happened and we haven’t yet noticed the people with their hands up the Orange Caligula’s rectum.

  9. AR

    Not that it matters a whit but Grundle the typo king strikes, yet again – “Trump had asked other former FBI director…“.
    There really is no good result that can emerge from the cloaca of this clusterfuck.
    If Trump goes, for health reasons – not excluding lead poisoning – it gives the world that bright eyed, clean cut, rabid god botherer Pence.
    If the 25th Amendment is invoked, due to demonstrable inability to form a coherent sentence then Pence becomes Prez and could well need to declare a National Emergency due to the Revolt of the Morons.
    A nice clean nuclear strike on Washington DC begins to look like the preferable option a’la Brigadier General Warren A Black in Lumet’s Fail Safe.
    Interesting times.

  10. Paddlefoot

    Trump will file for bankruptcy again. He’s good at it and comes up roses every time. No sweat there. Oh – except that he will be duding his Russian lenders this time. Maybe witness protection ?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details