I was mistaken when I wondered whether former Defense Secretary James Mattis would be the “last” grownup who could serve in the Donald Trump administration.
Mattis quit as defense chief, citing Trump’s impulsiveness and the profound differences the president and the defense secretary had on their view of the world. He planned to stay until the end of February; but then Trump showed him out at the end of 2018, declaring that he “essentially” fired Mattis.
More of grownups have emerged. They are FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
These three counter terrorism experts have contradicted the president on the threats posed to the world by the Islamic State and the North Koreans.
And yet the president insulted all of them collectively. He insulted the agencies they run. The president hurled insults at the professional men and women who work day and night protecting us from forces that seek to do us harm.
Wray, Haspel and Coats need to stay put. They need to protect us not just against foreign forces and enemies of the state, but also against the ignoramus who masquerades as the president of the United States.
Trump has denigrated Wray, Haspel and Coats in their assessment of the threats posed to this country. The president said ISIS has been defeated. He said North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat. He is wrong on both counts. The three intelligence experts said so, but Trump responded by calling them “naïve” and said they need to be “educated.”
No, they do not. The president of the United States has demonstrated yet again that he is unfit to hold the office to which he was elected.