Backgrounder: Trump's crisis-ridden, Russia-haunted presidency

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/5/19 13:54:37

Unconventionality has featured Donald Trump's presidency more than anything else. Ahead of his visit to the Middle East rather than to neighboring Canada or Mexico as his predecessors did on the first overseas trip, Trump has so far got bogged down in a barrage of Russia-related political crises.

The following lists three major high-profile events in this regard, which have triggered bitter backfire from both parties in the United States that some analysts say may lead to impeachment.


Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has kept hitting the headlines ever since Trump assumed presidency in January.

He stepped down in February soon after he was revealed to have improperly commented on Obama's sanctions on Russia with its US ambassador in a phone talk weeks before Trump's inauguration, and have misled Vice President Mike Pence about the details.

Flynn, the first senior official to leave the administration, was replaced by Herbert McMaster, but has nevertheless haunted Trump's presidency ever since.


Trump's mind-boggling sacking of James Comey, former FBI director, earlier this month has got him into hot water and bitter infighting within the party.

The president has been under scrutiny for allegedly asking Comey to pull the plug on the inquiry over Flynn's relations with Russia. Critics said Trump's sudden firing of Comey aimed to prevent any embarrassing information from getting out, which Trump has strongly denied.

But whatever the truth, the media frenzy may be pushing Republican lawmakers away from Trump in the lead-up to the 2018 mid-term elections. Jason Chaffetz, Republican chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to request access to Comey's notes in this regard, and was echoed by House Speaker Paul Rya.


There is more to the crisis. The Washington Post on Monday sparked a firestorm when it revealed that Trump shared sensitive intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a White House meeting last week.

This was the latest development in a string of allegations that the Trump administration is in bed with Russia, which the president vehemently denies.

US conservative media has noted that US presidents have broad legal authority to classify or declassify any intelligence they want to. Observers also noted that the White House routinely shared intelligence with other countries.

"At this point, the Republican Congress is trying to find a way to get to the bottom of the allegations about the ties between members of the Trump Administration and Russia," Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president and director of policy at the Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, told Xinhua.


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