Every public official pledges an oath to uphold the Constitution. Still, according to a new book, President Donald Trump demanded an extra level of loyalty that put him above the United States, Axios reported Sunday.
According to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, Trump offered the FBI director position to Gen. John Kelly, who ended up serving as his chief of staff.
“Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump,” says the new book, Donald Trump v. The United States.
“In addition to illustrating how Trump viewed the role and independence of senior officials who work for him, the president’s demand for loyalty tracked with Comey’s experience with Trump,” wrote Schmidt.
Kelly was frequently struck by the fact that Trump didn’t understand that people that serve in government are loyal to the United States first and foremost.
“Kelly has told others that Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do,” the book recalls. “Aside from questions of the law, Kelly has told others that one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO — a move that Trump has repeatedly threatened but never made good on, which would have been a seismic breach of American alliances and an extraordinary gift to Putin.”
Kelly describes “saying no to Trump” as being like “French-kissing a chainsaw.”
The book explains that Trump wanted to prosecute former Sec. Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey. Former White House counsel Don McGahn detailed in a memo why that was a terrible idea. At the time, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was the attorney general, and Bill Barr has now taken over. However, even taking over the Justice Department, Barr has not gone after Clinton nor has he invented any evidence against former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden to arrest them. There is still time before the election in November, but accusations and threats have only proved to be bluster from the president.