The only thing holding Donald Trump back from axing the heads of the nation’s top two intelligence agencies is the upcoming election, according to Axios. Trump and his “inner circle” totally distrust both FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel and, if he wins reelection, they will reportedly be among the first to go.
In fact, Trump clearly has big plans to do some major house cleaning depending on the outcome of the election. Last week, he signed a “big deal” executive order that mostly flew under the radar and will make it much easier for him to oust career government officials. In Trump’s case, that means anyone who isn’t doing what he wants them to do and saying what he wants them to say will quickly be axed. The U.S. government will simply become a bureaucracy of loyalists willing to back whatever Trump’s latest horrific and inherently destructive policy is.
But the prospect of Trump ousting Wray and Haspel is especially telling. Haspel, in particular, has kept a fairly low profile and, in some cases, has even bent the intelligence to fit Trump’s delusional view of the world. But that apparently hasn’t been enough for Trump—he’s reportedly frustrated that Haspel has opposed the declassification of certain documents that supposedly could have provided fodder for Trump’s baseless allegations against his Democratic rival Joe Biden. And while Wray hasn’t exactly been a vision of defiance, he has resisted surrendering to Trump’s will on the issue of election security. In particular, he and other intelligence officials have sought to reassure Americans about the security of the upcoming election even as Trump has sought to entirely undermine voter confidence in the outcome.
If Trump wins, his ultimate goal will be to install two loyalists who will serve as willing participants in using the power of the intelligence agencies to go on whichever witch hunt Trump would like. His main goals at first will almost surely be trained domestically on rooting out individuals he either doesn’t like or considers a threat to his power base. In other words, yes, he will turn the full force of the federal government and its intelligence services on the American people. It would be the most classic of dictatorial moves to stamp out opposition, silence critics, and move to consolidate power as quickly as possible.
In fact, Trump’s latest disparagement of Attorney General Bill Barr for failing to deliver an October surprise based on an entirely fabricated investigation into Joe Biden has foreshadowed the extreme turn Trump plans to take if he emerges victorious. In Trump’s view, even Barr hasn’t been loyal enough and, if he won’t deliver, Trump is going to replace him with someone who will. Just imagine the degenerate Trump would hire to replace Barr, who has already spent his entire tenure destroying the legitimacy of the Justice Department as a fair and independent arbiter of justice.