A dark, disturbing view of the Trump presidency
As is the case with his former boss, former FBI Director James Comey, Andrew McCabe, the most recent former (Acting) FBI Director, writes with a keen and fastidious eye for detail that one would expect from a trained intelligence professional. He introduces himself to readers through offering them a comprehensive account of his long and distinguished tenure with the bureau that started as an FBI street agent in the New York Field Office. He explains that, over time, he gained a reputation for expertise in two particular areas of investigation that are of paramount importance this country’s national security; terrorism and counterterrorism, and Russian organized crime.
McCabe shares the fact that, under FBI Director Robert Mueller, he led the investigations of the Boston Marathon bombings, and a terrorist plot to bomb the New York City Subway system. During his tenure working for Comey, McCabe was tasked with spearheading the investigations into the Benghazi attack, the Clinton Foundation, and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during the time when she served as Secretary of State.
As he draws the reader deeper inside his career in the FBI, and his personal life, he also employs that amazing ability for sharp detail in shining a revealing light on the personal character of President Donald Trump. What his new tell-all book, “The Threat,” shows us is a president who is deeply flawed, and who is unlike any chief executive that America has ever seen before.
As the world knows, James Comey and Andrew MaCabe, both dedicated law enforcement professionals, were unceremoniously fired by President Trump. In both scenarios, it was done in a very public, abrupt, and vicious manner.
On March 16, 2018, a mere 26 hours before his scheduled retirement, and the commencement of his pension from the organization that he has served with loyalty and professionalism for over two decades, McCabe was terminated as Acting Director of the FBI by President Donald Trump. His termination resulted in him losing his retirement pension. On that day, Donald Trump celebrated with a cruel Twitter posting that read, “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.”
In addition to providing a fascinating look inside the upper echelon of the FBI, what leaps off the pages of this book is the deeply disturbing nature and personality of Trump himself. It exposes a very dark presidency that has McCabe comparing Trump, not as the 45th President of the United States, but as a Mob boss running a criminal enterprise right out of the Oval Office. And let’s face it, who is more qualified to render such an opinion than a man who has spent a long career investigating organized crime figures.
What McCabe’s book also shines a light on is his first-hand assessment of the President as a physically large and imposing man who projects a domineering and narcissistic personality that always has him amplifying his own version of the truth, and bullying listeners into agreeing with him completely. McCabe offers-up several chilling scenarios where he, and everyone else who comes in direct contact with the president, had to endure him force-feeding them his false narrative as part of some twisted personal loyalty ritual.
Although it often feels like it, “The Threat” is definitely not a work of fiction. Rather, at times, it is a sobering and scary account of a dysfunctional White House that is caught in a seemingly unending grip of total chaos and confusion that sees them operating with a glaring lack of real-world government experience and political expertise. Based on his first-hand experiences that bring you right into the Oval Office, the author pulls back the veil to show a Commander in Chief who is dangerously out of touch with reality, driven by an insatiable ego, and who is surrounded by a staff of frightened lackey’s and sycophants who feed that ego on a 24/7 basis.
In sharing is own personal and professional history, it becomes clear that, across the years, McCabe ran a tough gauntlet of demanding physical challenges, along with a rigorous vetting process, that includes deep perssonal background checks, polygraphs, financial investigation, and the educational and work references that the FBI employs in choosing those people who they believe have what it takes to be an agent.
As I made my way through the pages of Andrew McCabe’s look into what it take s to be an FBI agent, and his behind the scenes account of a President of the United States who appears to be out of touch with reality, I was gripped by the thought that Donald J. Trump would, on his very best day, simply never have been able to make the cut.
In my view, this is a very important book to read in what is indeed a crucial time in our nation’s history.
Paul Collins is a freelance writer from Southborough, Massachusetts.