For just over a century, since America arrived as a major force on the global stage, we have feared that should our enemies defeat us, it would be on the battlefield or via a devastating nuclear onslaught. We never could have imagined that an enemy might take another approach altogether: infecting us with a presidential virus that is destroying our system from the top down.
It has happened to our justice system and to the balance of powers that is essential to how our democracy works. And this week, we have seen yet again how it is happening to the parts of our government responsible for protecting our national security.
In a single narrative spanning just a few days, we have seen yet again just how President Trump has, throughout his term of office, gutted our national security leadership structures like a fish and how devastating his actions have been. As we learned earlier this week, the president became angered when on Feb. 13, a senior official in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, Shelby Pierson, briefed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that Russian efforts were underway to again influence our elections and that again, the Russians were seeking to aid the Trump campaign. Trump lashed out at Pierson’s boss, acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, furious that Democrats might use this intelligence against him politically. Maguire was fired and replaced, on a temporary basis, by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.