Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey: What's Exxon Got to Do With It?

Popular
Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey: What's Exxon Got to Do With It?
James Comey

By Andy Rowell

Washington, DC is still reeling Wednesday with the news that Donald Trump sacked FBI director James Comey.


Ostensibly, the White House is saying that Comey's firing is all about his botched investigation into Clinton's emails. But everyone knows that is not the truth.

As Politico reported, behind the sacking is an "an enraged Trump, fuming about Russia." Two Trump advisors told Politico that Trump was angry about the ongoing investigation by the FBI into links between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

The Trump line that the FBI Russian investigation has nothing to do with it is being ridiculed in the papers this morning.

As David Leonhardt stated bluntly in the New York Times, "The president of the United States is lying again … First, it's important to remember just how often Trump lies. Virtually whenever he finds it more convenient to tell a falsehood than to tell a truth, he chooses the falsehood."

So why fire Comey? A blistering editorial in the paper argued, "The president of the United States, who is no more above the law than any other citizen, has now decisively crippled the FBI's ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates."

The paper added, "By firing the FBI director, James Comey, late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump has cast grave doubt on the viability of any further investigation into what could be one of the biggest political scandals in the country's history."

The investigation could have had "potentially ruinous consequences for the administration." So Trump fired the man who could have been about to impeach him.

The timing is certainly interesting. As the Hill pointed out too, many people are questioning the timing of Comey's dismissal.

There may be other factors at play worth mentioning. Who is Trump meeting today in the White House? The president only has one publicly scheduled item later today and that is a meeting with Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia.

As the British Independent newspaper noted, "It will be impossible to separate the meeting from the unfolding political drama in Washington."

Before Lavrov meets Trump, he will hold a meeting with ex-Exxon boss and now Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

On the agenda are Ukraine, Syria and "bilateral issues," according to the State Department. It is the highest level meeting between Trump and the Russians since he took office.

Also co-incidentally or not, tomorrow Lavrov and Tillerson will travel to Alaska to attend the 10th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks.

The Arctic Council is an international forum that promotes cooperation among Arctic states and includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. Under President Obama's administration, the U.S. position focussed on climate change.

Working together on the Arctic is ideal to help thaw U.S.-Russian relations, according to some.

Indeed, according to the Council, the meeting "will convene to review and approve work completed under the two-year U.S. Chairmanship to improve sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic."

But those two years have passed. Obama may have championed environmental protection, but Trump does not. Obama wanted to preserve the Arctic. Trump does not. As the U.S. hands over the baton of responsibility at the Council to Finland, the old order is no more.

Trump wants better ties with Russia. In turn, Russia wants Exxon to help explore for oil. There is no doubt Exxon wants Russian oil. Exxon's old boss is now central to the Trump Administration. And by removing Comey at such a crucial time, Tillerson and Lavrov can work on some smoke-filled backroom deals, without the threat of the FBI looking at U.S.-Russian relations.

Of course, much of this is speculation and analysis of an unfolding political situation. The Arctic meeting may not have been on Trump's mind, but Russia certainly was. And we all need to keep a watching brief on this fast-moving story, because no one knows where it will end.

Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An oblique (left) and dorsal (right) photo of a female Pharohylaeus lactiferous. J.B. Dorey / Journal of Hymenoptera Research

Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Scientists believe sharks use bioluminescence to camouflage themselves. Jérôme Mallefet

Scientists have newly photographed three species of shark that can glow in the dark, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science last month.

Read More Show Less
A FedEx truck travels along Interstate 10 by the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm near Palm Springs, California on Feb. 27, 2019. Robert Alexander / Getty Images

FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.

Read More Show Less
Empty freeways, such as this one in LA, were a common sight during COVID-19 lockdowns in spring 2020. vlvart / Getty Images

Lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic had the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around seven percent, or 2.6 billion metric tons, in 2020.

Read More Show Less