Kavanaugh and 'Crazytown'
During the Nixon years, Treasury Secretary George Shultz refused to act on the president's behalf to politicize the IRS, and members of the Office of Management and Budget declined to cut funding to universities because they were led by opponents of the Vietnam war. H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, wrote in his diaries of instances where Nixon ordered things "that Haldeman just didn't do."
Listen below:
He said that his concern with the Trump White House now is that "you will have a purge."
Political strategist Mathew Littman and Emily Goodin of The Daily Mail talk about Washington's weird week, marked by hundreds arrested at the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Alex Jones on Capitol Hill and, of course, the anonymous op ed.
On the latest edition of Variety's "PopPolitics" on SiriusXM, presidential historian Tim Naftali says that what the op-ed and Bob Woodward's soon-to-be-published book show is that "There are people in the government that are trying to signal to the rest of us, 'We know that Donald Trump is a threat to the republic. We are there not because we want to enable him, but we want to contain him.'"
"The problem for Nixon is that he and Haldeman shared a similar ethical world view and there were things Haldeman should have prevented and he didn't," said Naftali, who is an associate professor at New York University and the former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
"PopPolitics," hosted by Variety's Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 p.m. It also is available on demand.” /> ET/11 a.m.-noon PT on SiriusXM's political channel POTUS.
"No one is advocating breaking the law, I am certainly not advocating it," he says "But there is an interesting moral debate going on whether people should stay in an administration they deeply disagree with, and if they feel that they are part of the line that will prevent that administration from engaging in unwise or unconstitutional acts," he says. "That is what this op ed raises. I am sure Americans will disagree on whether or not someone should stay in office, should stay in a government they so bitterly oppose."
WASHINGTON — The anonymous New York Times op-ed has few if any historic precedents: In real time, a senior administration official is sounding the alarm that the president is impetuous and irrational, and only those around him have restrained him from his worst impulses.
"There is certainly a precedent for public servants in a presidential administration working presidential actions that they in some way consider unconstitutional or in some way an abuse of power," Naftali says.
But there is historic precedent for subordinates ignoring or refusing presidential orders. The op-ed and Woodward's book suggest that there is a resistance within the administration working to restrain Trump's worst impulses, which manifests in the refusal of White House officials to carry out some of Trump's order and an anecdote in which Gary Cohn, who was Trump's chief economic adviser earlier this year, taking an order off Trump's desk that would have meant that the U.S. would exit from a trade deal with key ally South Korea.

The official said as a country, America has allowed Trump to dishonor the presidency and "we have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility."
John McCain's advice to rise above politics and put country first. To make a return to decent politics, the nation should ignore Trump's "tribalism trap" of extreme partisanship and media bashing, he wrote, and instead should heed late Sen.
The official said the root of the President's problems stems from his "amorality" and said he is a Republican in name only.
The official detailed the work he and his colleagues did to "thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." This op-ed comes a day after shocking details were revealed from journalist Bob Woodward's forthcoming book, describing the administration as a "nervous breakdown of the executive branch."
At worst, he has attacked them outright." "Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making," he wrote. "The president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” the official said his colleague once said. The colleague was complaining about an Oval Office meeting at which the President flip-flopped on a major policy decision he had made only a week before.
He goes on to criticize Trump's leadership style, which consists of off-topic rants and reckless decisions. Even when the administration succeeds, by the official's standards, with a more robust military and historic tax reform, be believes it is "despite — not because of" the President.
"There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans," he concluded.” />
A current senior official inside President Donald Trump's administration revealed that cabinet members once considered removing POTUS from office by invoking the 25th Amendment and more shocking insight in an anonymous New York Times op-ed on Wednesday.
While the rest of the administration wants to call out countries like Russia for meddling, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He also complained about the U.S. imposing sanctions on Moscow, according to the op-ed, and didn't want to engage in further confrontation with the country. When it comes to foreign policy, the official also condemned Trump's preference for "autocrats" like Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He wrote it was a "daily" occurrence for senior officials to express their disbelief at the president's behavior, and "most are working to insulate their operations from his whims." This echoes what former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn recounted to Woodward, saying that he used to take letters off Trump's desk to prevent him from rashly pulling out of important international agreements.
The official wrote that staffers, however, wanted to avoid a "constitutional crisis." "So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over," the official, who was referred to by "he" by the Times on Twitter, went on.