Comey is Out; Now What?

A photo of former FBI Director James Comey.

Photo credit: Brookings Institution at Flickr Creative Commons.

As the saga surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey continues, the focus is shifting from the act itself and the possible reasons behind it to what is possibly an even more important question: What happens next? How will Trump and his team choose new leadership? And how can the FBI restore public faith in the organization?

Kendall Coffey, former US Attorney, has a few suggestions for the next FBI director.

“The profile that you need at this point is someone with solid law enforcement credentials, obviously bi-partisan…and some demonstrated independence. I think that person exists…somebody who the public respects and who will restore all credibility to the FBI,” Coffey adds.

In fact, the Trump administration has already begun interviewing and researching potential replacements. So far at least 11 potential candidates have come to media notice.

For example, Mick Rogers, a Michigan Republican and former FBI special agent, was recently endorsed by the FBI Agents Association. “Rogers’s unique and diverse experience will allow him to effectively lead the men and women of the bureau as we work to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats,” said FBIAA President Thomas O’Connor in a recent statement.

But Rogers isn’t the only potential candidate on the table. Two current lawmakers—Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina are also in the running.

Perhaps the most interesting candidate, however, is attorney Alice Fisher of the law firm Latham & Watkins, who was reportedly interviewed for the position last weekend. Fisher specializes in white-collar crime and internal investigations, and she was the Assistant Attorney General under President George W. Bush. If instated, Fisher would be the first female director of the FBI.

The future of the position is, of course, still up in the air. But the Trump administration is likely to move quickly in order to restore public faith in the FBI—not to mention the administration at large.

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Confusion Sets in As Conflicting Stories Emerge Amid Comey Firing

A cartoon illustration of an angry President Trump screaming, "You're fired!"

Image credit: Karen B. Jones / Shutterstock

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, White House representatives said that the decision was made based off the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In a memo that was sent to President Trump, Rosenstein went as far as to say that Comey had done “substantial damage” to the FBI’s reputation by mishandling the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Both Vice President Mike Pence and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer corroborated that President Trump was going off of the recommendation of Sessions and Rosenstein. And when Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if the president had already decided to fire Comey prior to the recommendation, she said no.

But in an interview with NBC on Thursday, President Trump gave an entirely different answer as to when—and why—he decided to fire Comey.

“I was going to fire regardless of the recommendation,” Trump stated.

It was that statement that sent the media into a whirlwind of confusion. First, White House officials said that Trump had made the decision based off the recommendation provided by Rosenstein and Sessions. Then, Trump said that he had already made the decision to fire Comey with or without their recommendation.

So which is it?

Of course, this isn’t the only inconsistency that’s taken place. White House officials also said that Comey had “lost the confidence” of his staff. But fill-in FBI Director Andrew McCabe said that Comey was a well-respected leader.

“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” McCabe said at an Intelligence Committee hearing. “I can confidently tell you that the vast majority of employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”

Later on, McCabe called the Trump-Russia probe a “highly significant investigation” which is in direct contrast to Huckabee Sanders’ comment about it being one of the “smallest things” the FBI has on their plate.

The whole debacle is shaping up to be one of the worst PR disasters the White House has even seen.

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“Cash Me Ousside” Girl Threatens to Sue Walmart

A photo of Walmart's website.

Photo credit: Gil C / Shutterstock

Just when you thought the “cash me ousside” girl’s 15 minutes of fame were over, the saga continues.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase, “cash me ousside” is a term coined by 14-year-old Danielle Bregoli. Bregoli became famous virtually overnight after she appeared on a controversial episode of the Dr. Phil show. It was during this episode that she used the phrase, “cash me ousside, how bout dah,” which translates to “Catch me outside, how about that.” The expression was used to challenge audience members to a fight.

Shortly after the episode aired, viewers took to social media to poke fun at Bregoli’s horrifically fake accent. “Cash me ousside” quickly became a catchphrase, and that’s the story behind how the 14-year-old became famous.

But now, Bregoli is threatening to sue Walmart for selling t-shirts and sweaters that bear the “cash me ousside, how bout dah” phrase. Business Insider reports that Walmart is selling a total of 15 items with the phrase written on them. The items are priced anywhere between $10.99-$30.99.

According to TMZ, Bregoli’s lawyers sent a letter to Walmart ordering the retailer to stop selling the merchandise immediately. Death and Taxes reports that several people have already filed trademarks for different versions of the phrase. However, it’s unclear as to whether Bregoli actually retains any legal rights herself.

In the mean time, Bregoli has been making quite a killing ever since she became famous. An earlier report from TMZ reveals that the young reality star earns anywhere from $30-$40k for meet and greets. She also now has a full team of bodyguards at her side, and apparently, a legal team as well.

A spokesperson from Walmart told TMZ that while the company hasn’t yet seen Bregoli’s letter, Walmart still “takes the claims seriously and will investigate.”

Stay tuned for further updates.

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The Danger of North Korea: A Case of Boy Who Cried Wolf

A military parade taking place in North Korea.

A North Korean military parade.
Photo credit: Astrelok / Shutterstock

Today, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. warned that tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are at an all-time low.

“The crisis on the Korean peninsula is real—the worst I’ve seen,” Harris stated. “There is some doubt within the intelligence community whether Kim Jong Un has that capability today or whether he will soon, but I have to assume he has it, the capability is real, and that he’s moving towards it.”

But despite grave warnings from top U.S. military officials, a significant portion of Americans remain unconcerned about the conflict. A recent poll conducted by AOL News revealed that 36% of Americans are not fearful about a North Korea attack at all.

Why?

Because this isn’t the first time that North Korea has threatened to “destroy” the United States. In the past 11 years alone, North Korea has carried out a total of five nuclear tests and war hasn’t broken out yet. On top of that, top government officials keep reassuring the public that North Korea doesn’t yet have the capacity to launch a nuclear warhead that could reach the U.S.

Key word: “yet.”

And that’s precisely the point that Harris is trying to make. He argues that North Korean nuclear warheads are not a matter of “if” but “when.”

“Kim Jong Un is making progress and all nations need to take this seriously because their missiles point in all directions,” Harris warned. “If left unchecked, they will match the capability of his hostile rhetoric.”

On top of that, reports are surfacing that the U.S. may not have the proper resources to defend against a nuclear attack. But despite all of this worrisome evidence, 36% Americans simply aren’t concerned because North Korea has made these types of threats in the past. Kim Jong Un has established a reputation for himself as being all bark, no bite.

But that’s precisely why he’s so dangerous. If Americans don’t start taking these threats seriously, they’ll be completely caught off guard and unprepared when North Korea does launch a strike. It’s a classic case of boy who cried wolf.

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How World War III Could Play Out

A computer generated image of a nuclear bomb explosion.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Over the past few months, the U.S. has had quite a few heated exchanges with North Korea and Russia. If peace is not restored soon, there’s a strong possibility that World War III could break out. If it does, this is what is likely to happen.

North Korea, having very few allies, would likely team up with Russia in a united front against the U.S. Even though China and North Korea are technically allies, China would likely not become involved only because they don’t want to risk severing any ties with the U.S.

With that being said, it’s not very likely that China would act on behalf of the U.S., either. Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “peaceful resolution” to the North Korea crisis. Overall, it’s looking like China doesn’t want to be involved, period.

But things get more complicated, because while North Korea may not have very many allies, that doesn’t mean Russia doesn’t. One of Russia’s biggest allies is India. These two countries have had a very strong relationship for the past 50 years. Both have collaborated on military missions before, so it’s likely that India would have Russia’s back.

But Russia is also allied with Iran and Syria, both of which are not huge fans of the U.S. So as of now, it’s looking like Russia, India, North Korea, Iran, and Syria would team up.

But the U.S. has some close allies too, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Israel, and the Philippines. And although the U.S. has bigger and stronger allies, there would still be a lot of bloodshed. Millions of people would die. Both sides would suffer.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said it best, “Multiple parties will lose and no one will win.” It would not be a pretty sight, that’s for sure.

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