After President Obama's press conference, Joy Reid was asked to weigh in on what she heard, and she had a very different take than other observers. It was smart, but also scary.
Right out of the gate, Reid declared, "The thing that strikes me is the centrality of the FBI here. The FBI has been severely compromised by the episode and it's hard to understand how Jim Comey continues to operate."
Yes, it is. And as Reid points out, it's not simply with regard to how he handled the whole "we found extra emails on Huma Abedin's estranged husband's laptop" episode, either.
As she says, they also muddled the White House's messaging with regard to the Russian hacking into the DNC and elsewhere.
"We heard that the FBI did not have the full assessment and access to the intelligence yet they cast doubt on the conclusion that the CIA had come to the point that the Trump campaign was able to use the FBI's stated doubts that Russia was seeking to help Donald Trump to give the cloudiness that the Trump campaign used."
Right. By holding back their agreement on the CIA's assessment that there had been an intentional effort to tilt the election toward Trump, they gave the Trump folks one full week to spin the hacks away from them entirely.
She wrapped it up in a bow, saying, "The thing that frightens me is the institutions that were supposed to protect the American people are compromised, one being the FBI. Do americans trust the integrity and independence and the political independence of the Director right now and trust that now somebody who comes out after the damage has been done and after the Russian operation has been successful to then sign on to the conclusions that the CIA had come to?"
"I don't think that saves the FBI's integrity," she added.
The thing is, we're in a weird place right now. Because can you even imagine the person Trump would appoint to take Comey's place? We have arrived at the endpoint Republicans always wanted us to. Russians, too, for that matter. We are in a place where we cannot trust our institutions to function because Republicans have corrupted them, and we cannot trust our next President to uphold the Constitution, because he himself is corrupt.
We are in a dark place, indeed. But maybe there are some lights in the darkness. I'll keep looking.