Panetta: Trump operates by chaos

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta shares his thoughts about what might happen if President Trump were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Posted: Sep 23, 2018 12:57 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2018 1:13 PM

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta on Friday said the US has been "in a constitutional crisis" under Donald Trump's presidency.

Panetta, who also served as chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and secretary of defense in the Obama administration, had pointed to several recent actions by Trump that he considered erratic when he was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" if the US was headed toward a constitutional crisis.

"I frankly think that we have been in a constitutional crisis for a period of time," Panetta replied.

Panetta said Trump's decision to back away from his earlier demand for the "immediate declassification" of various documents and text messages related to the Russia investigation raises concerns.

"I see it as additional evidence of the kind of erratic behavior by this President," Panetta said, adding, "He's basically walking that decision backwards, and it creates the impression, very frankly, that the President doesn't really take the time to understand the decisions that he makes."

Trump sent two tweets on Friday stating that the Justice Department inspector general has been asked to review the documents on an expedited basis, while saying he still could ultimately decide to declassify the materials.

Regarding the bombshell revelation Friday afternoon from The New York Times that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had discussed wearing a "wire" to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, Panetta said it was "not a new story."

"The problem is that this President has been extremely critical of our law enforcement authorities," Panetta said. Trump has frequently railed against Rosenstein -- who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation -- and against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation.

Rosenstein denied the New York Times report Friday in two separate statements.

Asked if Trump should fire Rosenstein, Panetta cautioned, "He's got to think very carefully about the implications of taking actions here."

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 17°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 18°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 18°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 17°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 18°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 18°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 18°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 18°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 18°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 19°
A very cold morning followed by a cloudy and cold afternoon
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1130719

Reported Deaths: 17736
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1468762242
Lake732391255
Allen68004883
Hamilton51739488
St. Joseph50459650
Elkhart40619547
Vanderburgh34963497
Tippecanoe31212276
Johnson27963467
Hendricks26585385
Porter25969387
Madison21318457
Clark20392279
Vigo19244309
LaPorte17405261
Delaware17004303
Howard16942315
Monroe16794220
Kosciusko14447167
Hancock13259186
Bartholomew13180191
Warrick12320190
Wayne12200269
Grant12181247
Floyd12096226
Morgan10552192
Boone9966124
Noble9429123
Marshall9295147
Henry9268169
Dearborn9053100
Dubois8877140
Shelby8402130
Cass8241128
Lawrence8134185
DeKalb7933109
Jackson779993
Huntington7761116
Montgomery7213123
Gibson7179118
Harrison7031100
Knox6958116
Steuben676589
Miami6675114
Whitley667260
Putnam651286
Clinton633179
Wabash6323111
Jasper622192
Jefferson5946105
Ripley565994
Adams547981
Daviess5124118
Scott498980
Wells4894106
White486069
Greene4749101
Clay468662
Decatur4659110
Fayette462597
Jennings457167
LaGrange432291
Posey412944
Randolph4010107
Washington393656
Fountain382264
Fulton368374
Spencer365147
Starke361474
Owen358577
Sullivan351155
Jay336450
Orange335272
Rush314833
Carroll301639
Franklin295244
Perry292853
Vermillion285958
Tipton253367
Parke251630
Pike251244
Blackford224944
Pulaski213759
Newton185052
Brown179750
Benton171717
Crawford170729
Martin152619
Switzerland149412
Warren137816
Union125116
Ohio92913
Unassigned0599

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events