February 1, 2018: Trump administration continues assault on our nation’s institutions

Another day, another onslaught of Trump attacks on the things that make America great — the rule of law, respect for native peoples and their land, experienced people in government service.  Trump is out to destroy each of these.

In the State Dept, top diplomats continue to resign in response to treatment by Trump administration

The U.S. State Department’s third-ranking official, Tom Shannon, is stepping down from his post, the department said on Thursday, becoming the latest senior diplomat to exit since President Donald Trump took office a year ago.

Shannon, who serves as under secretary of state for political affairs, is the top U.S. career diplomat and has been a fixture among the nation’s diplomatic ranks during more than 34 years of service. In a letter to department staff, Shannon, 60, said he was resigning for personal reasons.

His departure deprives the State Department of a seasoned veteran at a time of pressing diplomatic concerns including the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea.

Tillerson in November said he was offended by claims that the State Department was being hollowed out under Trump, saying it was functioning well despite scathing criticism from former American diplomats including Nicholas Burns and Ryan Crocker.

The forcing out of many senior diplomats, the failure to nominate or to win Senate confirmation for officials to fill key agency roles, and a perception that Tillerson is inaccessible have eroded morale, according to current officials.

Trump to allow 19th century style land rush to destroy precious national monuments on Native American land

Despite protests from conservationists, local tribe leaders, Democratic lawmakers, and even the United Nations’ expert on indigenous rights, at 6am on Friday the Trump administration will allow citizens and companies to start staking claims on sections of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah so the new stakeholders can conduct hard rock mining on the formerly protected lands.

“It is outrageous to witness the dismantling of the Bears Ears national monument, in what constitutes a serious attack on indigenous peoples’ rights in the United States,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Tauli-Corpuz noted that the previous administration’s decision to create the monument “protected thousands of sacred sites which are central to the preservation of regional Native culture,” and warned President Donald Trump’s December decision to reduce Bears Ears’ area by about 85 percent “exposes thousands of acres of sacred lands and archaeological sites to the threats of desecration, contamination, and permanent destruction.”

This is just another example of Trump’s disdain for people who are not white and rich like him.

Trump admits the Nunes memo is an attempt to destroy the FBI

Sources are telling CNN that President Donald Trump is championing a controversial memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as a way to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“In phone calls last night and over the past days, Trump has told friends he believes the memo would expose bias within the agency’s top ranks and make it easier for him to argue the Russia investigations are prejudiced against him,” CNN writes, citing two sources.

CNN’s sources also claim that the president is plotting for ways to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel last year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from handling the Russia probe.

“Another person said Trump is so frustrated with the Russia investigation and, in turn, Rosenstein that he may look for any opportunity to build a case for Rosenstein’s firing,” CNN reports. “He could argue that Rosenstein failed to scrutinize the information initially used to request the warrant and therefore didn’t do his due diligence.”

The FBI on Wednesday issued an extraordinary statement slamming the Nunes memo as based on cherry-picked intelligence and called its conclusions misleading. Despite this, the president is still expected to release the memo.