The CIA and FBI truly did operate as a Deep State during the post-World War II era through at least the early 1970s, with the former carrying out rogue operations to advance Cold War aims and the latter waging a domestic war to discredit the Rev. Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers and other assorted “enemies.”

President Trump and his supporters have cleverly turned the phrase into a weapon to delegitimize any agency heads or career staff in the administration who refuse to swear absolute fealty to their dangerously unhinged chief or allow themselves to be caught in his web of deceptions. The secretary of state, CIA director, FBI director and director of national intelligence, for the most part, have comported themselves like people who agree to work for an unscrupulous boss, but draw heavy red lines to regulate their own conduct, refuse to lie to provide cover and pretend to not hear or understand unethical orders.

To summarize the wackery of Donald R. Trump, here is a man who spoke admiringly of Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail while encouraging Russia to illegally access his opponents’ emails, claimed that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election in contradiction to the entire American intelligence apparatus, revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and accepted Putin’s assurances that Russia didn’t meddle.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats left no doubt that he wasn’t conforming to President Trump’s talking points during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), on Tuesday.

“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence, to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Coats said. “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts have been successful, and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

In the same hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray bluntly contradicted the Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ assertion that White House officials were unaware of domestic abuse allegations against Staff Secretary Rob Porter prior to revelations published by the Daily Mail on Feb. 6.

“We learned of the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter last Tuesday evening, and within 24 hours his resignation had been accepted and announced,” Sanders told the White House press corps on Monday. She added: “The process for the background [check] was ongoing, and the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of background check.”

The next day, FBI Director Wray set the record straight.

“The FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March and then a completed background investigation in late July, that soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November, and that we administratively closed the file in January, and then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well,” Wray said.

The Deep State doesn’t exist. Long live the Deep State.

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