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Zirpoli: Republicans hypocritical on Trump

Remember when Republicans said that being under an FBI investigation disqualified Secretary Hilary Clinton from serving as president of the United States? Lucky for us, there is a record of their comments on this subject for us to enjoy today as the Trump administration suffers the same fate.

We know that President Donald Trump, along with former and current associates of his campaign and his administration, are under an FBI investigation, and have been since last summer. According to former FBI director James Comey, the FBI is investigating the possible "coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts" to undermine the presidential election, I'm sure Republicans are as upset about this as they were when Clinton was under investigation.

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On Oct. 28, 2016, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway tweeted "Most honest people I know are not under FBI investigation." Conway is correct — honesty has been a major challenge for the Trump administration.

When Clinton was under an FBI investigation, House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote a letter to then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, stating that Clinton should not receive national intelligence briefings until the FBI cleared her name of any criminal activity. Perhaps Ryan should now write a similar letter regarding Trump.

Indeed, we know from current events that Trump cannot be trusted with classified information. Let's remember that on July 6, 2016, Trump tweeted that Clinton and her team "were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. Not fit!" Also, Speaker Ryan tweeted, "It's simple: Individuals who are extremely careless w/ classified info should be denied further access to it." Simple enough, that is, when Clinton was seen as "careless" with classified information. With Trump, however, Ryan recently reported that he had 100 percent confidence in the president.

While Clinton was "careless" in keeping her own email server, David Brooks writes in The New York Times that Trump shared classified intelligence with the Russians "because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires." And we know how much Trump admires the Russians.

Of course, Republicans aren't worried about Trump keeping his email or tweet account secret. They are more worried about him spilling the beans in person, verbally and directly to the Russians or whomever happens to be in the room with him at the time. Imagine if Clinton invited the Russians to the Oval Office and then revealed classified information about ISIS which jeopardized the life of a spy in Syria.

There was a reason the Russians preferred Trump over Clinton. They knew they could flatter him into selling America down the drain.

Imagine if Clinton told the Russians that our FBI Director was a "nut job." The GOP would be calling her a traitor. Meanwhile, they can't see that Trump is loyalty only to himself and his family.

White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, tweeting about Clinton being under FBI investigation, "This alone should be disqualifying for anyone seeking the presidency." In Trump's case, however, there are so many other disqualifying variables.

During the presidential campaign, Republican candidate and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted, "Can this country afford to have a president under investigation by the FBI? Think of the trauma that would do to this country." Spot on, Sen. Rubio. The majority of Americans are traumatized by Trump, although the FBI investigation is just one item on their long list of concerns.

Isn't it interesting what very high standards of behavior Republicans had for Secretary Clinton, while they seem to have no standards of behavior for President Trump? They are so forgiving when it comes to Trump, no matter what he does or what he says. Imagine, for example, if Clinton fired FBI director Comey while he was investigating the Clinton Foundation.

During a campaign speech in October 2016, Trump stated, "If Hillary Clinton were elected, she would be under protracted criminal investigation likely followed by the trial of a sitting president. The investigation will last for years, nothing will get done, government will grind to a halt and our country will continue to suffer." As Seth Meyers stated on his late night television show, the only thing Trump got wrong in this statement was the name of the president.

Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. He is the program coordinator of the human services management graduate program at McDaniel College. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu.

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