Donald Trump caused a bit of a stir yesterday with a tweet directed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling it "disgraceful" that Sessions isn't going further "to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse." In reality, those abuses don't appear to exist, but there was an underlying truth that went largely overlooked.
The president, in this case, was targeting the FBI. Trump believes it was federal law enforcement that unfairly targeted his political operation, and it's FBI officials whom Trump wants the Justice Department to target.
A day earlier, members of the House Republican leadership spoke with reporters and fielded a series of questions about gun violence. GOP leaders directed much of their criticism at law enforcement.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for example, said of the Parkland shooting, "In this particular case, there were a lot of breakdowns, from the local law enforcement to the FBI getting tips that they didn't follow up on." House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) added, "I think what angered me the most is when I see breakdowns with law enforcement."
A day earlier, much of the country heard about Trump boasting that he would've confronted the Parkland gunman with his bare hands, but did you happen to catch the comments that immediately preceded that claim?
"The way [local law enforcement] performed was, frankly, disgusting. They were listening to what was going on. The one in particular, he was then -- he was early. And then you had three others that probably a similar deal a little bit later, but a similar kind of a thing.
"You know, I really believe -- you don't know until you test it -- but I really believe I'd run in there, even if I didn't had a weapon. And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too, because I know most of you. But the way they performed was really a disgrace."
In 2009, Barack Obama said a Boston-area police officer acted "stupidly" when he arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his own home. It sparked months of outrage and years of conservative claims about the Democratic president being "hostile" toward the police. The incident served as a reminder of why law enforcement is so often aligned with Republican politics.
Nearly a decade later, however, the politics have changed. Suddenly, it's Republican leaders who are blasting law enforcement in ways we're not accustomed to.