The Trump administration is roiled by both political and substantive crises. At a basic level, Trump doesn’t know how to run the government, or think in terms of the public interest. And at an acute level, he is mired in the scandal of the century. On Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey testified that Trump is an abject liar, and, without explicitly saying so, left little doubt he believes Trump obstructed justice as well.

The interaction of these crises is particularly striking to people who have worked in high levels of both politics and governing. Ron Klain was chief of staff to the vice president in the Obama and Clinton administrations. He joined us to assess this unsettlingly perilous moment.

Further reading:

  • Why Comey’s testimony will and should haunt congressional Republicans.
  • Greg Sargent lays out the many ways in which the latest Republican defense of Trump is built on a shameless lie.