A renowned reputation manager believes that the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid has to produce a “smoking gun” to pierce Donald Trump’s “formidable armor” and dispel suspicions that the operation was a “deep state” plot.
Newsweek sought the opinions of five experts on what the historic raid implies for the FBI’s and Trump’s personal reputations.
Todd William, the creator of Reputation Rhino, told Newsweek that Trump will probably use the raid to energize his supporters.
“Donald Trump thrives on controversy and will certainly use the perceived ‘injustice’ of the Mar-a-Lago raid to bolster his base,” the author claimed.
William stated that unless the raid results in “an indictment and discovery of a blazing gun or treasure of classified data that endanger national security or reveal other criminal activity,” it is unlikely to “dent Trump’s impenetrable armor” during this difficult economic time.
He claimed that Trump will be able to “proclaim triumph” if “nothing of important is uncovered,” reinforcing “right-wing Republicans’ darkest suspicions of a ‘deep state’ scheme.”
The devil, though, will be in the details—what records were preserved, why, and who stands to gain or lose from their use or misuse—if classified documents are discovered.
If the documents are unimportant, even if they are classified, it will be viewed as a technicality, similar in severity (or political impact) to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, personal email to conduct some State Department business or other minor ethical infractions that people typically assume are just politics as usual in Washington, according to William.
The FBI will suffer a reputational blow from the raid, at least initially among Republicans, according to Eric Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, and Adam Petrilli, founder of NetReputation.com.
“The raid is a short-term harm to the FBI’s reputation with many conservatives,” said Schiffer. “The entire facts behind the operation have not appeared, and the obscure legal issues and context have not fully surfaced with the public.
According to Petrilli, the FBI’s unjustified raids on President Trump have irreparably damaged his reputation, and the government entities responsible must be held accountable. These actions clearly intended to harm President Trump’s reputation if nothing is found and no formal charges are brought.
Trump fans would “perceive this as bullying,” according to Seun Ajanwachuku, CEO of reputation management firm GVATE, thus the raid is likely to reinforce pre-existing impressions. As a result, the effort “may end up strengthening their allegiance to Trump. “
However, Ajanwachuku claims that among “non-Trump supporters,” the raid “further reinforces their opinion of Trump.”
According to two government officials involved in the inquiry, information about where documents were held was provided by an informant for the Monday raid.
The FBI is “always careful…and deliberate when conducting this type of sensitive probe,” according to retired FBI agent Jose Orench, speaking to Newsweek.
“The stakes are significantly higher because the subject of the probe is a former president,” he stated.
Before being presented to a judge, the affidavit used to get the warrant would have undergone a thorough review procedure at the FBI and the DOJ through numerous management layers.
Ricky Shiffer, 42, was shot and died on Thursday after trying to get into the FBI field office in Cincinnati while wearing body armor and being armed.
Newsweek has gotten in touch with Trump’s team for a response.
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