What do you do when you’re a politician and you’ve had a very bad, awful couple of news days?
Normal politicians will likely huddle with advisers and experts, assess the damage on every stage – the world stage, national stage, and for the party – before having speech writers craft something to feed to the public in easily digestible chunks.
If you’re the barely coherent, free-wheelin’ national embarrassment currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you go on Fox News, where there’s absolutely zero chance of being asked difficult questions or experiencing any pushback. Once there, you just ramble on, running the risk of making things so much worse.
President Trump, reeling and losing sleep over events of the week, decided to take to American Pravda, in order to make his case before the echo chamber.
For those who haven’t been following along, “American Pravda” is Fox News, the Trump propaganda network. They’re more devoted to pushing the Trumpian god-emperor theology than they are anything else. Donald Trump knows he has only to tell them when he’ll be coming and they make way.
While appearing with “Fox and Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt, the president rambled, with no resistance (of course), for nearly three hours, on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, his disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ damnable ethics, and how he is the only one standing between our nation and certain ruin (All hail the god-emperor!).
Astonishingly, and sounding very much like a mob thug, Trump praised his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort (recently found guilty of eight separate felonies, with a single holdout juror causing a mistrial in the other ten charges) for holding firm and remaining “loyal.”
The White House has insisted that Manafort’s trial had nothing to do with President Trump. That makes Trump’s comments about Manafort’s loyalty all the more curious.
He can’t get out of his own way.
Michael Cohen, in the cinematic mobster vernacular, is just a rat.
Trump went on to rail against Cohen for not swallowing the 65 year prison term he was facing for his crimes.
“I’ve known all about flipping—for 30 or 40 years I’ve been watching flippers,” said Trump. “I’ve seen it many times, I’ve had many friends involved in this stuff, it’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. You get 10 years in jail but if you say bad things about somebody, in other words make up stories if you don’t know, they just make up lies… and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero. They have a statue erected in their honor. It’s not a fair thing but that’s why he did it. He made a very good deal.”
You’ve had many friends involved in that stuff because you have a long history of working with the Russian mafia, but you’re totally not a Russian asset.
Just to clear up some things, when Michael Cohen appeared in court this week and offered his guilty plea to charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign finance law violations, he did not, at that time, have any sort of deal in place.
And of course, none of this is Trump’s fault. It’s always those around him. He is a victim of his circumstances.
He’s the weakest strongman in history.
He hit at Jeff Sessions again for recusing himself from the Russia investigation – a move that ultimately resulted in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointing special counsel Robert Mueller.
According to Trump, Sessions never “took over” the Justice Department, and allowed Democrats working for the DOJ to run the show.
An absurd statement, even from someone as petulant as Trump.
“I wanted to stay uninvolved. But when everybody sees what’s going on in the Justice Department — I always put Justice now with quotes — it’s a very, very sad day,” he said. “Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or, he should have told me. Even my enemies said that, ‘Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was gonna recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.’”
Even if he hadn’t recused, it’s not his job to protect the president. He’s the nation’s top law enforcement officer. It’s his job to maintain law and order.
Trump’s defenders in the House are hoping to gain some form of revenge by going after Rosenstein with impeachment proceedings.
They blame him for not giving in to a constant stream of requests for thousands upon thousands of documents regarding the FBI’s counterintelligence probe that came before there was ever a special counsel investigation.
The DOJ has produced some documents, withheld others on grounds that they could jeopardize an ongoing investigation and heavily redacted others. Congressional Republicans point to the unquestionable oversight authority given Congress by Article I of the Constitution and contend DOJ is interfering with that authority.
Trump suggested that he may be getting involved.
“At the right time, I think I’m gonna have to do the documents,” he said. “I didn’t want to. But I think I’m gonna have to. There’s such corruption.”
The level of disrespect for the rule of law is only dwarfed by the insane egomania displayed by this president.
Asked to grade his job performance, he gave himself an A+.
“I give myself an A+. I don’t think any president has ever done what I have done,” Trump said.
And yes, the very survival of this nation depends on the protection of Donald Trump.
“If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor,” Trump said in response to a question from Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt, who asked if he believes Democrats would try to impeach him if they win back control of Congress. “You would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe.”
“You know, I guess it says something like high crimes and all — I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job,” Trump said.
He’s really going out of his way to make his case for being above the law.
Unfortunately, there are people who will believe whatever he says. They will bend their morals and principles to defend the indefensible, all for party. In some case, all for Trump.
We haven’t heard the last from the Manafort case, or the case of Michael Cohen. There’s still more to come, and those are just the tip of the iceberg. As we move forward, look for Trump to appear on Fox News more frequently.
His sweaty, late night Twitter rantings will become more desperate, more unhinged. Eventually, he’s going to do something or admit to something that he can’t delete fast enough to keep from sinking his entire presidency, as well as jeopardizing members of his family and staff.
This is pretty much a guarantee.