Donald Trump has known all along that his best defense against Robert Mueller’s investigation did not have much to do with the law. Yes, Mueller could uncover illegal behavior by Trump and Trump’s attorneys would use the legal system to fight any charges that might result.
However, it wouldn’t matter because early on, Trump understood three things:
- He knew that he broke the law in his campaign and business dealings
- If Mueller uncovered this (likely) he would build an airtight case against Trump before bringing any charges
- Therefore, he was not likely to win in a court of law. His case could only be won in the court of public opinion.
As time went on, the first two points became more and more obvious to Trump’s lawyers and they started to quit or got fired. Trump doubled down on the third point, and hired Rudy Giuliani as his lawyer.
People say that Giuliani is a poor choice because it has been a long time since he was a prosecutor and instead he has spent the last three decades as a lobbyist and politician.
That’s what makes him the perfect choice. He knows how to work the press. He knows how to shape public opinion. The one-two punch of Trump and Giuliani are doing a terrific job of turning the public against Mueller. They figure that if they can turn it far enough, whatever Mueller uncovers won’t matter.
It will be interesting to see if that is really the case or the courts end up with the last word.
and his associates – in fact, he already has. could be indicted, but
Kim Jong Un has been talking crazy trash about the United States since he became the leader of North Korea 7 years ago, continuing the tradition of his father and grandfather. Until recently the United States has responded diplomatically, but that was BT (before Trump).
Donald Trump knows all about crazy trash talk and there was no way he was going to miss an opportunity to hurl some back at Kim. Kim had to respect this, and the next thing you know he warmed up to the South Koreans over the Olympics and got Trump to agree to meet with him.
Now the serious negotiation starts. Kim has already started to mess with Trump by adding new demands before a meeting can occur. There will be more back and forth, but the key to understanding any negotiation is to look at what each side really wants.
- To be recognized as a ‘player’
- To remain in power
- Economic gains
The first goal has already been accomplished – Trump agreed to meet with him. Even if the meeting never takes place, Kim wins. The second objective is not really under threat, so call that a win too. Kim has already won some on the third objective as well. He has reopened economic discussions with S. Korea and any deal is likely to result in some sanctions relief.
- favorable headlines
- favorable headlines
- favorable headlines
Trump will do almost anything to get a deal, because that would give him the press he craves. He is going to have to get through hardliner John Bolton to do that, but Bolton works for him so that should not be too hard. When and if the meeting between him and Kim ever happens, Trump will announce that he has just done “the best deal EVER”.
There is a pretty good chance that once the fine print and Kim’s post deal maneuvering (cheating) are taken into account the deal will turn out to be not so great after all. The irony for Trump is that he may get the headlines he craves when the deal is announced but for months afterwards he will likely get the opposite: stories about how he the US got snookered. If Trump is not careful, the Great Dealmaker’s N Korea folly may give the Democrats some juicy material going into the November elections.
At this point, does anyone really think that Donald Trump didn’t sleep with Stormy Daniels? Or the former Playboy model? Or the Russian prostitutes? Or the ____________? Of course not.
The real question is whether it makes any difference. The answer is an emphatic NO! And the main reason it doesn’t make any difference is that Bill and Hillary Clinton made it OK for a president to have an affair. Trump owes both of them a huge “thank you”.
When Bill Clinton was outed for fooling around with Monica Lewinsky the left was disappointed, not appalled. Sure, Bill was a horndog, but how could he be so stupid as to have an affair with an intern in his workplace instead of someone more innocuous? Why couldn’t he have done it with the reporter who said she was so happy with his politics she’d give him oral sex?
Hillary made it worse. She didn’t leave him or kick him out – instead she publicly forgave him. So why should Trump be any different, his supporters say? Sure, he shouldn’t cheat on his wife, but that’s between him and her. Even the religious right is giving Trump a bye on this because they like his politics (although so far not enough to offer him oral sex).
Bill did get impeached, but that was for lying about the affair, not having it. Trump lied too, but he won’t get impeached because Clinton demonstrated that trying to convict the President for lying about an affair doesn’t work. If Trump does get impeached – which is unlikely – it will be for laundering Russian money, not an unlaundered dress.
If you were wondering why Donald Trump went manic on twitter over the past weekend it wasn’t because he was trying to convince everyone that James Comey was a liar. It was simply to suck the oxygen out of the Comey news. As usual, the press went for it.
Comey’s interview on ABC aired Sunday night. The stories in the mainstream press the next morning were a win for Trump. Yes, they reported that Comey felt Trump was “morally unfit” to be president and a serial liar. But the stories largely only devoted 1/3 of their ink to Comey and what he had to say.
The other two thirds of the stories focused on what Trump said in his tweets. The press seems to be under some compulsion to repeat almost all of them word for word.
Trump knows that, so whenever something is in the news that he doesn’t like, he tweets to either change the subject or suck up all of the news with his viewpoint.
The unbelievable thing is that it continues to work. The press feels it needs the “can you believe he said that?” factor that Trump’s tweets provide to get readers.
Here’s a suggestion, men and women of the press. If you really need to print all of the Trump’s tweets, put them at the bottom of your story, like an appendix. For example,
“James Comey appeared on 60 Minutes last night and asserted that Donald Trump was ‘morally unfit’ to be president and ‘lies constantly’.” In a series of tweets before and after the interview Donald Trump in turn called Comey a liar and disparaged his character.”
That’s it. Don’t quote Trump’s tweets until the end of the story, and at that point, just print them out one after another. Leave some oxygen for the rest of the story.