Not to overstate the obvious symbolism, but Trump Tower in New York City was literally on fire today. Without a doubt it was an inadvertent yet appropriate metaphor for the critical condition of the Trump White House at this point.
The president not only spent the weekend confirming the key takeaways from Michael Wolff’s explosive new book by behaving like a spastic, petulant dickhead on Twitter, but then the White House announced that Trump would be spending even more time every day yelling at the TV. This is coupled with Stephen Miller’s meltdown on CNN and word that Trump tried to block Jeff Sessions from recusing himself in the Russia investigation.
Adding to the growing menu of bad things, we learned Monday morning via NBC News that Trump’s lawyers are negotiating with the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) to finally get Trump on-the-record about his links to the various aspects of the Russian attack on our democracy.
If it actually happens, I’d wager this is the news we’ve been waiting for on the Trump-Russia front. Finally, Mueller had gotten around to interviewing Trump, which means the OSC’s purview has expanded to include the Oval Office. Now we know Mueller isn’t simply pursuing Trump’s weirdly sycophantic posse — the He-Man Woman Haters Club inside the White House.
But before we get too excited, let’s bear in mind Trump’s talent for weaseling out of crap like this. For example, we learned last week that Trump will undergo a physical at Walter Reed by a military doctor. If it actually takes place, and I doubt it will, it’s unlikely we’ll know the actual results of the examination, given that Trump’s obviously feeble mental and physical condition is kept well hidden through Trump’s other nefarious talent for deception. Likewise, while it’s likely he’ll eventually have to face Mueller, it’s possible the negotiated parameters for the meeting could allow Trump to skate around any real accountability. Biff is a world class weasel, and we can rest assured knowing that his legal team, Sekulow, Dowd and Cobb, will use all of their powers to shield Trump from as much jeopardy as possible.
You might recall how, during 9/11 Commission’s investigation, President Bush was able to get away with answering questions without any recording devices, without any notes, without a transcript, and with Dick Cheney sitting shotgun the entire time. Later, Bush was interviewed by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name as political retribution. Somehow, Bush was able to finagle it so that he wouldn’t be interviewed under oath.
It’s safe to assume Trump and his legal team will attempt to keep the president as safe as possible, especially given his taste for obvious lying, gaslighting and ludicrous embellishment. However, it’s also possible that if Trump refuses to appear on terms favorable to the OSC, he could be compelled by a subpoena to testify before the grand jury. In that case, we could probably expect him to perjure himself on top of the list of other potential charges that include obstruction, conspiracy and money laundering.
However, there’s one thing we should bear in mind — and it’s good news, so don’t worry.
We’re talking about Stupid Watergate here, so it’s more likely than not Trump and his team of Gotham City henchmen will derp their way into deeper trouble. Upon arriving at just about every turning point, Trump has made things far worse for himself. Time and time again, he can’t keep his yapper shut — he can’t stop referencing the “how to” manual for investigations and choosing to do the opposite of what it recommends. Inevitably, Trump will kneejerk himself deeper in the quicksand pit of his own making. He can’t help it. This is what he does: he makes shitty decisions, and the Mueller interview won’t be any different.
Trump Tower is on fire, and we can safely assume the president will try to put it out with a tanker of gasoline.