If you’ve watched the television game show Family Feud, you know that every family on the show wants to make it to the bonus round. When it comes to the kind of Family Feud that’s now tearing Trump World apart, no one involved wants it to go to the next level. But the TV show and the Trump family debacle do have one thing in common: the bonus round is where everyone goes to flame out. That’s why Donald Trump and his family are in such trouble.
If you search YouTube for videos of the Family Feud bonus round, they typically consist of contestants panicking under the pressure and yelling “turkey” when asked to name a color. In similar fashion, we’re now watching the Trump family make one stupid panic move after another. Those moves are serving to not only tear the family apart, but march the entire lot of them ever closer to a prison cell.
For as much harm as someone like Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort can do to Donald Trump by cutting a plea deal against him, Jared Kushner is in a unique position to destroy Trump far more thoroughly. Kushner, by virtue of being Trump’s son-in-law, has long been deep inside Trump’s corrupt family business. It makes Kushner the only person who fully knows the family business but isn’t blood related, and therefore he’s far less likely to be stupid enough to be willing to go to prison for Trump.
Donald Trump knows that too. It’s part of why he’s been giving Jared Kushner free rein over the White House for the past year, even though the two of them seem to hate each other. But now that Robert Mueller is moving in and Kushner is soon going to have to decide whether to cut that plea deal, what did Trump do? He spitefully cut off Kushner’s access to classified information and shoved him toward the White House door.
Why? Maybe Trump has concluded that Kushner is going to cut a deal against him one way or the other, and therefore he’s punishing him preemptively. Maybe Trump is so far gone psychologically that he just wants to pick an ugly fight with Kushner no matter the consequences. But either way, Trump just sharply increased the odds that Kushner flips on him. And then what does Ivanka do? Surely, even she doesn’t know. This is about to be the messiest Family Feud bonus round of all time.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report