There’s no possible way of overstating the importance of what just transpired: Michael Flynn has sold out Donald Trump. Flynn has chosen his loyalty to his son over his loyalty to Trump, and he’s now negotiating a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller which will definitely destroy Trump’s presidency and likely destroy Trump’s life. Accordingly, Trump is panicking under the pressure.
No, Trump hasn’t thrown an unhinged Twitter tantrum aimed at Michael Flynn, the media, or a random black athlete. That’s coming soon enough. Instead, Trump is telegraphing that he’s panicking as he tries to figure out how to figure out how to minimize what’s just happened to him. First he immediately called up the leader of Turkey, who had Flynn on his payroll during the election. Then he advertised that phone call on Twitter, seemingly threatening Flynn’s safety in the process (link). From there, Trump’s moves became outright skittish.
After a deadly terrorist attack in Egypt, Trump posted a tweet expressing support for the victims. This marks the first instance in memory in which Trump has ever spoken up about a terror attack in which Muslims were the victims. Trump is so desperate for a distraction, he’s tweeting about the kind of terrorism that his own racist base doesn’t want to hear about. Then Trump tweeted that he was “quickly” playing a round of golf with Tiger Woods. He couldn’t resist bragging about it, but for the first time ever, he suddenly seems worried about how the public views his frequent golfing habit.
Some of these things may come off as subtle. But they’re notable because they’re a sign that Donald Trump is suddenly worried about even the little things. It’s the kind of behavior often seen from guilty people who realize they’ve finally been nailed for their biggest crimes. Suddenly they’re toeing the line and trying to look as straight-and-narrow as possible. But for Trump, it’s far too late.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report