This weekend the Trump-Russia collusion scandal advanced to the point that we now know the name and role of one of the key go-betweens, Peter W. Smith, who just happened to conveniently drop dead after he started talking to the Wall Street Journal. Based on the piecemeal fashion in which this is unfolding, we don’t know the specifics of just how bad the rest of the story is – but the guilty parties do. And Donald Trump keeps revealing that it’s even worse for him than we all thought.
It may not be readily apparent to all observers, and props to those outside of the political journalism field who have spotted it, but over the past ten days we’ve been watching a cat and mouse game. The WSJ asked Donald Trump’s team for advance comment on the Peter W. Smith collusion story sometime around Friday, June 23rd, which was when Trump began defending himself on Twitter against “collusion” accusations despite the fact that they weren’t yet widely being leveled. Remember when he randomly insisted out of nowhere that there were no collusion tapes? Keep that part in mind.
Trump then gambled that the Smith story would hit the wires on Thursday, June 29th, so he whipped up a vulgar attack on Mika Brzezinski that morning as an attempted distraction. That only partially worked, as the WSJ only released the first drips of the Smith story that evening. Trump then knew he needed another distraction on Friday, so he went deeper into the well by revealing his Morning Joe blackmail plot as an increasingly self-immolating distraction. Sure enough, the WSJ dripped out a bit more of the Smith story that evening. But now Trump’s defenses are depleting.
On Saturday morning Trump tweeted some lower key trash talk about cable news, trying to distract from what he thought would be yet another WSJ collusion story that day. It proved to be an ineffective distraction, and he had guessed wrong anyway, as no new collusion story was published. On Sunday morning he tweeted the video of himself punching CNN in a desperate bid to top himself in the controversy department, and it worked – but he had once again bet wrong, as no story was published.
And really, why would it have been published on Sunday? After all, this is a prolonged holiday weekend. Why publish the scoop of the decade when everyone is at the beach? But maybe the WSJ will drop the big shoe later today after all. Or maybe on Wednesday, after the holiday is over. Or maybe on the Fourth of July, just for kicks. Trump sure doesn’t know when it’s coming, and he’s running out of daily distractions. It gets even worse for him.
The piecemeal reveal by the Wall Street Journal, of a story that it didn’t appear to have even finished yet, came off like a rushed attempt at being “first” to the story with the knowledge that a competing newspaper has a stronger version of the story in the pipeline. Again, probably on Wednesday, but who knows? Surely not Trump, who is now reduced to trying to create a self-damaging distraction every morning until the collusion bombshell nails him. And his sheer desperation to distract from the bombshell story tells us that he knows just how damning it is. After all, he lived it. And he’s now betting the farm with his crazed tweets, in a feeble effort at trying to distract from a story that’ll be so large, no amount of distraction will help him. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report
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