Donald Trump’s advisers, surrogates, family members, and Republican allies in Congress have spent the past week frantically trying to smear the reputation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They’re panicking at the idea that Mueller is moving closer to exposing Trump’s wide array of serious crimes. But thus far there is no basis for believing that Trump is actually gearing up to try to fire Mueller, which he can’t directly do anyway. Instead, Trump and his people are firmly targeting a different key figure at the Department of Justice.
The clues have been in plain sight for days. Congressman Trey Gowdy, who was on the Trump transition team and is likely panicking over the transition emails that Mueller has his hands on, has spent the week making up phony scandals about Mueller. But when it came down to it, Gowdy arrogantly bragged that he actually believes Trump is going to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He’s far from the only one who thinks McCabe is about to take the fall.
Over the past few days Donald Trump Jr has tweeted or retweeted several false and disparaging claims about McCabe. These people have no poker face at all, because they’re telegraphing that Donald Trump is gearing up to fire McCabe. How did he become the scapegoat? Trump has spent months tweeting phony claims about McCabe being some kind of paid Hillary Clinton shill, which he presumably heard about from Fox News or another propaganda source.
Donald Trump would surely like to fire Robert Mueller. But he knows that firing James Comey was what led to Mueller’s appointment to begin with, and he presumably has some understanding that firing Mueller would be likely to backfire in similar fashion. He might also have to fire half the DOJ in order find someone there who is willing to fire Mueller. So it appears his handlers are steering him toward firing McCabe instead, which will let him fulfill his desire for blood.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report