There is no indication that Mike Pence is planning to rally the cabinet and try to invoke the 25th Amendment against Donald Trump. But because Trump is a paranoid delusional lunatic, that kind of reality doesn’t matter. To understand the moves he’s making at any given time, you have to consider what his paranoid mind thinks might be happening. It’s why, when you look at Trump’s recent abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and buzz about other cabinet reshuffling, you have to consider that he may be doing the math on the 25th Amendment.
According to numerous reports dating back to last year, Trump has been wanting to get rid of Tillerson for a long time. Even beyond Tillerson’s infamous “f—ing moron” comment about Trump, it’s long been clear that Trump simply never trusted the guy to be personally loyal to him. Tillerson’s ouster was inevitable, and not surprising. What’s more surprising is that Trump chose to move Mike Pompeo into the Secretary of State role. Pompeo is a devout Trump loyalist, and in fact he seemed to be running Trump-Russia interference on Trump’s behalf as CIA Director.
So why would Trump take Pompeo out of a CIA role that’s been so crucial to protecting him in the Trump-Russia scandal, in favor of inserting Pompeo into a cabinet position that won’t play much of a role in the scandal at all? Two possibilities came to mind yesterday. One was that Trump simply doesn’t understand how important Pompeo was to him at the CIA. The other was that Trump was putting a loyalist into the Secretary of State role for a very specific reason: 25th Amendment math.
Last year there were several reports that Steve Bannon was trying to warn Donald Trump about the possibility of the 25th Amendment, so we know the thought is somewhere in Trump’s mind. Today there are several reports that Trump is considering a major shakeup of his cabinet. Why bother? That kind of reshuffling doesn’t help him politically or in the court of public opinion. One key reason to do it would be that he’s trying to stack his cabinet with loyalists who would side with him in a 25th Amendment showdown. It doesn’t matter if Pence is actually planning to try such a thing. It only matters how paranoid Trump is about it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report