When Donald Trump decided roughly a week ago to install his own loyalist puppet as the new HHS Secretary, Palmer Report spelled out that this was clearly the first step in laying the groundwork for pushing Azar out as a scapegoat. Once the average American had no doubt that Trump’s response to the coronavirus was disastrous, he was going to need to blame one of his own people.
Now that Trump’s own performance during his press briefings has bottomed out in calamitous fashion, he and his regime are leaking that Alex Azar is indeed on the verge of being fired. CNN says that Trump hasn’t made up his mind for sure yet. But Trump has clearly signed off on leaking this story, which means he definitely wants to oust Azar, and he’s probably trying to work up the nerve to do it. Trump has been extraordinarily wishy washy when it comes to deciding whether to pull the trigger on these things.
The timing can’t be ignored. Donald Trump tweeted this evening that he’s giving up doing press briefings, blaming the media in the process. He was harming himself with these bumbling briefings. But now that he’s supposedly not going to be doing them anymore, he’ll have no real way to try to influence the media narrative.
If Trump goes through with firing Azar this weekend, he just might be able to get the media to focus on Azar’s failings instead of his own. Of course there are documents that prove Azar tried to warn Trump about the coronavirus crisis early on, and that Trump refused to listen, so this probably won’t go well for Trump either way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report