Earlier today we pointed out that something big must have been brewing inside the White House, because Donald Trump pulled the plug on his beloved weekend golf plans and stayed home amid the fallout from the Mulvaney, Ukraine, Doral, and Syria debacles. Then this afternoon Trump began tweet-whining about how the Republicans weren’t supporting as he circles the drain. It sounded like he was frantically falling to pieces. It turns out he is.
Here’s what CNN’s Dana Bash is reporting about Donald Trump tonight: “After watching media coverage this weekend about Mick Mulvaney’s news conference & his attempts to clean it up, the President is increasingly frustrated with what he sees as his inability to communicate on impeachment.” So what is this telling us?
First, Donald Trump has clearly given up on the idea of letting Mick Mulvaney redeem himself. It’s not clear if this means Trump will fire him, or simply sideline him, but we won’t be hearing from Mulvaney anymore going forward. Second, Trump is exasperated with all of his surrogates who hit the Sunday talk show circuit this morning, and he thinks they’re all failing him because none of them are moving the impeachment poll needle in his favor.
The trouble for Donald Trump is that he doesn’t have anyone left, and he knows it. The only people still willing to go out there and repeat Trump’s lies on television are the people who are knee deep in Trump’s scandals, like Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo, and they’re too worried about their own fates to be effective in pushing Trump’s message.
What Donald Trump probably can’t wrap his head around is that his message is fatally flawed to begin with, and so the messenger doesn’t matter. He’s guilty, everyone knows he’s guilty, and the majority of Americans now want him ousted because he’s guilty. But will a frantic and exasperated Trump decide that he simply needs to go find new bottom-feeding surrogates, or will he decide that he needs to start hitting the TV talk show circuit himself? In any case, it sounds like someone is about to get scapegoated.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report