Donald Trump is such a conniving schemer, and he’s so self destructively erratic, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out if his latest bizarre moves are part of his latest attempt at a distraction, or simply his latest self inflicted wound. We weren’t shocked that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter this morning. The trouble is that Trump just blew up a year-long effort on the part of his allies to get him off the hook in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Yesterday, Trump’s Republican puppets on the House Intelligence Committee released a laugh-out-loud phony report which falsely exonerated Trump and his campaign of any wrongdoing in the Trump-Russia scandal. As Palmer Report has been documenting all along, these particular Republicans had spent the past year setting the stage for this phony report. It’s little more than a desperation ploy, and those don’t tend to work, but it was the last best shot that Trump had for winning in the court of public opinion.
Based on the initial coverage of the report by the mainstream media last night, it didn’t appear that the report was doing Trump much good. Sure, Fox News claimed it was proof that Trump-Russia was a mere witch hunt, but that doesn’t matter. Fox viewers are already on Team Trump; what matters is how everyone else views this report. But before the report even had a full news cycle to try to change any minds, Trump wiped the whole thing off the map today with his sudden firing of Tillerson.
Imagine being on that committee and spending a year desperately trying to put together a defense for Donald Trump, then finally releasing the report, only to watch Trump almost immediately knock the report out of the headlines by firing the Secretary of State via tweet. We know Trump fired Tillerson for having spoken up against Russia, but why today? Why not wait til tomorrow? Did Trump conclude the House Intel report was backfiring, and decide to knock it out of the headlines? Or did Trump just recklessly blow up his last best attempt at an alibi because he’s that erratically out of control?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report