So many things have gone wrong for Donald Trump in the past twenty-four hours, it’s difficult to keep track of it all. Robert Mueller has tied Trump to everything from Russian money trails to Russian election hacking. Jared Kushner’s provisional security clearance has been revoked and the media has revealed that various foreign nations have discussed ways to manipulate him. So how is Trump handling the big mess? By panicking, cutting, and running.
Today’s White House press briefing has been abruptly canceled at the last minute, according to CNN’s Jim Acosta. Why? For the moment there’s been no reason given. To be clear, this isn’t because Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suddenly caught the measles, as her deputy Raj Shah would simply step in instead. This cancelation, particularly in the middle of the week on an explosive news day, can only be explained by Trump making the decision that he didn’t want the media to be able to ask questions today about the various exploding scandals.
In other words, Trump is cutting and running from the media today, and he’s making his entire administration cut and run as well. It’s not yet clear which of the various controversies has prompted Trump to go the duck and cover route today. Most of the Kushner news was already out yesterday, and the White House seemed to have already come up with the answers it wanted to go with about him. That suggests that this is either indeed about Mueller connecting Trump directly to the Russians, or it’s about some other new scandal that hasn’t even hit the newswires yet, and Trump thinks it’ll surface between now and the briefing.
Keep in mind that the mere act of canceling a White House press briefing at the last minute is scandalous itself, and it motivates the media to dig in and try to figure out why it’s been canceled. Even Donald Trump knows that he’s creating a whole new kind of problem for himself by canceling today. In that sense, there must be a really big reason for him to cancel it. And again, no matter what the White House ends up announcing as the official excuse, there is never a valid reason for such a cancelation; it’s what deputies are for. Update: the press briefing was canceled because Hope Hicks resigned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report