Donald Trump has had nothing but bad days in 2021. He lost the election. He lost his social media accounts. He’s gradually lost his relevance. The way his handlers have been mostly keeping him out of the public eye, and the way he’s come off during his rare public appearances, suggest that he’s losing his cognitive and physical health. And now, as we all knew would happen, he’s coming closer to losing his freedom.
Yesterday New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed Donald Trump to testify in her civil case against the Trump Organization, leaving Trump with the no-win choice of testifying and risking incriminating himself in James’ separate criminal case against him, or refusing to testify and handing James a victory in the civil case which would allow her to seize Trump’s assets. Separately, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the National Archives must turn over incriminating evidence against Donald Trump to the January 6th Committee.
That all added up to Trump having had one of his worst days yet. So naturally, he’s lashing out. But in a bizarre turn of events, Trump is lashing out specifically at former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a key Trump ally who predictably turned against Trump after the 2020 election in a selfish and failed attempt at saving himself.
While the Netanyahu thing is out of left field, it does continue Trump’s pattern of lashing out specifically at people on his own side whom he deems to have been insufficiently loyal in the end, and whom he thus blames for his downfall.
It’s also notable that Benjamin Netanyahu is on criminal trial in Israel as we speak, with the distinct possibility that he’ll be convicted and sent to prison. Donald Trump surely understands he’s ultimately looking at a similar fate here in the United States, where he’s under criminal investigation in three different jurisdictions (Manhattan New York, Fulton County Georgia, Westchester New York), two of which have reached the grand jury stage.
Trump is probably trying to convince himself that Netanyahu is only going down because he failed to remain loyal to Trump. But that kind of rationalization isn’t going to get Trump anywhere. The reality is that Trump is watching Netanyahu go down and realizing he’s going down in the same way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report