Donald Trump’s desperate endgame

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We’ve been careful not to put timeframes on Donald Trump’s demise, because the legal process and the political process each have their own peculiar internal clocks to contend with. But however long it ends up lasting, whether it be a few weeks or several months, we can tell you that Donald Trump is now in his end stage. How do we know this? We’re seeing his endgame.

Things have taken such a sharp negative turn for Donald Trump’s prospects this week, it’s been almost breathtaking. The Kremlin was funneling him money through his fixer Michael Cohen. AT&T and other corporations were bribing him through Cohen. There are bank records to prove all of it. This makes Rudy Giuliani’s recent confession of Trump’s other crimes look like child’s play in comparison. Even the Senate Intel Committee finally began the painful and gradual process last night of admitting that, yeah, Russia really did rig the vote totals for Trump. But this isn’t just about the evidence. It’s about Trump’s response to it.

Trump is now suddenly doing things this week that he’s always tepidly shied away from in the past. He’s long made vague implied threats against the media if it continues reporting on his criminal scandals. But this morning Trump flat out said he might take their “credentials” away. He’s talking about kicking news outlets out of the press briefing room, and off Air Force One, if they keep exposing his crimes. That’s such a blatant and risky move, with such a high probability of backfiring, that Trump hasn’t been willing to specifically make that threat until now.

Donald Trump is also suddenly ripping up the Iran peace deal, after having spent the past year-plus loudly attacking the deal while quietly sticking with it. Most Americans, and most of America’s allies, support the deal. This is another risky move for him. Trump’s presidency has been defined by crippling indecision and a near total lack of meaningful action. Now he’s finally trying some things that he’s long been afraid to touch. He’s still tepid by nature, and this may be as blatant as his desperation moves get. But he’s now finally trying these things, because even he knows he’s toast if he doesn’t come up with a magical fix. Welcome to Trump’s endgame.

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