Donald Trump is not surviving this. If you weren’t fully convinced of that when the week began, it’s plenty clear by now. Everything has gone wrong for him that could go wrong. His darkest secrets are surfacing by the hour. His own attorney may have to cut a plea deal against him. Investigators have him on tape. Now we’re seeing Trump reveal his endgame, and it’s surprisingly pragmatic.
Even after yet another round of the media trying to convince us that Donald Trump is about to fire Robert Mueller, Trump instead posted tweets about Mueller yesterday morning that made clear he isn’t thinking about that direction. And even now that we’re learning Trump dangled potential pardons in the faces of even more Trump-Russia witnesses, it’s clear that he never did pardon any of them. So why is Trump doing nothing meaningful to fight back, even as it all closes in on him?
Some will point to general paralysis. But I’m seeing something else: the recognition that he’s going to lose, and a desire to lose in the most profitable manner possible. Just this week we learned that, even as raids are being carried about against his own people, Trump is spending his time meeting with people like the Emir of Qatar. We already know Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are trying to squeeze Qatar for money. This is a cash grab. It’s far from Trump’s only ongoing Oval Office cash grab.
For all his incoherence and rage, Donald Trump must have figured out that if he makes a brash move like firing Robert Mueller or Rod Rosenstein, or pardoning key witnesses against him, it could force the issue and immediately end his presidency. Instead he’s aiming for longevity. He wants to remain in power for as long as he can before he’s inevitably removed. That way he can cash in as much as possible before his ouster. That’s his endgame, unless he changes his mind. The part he’s missing is that he’s going to prison one way or the other. Support Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report