Donald Trump just can’t seem to get anything to go right this week. That’s been true, to varying degrees, throughout his entire presidency. But this week has been particularly ugly for him, for a few different reasons, and each new crisis suggests that he’s less capable than ever of figuring out how to survive any of this. Remarkably, it’s still only Wednesday, and things have already fallen to pieces.
Trump has finally decided he doesn’t like his legal team’s current strategy of “sit back and do nothing while Robert Mueller takes everyone down,” so he’s begun interviewing new lawyers. The strong candidates, including Emmet Flood, have turned him down. Instead he’s had to settle for a Fox News lawyer whose big idea is for Trump to yell “I was framed!” (link) Trouble is, not only has Trump failed to hire the people he wanted, the interviews have prompted his current legal team to consider quitting (link). These are the only lawyers Trump can get, inept as they may be, and now even they seem to want out. But this might be the least of Trump’s troubles.
Remember when Trump began yelling “rigged election” during the general election because he thought he was going to lose and he wanted something to blame it on? Now it turns out the election was in fact rigged – for him. The Trump campaign’s data analysis firm was stealing user data from fifty million Facebook users, and plotting the campaign’s strategy around it (link). There’s a word for that: cheating. It’s no different than what Nixon was trying to do with the Watergate break-in at the DNC offices. And when you cheat your way to victory in an election, it means you rigged it in your favor.
Donald Trump’s most famous refrain during the election may have been when he yelled “You’re the puppet!” at Hillary Clinton after she accused him of being a Russian puppet. Yesterday he called Russian President Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on a rigged election victory, even after his own advisers wrote “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in all capital letters in his notes. Guess what, Donald? You’re the puppet! Again, it’s only Wednesday, and this week has already fallen apart for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report