Throughout the course of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal in particular, and his illegitimate presidency in general, major news stories have had a habit of breaking (or exploding) on Friday evenings. In the old days, no one ever heard about news that came out on Fridays, because no one read the Saturday morning newspaper. But in the social media era, everyone is online on Friday evening, so it’s a different story. As we head into this Friday evening, total chaos in the Trump debacle is already erupting from all sides.
First we have the announcement that Rachel Brand, the No. 3 at the Department of Justice, is resigning. As Palmer Report spelled out earlier this evening, it’s probably not nearly as big of a deal as it sounds like. Nonetheless, it’s set to drive the weekend’s narrative. In the wake of the failed Devin Nunes memo, we’ve seen that Trump doesn’t have the political muscle to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and get away with it. But if he does try, it’ll mean that someone other than Brand will inherit control of the Trump-Russia investigation, and thus control over Robert Mueller’s job. Thus the media is right back on the “Will Trump fire Mueller any minute?” narrative. But that’s far from the only exploding story this evening.
A few days into the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal, it’s gradually evolved into a John Kelly coverup scandal. Kelly bent over backward to try to keep Porter on the job. He apparently tricked everyone from a Senator to Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks into issuing statements supporting Porter. There are widespread calls for Kelly’s resignation, and now cable news is reporting that Kelly has offered to resign. So will we see Trump part ways with yet another White House Chief of Staff tonight?
Meanwhile, other storylines are brewing. We still don’t believe that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders conveniently skipped out on the most important press conference of the year yesterday simply because she randomly happened to start her vacation on a Thursday, as she claims. The transcript of Donald Trump Jr’s long ago congressional testimony about the Trump-Russia scandal is finally on its way out the door. Welcome to the Friday night chaos. The night is still young.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report