As the story continues to play out, Patrick Shanahan’s resignation as Acting Secretary of Defense – and withdrawal as nominee for permanent Secretary of Defense – continues to get uglier. The story involves multiple members of Shanahan’s family having been arrested for domestic violence over the years. But now a new twist reveals that this is very much a Donald Trump scandal, and not just a Shanahan scandal.
Yesterday, Palmer Report pointed out that there was just no way that the Trump regime, inept and lax as it may be, didn’t already know about Shanahan’s history before the media dug it up. Even the most basic of background checks would have revealed this. Sure enough, Axios is now reporting that the Trump White House has known about the Shanahan family scandal for more than a month. Why does this matter?
Donald Trump is claiming that he just learned about the Shanahan scandal earlier this week. This leaves only two possibilities. One is that Trump is lying, and he’s known about it all along; this would be bad enough, but par for the course. The other is that Trump’s own people didn’t tell him about the Shanahan scandal; this would be arguably even worse.
Last week Donald Trump freaked out about how bad his internal 2020 poll numbers were, and in response we saw his campaign officials fire the pollsters in question and publicly announce that imaginary new internal polls are now showing Trump ahead. It’s becoming clear that the people surrounding Trump are resorting to telling him whatever they think will keep him calm and coddled, while withholding key information for fear he’ll either blab about it or crack up over it.
Now we’re facing the very real possibility that Donald Trump’s top White House people went a month without telling him about the Shanahan family’s domestic abuse scandal, because they didn’t think he could handle it. If this is the case, it’s one of the strongest arguments yet for the 25th Amendment.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report