We all knew it was coming today, and yet it still stands out as stunning. Yesterday NBC News initially reported that the Feds had wiretapped the phone of Donald Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen, before quickly revising the story to state that the Feds were merely monitoring Cohen’s phone calls instead. The key piece of the story, that one of Cohen’s monitored phone calls was to the White House, remained intact. Sure enough, just like we all knew he would, Trump woke up this morning and gloated about the error.
Here’s the word salad that Trump tweeted this morning: “NBC NEWS is wrong again! They cite “sources” which are constantly wrong. Problem is, like so many others, the sources probably don’t exist, they are fabricated, fiction! NBC, my former home with the Apprentice, is now as bad as Fake News CNN. Sad!” Trump is partially correct in that NBC did initially make an error. But what he doesn’t get is what this story really means for him.
The Feds have made progress in the Michael Cohen investigation to the point that they’ve convinced a federal judge to let them monitor Cohen’s phone calls, even though Cohen is an attorney. That’s a big deal. That generally requires putting a metric ton of damning evidence in front of the judge. Throw in the fact that the Feds have monitored Cohen calling the White House, and the fact that Cohen was almost certainly calling Trump himself when he called the White House, and that the two of them were probably conspiring to commit a crime during that call, and any rational person can easily grasp just how screwed Trump is in all of this.
Instead, Donald Trump is gloating over the fact that NBC News went from reporting something damning about him, to something else damning about him. Combine this with Rudy Giuliani’s confession that Trump really did commit several of the felonies he’s been accused of, and it puts Trump one step closer to a prison cell.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report