This morning Donald Trump let it be known to the media that he was blaming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the parade of State Department personnel who have testified against Trump in the House impeachment inquiry. This is remarkable, as it means Trump is angry at Pompeo for having hired honest people, instead of hiring the kind of corrupt people who might have been willing to protect Trump.
The sheer depravity of Trump’s corruption never does end up being a surprise. But it’s nonetheless interesting that Trump is making a point of letting it be known to NBC News that Pompeo is on the outs. After all, Trump needs this guy. Pompeo has been bending over backward to help facilitate Trump’s corruption – and if Pompeo were to get upset and flip on Trump, he could blow the lid off Trump’s scandals.
But if Trump was trying to send the message to Pompeo this morning that he needs to make more of an effort to be corrupt on Trump’s behalf, then Pompeo made clear today that he heard the message. Pompeo held a press conference and announced that the State Department suddenly now views Israel’s West Bank settlements as being fully legal. Trump isn’t going to get the Jewish vote no matter what. But conservative evangelical Christian extremists have long insisted that they support Trump because he’s “pro Israel” – code for anti-Muslim.
It’s not difficult to parse that Mike Pompeo made this move today because Donald Trump thinks it’ll help him with the Christian extremist vote in 2020, and Pompeo is eager to do anything that’ll appease Trump right now. Trump has spent the past week leaking that he’s on the verge of firing various people, in an apparent effort at creating scapegoats or just blowing off steam. Pompeo seems to fear that Trump could actually fire him. But if that happened, Pompeo’s only shot at avoiding a very long prison sentence would be to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. If Trump wants to fire Pompeo and screw himself in the process, he should go for it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report