For the second time in as many days, details have leaked about Donald Trump’s internal process for firing and replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Yesterday we heard from multiple sources that Trump offered the job to Sessions’ current Chief of Staff. Today the WSJ is saying that Trump has a shortlist of five people to replace Sessions. Here’s the thing: these leaks mean that Trump does not currently have the muscle to fire Sessions, either now, or after the midterms.
If Donald Trump thought he could get away with firing Jeff Sessions, now or a month from now, he’d simply keep quiet and then do it when the time comes. Instead he’s putting out these leaks in the hope of altering the landscape. If he manages to convince all of us that firing Sessions is a foregone conclusion, we’ll be more likely – at least in his mind – to roll over and accept it, if and when it happens.
Donald Trump is trying to convince us that he’s so far down the road when it comes to firing Jeff Sessions, there’s no turning back. Again, if this were the case, Trump wouldn’t need to keep trying to convince us that it’s a foregone conclusion; he’d just wait for the right time and do it. These leaks tell us that Trump doesn’t think he can pull it off.
In other words, it’s up to you to not simply accept the notion that Trump is going to fire Sessions. If you accept it as inevitable, then it will hand Trump the muscle to go ahead and do it. Keep in mind that Trump has spent the past year trying to head-fake us into believing that he was about to fire Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, you name it. It’s not that he won’t ever try. It’s that he’ll only try if you help him along by accepting such firings as inevitable.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report