After too many resignations, firings, plea deals, and controversial departures to list here, Donald Trump doesn’t have all that many senior advisers remaining. Among the few that are left, many or most of them are under investigation. As the Trump-Russia scandal closes in, they’ve been scrambling to try to protect their boss and/or themselves. This week in particular, Trump’s remaining people are sinking deeper into panic mode.
We all saw Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller’s appearance on CNN yesterday, during which he behaved bizarrely even by his standards. It’s since been widely reported that Miller’s strange behavior wasn’t merely for show; after host Jake Tapper ended the interview early, Miller refused to leave and had to be escorted out by CNN’s security guards. However, Miller isn’t the only one who’s losing his cool, without a clue how to act.
Several weeks ago, the media exposed that Trump’s former Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland had admitted in an email that Russia rigged the election in Trump’s favor. That may have helped explain why she was removed from that role after just a few months on the job, and she was instead nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. That nomination was withdrawn when the news broke about her email; at the time it appeared that Trump’s people were trying to take her out of play before she could be questioned about it in her Senate confirmation hearings. Now that’s all changed.
For reasons known only to them, Donald Trump’s advisers have just decided to re-nominate KT McFarland for the Ambassador position, according to The Hill (link). So much for the idea of keeping her out of confirmation hearings. Although the Republican-controlled Senate may ultimately confirm her, the Democrats in the Senate will get a chance to grill her about her Russian interference confession before the cameras. So why did Trump’s people just re-nominate her? Did McFarland just threaten to go public or cut a plea deal if they didn’t? In any case, Trump’s people are making panic moves left and right. It’s typically what happens when there are no good moves left.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report