The surreal timeline of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest

All week long, strange things kept happening that didn’t fit together unless there was a larger piece of the puzzle that we couldn’t see. Donald Trump making an oddly specific attempt at distraction. Mike Pence disappearing and the White House refusing to admit why. Then last night a very big puzzle piece indeed emerged.

Last night Donald Trump’s old friend Jeffrey Epstein, who was previously let off the hook for child molestation by Trump’s current Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, was arrested on new charges of sex trafficking. The Epstein indictment won’t be unsealed until court is in session tomorrow, so for now we have more questions than answers. But the timeline of the past week is certainly surreal.

It began on Tuesday morning when Mike Pence’s planned trip to New Hampshire was called off at the last second. The White House couldn’t get its story straight about whether Pence’s plane had to turn around or whether it never took off to begin with – making clear that whatever was happening, it was chaotic. The White House then blamed the whole thing on a security matter, but couldn’t say what it is, and vowed not to reveal it for weeks to come – suggesting that there’s another shoe to drop.

Clearly, something happened within the Trump regime on Tuesday that was a big enough deal to bring Mike Pence in on it, but embarrassing enough that the regime was frantic to cover it up. Then on Wednesday afternoon, Palmer Report documented what appeared to be a very calculated attempt by Donald Trump at creating a distraction, as he threw most of his greatest hits onto Twitter within an hour span. The distraction didn’t work, but it tipped off that Trump was expecting major bad news for him to drop at any minute. Then on Thursday, Trump put in a Fourth of July speech performance that was laughably bad even by his standards. Then on Saturday night, Epstein was arrested.

Again, we don’t know how these pieces fit together, or if they even do. But it’s entirely plausible that Attorney General William Barr tipped off Donald Trump on Tuesday that Epstein was going to be arrested soon, that Mike Pence was brought in to help plot strategy or calm Trump down, that by Wednesday afternoon Trump was panicking enough to try to create a distraction by any means possible, and that by Thursday night Trump was such a mess he was talking about airports in colonial times. We’ll find out soon enough; the Epstein arrest is going to make it very difficult to keep any of this stuff covered up much longer.

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