Deer in the headlights

“We’ll see what happens.” That’s all Donald Trump could muster this week when he was asked if he’ll agree to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Remember a few weeks ago when the narrative was that Trump was about to fire Mueller? Funny how that never happened. By the way, Jeff Sessions still has his Attorney General job after all that hoopla this weekend about him being replaced. It’s part of a larger pattern for Trump.

Let’s call it what it is: when it comes down to it, this guy just can’t pull the trigger – at least not while the window of opportunity is still open for him. Sure, he fired FBI Director James Comey. But he passed up a chance to dump Comey in favor of a handpicked puppet at the beginning of his term. Instead he twiddled his thumbs for four months while Comey publicly revealed that he was investigating the Trump campaign. By the time Trump finally fired Comey, it was far too late. It resulted in the appointment of Mueller. It’s also going to result in obstruction of justice charges.

Trump had a window of opportunity for trying to fire Robert Mueller, last summer or fall, while the public wasn’t paying as close of attention. Maybe he would have gotten away with it, maybe he wouldn’t have, but he would have at least had a shot at it back then. Now that Mueller has arrested several of Trump’s people and gotten more than one of them to cut a plea deal, it’s too late. Trump is no longer left with the choice of trying or not trying to fire Mueller. He’s facing the far less enjoyable chose of voluntarily testifying for Mueller or trying to find a way to avoid testifying.

For all his endless bluster, his bombastic threats, his gleefully disposing of people when he knows he can get away with it, Donald Trump is simply not a man of action when it comes to the big decisions that define his presidency and his fate. He hems, he haws, he tells himself it isn’t happening, and he only realizes action is necessary once it closes in on him and it’s too late. Trump is a deer in the headlights.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report