During his time as a candidate and his time in office, Donald Trump has consistently relied on a tactic that’s been fairly unique in its brinksmanship. Whenever Trump has been facing yet another scandal that he thought might hurt him, he’d purposely create a less harmful scandal for himself, as a distraction from the more harmful scandal. But as of today, that strategy has finally run out of gas.
Trump seemed to have been nearing the end of that rope this past week when he created an NFL scandal to try to distract from his failed response to the Puerto Rico post-hurricane crisis. The NFL controversy went so poorly for Trump, with team owners making a point of showing him up, he ended up having to talk about Puerto Rico after all – as a sort of distraction from his distraction. For the first time, Trump’s endless scandals had come at him so fast and furious that even he couldn’t figure out how to fend them off. But then came Friday night.
Trump’s cabinet member Tom Price had gotten caught up in a financial corruption scandal involving needless private chartered flights. This should have been a layup for Trump. All he had to do was swiftly force Price out of a job, making clear that he wasn’t willing to tolerate these kinds of things, and he would have ended up looking good. He could even have used the firing as a bit of a distraction from his own numerous scandals. But he couldn’t pull it off.
Donald Trump ended up announcing Tom Price’s “resignation” in a Friday night news dump, which is when you release bad news that you’re hoping no one will notice. Trump didn’t even bother trying to use the Price ouster as a distraction. He seemed to understand that his own scandals are now too out of control – and there’s no longer any way to fend them off. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report