Robert Mueller, Reince Priebus and the end of Donald Trump

Reince Priebus appears to have finally gotten his revenge on Donald Trump for having fired him this summer. Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff spent all day Friday meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in the kind of meeting that can only have meant Priebus is in the process of flipping. That puts everyone involved – including you and me – in uncharted territory, because we’re now looking at the end of Donald Trump.

At this point it’s not an exaggeration to say that Trump is a goner. The specifics of his demise and the process of his departure still remain to be seen – but there’s no longer any way he survives this. Mueller was still working his way up the hierarchy and was still several steps away from reaching someone as high up the food chain as Reince Priebus. The only reason for Mueller to have skipped straight to Priebus is if Priebus was looking to cut a deal. The only way the two of them remained in that room for a full day is if that’s pretty much what happened. So what now?

Trump is suddenly trying to finish the job, in his own demented way. He went ahead and signed an executive order to sabotage Obamacare, and gave a speech aimed at sabotaging the Iran deal, in one last effort to undo President Obama’s legacy. Trump has been talking about these moves since he took office, yet now suddenly he’s doing all of them with frantic abandon. He’s acting like a guy who thinks he’s about to get kicked out of the bar anyway, and tries to burn it down on his way out the door.

If anything, Donald Trump’s sudden spate of reckless moves would make it even harder for him to remain in office in any viable capacity. He’s no longer thinking long term. He knows the Reince Priebus thing is the point of no return in his Russia scandal. That’s not to say Trump will resign tomorrow; he won’t. He’ll try to play games or cut a deal on his way out the door. We’ll see more brinksmanship before this is over – but now we know it’s going to be over. So does he.

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