Donald Trump probably decreased his odds of surviving his Russia scandal today when he abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, in what felt like a panic move out of desperation. Now that details are emerging regarding the circumstances leading up to Comey’s firing, it turns out Trump had become totally unhinged about the Russia investigation, to the point of simply screaming at the television whenever it came on.
That’s perhaps the most salient detail from a lengthy new piece from Politico, which has one White House aide claiming that Trump would “scream at television clips” that involved his Russia scandal (link). This helps to confirm the context in which Trump ultimately pulled the trigger on Comey: he simply couldn’t stand hearing about his Russia scandal anymore, and he somehow convinced himself that if he fired Comey, it would all magically go away.
This dovetails with Tuesday night’s on-air report during the Brian Williams show on MSNBC, which said that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was shocked at the widespread negative reaction to James Comey’s firing. It’s not that Spicer truly feels that way, of course, but rather that Spicer is attempting to speak for how Donald Trump views the matter.
My guess is Trump figured that the Democrats and his detractors would be fine with Comey being fired, because they already blame him for stealing the election from Hillary Clinton; he was too naive to realize that most of those same people have now been rooting for Comey to get to the bottom of Trump-Russia, no matter what they thought of Comey personally. So now that Comey’s firing has had the opposite effect from what Trump expected, and the Russia scandal is about to occupy even more of the cable news time that Trump simply can’t stop watching, you can expect him to have even more of a breakdown over it. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report