Donald Trump, as delusional and addle brained as he may be, seems to have finally figured out that he’s on his way out. This shouldn’t come as a shock. He’s spent all year bending over backwards to try to protect Michael Flynn, because he knew that if Flynn ever flipped on him, it would all come crashing down. Flynn is now in the process of doing precisely that, and Trump seems to know his days are numbered. Predictably, he now seems intent on taking everyone down with him.
There has long been a looming budget showdown in Congress, but Trump is suddenly choosing right now to throw a wrench into the works and force a government shutdown. After his divisive, dishonest, and outright racist tweet aimed at Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi this morning, they had no choice but to cancel their budget meeting with him today.
This allowed Trump to hold a press conference with two empty chairs, so he could blame the Democrats for the fact that he’s about to shut down the government. Trump also dragged Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell into the meeting, and their visibly reluctant participation means he can blame the GOP for his shutdown as well. Trump even inexplicably dragged Secretary of Defense James Mattis into his press conference freak show today, seemingly just so he could smear the one guy in his administration who is still respected on both sides of the aisle.
Donald Trump knows he’s on his way out. He knows he can’t withstand what Michael Flynn is about to do to him. Trump will end up resigning, because he always quits when he knows he’s lost (see also: six corporate bankruptcies). But first he’s going to punish the leaders of both parties and the American people by shutting down the government. That way when he offers to resign, he can demand some leniency for his various crimes – and the public might just be willing to give it to him in order to get him out of power before he does any more damage.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report