As could have been expected from someone whose existence is defined by his narcissism, his self denial, and his near total lack of self awareness, it took him awhile to get there. But as of today, Donald Trump seems to have finally figured out that he’s been defeated – that his demise is now a matter of when and not merely if. I’m basing this assessment on Trump’s own words.
Or, I should say, his total lack of words. Donald Trump tried to fire off one last bit of bravado earlier in the week when he threatened to live-tweet during the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. But then Comey went and released seven pages of written testimony on Wednesday night, and it was so damning that it stunned Trump into silence. Last night he allowed his attorney to speak for him. And today he tweeted absolutely nothing at all.
This evening, amid the widespread conclusion among the media and the public that Comey was telling the truth and Trump has committed obstruction of justice, Trump has still had no response. He sent his deputy press secretary to the podium to assert that he’s not a liar. He sent his attorney to the podium to make a flimsy legal case. But Trump himself is now afraid to say anything. He knows Comey has thrown open the floodgates. He knows he’s becoming more radioactive by the hour. He can see there’s a chain of events coming which, through one winding road or another, will leave him impeached or resigning or otherwise out the door and fighting for his legal life on the way out.
Forget about the popular stories of Donald Trump’s staff taking his phone away from him, as if he were a child who had been grounded, so that he can’t tweet during sensitive times. That’s a fun myth. But Trump only allows that kind of thing to happen when he’s okay with it happening. If Trump wanted to tweet something right now, with his presidency and perhaps his freedom directly on the line tonight, he’d forcibly demand his phone and he’d get it. He’s surrounded by sycophants who cannot control him. If he truly wanted to be tweeting smack talk about James Comey right now, he’d be tweeting it.
But he’s not doing it. Sure, in a day or three, he might revert back to his usual self-denial and go an obliviously self defeating Twitter rant about Comey. We’ll see. But right now, even a clinically deluded Donald Trump seems to have figured out that he’s screwed. For once, he’s doing what any other person would do upon realizing that he’s in massive legal trouble: he’s shutting up and letting his attorney speak on his behalf. Silence isn’t always readable, but this time it seems rather transparent: Trump is stunned into scared silence, because he’s finally realized that he’s been defeated. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report