Earlier this week, one of the strangest details to date surfaced in the already surreal Trump-Russia scandal: Donald Trump and his attorneys had backed off from threatening to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Trump had moved on to a strategy of trying to befriend Mueller by sending him nice notes. Now we know why Trump suddenly decided to begin kissing up to Mueller.
This morning it was revealed by the Washington Post that FBI agents under the oversight of the Special Counsel raided Paul Manafort’s house in a pre-dawn raid. It was then subsequently revealed by ABC News that Manafort was asleep inside, and that the agents didn’t even bother waking him up until they’d gotten as far as his bedroom (link). It’s become obvious that Mueller is planning to use the most aggressive tactics possible to try to get Trump’s underlings to flip on him.
Today’s reporting also revealed that the FBI raid on Manafort’s house took place back on July 26th. As we reported earlier today, Donald Trump’s subsequent angry Twitter rant about the acting FBI Director that day makes it fairly clear that Trump learned about the raid the same day it happened (link). And not long after this, Trump shifted to his new strategy of trying to kiss up to Robert Mueller and befriend him. It’s now fairly clear why.
Donald Trump must have feared that Robert Mueller would send FBI agents to bust down his door next, and he must have concluded that the best way to try to stop this was to make Mueller his friend. Of course that’s not how any of this works, but Trump wouldn’t know that. He seems to think he can win over any potential foe by glad-handing them. And so Trump, who not that long ago was beating his chest about firing Mueller, is now reduced to meekly kissing up to him out of pure terror about what comes next.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report