Donald Trump appeared on Face The Nation on Sunday morning, seemingly just so he could refer to it as “Deface The Nation” while he was on the program. On the same morning, his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus appeared on a different talk show to float the absurd (and impossible) notion of changing the First Amendment to make it harder for reporters to criticize the President. I’ve seen these kinds of coordinated antics from Trump and his team before, and they only ever mean one thing.
Any time Trump and his advisers are making a concerted and coordinated effort to say controversial things, it’s for one reason and one reason only: to create a story and thus distract from the real story that they know is coming. Trump and Priebus are taking heat for the ignorance they spewed on Sunday morning, but they don’t care. With this churlish administration, such rhetoric is already factored in, and only ends up being a story for a few days before it’s forgotten. And that’s the point: Trump strategically uses this kind of crap as cover, and he does it whenever he knows a story is about to break that he doesn’t want to be main headline.
At this point there’s only storyline that fits the bill: the Trump-Russia scandal. Things began percolating again last week once Congress went back into session and the committees resumed poking at the scandal. House Oversight began using Michael Flynn to paint Trump’s White House as being engaged in a coverup. House Intel announced a witness list that included Trump’s hated rival Sally Yates. Senate Intel added staff for its own Trump-Russia investigation. And this was just the warm-up act.
The conscious decision by Donald Trump and his team to go stir up random trouble on the Sunday morning talk shows is a fairly sure sign that they expect the next Trump-Russia shoe to drop this week. Is it the nearly completed grand jury (link), or the exploding Paul Manafort scandal (link), or the simmering Corey Lewandowski scandal (link), or a different angle? We’ll see. But Trump just placed his bets on the Trump-Russia scandal getting really ugly for him this week. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report