Donald Trump is growing more worried about his Russia scandal by the day. You don’t need to take his public word for it, even though his increasing desperation to create a racial scandal over the past days has given away just how much he wants to generate a distraction from what he knows is coming. That’s nothing compared to what he’s saying about the Russia scandal in private conversations.
On Monday night, Trump had dinner with conservative groups. He “yet again went off on Sessions for recusing himself from Russia probe, per source in the room,” according to Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus (link). Maybe he realized that his remarks would inevitably leak to the media and maybe he didn’t, but either way, it’s clear what’s dominating his thoughts these days when he’s not in the public eye. It’s also notable that he chose Monday of all days to reveal how concerned he is about the progress of the Russia investigation.
Monday was the day of the vote for the Kurdistan independence referendum in Iraq. This is notable because Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort took a paid gig to try to help the referendum pass, even though the United States is officially against it. There has been scattered reporting that Manafort was considering traveling to Iraq for the vote, which has led to widespread speculation as to whether he took the job as an excuse to flee the country before Special Counsel Robert Mueller can indict and arrest him.
As of late Monday night, no one among the public or the media was certain about whether or not Manafort had indeed tried to leave the country. There’s a good chance Trump knows the answer. He also knows that Mueller may imminently move in on Manafort as a result of his apparent desire to leave the country. No wonder Trump spent Monday night whining privately to his allies about how much Jeff Sessions screwed him by allowing the Special Counsel thing to happen.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report