Now that Michael Flynn has decided to cut a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Trump-Russia scandal, it leaves Donald Trump with more than one problem. He has to worry about how much damage Flynn will do to him (hint: a lot), but he also has to worry about who else will end up cutting a deal as a result of Flynn’s move. In fact he has to worry about who else might have already secretly cut a deal under his nose. Predictably, Trump and his White House are promptly going off the paranoid deep end.
Trump is preparing to ban his advisers and staffers from using their personal cellphones while at the White House, according to a new Bloomberg report (link). We’ll see whether or not he actually goes through with it, as it would be difficult to enforce and it would make it tricky for his people to do their jobs. But it demonstrates the paranoid lengths Trump is now considering, out of fear of what’s going on behind his back.
This also points to Trump’s people now being paranoid about each other. Mueller has already interviewed at least one current White House senior adviser, and is about to interview several more. If they cut plea deals, how would their colleagues even know? They could be wearing a wire while at work. They could be writing down everything they hear. But when it comes to Donald Trump specifically, he doesn’t even seem to know whether to be paranoid or brazenly reckless when it comes to his advisers.
Over the weekend Donald Trump brought former campaign adviser James Woolsey to Mar-a-Lago, presumably to discuss the Michael Flynn plea deal (link). The trouble: Woolsey has already told the media that he’s cooperating with Mueller. Did Trump truly believe he could glad-hand Woolsey into illegally conspiring with him to obstruct justice, after Woolsey already ratted him out? Trump is lost.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report