Trump on Ghislaine Maxwell: I wish her well

Bro, if you liked the Roger Stone commutation, you’re going to love the Ghislaine Maxwell election-eve pardon.

Maybe she’ll even turn up at one of the inauguration balls in January after she’s sprung.

The only correct answer when asked about something like this, says Michael Brendan Dougherty, is “Let justice be done.” Right, that would have been a better response than reminding the world gratuitously that you’ve met a monstrous degenerate like Maxwell numerous times in the past.

Some hardcore Resistance types are theorizing on social media that his well-wishes are evidence that he’s afraid Maxwell has the goods on him and is being extra polite so as not to piss her off. That’s silly. If she has anything on him, and there’s no evidence that she does, what she offers the DOJ will depend on what they’re willing to offer her in return, not how personally warm the president is in his comments about her to reporters. I don’t think he meant much of anything by “I wish her well.” It was just a knee-jerk noncommittal thing to say about a former acquaintance.

But yes, as a rule, when you’re asked how you feel about the indictment of someone with whom you’ve been photographed multiple times on charges of sex-trafficking minors, a bit of ceremonial indignation is called for. The only thing missing here is Trump telling reporters, “Tell her I say hi.”

The irony is that this came during the Q&A of his first revived daily coronavirus briefing, which he held today by himself without Pence, Fauci, or Birx. Apart from his kind words for the, er, accused procurer for a notorious pedophile, it went well — much better than the long rants common to his briefings in April. The point was to show that he’s taking the crisis seriously and has grown more realistic about the challenge. He touted masks, as you’ll see in the second clip below, and he acknowledged that the crisis will get worse before it gets better. Whether he sticks to those talking points for more than a few hours, God only knows; he was telling Chris Wallace on Fox that he thought the virus would go away on its own as recently as two days ago. But these short scripted sessions in which he notes progress and pushes responsible precautions will do him some good if he sticks to them.

Maybe drop the Q&As going forward, though. Or at least seem a little more judgmental about allegations of child-rape facilitation.

Ed Morrissey Jan 28, 2022 8:31 AM ET