Not only is this his worst tweet to date, it’s so bad that it stands a solid chance of holding that title through the end of his presidency.
Well, through the end of his first term, at least.
Through the end of the year, for sure.
Worst-case scenario: Through the end of the month. I think? Checking the calendar, I’m reminded it’s only September 4.
If you want to tell me that his pre-political obsession with the Robert Pattinson/Kristen Stewart romance were his worst tweets ever, I won’t argue hard. But this, I think, is rock bottom:
Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
He’s referring to Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, both early Trump supporters among the House GOP and both of whom are now under federal indictment — not just under investigation by the DOJ, let me emphasize, but actually indicted by a federal grand jury.
Said Ken White of yesterday’s tweet, “It is 100% outside his comprehension why this is bad.” Right, and literally no one else’s. That’s what makes it the worst ever. It made me laugh to see cable news networks inviting on legal experts last night and this morning to explain the problem with the tweet to viewers, as if it requires elite analysis. If you can’t grasp why the head of the executive branch shouldn’t be faulting the DOJ for not giving members of his party a free pass on suspected criminal activity then you must have missed an important day at school during second grade. He should be censured by Congress for it, but luckily for him, they seem to have missed a bunch of days in second grade too.
Ben Sasse knows banana-Republicanism when he sees it:
“The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice – one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”
He must have had perfect attendance when he was in second grade. Axios is hearing concern from other officials — on background, of course:
A senior Justice Department official said: “It was a very concerning tweet. It shows how POTUS thinks DOJ should be used: As a weapon against enemies and a tool to win elections.”
Referring to the two congressional indictments, the official said: “Both cases are not even close, the facts are very bad.”
One of Washington’s most respected Republican lawyers said: “Like everything else, he shoots first and then asks questions later. So in his … mind he thinks he can find someone to take the job who will be confirmable and rein in Mueller. So he’ll force out Sessions and then find there’s no one who will take the job who the Senate Republicans can support.”
Right. It’s not just that the tweet is a civic disaster, it’s not just that it’s more evidence for Mueller on a silver platter of Trump’s inclinations to obstruct justice, it’s that it’ll make it that much harder for him to get Sessions’s eventual successor through even a Republican-controlled Senate. His Fox News pals keep egging him on to drop the axe but what would he gain by doing that at this point? He’s not going to get a crony confirmed after this, now that he’s made clear that he wants a hack as Attorney General who’ll not only protect him from Russiagate but will protect any crony — even when probable cause of a crime exists — so long as Trump stands to benefit from it somehow.
But like White says, all of this is entirely outside his comprehension. Imagine his surprise yesterday when John Kelly or Sarah Sanders or whoever tried explaining to him why “The law shouldn’t be enforced against my friends or my party” is bad. A Twitter pal suggested that, at the very least, someone in the White House who’s on their way out anyway, like Don McGahn, should have resigned in protest over it. I don’t think McGahn will do that right now just because his great project, adding another conservative to the Supreme Court, momentarily hangs in the balance. But once Kavanaugh is confirmed? Yeah, we might see McGahn walk then.
And even if he doesn’t, this isn’t over. Even if Kelly/Sanders succeeded in convincing POTUS that he should try to sound slightly less like a caudillo/mafia boss in his tweets, he still retains the pardon power. All indications lately in the media are that he intends to use it at some point to free Paul Manafort, probably after the midterms and knowing full well that state prosecutors are waiting to pounce if he does. If he’s willing to spring Manafort, a man who’s actually been convicted, for no better reason than that he’s a crony then he’s probably willing to spring Collins and Hunter too. It’s quite probable that a top story following the midterms this winter will be the president handing out pardon-candy to multiple buddies who have either been indicted, been convicted, or pleaded out (Mike Flynn). What do congressional Republicans do then, particularly if they’ve just been hit by a blue wave and no longer have as much faith in Trump’s electoral invincibility as they once did?
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 4, 2018