Trump Is Coming Apart

Let’s review:

We still don’t know exactly who leaked the revelation that Cohen can testify that Trump knew about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in advance, and why. There are all kinds of theories, including one that it came from Trump’s camp to take away Cohen’s biggest bargaining chip and/or diffuse the impact of what would inevitably come out, anyway.

Jonathan Chait writes that at least two other people had previously said Trump knew about the meeting in advance. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told Jake Tapper in an interview last March that Trump had been told. Also,

Steve Bannon has said the same thing. (“The chance that Don. Jr did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office on the 26th floor is zero.”) This is obvious. In a loosely structured campaign, with people coming in and out of Trump’s office at will, and all of them desperately vying for the boss’s approval, the notion that they could set up what they believed to be a meeting that would deliver devastating dirt on Crooked Hillary and not tell Trump what they had done is preposterous.

See also Josh Marshall:

Two days before the Trump Tower meeting, on June 7th 2016, President Trump made a statement teasing a big speech with new dirt about Hillary Clinton that he said would probably happen on June 13th.

You can video of that statement here.

The speech never happened. It was supposedly delayed because of the Pulse Night Club massacre on June 12th. But it was never rescheduled. There was a different speech. But it seemed clearly not to be the one he promised on June 7th.

So, yeah, he knew about the meeting; he green-lighted the meeting; he was all in on colluding with Russia to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. That’s beyond doubt at this point.

Then there’s what happened in the aftermath of the Times stories breaking the news about the Trump Tower meeting that were published just over a year ago. Mueller’s investigators have focused closely on the fact that President Trump dictated a statement which was released in the name of his son Don Jr. about the meeting. It was a false cover story which quickly fell apart. He claimed it was about adoptions. How did he know about it? Well, it seems that he knew about it in advance. But there’s another thread to the story.

Trump dictated that false statement, with the cover story about adoptions only hours after he had a one on one meeting with Vladimir Putin (with no other US persons involved) which was apparently also about adoptions. As I explain here, if you put all this information together, there’s a pretty strong case to be made that not only did President Trump know about the Trump Tower meeting in advance but that he concocted his false cover story with the assistance of Vladimir Putin. See the details here.

After that ghastly spectacle in Helsinki, who can doubt that Trump is Putin’s poodle? Other than hard-core Trump cultists? Speaking of which,

Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity has yet to harden into conventional wisdom, even as he’s trailed previous presidents in job approval at nearly every point in his administration. Instead, mainstream pundits and reporters focus on his relatively high marks with Republican voters, convinced that this gives insight into his political standing.

But, as centrist Democrats keep reminding us, it’s those swing voters you have to persuade. You might remember that the day after the 2016 election, the New York Times ran an analysis showing that Clinton truly lost in the election in the rust belt:

The red indicates biggest change from Democrat to Republican votes from 2012.

A whole lot of what had been considered reliable Democratic precincts went to Trump in 2016. The latest polls show us that support for Trump has eroded in those same areas, big-time.

In Michigan, where Trump won by 11,000 votes, 54 percent of registered voters disapprove of his performance, compared to 36 percent who approve. In Minnesota, where he narrowly lost, 51 percent currently disapprove, compared to 38 percent who approve. And in Wisconsin, a state he won by 23,000 votes, 52 percent disapprove, compared to 36 who approve.

By wide margins, voters in these states want a Democratic Congress. They want that Congress to act as a “check and balance” on Trump. Despite the growing economy, few give him credit for economic improvement, and looking ahead to 2020, nearly two-thirds in each state say it’s time to “give a new person a chance” in the White House.

The hard Trump support is unwavering. But the “soft” support, the voters who maybe weren’t crazy about him but were even less crazy about Hillary Clinton, are getting over Trump now. Unfortunately, major news media still play along with a meta message that Trump is wildly popular with his base and is therefore untouchable.

But let’s now review what else we knew, as of yesterday.

One, Bob Mueller is still investigating. We don’t know what he knows.

Two, the Southern District of New York has subpoenaed Allen Weisselberg, who has managed money for the Trump organization since Donald’s daddy was in charge of it. Weisselberg probably knows more about Trump’s money and where it came from than Trump does.

Three, the emoluments lawsuit is going forward, as of now, and unless Trump’s lawyers can stop it will almost certainly lead to more revelations about Trump’s money.

Four, the New York Attorney General also recently filed suit against the Donald Trump Foundation, “accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.”

Meanwhile, Dems are looking pretty good to take back the House in the midterms, at least.

Even through it feels as if these things are happening with excruciating slowness, they are happening. I predict that from here on out, events and revelations will slowly but surely grind Trump to bits.

Update: See also the Putin Factor. This opinion piece argues that the Russians will not hesitate to finish Trump off by releasing whatever it is they have on him if they decide he is no longer useful.

19 thoughts on “Trump Is Coming Apart

  1. Is it time to reintroduce my hyenas VS. the lion analogy? I was watching YouTube videos just last night. It kinda made me feel sorrow for the lion. Although in my eyes the savagery displayed in nature will be perceived as justice when Trump is viewed as the lion.

    Another important fact that wasn't mentioned in the post above was that Trump's original written statement about the reason for, and understanding of the Trump Tower meeting was blocked from issuance by Don McGahn, but captured by Mueller in it's original form. I'm sure McGahn didn't put the brakes on that statement because of spelling and grammatical errors. Probably more like Trump went overboard in exercising his cleverness in the art of deception.

  2. The various revelations will likely flip the House in the fall, but probably not the Senate. And so impeachment won't go anywhere, unless the revelations are so bad that even his base turns against him. His base has to turn before anything happens here.

    In the meantime, Kavanaugh will join the Supreme Court, along with legions of right wing jurists at the lower levels. Together, they will demolish the rest of the federal government, restoring it to its approximate size and scope from before the Civil War. "It's in the Constitution!" they cry.

    Trump began this process by appointing the most ridiculous set of hacks / demolitionists to his cabinet.

    Where this is going is devolution of power from the center to the states. Attention will shift from ever more crippled Orange Julius to the destruction of the United States as we know it by the court.

  3. "There are all kinds of theories, including one that it came from Trump’s camp to take away Cohen’s biggest bargaining chip "

    The whole thing is both frightening and fascinating! Trump knows what he did and he knows Mueller knows, so it seems the strategy now (and to a point before) is to do all the obstructing and colluding right out in the open. Of course if we had an honest news media this wouldn't be as easy as Trump and Giuliani make it look. Not to mention the fact they have their very own propaganda channel that happens to be the highest rated cable channel in the land! He has almost certainly broke the law but his followers will never admit it much less ever realize what indeed has happened. They truly are the "know-nothings" of the 21at century! SAD!

  4. Well, Mueller could hand the report to Congress and they could be already learning Russian and binging on Volga River Caviar and commie redheaded spies. Which is why I hope M. Has a plan— deliver the report directly to the SCOTUS, or wait until the new Congress convenes — something. Maybe nail Trump on a state-based felony so they can arrest him without waiting on an impeachment.

  5. Nixon eventually saw the futility of his position and negotiated his withdrawal from politics in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Such won't be Trump's fate – not IF the list of transgressions include violations of NY state law. A pardon from Pence won't be enough, and speaking for myself, I want Trump's head on a platter for the treatment of children on the border. If voters demand prosecution of Trump (which the Democrats in Congress will NOT want to pursue) the dynamic will change for decades.

    Regardless of facts, I think half the Republican base will support Trump, as long as Trump plays the victim of the mean Democrats and the Republican establishment. When I say support, I mean even if Trump resigns (but whines) and even after Trump is locked up in a Country Club prison. They will want Trump freed, cleared of all wrongdoing and returned to power. The GOP establishment will want to move on in a post-Trump political world, which half the GOP voters will refuse to accept.

    Bottom line: If Trump is guilty of crimes, and is prosecuted, convicted and jailed, the GOP will be split in two and castrated for a decade. Such is the price the GOP will pay for conditioning voters to ignore facts and reason when a cult leader cashes the check the GOP and Fox news wrote. Trump is loyal to Trump  – he will bring conservatism down around him in a crash as a penalty for conservatism not protecting his fascist empire.

    What's amazing (I predict) is that the Democrats in Congress will try to prevent this split which will destroy the modern GOP because it's going to be inconceivable to people at the top level of government that there can be legal consequences to one of theirs (even in the other party) for breaking the law.

  6. As to what happens to Russia's "useful idiots" should  they no longer remain 'useful'…

    Well, it's better not to ask… 

  7. Sooner or later he will tweet:




    He will exit the White House strapped to a gurney a the rate he is going.

  8. I heard a clever comment from Al Sharpton..  "Michael Cohen knows where the bodies are buried and Allen Wiesselberg put the bodies there".

  9. Regarding the bodies, Swami, If the feds dig up the 'bodies' – crimes committed in Trumpworld. real estate or election – the fact that the bodies are there, that there's evidence of how they died and the weapon of murder in Trump's possession puts the proof of a crime beyond, "Cohen said it".

    The strategy of character assassination won't work when there's other evidence and other witnesses. If Jared and Don Jr. lie and are proven to give false testimony to the FBI, that's the crime that put Flynn away. 

    Person to watch – Hope Hicks. She's lied once and been caught re the press release Trump wrote on Air Force One. There's some question about the severity of the lie, since the letter was not a crime, but if HH was there when Cohen said or heard things that are directly related to a crime, HH may have to testify to the truth or face felony charges, That may put Don Jr and Jared right smack in felony jeopardy for false testimony.

    Buy Orville Redenbacher stock.

  10. I was watching Am Joy today, she had the usual group of former repugs never trumpers (Jennifer Rubin, et-al) talking about how the GOP has changed, they were on board with the teaparty and evangelicals but now the party has veered to far right. It dawned on me watching them, why can't they see that in fact the GOP has never stood for anything other than enriching the already wealthy, they use religion, taxes, debt, anything that works as a wedge, anyone with half a brain should be able to figure that out much less someone with a journalism and a law degree?

  11. uncledad,

    In answer to your question, "Why can't they see … ?" etc. They CAN see it — and it was fine with them. Evidently Trump has crossed a different line. But what line is that? It's fair to ask, "Why can't WE see Trump the way the never-Trumpers do?" Maybe it's just that Trump has no loyalty, no class, no manners. Seriously, what is it?

  12. Uncledad, Priscianus,

    If Trump wasn't a crass, moronic jacka$$ they'd love him.  Its not so much the policy they hate, its the man.

  13. csm,

    Yes— (a) they find him embarrassing, and (b) he doesn't care what they think. But that's pretty much it.

  14. csm, Priscianus ,

    Maybe my post was poorly worded? My question isn't why do the never trumpers hate trump, buy why were they ever republicans to begin with? Especially someone like Rubin, who seems intelligent, she also seems quite center-left to me, maybe she's just playing a role?

  15. uncledad …Let me jump in and try to answer your question. First off, Trump is and was never a repuglican. The repuglican party was the place where Trump found fertile ground to give rise to his divisive racism and xenophobia. Although a high degree of immorality has always existed within the repuglican ranks. Trump has expanded the boundaries of that immorality to a place where regular repugs no longer feel comfortable with the level of exposure that Trump is bringing to bear.

    I can't think of any example where any repug throughout the history of the party has publicly expressed a sexual desire for their own child. Normal repugs tend to keep those type of things hidden away in the depths of their blackened hearts. But Trump seems to be OK with expressing that sentiment. He's just telling it like it is?


  16. Maybe it's a frogs in the pot thing?  At first it's quite comfy in the friendly hot tub with all the supporters and cohorts.  And they see what happens to fellow hot-tubbers who jump out or get kicked out (like Beck and Will and Bannon).  It can be cold on the outside.  Identity tribalism is a powerful thing.  But dang, it's getting really hot in here, but it's so cold out there…



  17. And what about Junior's congressional testimony where he "could not recall" the blocked number he called before an after that meeting with the Russians?

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