At some point, Donald Trump will learn when to keep his mouth shut, but we have not reached that point yet.
Because despite all the evidence to support the contention that the President is doing himself more harm than good by continuing to lambast everyone whose last name isn’t “Trump,” he gave an unconscionable interview with the NY Times (full recap here) which included the commander-in-chief essentially threatening to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
As a reminder, here’s Benjamin’s Wittes’ quick take:
And to top it off, the President apparently feels no compunction either about commenting on the proper scope of Mueller’s investigation substantively. When asked whether a potential investigation of the Trump family finances “unrelated to Russia” would constitute a “red line” in the investigation, Trump stated, “I think that’s a violation.” And he didn’t say no when asked whether such conduct would lead him to fire Mueller; rather, he hedged, stating that “I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Well, fast forward 24 hours and guess what? This:
The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.
The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.
FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.
Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary, as well as the efforts of Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and White House aide, to secure financing for some of his family’s real estate properties. The information was provided by someone familiar with the developing inquiry but not authorized to speak publicly.
The roots of Mueller’s follow-the-money investigation lie in a wide-ranging money laundering probe launched by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year, according to the person.
And markets are reacting, as the VIX spikes…
…and USDJPY dives…