Karl Rove: Trump Will ‘Blast Presidency To Bits Before The Year Is Even Out’

"If Mr. Trump continues this self-destructive behavior, he will drown out his message and maybe even blast his presidency to bits before his first year in office is even out."

And as you read the piece below, do note this bit from Rove…

[Mr. Scaramucci must employ] consultation, thoughtfulness, collegiality and [must] constantly think ahead.

… and think about it in the context of what we learned just two hours ago from The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.


Via Karl Rove for WSJ

Even for this dramatic administration, the past seven days have been extraordinary. Start a week ago Wednesday, when President Trump said Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should have never recused himself” from the investigation of Russian electoral meddling, calling the recusal “very unfair.” These comments were followed by the unlikely rumor that the Trump legal team would go after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff, along with more-plausible suggestions that the president might fire Mr. Mueller.

On Friday, Mr. Trump appointed New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, prompting press secretary Sean Spicer to resign. This all sparked speculation about the standing of chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, both of whom allegedly opposed hiring Mr. Scaramucci.

Then on Monday, a Senate panel interviewed White House senior adviser Jared Kushner about a July 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. That meeting was organized by Donald Trump Jr., who had received an email saying Russian officials possessed “documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” Young Mr. Trump was told this “very high level and sensitive information” was “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his father.

The following day, the president renewed his attacks on his attorney general, tweeting that Mr. Sessions had taken “a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Later, during a Rose Garden presser, Mr. Trump lamented that he was “very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.”

During this swirl of events, Team Trump portrayed Mr. Scaramucci’s appointment as a major reset, saying the president was his administration’s best communicator and that he would benefit from delivering more of his message directly. But this is a misdiagnosis of what ails the administration’s public relations. The president’s job-performance rating has dropped from an even 44% approval and disapproval on Jan. 27 to 40% approval and 55% disapproval this Wednesday, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Mr. Trump’s ratings are sliding because of his own messages and actions, not those of his subordinates.

In addition, although Mr. Scaramucci is an effective, personable advocate for Mr. Trump, his ultimate value must come from planning and executing a coherent communications strategy that results in a disciplined message and advances the president’s agenda. This requires working with the entire White House leadership, the rest of the administration, congressional Republicans and outside allies. It can be done only with consultation, thoughtfulness, collegiality and constant thinking ahead. The communications director’s job is complicated even in normal presidencies, which this isn’t.

One of Mr. Scaramucci’s strengths is his relationship with Mr. Trump. He can assist the president most by using his influence to help Mr. Trump resist his worst impulses. The president could demonstrate that this isn’t an impossible hope by ending his public humiliation of Mr. Sessions, which is unfair, unjustified, unseemly and stupid.

Mr. Trump should consider how ugly the next six months will be if he continues attacking Mr. Sessions. If he fires the attorney general, the president will guarantee that every other message is buried under bad press as he deals with the fallout and searches for an acceptable replacement. Senate Democrats would spend months tormenting that person during confirmation proceedings, and even Republican senators would raise tough questions. If Mr. Trump instead makes a recess appointment, a crisis will ensue.

For the record, Justice Department rules require Mr. Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation that touches the Trump campaign. Those rules—required by federal law—dictate that no Justice official “shall participate” in an investigation “if he has a personal or political relationship with . . . any person or organization substantially involved . . . that is the subject of the investigation.” This is why then-Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself after the Valerie Plame incident. (I was involved in the matter and had previously been Mr. Ashcroft’s campaign consultant.)

Mr. Sessions, a decent and principled man, is doing his best to further the Trump agenda and restore the Justice Department’s tattered reputation. That the president is publicly shaming him, heedless of the damage it’s causing, shows just how vindictive, impulsive and shortsighted Mr. Trump can be.

This past tumultuous week should wake up the president and all those around him. If Mr. Trump continues this self-destructive behavior, he will drown out his message and maybe even blast his presidency to bits before his first year in office is even out.

2 comments on “Karl Rove: Trump Will ‘Blast Presidency To Bits Before The Year Is Even Out’

  1. d. dugger. says:

    Only Karl (“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” – in 9/11 aftermath in context of the invasion of Iraq – a country not involved in 9/11.) Rove – would call Jeff Sessions “a decent and principled man.” Sessions is a widely known an openly accused bigot – a user of “boy” to address blacks” and a corrupter of democracy through voter manipulation (

    Rove’s statement is exceptionally informative, however. This is because it describes both Rove’s and the modern Republican Party’s concepts and definitions of “decency” and the “principles” to which they have repeatedly dedicated – and compromised themselves with. As the old saw goes “It takes one – to know one.” Rove has neither decency nor principles – and neither does his bud – Sessions.

    Ironically, Sessions (and his dubious reputation and resulting lack of professional qualifications to be Attorney General (typical of most the Trump senior staffing) is being defended by both Republican’s and Democrats because:

    1. Republicans know if Trump fires Sessions that Trump will be probably removed from office, or they themselves will be revealed as conspirators in Trump’s corruptions and that their ill-advised agendas will once again be lost for another generation.

    2. Democrats defend him because they know if Trump fires him and Republicans continue to fail their Constitutional mandate to remove and incompetent and corrupted President from office – they have neither moral courage, the power or authority to remove him and that only leaves a military take over – which would essentially destroy the US democratic system of government – no matter how demonstrably dysfunctional it has become in recent years.

    We as a country are at a cross-roads where failure to remove Trump from office by Constitutional processes, or a military coup – assures changes in the historic US democracy paradigm that the country likely will never recover from. The current operational strategy of the Republican Party of “We survived the incompetence of GW Bush and we’ll survive an elections corruption, incompetence and collusions with an enemy state of DJ Trump – is an extremely ill-founded and poorly based in non-comparable contexts. Which regarding the Republican Party senior leadership (minimally) takes us right back to “It takes one – to know one.” regarding incompetence and corruption.

  2. Roger says:

    So bad a condition that the electorate and Hilliaria have put us in! It almost makes me glad to be 74 years old with death not far away. I see no solution to this oligark transition of our Republic.

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