I need you to get into my bank account, withdraw $5 million, and put it in a duffle bag with a fake mustache and a bucket of chicken.
That’s Alec Baldwin’s Trump giving instructions to Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway on SNL last night, and what’s funny is that these Cold Opens are starting to approximate reality almost in real time.
Because just hours before that sketch ran, Donald Trump (the real one) was busy trying to tweet-splain a previous tweet in which appeared to implicate himself in obstruction of justice.
In case you missed it, Trump tried to “paraphrase” his lawyer John Dowd who is apparently now ghost writing some of the President’s tweets in an effort to keep him from implicating himself on social media. The result was this:
Pretty much immediately, lawmakers, legal experts and pundits lit up the internet, noting that the President had just admitted to obstructing justice. See the thing is, if Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he pressured James Comey to drop the investigation into the disgraced former national security adviser on February 14, well then that’s obstruction. You can read our original post on that complete with all of the commentary here.
Realizing the egregious mistake, one source “familiar with the tweet” told the media that Dowd had actually dictated the message. That source described the end result as “sloppy and unfortunate.”
Yes, “sloppy and unfortunate.” What’s unclear here is what we’re all supposed to make of this. That is, does Trump now just get to admit to crimes on Twitter and then claim that he didn’t actually write the tweets? How does that make any sense? And additionally, does this not set the stage for a truly absurd state of affairs where witnesses are needed to corroborate the contention that a lawyer actually wrote it and therefore Trump isn’t responsible? The answer to that latter question is apparently yes.
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd drafted the president’s Saturday morning tweet that stated he fired former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying not only to Vice President Mike Pence but also to the FBI, Dowd told ABC News Saturday.
But now Dowd, corroborated by a second source familiar with the matter, said the tweet was not drafted by the president himself but rather by the lawyer — and done so in a “sloppy” manner.
The unusual clarification by Dowd –- revealing that someone other than Trump himself had authored a tweet from his official account — could also be an attempt to tamp down on potential legal exposure from the message.
And here’s CBS:
On Saturday, a tweet from Mr. Trump’s account stated that he “had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” John Dowd was the principal wordsmith for the tweet, and it’s unclear whether Mr. Trump saw the final version, sources said. The president was in between fundraisers in New York when the tweet was sent from an iPhone.
For one thing, it’s difficult to imagine that Dowd would have drafted a tweet that so clearly implicated the President in obstruction of justice.
As a lawyer, I can confirm that I frequently compose tweets confessing to crimes and send them from my clients’ twitter accounts. It’s the first thing you learn at law school.
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) December 3, 2017
But aside from that, this speaks to the sheer ridiculousness of Trump and Twitter. By far, the best idea is for Trump to abstain from tweeting, but apparently,that’s not an option. So rather than insist that the President of the Untied States display some semblance of discipline, his lawyers have instead decided to enable him by drafting his tweets for him. And above, you can see the results.
Of course Trump didn’t learn a thing from that. Instead, he was right back on Twitter and there’s no question about who wrote these:
Look! It’s “whataboutism” on full display. As usual, the maddening thing for Trump and his supporters here is that it simply doesn’t matter what Hillary Clinton did or didn’t do. Just like if you kill someone, it doesn’t matter that other people have committed murder in the past. You do not get away with breaking the law just because other people have broken the law. Call it “hypocrisy.” Call it “rigged system.” Call it “double standard.” But don’t call yourself innocent by way of other people’s crimes because that simply doesn’t make any sense.
In no world do you get away with a crime because someone else has committed similar crimes in the past. If that were a viable defense then any crime that has ever been committed would be de facto legal simply by virtue of someone having committed it before.
Additionally, no one with working eyes and ears and who is not delusional is buying the “witch hunt” thing anymore. People have been arrested and indicted. It’s not a “witch hunt”. End of story.
So that was last night. Then, this morning, Trump was implicitly trying to walk back yesterday’s ill-fated, Dowd-assisted, Flynn tweet:
Yes he did. And everyone knows he did.
And “lordy” you’ve got to know that part of Mueller’s case centers on this very issue. Remember, Mueller has directed the Justice Department to hand over documents related to the firing of Comey and also to the decision of Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the matter. So this is going to be proven too.
Every, single one of these Tweets about Comey is evidence. Literally. And because Trump’s legal team is unable to restrain him from effectively testifying against himself in front of 44 million followers, they have now resorted to writing his tweets for him and you can see how that turned out. He butchered it, which is now leading him to tweet some more in an effort to clean up the mess he created with his previous tweets.
Incidentally, he’s still going as we write…