Earlier on Tuesday, we attempted to document the extent which the bad news for the Trump administration comes so fast that it’s literally impossible to keep track of it.
It’s gotten to the point where the only way to make sense of things is to wait until the end of the day and kind of step back and appraise what all we learned over the preceding 12-18 hours. And even that’s sometimes an exercise in abject futility because on some days, the headlines just keep on a-comin’ into the evening, right up until reporters pass out at their desks from exhaustion.
No sooner had the can been kicked on the government shutdown than Axios reported that Jeff Sessions, folding under Twitter pressure from Trump, tried to make FBI Director Christopher Wray fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe only to have Wray threaten to resign if McCabe was removed.
Trump tried to refute that, claiming Wray “didn’t even a little bit” try to resign, prompting Axios to immediately respond as follows.
When we gave the FBI and Justice Department full visibility of our story before publishing, neither agency took issue with our characterization of the Wray-Sessions conversations or of Wray’s threat to resign. Even now, nearly 24 hours after publishing, neither Justice nor the FBI has gone on the record to deny that fact.
Hucka-San took a stab at explaining this away on Tuesday afternoon and here’s what she came up with:
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) January 23, 2018
You can draw your own conclusions there.
Meanwhile, the White House is simultaneously trying to play down Jeff Sessions’ “hours long” interview with Robert Mueller which, according to the New York Times, took place last week.
Asked on Tuesday whether he was concerned about that, Trump said this in the Oval Office:
No, I’m not at all.
The Times also reported that Mueller interviewed Comey last year in connection with the memos which included the former Director’s account of Trump’s efforts to convince the FBI to go easy on Michael Flynn, himself now a cooperating witness in the special counsel probe.
Well no sooner had we finished explaining that the bad news just never lets up for this White House than the Washington Post was out basically confirming that Robert Mueller thinks Trump is guilty of obstructing justice.
For weeks, Trump’s legal team has been trying to figure out how to approach an interview with Mueller. The risk is obvious: you’re putting a moron with a penchant for implicating himself up against a superstar prosecutor. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Here’s what we said earlier this month after NBC reported that Trump’s lawyers might be trying to dodge a face-to-face between the President and the special counsel:
Being the “stable genius” that he is, there’s no way he should crack under pressure if say, Robert Mueller wanted to interview him, right? Right. And that’s a good fucking thing because Robert Mueller wants to interview him.
“Anticipating that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will ask to interview President Donald Trump, the president’s legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down,” NBC reports on Monday morning, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Yes, “in lieu of a formal sit-down.” In other words, no one wants to risk a situation in which Donald Trump has to match wits with Robert Mueller because that would be a fucking disaster and everyone knows it.
Ok, so that brings us to the above-mentioned WaPo article. To wit:
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with his plans.
Mueller’s interest in the events that led Trump to push out Flynn and Comey indicates that his investigation is intensifying its focus on possible efforts by the president or others to obstruct or blunt the special counsel’s probe.
Within the past two weeks, the special counsel’s office has indicated to the White House that the two central subjects that investigators wish to discuss with the president are the departures of Flynn and Comey and the events surrounding their firings.
It is painfully obvious where this is going and as WaPo goes on to note, Mueller is also interested in Trump’s alleged attempt to shame Jeff Sessions into resigning.
In her daily press briefings, Huckabee Sanders has consistently left the door open for an interview and WaPo suggests that the President’s legal team is working on some kind of hybrid strategy.
But everyone with the possible exception of Trump himself knows how this is going to go and on that note, we’ll leave you with a couple of more excerpts from WaPo:
People close to Trump have tried to warn him for months that Mueller is a “killer,” in the words of one associate, noting that the special counsel has shown interest in the president’s actions.
Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to Trump, said he should try to avoid an interview at all costs, saying agreeing to such a session would be a “suicide mission.”
“I find it to be a death wish. Why would you walk into a perjury trap?” Stone said. “The president would be very poorly advised to give Mueller an interview.”