We’ll have the usual full week ahead preview out later this evening, but given the sheer lunacy that’s unfolding inside the Beltway, we thought it might be useful to just kind of run through everything that’s gone on over the past five days in the interest of collecting our thoughts and helping you do the same ahead of what promises to be a week chock-full of political headline risk.
The decision to fire Andrew McCabe days (errr.. hours) ahead of retirement represents one of the more aggressive attempts to undercut the FBI yet for a President that’s looking more and more like an autocrat with each passing week. Comments out of John Dowd and Trump’s weekend tweets suggest that the President’s “strategy” (if that’s what you want to call it) with regard to the special counsel has shifted. It looks like he might be ready to go on offense, with God only knows what consequences.
Reports that Jeff Sessions may have lied about his lying likely mean Trump is going to be more inclined to get rid of his AG, and that opens up another can of worms for all the reasons spelled out here.
Meanwhile, the AP reported that Kushner Cos. may have filed dozens of false documents. Also, Trey Gowdy’s weekend comments seem to suggest the President is losing the support of some key allies. Listen to this:
Obviously that’s not what you want to hear if you’re Trump.
Who knows what all of this means for the rumored interview between Mueller and Trump, but this bit from The New York Times’ coverage of the McCabe fiasco is worth noting:
The president’s tweets, posted on a Saturday in which he remained inside the White House with no public schedule, came as Mr. Mueller is said to have sent questions to Mr. Trump’s legal team as part of negotiations over an interview with the president. Mr. Mueller is seeking the interview, according to two people close to the White House, in order to ask follow-up questions, but put forward the list as a start.
And then there’s the staff shakeups. H.R. McMaster’s exit – rumored to be imminent – has quickly taken a backseat in the news cycle, but you can expect that to resurface in the days ahead. This just days after Rex Tillerson was fired on Twitter and weeks after Gary Cohn was shown the door.
Oh, and then there’s the whole Stormy Daniels debacle which descends further into the absurd seemingly on an hourly basis and before you write that off as irrelevant, consider that there are all manner of implications there that go well beyond morality issues (e.g. possible campaign finance violations and now allegations of physical threats after Trump was already President).
Throw in the fact that McCabe has now hired a lawyer and reportedly turned over his own Trump-related memos to Mueller and you’ve got what can only be described as an epic clusterfuck.
Somehow, the administration is expected to organize a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-Un in the midst of all this and then on top of that, there’s the trade war threat.
It’s almost unfathomable that things could get any worse from here, but make no mistake, they invariably will.