If John Kelly was still chief of staff, and if John Kelly had hair, he’d be pulling it out on Wednesday.
Following the release of the redacted Mueller report last week, Donald Trump claimed to be “having a good day” and for about 12 hours, it appeared the president was inclined to take the high road, content to revel in a pseudo-exoneration while Democrats twisted in the wind and argued with each other over whether a long-shot impeachment bid is worth the effort.
Suffice to say the president’s “good mood” quickly gave way to recriminatory balderdash and over the past 72 hours, Trump’s Twitter account has been a smorgasbord of fire and brimstone reminiscent of a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape.
Tuesday was especially heinous in that regard.
With House committees in full-on attack mode and the White House fighting to fend off subpoenas, Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to weigh in on immigration and also on some Democrats’ calls for impeachment.
Earlier this month, the president sent conflicting signals about whether he was in fact serious about closing the southern border, an idea Mitch McConnell warned could be “catastrophic”.
Stephen Miller’s crackdown at DHS coincided with increasingly shrill rhetoric from Trump, who variously insisted that the only way to solve the crisis was to completely shut the door. He backed off (sort of) a few days later, claiming that Mexico had redoubled its efforts to “apprehend” migrants. The confusion only intensified when Trump gave Mexican officials a “one year” deadline to stop the flow of illegal drugs, or face auto tariffs, which he called “the big ball game” during a series of remarks that included, among other things, an allusion to America as “the property” and the invocation of “Perry Mason“.
On Wednesday morning, Trump insisted that a new caravan comprised of some 20,000 migrants has “started up through Mexico.” Here’s the president to explain:
A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico. It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!
As usual, you don’t know whether to laugh uproariously or be terrified. The scary part isn’t the caravan, it’s the fact that Trump is pretty clearly trying to make the case that due to the presence of heavily-armed “coyotes”, it’s necessary to “call up the military” in preparation for some kind of epic last stand aimed at preventing Honduran gang members from establishing a series of contiguous proto-states along the border.
Trump proceeded to accuse the Mexican army of “creating a diversion” for drug runners by pulling guns on American troops.
“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border”, the president said, on the way to warning that it “better not happen again!” because he is now “sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border.”
In a complete non sequitur, Trump pivoted (hard) to Mueller, who the president says “didn’t lay a glove on me”.
“I DID NOTHING WRONG”, he all-caps-ed, before promising that if “the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court.” To wit:
Not only…… are there no “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” there are no Crimes by me at all. All of the Crimes were committed by Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the DNC and Dirty Cops – and we caught them in the act! We waited for Mueller and WON, so now the Dems look to Congress as last hope!
He’s right about one thing – Congress is our “last hope” to extract Trump and what he doesn’t seem to understand, is that this is how separation of powers works. The entire system is designed so as to ensure that in the event the Oval Office ends up being occupied by someone who is suspected of committing all manner of offenses and who, on random Wednesday mornings, is predisposed to threatening Mexico with the US military (for example), there is a mechanism by which that person can be removed before something terrible happens.