Mike Allen reports that the POTUS is pissed off at almost everyone on his team and thinking about firing anyone who isn’t nailed down.
“He’s frustrated, and angry at everyone,” said one of the confidants.
The conversations intensified this week as the aftermath of the Comey firing pushed the White House from chaos into crisis. Trump’s friends are telling him that many of his top aides don’t know how to work with him, and point out that his approval ratings aren’t rising, but the leaks are.
“The advice he’s getting is to go big — that he has nothing to lose,” the confidant said. “The question now is how big and how bold. I’m not sure he knows the answer to that yet.”
If Trump follows through, his innermost White House circle would shrink from a loop to a straight line of mid-30s family members with scant governing experience: Jared and Ivanka. So while the fighting and leaking might ease, the problems may not because it’s the president, not the staff, calling the shots.
Allen reminds us that Trump frequently threatens to fire people without following through, which is true, but I’m more interested in the underlying assumption that Trump wouldn’t replace the folks he gets rid of and would just reduce the number of people in his inner circle down to his immediate family.
It might not be an actual choice, though, because I don’t think people would be beating down his door to work for him.
Since it seems profitable to note all commonalities to the Watergate scandal, I’ll simply observe that by the time Nixon felt compelled to fire the folks in his inner circle the noose had already tightened around his neck and it did nothing to save him.
What’s different this time is that many of Trump’s crimes were committed by him and disclosed by him, so he can’t argue that the problem is solved by removing a few bad apples. With Nixon, there was always some question about what he knew before the fact even after we knew that he orchestrated a coverup. With Trump, he’s boasted of his intention to obstruct justice and tampered with witnesses in plain sight. He’s also a rolling violation of the Emoluments Clause to the Constitution.
It was hard work to figure out what Nixon knew and when he knew it. Trump will just come out and tell us without seeming to realize that he’s daring us to do something about it.
It’s true that we still don’t know what his role was with the Russians, but he’s provided a Constitutional Crisis without that even being resolved.
So, he can fire everyone but his daughter and son in law, but that won’t inoculate him in the least. We’re already in the zone where the Republicans have to decide whether they’ll allow a criminal to remain in office.