Trump Is Too Impulsive and Delusional to Stop Incriminating Himself

Sometimes I imagine Robert Mueller shaking his head and rolling his eyes at the kinds of things the president tweets. I have no idea if the special counsel pays any attention to Trump’s twitter feed. He probably has a lot more important things to do that occupy his time. But if he did, he’d find a steady stream of idiocy coming from a guy who is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

Kevin Drum highlighted one example today about Trump’s claim that Lester Holt “fudged” the tape of his interview with the president where he basically admitted that he fired former FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation.

This is, needless to say, ridiculous and unhinged. Trump must be completely freaked out at this point, and after telling this absurd lie about fudging the tape his lawyers must be freaked out too. Telling an obvious tall tale in an effort to discredit a piece of damaging evidence does nothing except make the evidence even more damaging in a court of law.

The president also admitted via twitter that he didn’t simply announce McGahn’s departure as White House counsel preemptively, he fired him.

During an interview today with NPR, “Trump hype man” Alan Dershowitz didn’t challenge his host’s assertion that McGahn had been fired and affirmed that “it has everything to do with the fact that he met with Meuller.” Chalk up yet another attempt to obstruct justice.

This habit the president has of not taking his situation seriously is something that a large group of White House officials took to the Washington Post for public airing.

Trump recently has consulted his personal attorneys about the likelihood of impeachment proceedings. And McGahn and other aides have invoked the prospect of impeachment to persuade the president not to take actions or behave in ways that they believe would hurt him, officials said.

Still, Trump has not directed his lawyers or his political aides to prepare an action plan, leaving allies to fret that the president does not appreciate the magnitude of what could be in store next year.

This account of the president and his team grappling with a potential crisis is based on interviews this week with 26 White House officials, presidential advisers, and lawyers and strategists close to the administration, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

I think that there are a couple of things that are going on here. By now we should all know that Donald Trump is delusional and has absolutely no impulse control. Notice that it was McGahn, of all people, who was trying to convince the president to not do things that would hurt him. This is the guy Trump just publicly admitted that he fired right after we learned that he had cooperated with Mueller. The president is obviously a man who lashes out and thinks later—if he ever thinks at all.

Trump’s delusions about himself have been formed after years of becoming an expert on one thing: how to avoid being held accountable. In documenting the president’s long history with the mafia in this country, David Cay Johnston sums things up with this:

The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.

Notice that his tactics have been successful in deflecting investigations into his dealings with mobsters and organized crime. I’m sure that what we’re witnessing are the same reactions he’s had in the past, so he thinks they’ll work now. The fact that 26 of his advisors felt the need to go to the Washington Post to spill the beans on how badly they’re working tells you all you need to know about what a deep hole the president is digging for himself. Even they can’t stop him. So Mueller just shakes his head, rolls his eyes, and soldiers on.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.