March 4, 2017

Axios's Mike Allen imagines Donald Trump as a normal president running a normal scandal-tainted administration:

This White House, so disruptive at campaigning, needs to do a self-oppo dive and get all the facts it possibly can, so it at least knows what it's dealing with and isn't reacting to media stories every night. Are the blanket denials true, or too lawyerly, or just wrong?

What can Trump and his team learn from past administrations that faltered or fell based on their mishandling of a storm like this? There's been this long parade into the White House of CEOs, labor leaders and activists. The next luncheon should be with historians.

Chuck Todd imagined the same thing on NBC News last night in a conversation with anchor Lester Holt (above).

They may get to the point where the Trump White House will end up wanting to have an independent prosecutor or counsel or commission to look into this, because at some point the drip-drip-drip, where you have a day of distractions here, day of distractions there, you're going to have Republicans on Capitol Hill, Lester, basically saying, "You know what? I'm tired of this. Can we remove this investigation from Congress at this point?" Put it into independent hands, and, in a way, you can buy time and compartmentalize it, say, "Hey, there's an independent investigation going on," and so, when there's new revelations, it falls into the independent commission or prosecutor to investigate, and you can move on and do some governing. If they don't do this, it's going to consume this presidency.

I hope Todd is right about that last sentence, because the Trump administration is never going to call for an independent investigation of itself, and it will never, as Mike Allen suggests, do an opposition-research-style investigation of itself so it knows what investigators might uncover. Believing that either of these things is possible is just so pre-fake news.

Trump is a Fox News addict whose closest non-family adviser used to run Breitbart; they believe that the world should accept whatever narrative serves their cause as the truth, and that selling this narrative is just a matter of toughness and will. Never admit fault; never admit weakness; never admit error. Trump might jettison Jeff Sessions as he jettisoned Mike Flynn, but he'll never acknowledge that whatever his little cabal is up to with the Russians could be regarded as improper or illegal, because if they wanted to do it, by definition it's okay. Sessions might eventually be seen as an embarrassment, but only because he's getting bad press, and thus humiliating Trump, not because reasonable people have legitimate cause to criticize what he's done.

The administration will never handle this the normal way. That would be admitting fault, and Trumpers just can't do that. This White House will just keep describing the media and Democrats and Barack Obama and RINO quislings and the Deep State and George Soros as saboteurs. That's going to be the game plan to the bitter end.

Originally published at No More Mr. Nice Blog


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