Here’s why it’s impossible to take the Trump-tweets-strategically theory seriously: He’s a blooming idiot who couldn’t outthink a tic-tac-toe-playing chicken.
This is the guy who thought his decision to fire James Comey would be greeted with hosannas from both sides of the political aisle. In other words, he doesn’t have a clue.
And now, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman is reporting that the Rosenstein bombshell from this morning was “strategically” placed in order to knock Kavanaugh’s problems off the front pages. But unlike Trump, we’re not children. We can focus on more than one thing at once:
At the beginning of one of the most consequential weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, an enormous smoke bomb was detonated in the news cycle when Axios, deeply wired in Trump’s West Wing, reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had resigned. Quickly, a head-spinning array of conflicting accounts were put forth: had he been fired? Was he heading to the White House to be fired—or was he going to a regularly scheduled meeting? Finally, Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought a measure of clarity by tweeting that whatever was going to happen to Rosenstein would happen on Thursday, when the president returned from New York.
And for some reason, Trump thought a big story about his lust for dictatorial power would distract us from two (and counting?) credible sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court nominee.
For all the morning’s madness, there may have been an underlying logic. Over the weekend, as Brett Kavanaugh’s prospects appeared increasingly imperiled, Trump faced two tactical options, both of them fraught. One was to cut Kavanaugh loose. But he was also looking for ways to dramatically shift the news cycle away from his embattled Supreme Court nominee. According to a source briefed on Trump’s thinking, Trump decided that firing Rosenstein would knock Kavanaugh out of the news, potentially saving his nomination and Republicans’ chances for keeping the Senate. “The strategy was to try and do something really big,” the source said. The leak about Rosenstein’s resignation could have been the result, and it certainly had the desired effect of driving Kavanaugh out of the news for a few hours.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think this is going to work. Just a hunch.
Yo! Dear F*cking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing is now available at Amazon! Buy there (or at one of the other fine online retailers carrying it), or be square.