Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Politico reports that the president is leaving Robert Mueller alone:
Firing special counsel Robert Mueller? That might open up the president to an obstruction of justice charge.

Defunding the Russia investigation? Influential Republicans are warning the White House to avoid such a direct attack.

... on Tuesday, several of the president’s top aides did their best to signal that Trump would be staying out of Mueller’s way.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave reporters a flat “no” during her daily briefing when asked whether the president would take aim at Mueller’s budget, as former White House strategist Steve Bannon has suggested.

... White House attorney Ty Cobb, personal attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, and White House chief of staff John Kelly have ... coached the president to pull back from making explicit, direct attacks against Mueller.
The Washington Post concurs:
Bannon in recent days has spoken with Trump by phone to relay his concerns about the president’s position and to counsel a shift in strategy, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation. The president — so far — has not accepted Bannon’s advice, these people said....

But many people in Trump’s orbit recommend that he stay the course with cooperation — encouraging him to harshly criticize media coverage of the investigation but avoid engaging Mueller....

Bannon is demanding that GOP leaders move swiftly to end congressional probes into Russian interference, undermine Mueller’s investigation and increase scrutiny on Democratic controversies.

“The Republicans are like church mice,” Bannon said Tuesday. “No support of the president. Totally gutless. The Hill needs to step up.”
A lot of people hope that the end of the Trump presidency will break the fever in America -- they hope we'll have a government that respects laws and norms again, and there'll be less political polarization. But Bannon is putting down a marker here: If Trump leaves office before his term is over, or as a scandal-plagued loser in 2020, the message to Republican voters will be Trump is gone because no one would stand up and fight for him. The people who failed to stand up and fight will include Trump himself.

The message after that will be We need a real fighter. We need someone who'll never back down. Voters won't revert to the right-center -- they'll want someone even nastier than Trump. Trump might be seen as a RINO, a phony Republican who listened to swamp-dwelling advisors (some of them Democrats) and allowed the Deep State to take over.

It won't end -- not until there aren't enough Republican voters to matter. And I don't know when that will be, if ever.

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