The I-word

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Last week Donald Trump mentioned ‘impeachment’ once in a Fox News interview, but in the White House he uses ‘the I-word,’ an indication of how much it’s on his mind.  As the midterms approach the president realizes that he’ll be in deep trouble if the Democrats take control of the House.  His administration will be paralyzed by the investigations that will be initiated, and impeachment procedures will probably start almost immediately.  For now Trump can trust his lackeys in the senate to keep him in the Oval Office, but there is no telling what will happen if the elections result in carnage for the GOP and senators get worried about their own prospects  in 2020.  The president doesn’t make things easier for the Republican Party, because while he is often a kingmaker in the primaries the candidates he endorses and that share his views will be vulnerable against their Democratic opponents.  He doesn’t make things easier for himself either, because on Wednesday he announced with a tweet that Don McGahn, the White House Counsel, will leave his job in the fall, leaving a depleted and inexperienced office behind for what will most likely be a ferocious fight with the congress.

It is unclear if this departure, of which the sudden announcement surprised McGahn, is related to the fact that the president’s main legal advisor spent over 30 hours being interviewed by Robert Mueller, and that Trump’s legal team has no clue what he told the Special Counsel.  McGahn was strongly opposed to the idea of firing Jeff Sessions, but the president’s rhetoric and cave-ins by senators like Graham and Grassley makes that ever more likely, albeit not before the elections.  In the meantime Trump’s legal problems are still growing.  It turns out that Paul Manafort was looking for a plea deal to avoid his second trial, and although nothing was finalized there are signs that negotiations are ongoing.  Of the American public 61% approves of the Mueller probe, while only 31% disapproves, and those numbers are much better than Trump’s own approval ratings.  Because he can see a potential catastrophe coming the president is now predicting that the economy will collapse and most Americans will become miserably poor if he were to be impeached, because the country would lose the benefit of his brain.  Even more ominously, Trump is predicting violence if the Democrats win a House majority.

Meanwhile the president must feel like a stranger in DC.  Senator John McCain planned his own funeral services in such a way that all the media attention will be for him this week.  Trump already showed what a spiteful mental midget he is by initially refusing to put out a statement about the senator’s death and to fly the White House flag half staff, and tomorrow he’ll be exiled to Camp David, because he’s unwelcome at the funeral where George W. Bush and Obama will speak, and someone explained to him that playing golf at one of his courses would really be inappropriate.

More bad news came from a report about the damage Hurricane Maria did on Puerto Rico, with an estimate of 2,975 deaths, 2911 more than the official government estimate Trump has stood by so far.  A staged phone call with the Mexican president about a bilateral agreement replacing NAFTA failed completely, creating the image of the president as a helpless old man who doesn’t understand basic technology, while the actual agreement is surprisingly similar to the old NAFTA.

Yesterday it became clear that the infamous phone call between Trump and Michael Cohen that was recorded by Cohen was not just about buying the Karen McDougal story from the National Enquirer, but about buying the paper’s whole collection of mostly salacious information about Trump that goes thirty years back.  With David Pecker talking to prosecutors it’s unlikely that Trump will ever get his hands on it.

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