Once the collusion between Putin and Trump to rig the 2016 presidential election is not proved after two years of constantly manufactured drama surrounding Russiagate, there’s going to be a problem. Make that plural:
The first is the Martyrdom of Trump.
When you go after Trump, he’s going to fight like a cornered rat with his tail caught in the mousetrap. Biting. Where’s my cheese? Making up terrorists attacks. Saying two words “national security” gets you a long way in America…
“Sooner or later this con game is not going to work,” the linguistics professor said about Trump. “People will understand he’s not bringing back jobs, he’s not going to recreate the partly illusory, partly real picture of what life was like in the past with manufacturing jobs, and a functioning society where you can get ahead — he’s not going to create that.”
“So what happens at that point, something has to be done to maintain control. The obvious technique is scapegoating. Blame it on the Muslims, on immigrants, on somebody. But that can only go so far. The next step would be, as I said, an ‘alleged terrorist attack,’ which is quite easy, almost normal. Like Condoleeza Rice’s ‘Mushroom Cloud.’ It is easy to construct alleged attacks,” he said.
“The other possibility is a staged attack of a minor kind, and how hard would that be? Take the FBI technique, which they are using constantly, of creating situations of entrapment. Suppose one goes a little too far and you don’t stop it right in time. That wouldn’t be hard to work out. I don’t particularly anticipate it, but it is a possibility. And this is a very frightened country. for years, this has probably been the most terrified country in the world.”
Even war with Russia to prove he’s not Putin’s puppet. As in “going nuclear.”
It seems very unlikely Trump is going to go quietly, to just resign the way Nixon did. That is not Trump’s nature. Trump’s nature is to double down when challenged and make it all worse. Trump fights for the sake of fighting.
What if his ordering troops to the border was a weather balloon to see which way the wind blows? See if the troops will do sketchy things when he tells them to?
Be careful what you wish for…
“It’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview.
“I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened,” he said.
Federal prosecutors in New York said last week Trump directed Cohen to make six-figure payments to two women so they would not discuss their alleged affairs with the candidate ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
They said the payments violated laws that stipulate campaign contributions, defined as things of value given to a campaign to influence an election, must be disclosed, and limited to $2,700 per person.
Democrats said such a campaign law violation would be an impeachable offense, although senior party leaders in Congress have questioned whether it is a serious enough crime to warrant politically charged impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment requires a simple majority to pass the House of Representatives, where Democrats will take control in January. But removal of the president from office further requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans hold sway.
Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday in New York for his role in the payments to the two women – adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump has denied having affairs with them.
Earlier this year, Trump acknowledged repaying Cohen for $130,000 paid to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He previously disputed knowing anything about the payments.
Trump has slammed Cohen for cooperating with prosecutors, alleging that the lawyer is telling lies about him in a bid to get a lighter prison term. He has called for Cohen to get a long sentence and said on Tuesday his ex-lawyer should have known the campaign finance laws.
“Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing,” Trump said when asked if he had discussed campaign finance laws with Cohen.
“Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?”
Asked about prosecutors’ assertions a number of people who had worked for him met or had business dealings with Russians before and during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said: “The stuff you’re talking about is peanut stuff.”
He then sought to turn the subject to his 2016 Democratic opponent.
“I haven’t heard this, but I can only tell you this: Hillary Clinton – her husband got money, she got money, she paid money, why doesn’t somebody talk about that?” Trump said.
The president said he could work with Democrats in Congress, but suggested that would not happen if they issued subpoenas and pursued investigations against him.
“We’re going to go down one of two tracks. We’re either going to start the campaign and they’re going to do presidential harassment. Or we’re going to get tremendous amounts of legislation passed working together. There’s not a third track,” he said.
“Look, they’ve been looking for two years about collusion. There’s no collusion,” he said.
Trump has dismissed the special counsel’s probe into possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia as a witch hunt.
(Header image – left to right – Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos Village Voice)