The White House is in total panic as the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller moves ever closer to President Donald Trump and members of his family.
During a discussion of the news that Trump will not be appearing before the Mueller team anytime soon, and that, according to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, is only increasing the tension inside the West Wing as the president, top aides, and his legal team wonder exactly what Mueller’s next move will be. On Morning Joe, Costa remarked:
“They also feel like there’s this variable inside the probe with regard to the president’s family. Some of his advisers, they know about Gen. (Mike) Flynn, they know about others like (Paul) Manafort, who have been indicted and are about to go to trial. But those who haven’t even been interviewed, or with Mr. Kushner, they’re not sure where this is going, and that’s part of the problem for this White House. That’s why Giuliani said the president is trying to work on foreign affairs, because they just don’t know how long Mueller will take when it comes to the conduct question of the investigation and the collusion aspect.”
And the total silence from Mueller is driving Trump mad, MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann noted:
“It makes Trump crazy.”
“All he gets is more Avenatti in his face. It’s like there’s a double teamed yin-yang thing going on that I think is part of the mental gamesmanship that’s put Trump on defense.”
How worried is Trump? Last week he dialed back his own personal attacks on the Mueller probe and let others — Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Rudy Giuliani — make the case instead. That, Heilemann said, is a better strategy for the president:
“That’s how a normal White House would go about making the argument, not have the president on Twitter or acting in a histrionic way. You wonder if for all the other noise whether they’re finding their way towards a more conventional strategy of trying to undermine the various probes under which they’re operating.”
But does Trump have enough self-discipline to stay off Twitter and do what his attorneys recommend? Based on his past pattern of behavior, that seems highly unlikely.
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