President Trump is engulfed in Ukraine scandal and impeachment probe, as Dems ramp up their strategy. Tony Schwartz, ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author, joins MSNBC’s Ari Melber on why President Trump ‘sees the world as against him at all moments,’ and the pressure from the damning testimony from his own staff. Schwartz argues Trump has a ‘self-destructive impulse’ and his ‘paranoid’ creates a ‘vicious cycle’ that makes everything ‘he fears’ become ‘true.’ Aired on 10/24/19.
“An attack on our country.”
.. But a lawful raid on his attorney’s office and hotel room is what prompted the president to use those immensely weighted words. They’re a signal — make that a siren — of how cornered he feels, how monstrously large his belief in his own persecution has grown and what a perilous situation America is in.
.. Some unrelated swipe at perceived enemies or random assertion of potency by a man who cannot bear any image of impotence and is always ginning up distractions, as both a matter of strategy and a function of temperament?
.. He was telling us, yet again, not to trust our own government. And he was reminding us, in shocking fashion, about his readiness to sell (and buy) fictions if they serve his self-interest, which he reliably puts before all else.
.. Even though Cohen is the apparent focus of their interest, Trump, too, must feel hideously exposed. This is a man who refused, despite intense pressure, to release his tax returns
.. Now information that may be much more private, and much more damning, is in strangers’ hands.
.. Trump, during a meeting that was supposed to be about Syria, went on and on about the “disgrace” (he used that word seven times) of Mueller’s investigation
.. It was the full martyr complex and all the greatest hits in one meltdown. Mike Pence sat stone-faced on one side of him, John Bolton without much expression on the other. It’s hard to imagine either of them having the rapport with Trump to calm him down.
.. There is no Hope Hicks anymore, no Rob Porter, no Gary Cohn, no H. R. McMaster: The ranks of people who either gave Trump a sense of comfort and stability or sought to steer him away from his most destructive impulses have thinned. He’s more alone than ever. He must be more frightened, too.
But not half as scared as the rest of us should be.
President Trump resembles a Geiger counter: When he emits increasing howls, he is signaling that we’re approaching some radioactive or explosive truth.
Trump is said to be near a “meltdown” in his fury at what he describes as “an attack on our country” — by which he means the ongoing criminal investigation of him. It’s a phrase that he has not used about Russia’s interference with our elections
.. Americans by a 69-percent-to-13-percent majority oppose the firing of Mueller. Even Republicans say by more than a two-to-one ratio that Trump shouldn’t fire Mueller.
.. It may be that Republicans in Congress would get over their indignation, form a protective circle and try to move on, for that’s what has happened every time Trump has committed some new outrage.
.. In any case, that would not automatically end the separate investigation that led to the raid on Michael Cohen’s files, and it might even fuel state investigations and prosecutions in New York.
.. If Trump were to recklessly end an investigation into whether he is obstructing justice, that would seem prima facie evidence of obstruction of justice. Trump should have learned something from firing James Comey; that misstep didn’t stop the investigation but assured that Comey’s book will be a best seller when it comes out next week, and handed Comey the ABC interview in which he apparently compares Trump to a mob boss.
.. the political price of pardons will be increasingly costly — and they won’t provide protection from state prosecutions.
.. Trump says he’s the victim of a “witch hunt,” but it’s actually a “criminal hunt” — one presided over by Republicans, most of whom he has appointed.