Saturday, April 21, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lost it over a New York Times story.

Last night, the New York Times ran an article about Michael Cohen, whose implication in any number of crimes--some of them related to his attempts to cover up Trump's alleged affair with a particular porn actress--may lead him to strike a deal with federal prosecutors to testify against Trump.

Even by Trump's standards, the resulting tweet-rant this morning was emotional:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use.... ....non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if.... means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!
The "drunk/drugged up loser" is probably Sam Nunberg, a Republican political strategist with ties to Trump and members of his campaign. Nunberg is best known for a wild series of interviews he gave last month in which he declared that he would rather go to jail than cooperate with a subpoena issued by the special counsel investigating Russia's attempts to get Trump elected. (He changed his tune the next day, and ultimately provided the Mueller investigation with documents and six hours of testimony.)

But the main named source for the NYT story is Roger Stone, Jr., a person who exists and is one of Trump's oldest friends. He is himself a major link in the chain between Russian hackers and Trump. Stone, who was in the news earlier this week for calling the late Barbara Bush a "nasty drunk" who is "descending into hell now," gave on-the-record quotes for the piece. Among other things, he said that "Donald goes out of his way to treat him [Cohen] like garbage."

Why does this matter?

  • Complaints about "non-existent sources" don't really work when the sources exist and are named.
  • It's probably too late for Donald Trump to start pretending he's a nice guy.