Saturday, March 23, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

Nothing, somewhat ominously.

If Sarah Huckabee Sanders is to be believed, Trump spent today in the same informational limbo as the rest of the country regarding what the Mueller report contains, and what of it Trump's hand-picked attorney general William Barr will allow to see the light of day. Given the strain Trump was under during last weekend's emotional meltdown, his handlers have decided to pursue a containment strategy today. According to the Washington Post:

Typically, Trump is accompanied by only a small staff entourage, sometimes with mid-level aides, on his weekend jaunts to Florida. But on Friday, several senior White House officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and press secretary Sarah Sanders, flew with him to Florida — in part so Trump would be surrounded by people he knows and trusts and therefore be less likely to do something rash, according to two people close to the president who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal details.
Trump agreed with his aides to be restrained in his public comments about the Mueller report until he gets a full briefing on its findings, which could occur as early as Sunday. Reminded that the president’s inclination has been to break the shackles his aides place on him by tweeting his feelings, one senior administration official replied, “The stakes are higher.”

It may be working: Trump stayed off Twitter entirely today—something that has only happened a few times during his presidency, and the first time in over a year that he has stayed away for a full day. Instead, Trump played golf for approximately the 175th time in his presidency.

Why does this matter?

  • Presidents should not have to be manipulated by handlers so that they are "less likely to do something rash."