Saturday, April 27, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He felt hurt and betrayed, and lashed out.

Yesterday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano made the case in an editorial that the actions Trump took to obstruct the Russia investigation (and protect himself) probably met the threshold for the crime of obstruction of justice. 

Napolitano, an arch-conservative whom Trump previously called "a very talented legal mind," clearly wasn't who Trump was expecting to hear the mainstream view from. Trump demands absolute personal loyalty and reacts especially badly to criticism—which, for Trump, includes being told things he doesn't want to hear—from inside his inner circle

Trump struck back by accusing the "very dumb" Napolitano of having sought a pardon for an unspecified friend, and a Supreme Court appointment. This is the first Trump has mentioned it, but it wouldn't be the first time he's imagined things like this. He has frequently accused Robert Mueller of being a "Trump hater," and that his Russia investigation was a personal vendetta because Mueller once asked about a Trump-owned golf course about the possibility a partial refund of his membership fee.

As for the supposed pardon, Trump hasn't provided any specifics there either—but if it actually happened, Napolitano would have good reason to think that Trump would play ball. Most of the pardons Trump has issued have been for things he's known to have done (like obstruction of justice, perjury, and campaign finance violations), or things he's promised to do (ignoring federal court orders). All of the pardons he's granted to living people have gone to his own political supporters.

Why does this matter?

  • Someone who needs constant validation, and melts down when he doesn't get it, isn't mentally well.
  • It shouldn't be this hard to take the President of the United States seriously.