It makes for an amusing visual. President Barack Obama, in his mom jeans, crawling around Trump Tower, placing his evil listening devices, matching up wires, furtively glancing around to ensure he is undetected, while the theme to Mission: Impossible plays ominously in the background.
If Trump knew anything about Nixon and Watergate, he would know that, since 1978, no president can authorize a wiretap without a court order. My guess is he’s never even heard of the FISA court, because no one on Fox & Friends has mentioned it. After all, this is a president who believed it would be within his authority to fire the commissioner of the NFL.
Surely if you are going to accuse a former president of committing a crime, you have some evidence to back it up, right? Apparently Trump’s evidence consists of what he’s seen on Fox News and Breitbart. Press Secretary Sean Spicer says there is “a concern about what happened.” Indeed. Trump’s statement was definitive. Granted, maybe he didn’t have the luxury of nuance within 140 characters, but here’s a thought: If you’re going to accuse a former president of tapping your phones, perhaps Twitter isn’t the best venue for doing that.
Spicer went on to say that the White House is calling for a congressional investigation. The response to Trump’s accusation from Republicans on Capitol Hill?
- Sen. John McCain: Come forward with the information.
- Sen. John Cornyn: I don’t know what the basis of his statement is.
- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: I’ve seen no evidence.
- Sen. Marco Rubio: I’m not sure what he’s talking about.
- Rep. Trey Gowdy: All you have to do is call your Attorney General and ask if this happened.
- Sen. Tom Cotton: I’ve seen no evidence of that.
Spicer’s response? Well, it’s a separation of powers issue. Huh?
Trump wants to waste taxpayer dollars to investigate something he said unequivocally is true and that happened. Obviously, he doesn’t really want an investigation, because it will show that he lied.
So, how did we get here? That part requires no investigation. Trump live tweets as he watches cable news.
Meanwhile, this just in. Obamacare is collapsing. Every single statement by Republicans about their plan to “repeal and replace” is prefaced by these three words. Great. Got it. Obamacare, bad.
Not for nothing, but the elimination of the individual mandate, as in the proposed House plan, will cause the Obamacare exchanges to collapse. Can we say self-fulfilling prophecy?
You may recall that Trump promised insurance for everyone. Just five days before he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, he said, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Then, following five weeks of intensive study of the subject, Trump had an epiphany. “It’s an unbelievably complex subject,” said he in late February, adding “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
Trump believes that if he doesn’t know something, then nobody knows it.
Meanwhile, Trump has said the plan rolled out by House Republicans is a wonderful plan, a beautiful plan, a plan that’s so great, people will get tired of things being so great.
So, here we are, Day 47. The Trump administration has been a state of perpetual crisis since day one, and it’s all internally generated. Trump gets bored, turns on cable news, and hears a snippet of something he can go off about on Twitter. Reckless? Or calculated? How much have you heard about Russia this week? But here’s a question. If the White House is in such a state of chaos that it is constantly licking its self-inflicted wounds (“Well, I think what the President meant was . . .”) what happens when a real crisis occurs, one that comes from the outside? Will this president respond on Twitter? Perhaps find a way to blame Obama, or better yet, Hillary? If even Trump can’t find a way to blame his predecessor or his campaign opponent, there is, of course, always the fall-back position: Blame the media.
Because naturally, the important thing here is finding someone to blame.