Trump’s morning twitter tantrum shows a man who is deeply afraid

Ginnifer Adam / Flickr 60 MINUTES SEGMENT OF OPRAH AND...
Ginnifer Adam / Flickr

Donald Trump started his morning by tweeting quotes lifted from a two-day old episode of Fox & Friends and finished them off with his own version of a primal scream. It all gives the impression of someone who is very, very nervous about what the day will bring.

Today is the day when Hope Hicks—the person who supposedly acts as a proxy for Trump when it comes to email messages, the person who has been there for the campaign, the transition, and the White House, the person who White House staff consider Trump’s “real daughter,” is slated to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. And by using detailed, careful evaluation, it may be possible that this is causing Trump some stress.

But as Trump kicks his feet against the mattress and screams his frustration that no one has made the Russia investigation go away, it’s unlikely that Hicks will say anything of particular note. Rather, what the committee will get from her will sound a lot like what it got from other members of Trump’s staff. Which is … nothing.

The White House sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Wednesday laying out its explanation for why Trump’s transition period falls under its authority to assert executive privilege, a move intended to shield Bannon from answering questions about that time period, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Bannon’s entire testimony consisted of saying the word “No” twenty-five times. That’s it. Hicks is likely to come packing the same expansive, unsupported theory of executive privilege—unless she’s ready to negotiate her escape from Trump world.

But even if Hicks’s lips are likely to remain zipped, Donald Trump is having quite the collusion-related fit on a Tuesday morning. It’s almost as if he’s afraid something is about to happen.

Trump started off the day by (having someone else) type in quotes supporting the major points of his get out of Russia three step, all of which came from his Fox & Friends recording.

First, the attack on Hillary.

In other words, we don’t know what Hillary Clinton has done, and there have been at least two dozen investigations that tried to find something against her. But she’s HIllary Clinton, dammit! She must have done something. Go find it! And of course, Devin Nunes has already launched no less than three fresh attempts to do this … which have so far produced nothing. Maybe Nunes can generate a fake crime, and put it in a memo. He has plenty of experience.

Then comes the “no collusion” step.

Which Trump doesn’t really need to worry about since collusion is not a criminal offense. So … when the indictment comes, and he can look to the charges against Paul Manafort for an example on this, the bill will read “Conspiracy against the United States.” Actually collusion seems not just likely, but fairly established based on “the evidence we have” known to the public. From Papadopuolos passing along the word that the Russians had material available, to Goldstone openly talking about the Russian program to help Trump, to Trump inviting further interference and expressing his love for WikiLeaks, there are an awful lot of dots out there. And if the indictments handed down by Mueller show anything, it’s that he has the very detailed records that can connect those dots.

Finally, Trump fired off his “WITCH HUNT!” tweet, letting his frustration and fear fly so completely that it’s clear the spittle had to be cleaned from the phone.

Something definitely has spooked Trump badly enough to have him whimpering during his executive time and clutching an old Fox & Friends like a safety blanket. It could be Hicks’s testimony. It could be that Rod Rosenstein has passed over a note to Don McGahn to let him know that Mueller is about to unseal fresh indictments. Or it could be that Trump is simply worried about his own time in the chair.

In a Saturday television interview, Trump dubbed the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, a “bad guy,” and blamed former President Barack Obama for doing “nothing” about Russia. In a Feb. 17 series of tweets, he hammered the FBI, “the Dirty Dossier” and the “fake news media.”

Notably absent from his outbursts: special counsel Robert Mueller. …

That is no accident, according to interviews with several Trump advisers and members of his legal team, who see little gain in going after Mueller now — especially as Trump’s lawyers try to negotiate the terms of a possible Mueller interview with the president.

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