The State of the Union speech is tonight and NBC News reports that Trump is in high spirits, saying, “the State of Donald Trump himself is nothing short of fantastic” — in Trump’s world view, which is clearly delusional. He’s still talking exoneration, which will happen any day now, he thinks, but if it shouldn’t, he’s got a plan to get Jeff Sessions to go after Mueller. Yep, everything’s coming up roses.
Some reasons: He’s decided that a key witness in the Russia probe, Paul Manafort, isn’t going to “flip” and sell him out, friends and aides say. He believes Robert Mueller, who heads the investigation, can be crushed, if necessary, without being fired. Sweeping tax and regulatory cuts will juice the economy and get him re-elected in 2020, he is predicting. He thinks he’s learned how to handle the dysfunction of Congress. And he’s even come to like the White House, the bad plumbing and drafty halls notwithstanding. “I love this place!” he told one friend.
According to this article, Trump is not only delusional, but he is totally sold on himself and the disruption he has created, and he plans to create more.
Sources say that Trump has adopted a two-track strategy to deal with the Mueller investigation.
One is an un-Trumpian passivity and trust. He keeps telling some in his circle that Mueller — any day now — will tell him he is off the hook for any charge of collusion with the Russians or obstruction of justice.
But Trump — who trusts no one, or at least no one for long — has now decided that he must have an alternative strategy that does not involve having Justice Department officials fire Mueller. “I think he’s been convinced that firing Mueller would not only create a firestorm, it would play right into Mueller’s hands,” said another friend, “because it would give Mueller the moral high ground.”
Instead, as is now becoming plain, the Trump strategy is to discredit the investigation and the FBI without officially removing the leadership. Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
“Here’s how it would work: ‘We’re sorry, Mr. Mueller, you won’t be able to run the federal grand jury today because he has to go testify to another federal grand jury,'” said one Trump adviser.
Bear in mind, what Trump thinks is a great idea and what actually is are two very different things. He persistently pestered Andrew McCabe until McCabe folded, thinking somehow that things would be better with McCabe out of the picture. Now that McCabe is a private citizen, he might do what James Comey did as a private citizen, leak information about notes he had on Trump. Or something. In any event, the possibility exists that McCabe could pose far more of a threat to Trump as an outsider.
Lyndon Johnson made the now famous comment about J. Edgar Hoover, “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.” Donald Trump is too dense to discern such distinctions, he thinks he can discharge career law enforcement officials the same way he discharges a waiter at Mar-a-Lago. He was reportedly furious at McCabe for allowing Comey to fly home on an FBI plane after Trump had fired him. McCabe said he hadn’t authorized the flight but if he had known of the situation, he would have.
Donald Trump will either figure out how the mechanisms of government actually work, or the mechanisms will grind him up in their gears.