the unhingery continues: Individual-1 returns to demonizing the press

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ABC News / YouTube How Donald Trump Has Used Twitter...
ABC News / YouTube

The reality was that Trump’s petulance, some self-reported (“Bye-Bye”) was reported in the case of the off-the-record meeting, not from media members. Meanwhile the press did its job reporting about an apparent temper tantrum.

Remember that this shutdown/shakedown is distracting from the latest Manafort-Kilimnik news that internal polling data from the Trump 2016 campaign was being shared with foreign entities, including but not limited to Russian intelligence assets.

“going Crazy” —  Trump tweeted during O’Donnell’s show:

The WH has hired 17 new lawyers who won’t be conducting garage sales during the shutdown as the Coast Guard has been advised.

Expect executive privilege stories to increase.

The apparent revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence asset has predictably reignited questions of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. The key for investigators, legal and congressional, going forward should be the question made famous during Watergate:

What did the president know and when did he know it?

That question catapulted Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) into national prominence when he asked it repeatedly to witnesses during the televised hearings. For all of the vitriol and hatred many feel toward President Trump, that should remain the lodestar for anyone contemplating impeachment and removal from office.

And are lifting sanctions on Manafort’s client, Oleg Deripaska’s companies by the US Treasury designed as a quid pro quo for the Trump WH’s continued goal since the 2016 election, of lifting all Russian sanctions. The House will ask those questions of Steve Mnuchin tomorrow.

The theory is that partisanship will save this President. After all, Republicans will still control the Senate in 2019 with an even larger majority, so the likelihood of their support in any impeachment proceedings is slim. Republicans have stood by silently as the President ignores norms, threatens institutions, and conducts his erratic term in office. When it comes to taking a stand, congressional Republicans have done nothing to demonstrate that they privilege governance over partisanship.

But do the past two years suggest President Trump is immune to the fallout that could result from the emoluments case or a damning Mueller report?

In short, the answer is no. The same intense partisanship within the Republican Party that has protected President Trump until this point could just as easily turn against him. That is the essence of intense partisanship. Decisions are not about loyalty to an individual or principle but about power. When a person stands in the way of power, then they become disposable.

“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you — go through it, go over it, go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”

— Trump in 2004

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