Donald Trump is always credited with joking. Each one of his outre comments, most recently the comment about how China should investigate the Bidens, is frequently explained away by nervous Republicans as merely being a joke. Be that as it may, Trump just made an incredible understatement when it comes to impeachment. Axios:
In a phone call with House Republicans on Friday, Trump articulated why he really doesn’t want this. Impeachment, Trump said, is a “bad thing to have on your resume,” according to a source on the call. Two other sources on the call confirmed the substance of the comment, but one said they recalled Trump phrasing it as “you don’t want it [impeachment] on your resume.”
After making the resume remark, Trump added, “But it’s going to make Kevin speaker,” these sources said, a reference to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s upside.
This is an interesting logic going on here, if you can call anything Trump thinks or says as logical: He’s not looking forward to the “stain” on his legacy — majestic as that it — but he thinks it’s going to be a big winning issue and give Republicans back the House?
Why it matters: These two Trump quotes might seem like throwaways on what was a lengthy and discursive call with allies. But sources who have discussed impeachment candidly with the president say these comments perfectly encapsulate how Trump feels about it: He believes it could help him get re-elected and win back the House. But he doesn’t want the history books recording Donald Trump as an impeached president.
Behind the scenes: Many of Trump’s advisers, both inside and out of the White House, have given him their unpleasant prediction that he will almost certainly be impeached by the House of Representatives. But they have also told him they believe there is almost no chance the Senate convicts him.
- One person who spoke to Trump in the past 10 days said he seemed resistant to that prediction and said he thought he could stop Nancy Pelosi from getting the votes to impeach. The source said Trump seemed confident that he could pile enough pressure onto House Democrats in “Trump districts” (where he won in 2016 but Democrats took back in 2018) that those incumbents would cave on Pelosi.
- But a second person who spoke to Trump in the last few days said the president “was not in denial” and understood that the House is probably going to impeach him.
It’s very interesting, this flip flop of Trump’s: On the one hand, he doesn’t like impeachment — but it will bring a GOP windfall, so it’s a good thing. On the other hand, he’s lashing out at any Republicans who oppose him, notably Mitt Romney — but that’s good for party unity and people will go out and elect even more Republicans, because he’s doing that. This is interesting. It’s a shame Sigmund Freud isn’t still alive, to help us get a handle on this. This topic must come under the purview of psychology, because it sure as hell doesn’t fit any kind of political analysis that I personally am familiar with. Oh well, it wouldn’t be Trump if it made any sense, now would it? My best take on this is that Trump figures that no matter what happens, he will defy the laws of political physics once again and win. At least that’s what he has to tell himself.