President Trump taught America another lesson from his narcissist playbook today.
When events spin out of your control, you spin them right back by claiming the runaway train was your own idea the whole time.
Thus, Trump sent out a tweet this morning in response to the House of Representative’s non-binding resolution calling for the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — and the involvement of the Trump campaign and administration in its planning and coverup —when it is completed.
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Surprisingly, given the partisan divide in the attitudes towards the investigation that Trump misses no opportunity to call a “witch hunt,” the vote on the measure had not a single representative voting against it — although four Republicans — Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the release of the report of a probe they’ve spent so much time condemning on the president’s behalf and simply voted present.
President Trump now claims that he personally engineered the Republican support for the resolution, perhaps as a way of undermining the ability to gauge how much more support he’s lost amongst the GOP representatives, after 13 of them joined the Democrats to vote to end his “national emergency” declaration to seize funds for his foolish border wall proposal that Congress explicitly voted against.
On the recent non-binding vote (420-0) in Congress about releasing the Mueller Report, I told leadership to let all Republicans vote for transparency. Makes us all look good and doesn’t matter. Play along with the game!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
It’s telling that Trump considers transparency a virtue only because of its optics and not because it is the right and proper thing to do. The president is explicit in his view that transparency doesn’t matter, although he doesn’t specify as to whether it’s because the resolution was non-binding or because he will simply counter whatever damning evidence that the report reveals with more of his lies about “deep state” conspiracy theories.
Trump’s dismissive attitude towards the probe into his criminality as “a game” is belied by the events of the past week that saw the sentencing of his campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a result of Mueller’s investigation, a trial date set for his political advisor Roger Stone, and the postponement of sentencing for Manafort partner Rick Gates and former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn due to their ongoing cooperation in still-active inquiries.
If it is indeed a political game as Trump regards it, the Mueller investigation is a game that Trump is losing badly despite his attempts to be seen as the master player. The president’s tweet only serves to underscore that reality — despite his constant cries of “No Collusion,” “Hoax,” and “Phony Witch Hunt.”
When — or if — the Mueller report is made public, the game will have finally hit checkmate for Trump, but since the president is known for believing that rules don’t apply to him, expect a few surprise moves from Trump between now and then.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.