President Trump is feeling miffed. A new poll from Fox indicating that a majority of registered voters wants to see him depart the presidency sooner rather than later has apparently bruised his feelings. In his inimitable fashion, Trump dismissed the news as so much hooey.
He declared, ‘From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme….’ He concluded, ‘…Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!’
Despite the concluding attempt at nonchalance, it seems clear that Trump’s combination of wrathfulness and aggrievement, truculence and indignation, is likely to result in a Vesuvius-like display of emotional fireworks when he speaks, or, to put it more precisely, bellows, at a rally in Minneapolis this evening, where his adoring congregants will gather to soak up his great and unmatched wisdom. Trump doesn’t just have the polls to worry about. The polls are merely the reflection, not the source, of his current woes. Even as he tries to assert monarchical powers on behalf of the presidency and his retainers warn about attempts at ‘regicide’ by congressional Democrats, Trump himself has to be feeling a growing sense of unease at the silence of a number of Senate Republicans, not to mention the arrest of two Ukrainian associates of Rudy Giuliani. Both Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were charged today with violating campaign finance laws in an attempt to influence American elections and foreign policy, were apparently also at the heart of Giuliani’s attempt to concoct investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in Ukraine two other men were also indicted on counts of conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records). Giuliani has not commented on the pair. Their arrests will only heighten the avidity of House Democrats to depose them about their activities in Ukraine. According to the Wall Street Journal, this duo gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super-PAC America First in 2018. The Washington Post reports, ‘Last year, the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center filed a still-pending complaint with the FEC over the donation, alleging that it appeared to be a straw donation that masked the identity of the original contributor.’
As more information counts to mount about Trump and Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine, the country is likely to emerge as a kind of Nessus shirt that they willingly donned and may well consume the Trump presidency. In a perceptive column, Greg Sargent observes that when it comes to impeachment and the upcoming election, Trump is staking out a claim that he can unilaterally do whatever he pleases whenever he likes: ‘Trump’s explicitly declared position is that he is constrained by no existing legitimate mechanism of accountability.’ In adopting this position, however, Trump is more likely to compound rather than alleviate his political plight. If he’s feeling outfoxed, he has only himself to blame.