Is there a mole in the State Department? Wall Street Journal editorial writer Mary Kissel has signed on as an aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but her record appears to be that of a stringent Trump critic whom the president has previously referred to as a ‘major loser.’ Kissel has herself alluded to Trump’s ‘frightening ignorance,’ among other things. Some of that ignorance may extend to her appointment. A former adviser to the president told Politico, ‘Trump would lose his mind if he found about this.’
If Trump hasn’t weighed in on the Kissel kerfuffle, it may be because he has bigger game in mind. This morning he went on a retweeting spree, including a fake Mike Pence account and a meme about his real and perceived foes, ranging from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to John Podesta to Barack Obama, behind bars. It’s titled, ‘Now that Russia Collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?’ For good measure, Rudy Giuliani stated this morning that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is treating Paul Manafort ‘like he’s a terrorist, incarcerating him before trial, solitary incarceration and repeated questioning.’
Trump is entering dangerous territory. No one has done more to imperil his presidency than Trump himself. His jejune denunciations of Mueller, far from deflecting attention about his ties to Russia, intensify it. In a blatant case of projection, the Roy Cohn protégé tweeted, ‘This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!’ As in the McCarthy era, there appear to have been some genuine collaborators with Moscow, but this time they were on the Republican side. Mueller is apparently examining the efforts of Jerome Corsi to alert Roger Stone to an impending dump of WikiLeaks documents. Corsi emailed in August 2016, ‘Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.’ Corsi claims he had no inside knowledge, but was simply operating on the basis of deduction. ‘It’s all a guess,’ he now states. About as good a guess, it seems, as the $1,000 in 10 cattle futures contracts that Hillary Clinton turned into $100,000 within 10 months from 1978-79.
The more he bellows, the guiltier Trump looks. There seems to be no length to which he will not go to try and impede Mueller. The incoming head of the House Judiciary committee Jerry Nadler is warning that Trump that holding out the prospect of a pardon to Manafort is tantamount to obstruction of justice. ‘I suspect they’re dangling a pardon in front of Manafort,’ said on CNN’s Erin Burnett Out Front, ‘but the President should understand that even dangling a pardon in front of a witness like Manafort is dangerously close to obstruction of justice and would just fortify a claim or a charge of obstruction of justice against the President.’
Even as Trump fulminates — what else does he ever do? — about Mueller, the Senate may hold a floor vote on a bill to protect him from joining the unemployment line. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said on Tuesday that in order to expedite votes on Republican judges, the Republican leadership might bow to Sen. Jeff Flake’s demand for a vote. Until then, Flake has vowed to oppose any judicial nominations. So far, however, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has acted as Trump’s wingman, stymieing any vote to shield Mueller from Trump’s wrath. Perhaps Corsi, with his telepathic powers, is the only person who knows how it all really ends.