Republican and Democratic politicians say the same thing. So do conservative and progressive commentators. Same for the White House.
Their message? Donald J. Trump should not seek the ouster of special counsel Robert Mueller; the White House says the president isn’t considering it, hasn’t mentioned it, he has no intention of giving Mueller the boot.
Here is my concern: We’re dealing with the Liar in Chief, the Serial Prevaricator, the Man With No Guiding Compass.
Mueller is trying to root out the truth behind allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians who meddled in our 2016 electoral process. He is trying to ferret out whether Trump has obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, pressured former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Mueller wants to determine if Trump’s financial dealings in Russia have any connection to this mess.
Technically, the president cannot fire Mueller. He can order Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein — who selected Mueller — to do it. Would he dare? Would the president be willing to precipitate a political earthquake not seen in Washington since the infamous Watergate era?
When I hear a White House press official declare that the president doesn’t “intend” to act foolishly or stupidly, I hear someone say that the president has no intention in the moment, but that could change in the next 45 minutes.
As for the president’s previous statements that he hasn’t discussed firing anyone, let alone someone with the political heft of Robert Mueller, well … I just don’t believe him. He has demonstrated more times than any of us can count a shameless willingness to dissemble and lie.
We have come to this point. Americans have elected someone who cannot be trusted implicitly to tell the truth. He is fully capable, in my mind, of saying anything if his aim is to destroy someone else’s credibility or to provide himself sufficient political cover.
We well might be hurtling toward a serious political crisis — if the president of the United States cannot control his impulse to invite chaos.