Donald Trump is finding out a fundamental truth about Washington, D.C. It is that he doesn’t have as many friends in high places as he thinks — or says — he does.
The president went on another Twitter tirade this morning, flinging thinly veiled threats against special counsel Robert Mueller. His lawyer, John Dowd, said he is “praying” that Mueller shuts down his Russia investigation in the wake Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Mueller is a lot of trails to explore before he can wrap his investigation up. Law enforcement officials say it. Now, too, do Republicans in Congress who are rallying behind Mueller.
They are dismayed at Trump’s tweets and the threats he is delivering against Mueller, whose task is to determine whether the president is trying to obstruct justice, whether his campaign “colluded” with Russian election-meddling efforts and whether his business dealings are somehow interfering with the president’s duties as head of state.
GOP lawmakers fanned out on Sunday morning talk shows this morning to offer words of warning if Trump tries to dismiss Mueller. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said firing Mueller would signal the “beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency. Rep. Trey Gowdy, another South Carolina Republican, wants Mueller’s probe to run its course. “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible,” Gowdy said.
I get that Trump has his friends and political allies, too. I just get the sense that they are outnumbered by those who are standing behind the special counsel who, you should recall, was hailed universally by politicians of all stripes when the Justice Department appointed him to do the job.
I feel the need to remind readers of this blog that Donald Trump had zero political connections when he ran for president. He spent his entire professional life making zillions of dollars in private business, stepping on toes and trampling foes in the process.
That experience does not lend itself to cultivating political alliances in an altogether different world.