POLL: Is Donald Trump Stupid Enough To Fire Jeff Sessions, Too?


The New York Times reports that the star of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is angry at his attorney general. “He has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election,” Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman say.

Trump is unable to accept blame for firing FBI Director James Comey, who is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday. According to Times sources in Trump’s trust circle, the president blames Sessions for recusing himself from investigations of his Russian influence scandals, which “eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation” that has consumed his presidency like a furnace for weeks.

In a telling series of tweets yesterday, Trump chastised the way the Department of Justice has defended his travel ban — and may have guaranteed a Supreme Court defeat for his executive order by calling it a “travel ban.”

“They wholly undercut the idea that there is some rational process behind the president’s decisions,” said Walter E. Dellinger, who served as acting solicitor general under Mr. Clinton. “I believe it is unprecedented for a president to publicly chastise his own Justice Department.”

[…] The frustration over the travel ban might be a momentary episode were it not for the deeper resentment Mr. Trump feels toward Mr. Sessions, according to people close to the president. When Mr. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Mr. Trump learned about it only when he was in the middle of another event, and he publicly questioned the decision.

A senior administration official said Mr. Trump has not stopped burning about the decision, in occasional spurts, toward Mr. Sessions.

[…] In fact, much of the past two months of discomfort and self-inflicted pain for Mr. Trump can be tied in some way back to that recusal. Mr. Trump felt blindsided by Mr. Sessions’s decision and unleashed his fury at aides in the Oval Office the next day, according to four people familiar with the event. The next day was his fateful tweet about President Barack Obama conducting a wiretap of Trump Tower during the campaign, an allegation that was widely debunked.

Sessions did not comment, but the Times reports that there was much consternation at Justice, where the Comey firing has produced Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation the way a bucket of gasoline produces a ball of flame, thus exploding the whole Russian influence scandal in Donald’s face like a Wile E. Coyote scheme.

Trump is a mercurial manager. He seems to have had enough of Jared Kushner lately, thus elevating Steve Bannon, who had been on the outs just weeks before. Along with Bannon and white nationalist aide Stephen Miller, Sessions helped developed Trump’s platform long before he endorsed his candidacy, but no one is immune to Trump’s temperament.

Because hearings and headlines and polls are all getting worse for Trump, his defects of character are coming into sharper relief all the time now. The candidate Trump courted popularity by shattering political norms; now he is angry at Sessions for respecting legal norms, which only deepens the impression of a lawless president. Yesterday’s tweetstorm also deepens the impression that Donald Trump is in the mood to fire someone, and that it might be Sessions.

So what would firing Jeff Sessions accomplish? First, it would mean another appointment process, and at this point nobody is going to take that job. Second, it is clear that Trump was counting on his attorney general obstruct justice for him, so it would immediately redouble the momentum for impeachment in Congress. Finally, it would be a hard blow to his precious base of deplorable voters, for whom Sessions — like Bannon — is a grassroots hero.

So logic would suggest that Trump is too smart to actually fire Jeff Sessions. On the other hand, this president has shown a remarkable capacity to surprise us with stupidity when he cannot baffle us with bullshit.

What do you think? Is Donald Trump enough of an idiot to follow through on his resentment here?

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