Justice Department

David Frum Sardonically Tells Trump To Take Bannon’s ‘Legal’ Advice

Last night, Robert Costa, from the Washington Post reports that Steve Bannon is “pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies” in an apparent attempt to “cripple the federal investigation, into the matter of  Russian interference.”

The reader will recall that Steve Bannon fell out of Mr. Trump’s graces over his comments in the recent bestseller, Fire And Fury; Inside The White House, and was in fact, fired despite Bannon’s claim that he resigned according to several sources.

According to Costa, the far-fetched plan demonstrates the legal desperation of Mr. Trump’s base. Said Mr. Costa:

“Nonetheless, Bannon’s efforts signify the growing pressure from an influential wing of Trump’s political base to thwart Mueller, who, many Trump allies believe, presents an existential legal and political threat to his presidency.”

Mr. Bannon proposes Mr. Trump fire Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, claim retroactive Executive Privilege on all interviews conducted and evidence accumulated thus far by Mueller, while admonishing Trump refuse to cooperate with Mr. Mueller.

While legal experts “remain dubious” and certain Mr. Trump and his administration would “face legal challenges,” especially as the plan relates to invoking “retroactive Executive Privilege,” it has not stopped speculation.

Yesterday, during a press briefing, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders when asked about the matter, stated she didn’t have “any personnel announcements,” but failed to offer any supportive comments regarding Mr. Trump’s own selection for the position, Mr. Rosenstein.

Furthermore, Mr. Trump earlier this morning sent out the following Tweet:

“If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!”

Mr. Trump referencing the recent reporting by The New York Times, that he did, in fact consider firing Mr. Mueller back in December, neglects to point out how the current administration has repeatedly lied to the American people about specific individuals’ and their respective future in the Trump administration in the past.

Remember former National Security Advisor, H.R McMaster? How about former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey? Or, how about former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson?

In each of these cases, the individual had the “President’s confidence,” according to either himself of his Press Secretary.

And, of course, the reader will note the Tweet again as Trump makes no mention about the rumors over Rosenstein.

The point is: Nobody can trust this man as he has not one shred of credibility.

It is against this backdrop that Lawrence O’Donnell, host of The Last Word held a segment discussing a host of issues, including Mr. Costa’s recent breaking story and Steve Bannon’s legal advice to Trump.

On O’Donnell’s panel for this particular segment were; Joy Reid, political pundit and host of MSNBC’s AM Joy; Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion writer for The Washington Post; and David Frum, conservative commentator for MSNBC and former speech writer for former President George W. Bush.

Reid, after pointing out how Bannon had no law degree, while pointing to how Bannon’s advice “must have Don McGahn horrified,” wondered aloud, “who listens to him?”

Reid’s analysis, however marries with Costa’s reporting when he writes:

“Some top Trump advisers, such as White House counsel Donald McGahn, are said to be alarmed by the suggestions to fire Rosenstein or Mueller, worrying that such moves could prompt mass resignations at Justice and a constitutional crisis, the people said.”

The reader should be asking the exact same question as Reid:
“Who listens to him?” (McGahn)

Then Reid points out the very real concern when she states:

“I think one of the risks here though, could be that if Donald Trump listens to Steve Bannon. And you know there’s a lot of evidence in his biography (referencing Mr. Trump) that even if he’s mad at you, even if he thinks you’re a bad person in the moment, he will still listen to people he has supposedly fallen out with. And if he starts to listen to this, and believes the Bannon story that the ‘right’ will stand with him, if he fires everyone down to the guy who mops the floor, and gets rid of Mueller and Rosenstein, if he does that, he could lost his White House Council.”

Reid’s analysis set the table for David Frum to demonstrate how guilty Mr. Trump looks in light of all of the evidence accumulated against him thus far regarding the investigation and how from a sardonic frame Bannon’s advice makes perfect sense. Frum began:

“In the last segment I suggested that I thought Steve Bannon’s political instincts were better than Paul Ryan’s, and that Paul Ryan did damage to the Trump presidency, and that Trump just from a narrow self-interested point of view would have been better off listening to Steve Bannon more and Paul Ryan less.” 

The reader should not assume that Frum is endorsing Bannon here, but merely pointing out how the Speaker has failed to function as that office was intended, reigning in Mr. Trump.

Frum sardonically continued:

“On this legal matter, I think again, Bannon’s advice is pretty good. What Bannon is basically saying to Donald Trump is ‘you’re incredibly guilty; start acting like it.'”

“Quit with this innocent person approach; it’s not going to work. There are times when the cover-up is worse than the crime, but if Grandma’s dead body is lying rigid in the bathtub upstairs, the crime is worse than the cover-up.

Try cover-up. It’s your best hope. I think in this case, that’s really good advice. Cooperation will not help Donald Trump, uh, a cover-up, an attempt to inflame the country, appeal to your base, that probably is the best plan. Bannon’s probably right about this.” 

Make no mistake: While the several indictments Mueller has acquired and the recent raid on Trump’s personal attorney yielded the Special Counsel much information, Mr. Trump’s reaction to each new development and his subsequent attempts to derail the investigation at every turn makes him look guilty as sin.

If conservative pundits can see this, why is it that the GOP lawmakers serving our nation cannot?

Watch the full segment including Rubin’s incisive analysis below:





Dr. Mark Bear

A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!

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