Trump Apparently Thought He Could Pay Robert Mueller To Drop The Russia Investigation

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According to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s new book – from which MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow read on Monday night – Donald Trump seemingly believed he could pay Special Counsel Robert Mueller to drop the Russia investigation if it started to zero in on him.

“This is amazing,” Maddow said, before sharing the details from Schmidt’s book. “[Trump] thought he could pay Mueller, and that would make the Mueller investigation go away?”

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Maddow said:

This is amazing. People talk about like, oh, there’s too many lawyers in public service. In this case, maybe a little more lawyer, a little more legal knowledge for this particular public servant might have been– Anyway, this is from page 18: ‘To anyone paying attention, Trump looked like he was in trouble. But he still didn’t seem to get it. Instead of taking a disciplined approach led by experienced Washington white collar defense lawyers, as Bill Clinton had done when he was under investigation, Trump had initially put together a hodgepodge legal team of undisciplined lawyers and television pundits. In the same way that he had used the tabloids in New York, he thought he could use his Twitter account to undercut Robert Mueller. Even as he intuitively sensed the danger Mueller posed to him, he still coped with that danger with bravado and arrogance, the same way he had managed banks, creditors, civil lawsuits and divorce lawyers throughout his public life. At one point as the investigation seemed to be intensifying, Trump told White House counsel Don McGahn that there was nothing to worry about because if it was zeroing in on him, he would simply settle with Mueller.’ He would settle the case as if he were negotiating terms in a law enforcement. Robert Mueller was not suing Donald Trump. Why did he think he could settle the case? He thought he could pay Mueller and that would make the Mueller investigation go away?

Trump has no idea how the government works

The notion that Donald Trump thought he could simply “settle” with Robert Mueller in the middle of the Russia investigation confirms just how little Trump understands the government or his role as president.

Trump seems to view the presidency as an extension of his time as a crooked New York City real estate mogul and failed businessman, when he would pay off accusers, declare bankruptcies, and move on to his next failure.

But this government isn’t about him. It’s about the people.  In November, voters will have the opportunity to remind him of that reality.

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