Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump doesn't seem to know what he doesn't know

There is an old saying that is usually reserved for the sports pages, but I think I am going to adapt it for President Trump.

In the first few years after Jeff Lurie bought the Eagles, when fans often complained that he and his right-hand man Joe Banner were running the team like some kind of fantasy football drill, it was often said of the Birds' dynamic duo, "They don't know what they don't know."

Welcome to the Trump Presidency.

I'm beginning to wonder if the man doesn't know what he doesn't know.

How else can you explain some of the things that happened last week in the fallout from his sudden decision to ax FBI Director James Comey.

First things first, if Trump wants to replace Comey, he is completely within his rights. Even Comey acknowledged that. He works at the pleasure of the commander-in-chief and can be replaced at any time regardless of whether he has a good reason or not.

But what the president can't do is fire someone in an attempt to subvert or thwart an investigation. That is what a lot of people believe was going on when the the president - clearly irked and tired of being dogged by questions about his campaign's ties to Russia - decided to let Comey go.

Then there was the mass confusion that followed among Trump's communications team.

And once again Vice President Mike Pence was left hung out to dry, trotted out to offer an explanation of the firing that put the onus on the recommendation from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, even as Trump was admitting that he had already made up his mind to dump Comey regardless of the recommendation.

But all of that paled compared to what happened when Trump sat down with NBC anchor Lester Holt for an interview.

For some reason, the president decided to share the knowledge that he actually asked Comey if he was under investigation.

There are some experts who already are saying that comes dangerously close to the precipice of obstruction of justice.

The smoke from thse smoldering ruins had barely extinguished when Trump took to Twitter and started a new firestorm by suggesting that perhaps his conversations with Comey had been taped.

It's not the first time since the Comey firing exploded that Trump had taken on a Nixonian atmosphere.

The possibility of Trump taping his White House conversations took the sense of deja vu to a whole new level.

I have said it before and I'm beginning to wonder about it again.

Trump does not strike me as someone who is especially interested in the day-to-day intricacies of the White House. I wonder if he is still trying to come to grips with the fact that he actually was elected president, and just how much interest he has in being president.

His actions last week do nothing to make me re-evaluate that stance.

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