Trump Defense Still Muddled

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Mere minutes ago, Trump tweeted this:

He’s still with this perplexing defense.

It doesn’t matter that the whistleblower had second hand information about the call. We’ve now seen the transcript of the call, and IT IS TROUBLING. How we got here is irrelevant. But even then, the House committees will talk to first hand sources about the call, and there goes the “second hand information” defense.

They have no strategy, which the Washington Post confirms:

Trump said he was trying to “find out about” the whistleblower Monday, the latest move in an increasingly frenetic counterassault targeting the anonymous intelligence officer and top Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry. The comments came as his allies struggled to coalesce around a clear strategy to respond to a fast-moving and quickly mounting threat to his presidency.

The ad hoc counter-impeachment effort developing around Trump underscores the risk the president faces as Democratic leaders plan to launch a probe aimed at proving that Trump abused his presidential powers in asking Ukraine’s president to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and his family, as well as an unsubstantiated theory that Ukrainians worked with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election.

The White House has not yet set up anything resembling a “war room” to coordinate its response, and officials spent Monday in meetings trying to determine a path forward. The president’s outside legal team played down the threat of impeachment and dismissed the need for the kind of coordinated war-room-based effort that President Bill Clinton relied on 20 years ago.

Yeah> How has the “no war room” approach been going so far?

Some Republican officials have stumbled in recent days in their attempts to defend Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, and others have pushed the White House to offer more guidance to its defenders by standing up a centralized, organized response effort.

Trump’s reelection campaign has taken a de facto lead role in hitting back against the president’s detractors, but it has not been specifically tasked with a coordinating role, according to a person familiar with the matter who, like others, discussed internal strategy on the condition of anonymity

All this is happening as Trump and his defenders faced new revelations that Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials, seeking their help with his department’s inquiry into foreign interference in the 2016 election — a probe that Trump hopes will discredit the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia sought to assist his campaign. It was also reported that the president used a recent phone call to ask Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to provide help to this ongoing Justice Department.

So we get the crazy tweets. That’s the strategy.

Behind the scenes, the president is sounding out a range of advisers for different options, speaking to friends, outside confidants and Republican lawmakers to get advice about how to proceed, according to a senior administration official.

“There are different ways to bake the cake, depending on what sort of cake you want,” the official said. “Different flavoring, different temperatures, different ingredients yield different types of cake, and the president as the master baker is testing recipes and deciding what type of cake he wants.”

Some Republicans have pushed the White House to set up a more organized approach and have lamented that there’s no clear plan or strategy to follow.

“It’s such a cliche that Trump doesn’t think anyone can defend him the way he can defend himself, but they need to try, because right now it’s just him tweeting about Adam B. Schiff,” said a Republican congressional aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their view of the White House’s plan.

No, it’s not a cliche, anonymous Republican.

It is interesting, however, that nobody is stepping up to the plate, other than Fruity-G. But…

Trump thinks he has the American people behind him…

But the map, which doesn’t take population density into account, shows great expanses of land and not people.

Also, it’s the Bush 2004 election map.

The other tactic from the Trump team? It looks like resist, resist, resist. This just came out from Pompeo.

UPDATE — Hey looked who lawyered up:

Sale is former Watergate prosecutor.

And hey… who is paying for a Hungarian Nazi travelling with Pompeo, and who is paying for his junket?

Subpoena him.