Thursday, November 29, 2018

No Puppet No Puppet Department

Reports of how the Manafort lawyers and Trump lawyers kept cooperating after Manafort made his cooperation deal with the special counsel's office have led to a bizarre trend of suggesting that Trump's tweets on the investigation represent some kind of privileged knowledge:
In his own recent Twitter attacks on the special counsel, the president seemed to imply that he had inside information about the prosecutors’ lines of inquiry and frustrations. “Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie,” Mr. Trump wrote on Tuesday.
In its most virulent form from, I'm sorry to say, Rachel Maddow:
She pointed out that, in a tweet Thursday morning, Trump referred to the "inner workings' of the Mueller investigation, a phrase he has never used before. Maddow argued that this indicates Trump has used his new dubiously appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to gain an unprecedented look inside the Russia investigation.
And even Digby!

Trump had never mentioned this before and since he has no discipline, this description likely came from someone who had just recently described his or her experience to him.
They're talking about this:

This is not a "look inside the Russia investigation", unprecedented or otherwise! This did not "come from" a Manafort lawyer! This is the usual look inside Trump's head, prompted, as it generally is, by TV: in this case CNN reports of a "freshly enraged president" after the midterm election:
The oppressive prospect of action by special counsel Robert Mueller hangs like an immovable cloud over his White House. Staff chaos in the West Wing is producing lurid palace intrigue stories in the media that the President hates [within] the dysfunction that continues to pervade West Wing staffing matters almost two years into the Trump presidency. It lays bare the continued factionalism pitting aides against each other, often in convoluted and unpredictable configurations. And it reflects the deep unease within the White House as Democrats prepare to launch an assault of investigations into all manner of administration business.
Staffers are still coming to grips with the new political reality while responding to a freshly enraged President. The prospects for wide-ranging investigations launched by the new Democratic-led House have concerned aides, who worry about legal bills and the potential impact on their careers.
It was the "no puppet no puppet you're the puppet" maneuver. It has no reality reference at all, except through projection, wishing his own mental illness on Mueller.

What he says has less and less reality reference, I think, and should be interpreted mostly as moans of fear and embarrassment, that he can't communicate by other means.

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