Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
18 May 2017, 11:53
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”. Yes, I mean you, Donald Trump, says David Mellor.
The sound of that distant tumbril I have long been predicting, is not so distant now, after the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the links between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and Putin’s attempt to subvert the Presidential Election.
Not just any old Special Prosecutor either, but the man who led the FBI for twelve years under Bush and Obama. Deliberately chosen to exude real authority, and the response on the Hill, from Republicans as well as Democrats, is overwhelmingly positive.
Also interesting that the decision was taken in secret by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, brought in to put some muscle into the Attorney General’s Department - and Trump’s people are both surprised and deeply shocked at it.
Rosenstein of course was set up to be the fall guy, demanding Comey’s resignation, to which Trump was supposed to reluctantly concede. Until the old duffer said he was going to do it anyway.
Rosenstein obviously took fright at all this, and felt really exposed by the ineptitude of the White House. He no doubt thought, what the hell are these guys going to do next, and got out from under him as quickly as possible.
The great advantage for him is that the Special Prosecutor will take the heat off. And, of course, is free from interference, even from Trump, who seems to recognise rules only in order to break them.
Which is why I am so convinced that Trump will not see out his term. There’s no learning curve here. He just lurches from pratfall to pratfall.
He simply doesn’t get how to be Presidential. In the last week he has spewed out highly classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister, because he can’t control his mouth. And is oblivious about the impact such revelations have on delicate security exchange relationships between key allies.
He has also denied this week having asked Comey to stop the Russian investigation. Well he would wouldn’t he? But it’s all very Trump, isn’t it?
Property developers, with a distant relationship with the truth, will never have a problem making a request they shouldn’t. Presidents should think twice about saying things on the edge of committing the serious Federal offence of obstructing justice.
Here’s the funny thing: Trump was desperate to become President, but now he’s there, he simply can’t be bothered to learn how to be Presidential.
I suppose, having had a hugely successful life as a chancer, operating on the edge, he just can’t change. He’s an old dog, who can’t learn new tricks.
And it will cost him dear. I confidently predict this one will run and run, until Trump himself is run out of town.