U.S. President Donald Trump hosts an event for military mothers on National Military Spouse Appreciation Day with is wife, first  lady Melania Trump, in the East Room of the White Hosue May 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. 
Chip Somodevilla

Appointment of special counsel sparks new Trump tantrum

Updated
Last night, after the Justice Department named a special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Russia scandal, the White House issued a rather mild statement on behalf of Donald Trump. Aides were quick to share scuttlebutt that news hadn’t affected the president much at all.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/17/17, 9:38 PM ET

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And yet, there was Trump on Twitter this morning, sounding more than a little rattled.
“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!” he weighed in Thursday morning on Twitter, his favored form of communication.

“This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” he followed up.
Let’s not dwell on some of the obvious problems. There are, for example, no credible allegations of criminal wrongdoing from the Obama administration; there were independent Clinton-era investigations; and it’s kind of hilarious that the president keeps misspelling “counsel.”

It’s also problematic that Trump believes his own justice department is responsible for perpetuating a “witch hunt.”

But there’s a substantive angle to the president’s self-indulgent whining, too. When a White House is under investigation, officials usually have a standard line in response to press questions: “We can’t comment because there’s an ongoing investigation.” It’s frustrating and unsatisfying, but the line makes some sense: the White House counsel’s office lets officials know the importance of silence, because saying the wrong thing, even inadvertently, may prove to be damaging. The less that’s said, the better.

And yet, there’s the president, sharing his thoughts on Twitter, urging people to feel sorry for him.

When White House officials are pressed for answers, their “we can’t talk about this” response has already been undermined by their boss, who apparently can’t help himself.

We’ve seen several instances so far this year of Trump being his own worst enemy, especially when it comes to speaking up when he should be shutting up. The list continues to grow.

Donald Trump

Appointment of special counsel sparks new Trump tantrum

Updated