Over the weekend, Donald Trump’s tweets about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe got a little manic, with the president tweeting a series of semi-coherent rants about the probe. It offered compelling evidence that the pressure is starting to take its roll.This morning, Trump’s missives took on an even more hysterical tone, culminating in rhetoric we haven’t seen the president use before.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” the president said in a morning tweet.
It was part of a series of related messages in which Trump lashed out at Peter Strzok, pretended former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort played an unimportant role on his team, and wrapped up with, “Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX. The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!”
But it’s the Sessions tweet that stands out for a reason: a sitting American president – the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation – has now publicly called on the attorney general of the United States to immediately halt a special counsel probe.
Somehow, in 2018, this isn’t the basis for a major national political crisis, in part because we know Jeff Sessions has already recused himself from the proceedings – making the president’s appeal practically meaningless – and in part because much of the political world has grown inured by Trump’s unhinged antics.
NBC News’ Benjy Sarlin noted this morning that if the president’s messages “were leaked secret memos, it would be a huge scandal,” but since we’re reading Trump’s over-the-top instructions via Twitter, this somehow seems normal.
This is our life now.
The New York Times reported last week that Mueller, as part of his scrutiny of possible presidential obstruction of justice, is examining Trump’s tweets, especially those related to Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey.
The article explained that Mueller “is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.”
That, of course, was before Trump published a tweet calling on the attorney general to shut down the investigation.