The White House decision to limit Bannon’s testimony before Congress was ill-advised and shortsighted. Invoking executive privilege, the White House claimed that Bannon could not be compelled to answer questions—and, indeed, Bannon’s attorney communicated with the White House in real time about what to answer and what not to answer.
Unfortunately, the executive privileged invoked to block congressional questions does nothing at all to stop Robert Mueller’s investigation. The only thing the White House successfully did was to anger Congress, forcing them to use a subpoena if they want to hear Bannon’s story. Today, a report broke that helps to explain the poor decision making at play here—it was Trump. Trump made the call to block Bannon’s testimony.
‘President Donald Trump personally made the decision to curtail the testimony of former chief White House political strategist Steve Bannon before the House Intelligence Committee, according to two people with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
‘Trump acted to limit Bannon’s testimony based on legal advice provided by Uttam Dhillon, a deputy White House counsel, who concluded that the administration might have legitimate executive privilege claims to restrict testimony by Bannon and other current and former aides to the president, according to these same sources.
‘Dhillon’s private and previously unreported legal advice to Trump could ultimately go against the president’s interest, however, by making it increasingly difficult for any administration official — or even a member of the president’s family who advises Trump — to refuse to provide information to Mueller.
‘Dhillon’s advice might prove to be a “Pyrrhic victory,” one senior administration official told Foreign Policy.
‘While the president might be able to “poke the Congress in the eye,” the same legal rationale undercuts any effort to restrict the special counsel’s right to interview current or former Trump aides, the official said.’
In other words, it was a stupid, pointless decision that makes no sense in the grand scheme of things.
This is what happens when you surround yourself with incompetent sycophants whose only qualification is being yes-men. Instead of quality advisors, you end up with a group of idiots that will tell you whatever you want to hear. Trump is surrounded by appeasers and bootlickers, and thus has no idea when his own ideas are awful. Trump has no friends and nobody that’s truly loyal to him. If he did, he wouldn’t make decisions like these. He wouldn’t wear ties that are too big, clownishly fitting suits, or spray tan, either, but that’s not the point right now.
Trump’s irrational, outburst-prone personality puts the country in danger every single day he remains in power, but it is also likely to be his downfall. His inability to recognize negative things about himself means he has no understanding of his own weaknesses. He can’t contemplate strategy for that reason, and, in the end, he will lose. Sun Tzu famously said that if you know your enemy and you know yourself, the outcome of a thousand battles is already decided. Trump doesn’t know himself or his enemies. He doesn’t know anything.
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