On a seemingly basic level, the fact that Donald Trump came into office with essentially no experience in public service has not benefited him, even though he touted the fact during the lead up to the election and his inauguration. In that light, it’s long been clear that he believes himself to be innocent of any crimes connected to the Russia scandal, but in what can be explained by ineptitude and little else, he continues to dig his hole deeper and deeper.
Among the most recent revelations to that effect are in a report from The New York Times, which states that the president has been in contact with at least two witnesses about testimony that they offered in connection to the Russia scandal. The two witnesses he’s been reported to have been in contact with are his former chief of staff Reince Priebus and current White House counsel Don McGahn.
Now, in the face of this report, there’s a report from CNN’s Jim Acosta that the president’s current chief of staff John Kelly, often seen as attempting to bring order to a West Wing infected by Trump-ian chaos, has been among those warning the president against carrying on with such contacts.
On Thursday, Acosta wrote on Twitter:
‘Trump has been warned about speaking with witnesses in the Russia investigation, I’m told. Kelly and others have cautioned him. “It’s pretty clear that Kelly admonishes him constantly and he’s not the only one,” a WH official tells me.’
Trump’s witnesses, reported upon by The Times, include an in-person confrontation with Don McGahn in the face of him refusing to refute a report about the president wanting to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump insisted that he hadn’t actually sought to fire Mueller last year, forcing McGahn to remind him that such is actually what happened.
This questionable interaction is hardly unique among the president’s activities.
For instance, he reportedly sought to pressure FBI Director James Comey into commenting publicly that the president was clear in the Russia investigation, a push that the now former FBI Director resisted.
Trump eventually fired Comey, doing so after the FBI Director resisted not just his calls for him to publicly clear his name but also his alleged calls to drop a line of investigation into one of the president’s associates, Michael Flynn.
Trump’s efforts to save Flynn were far from effective; the former national security adviser to the president eventually pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the now former Russian ambassador to the United States and chose to cooperate with the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller has brought charges against an array of interests besides Flynn, including other former Trump associates like former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort, along with his partner Rick Gates, carried on with an alleged massive money laundering scheme in connection to work for pro-Russia political interests in Europe.
Throughout this scandal, the president’s most impassioned efforts to obstruct the investigation no doubt aren’t going to prove to be successful. That’s the way it works — law and order marches on.
Featured Image via Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images