President Donald Trump keeps entrenching himself in his nonsense further and further. A redacted version of the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation dropped recently, and Trump has been flailing against its key findings. This week, he went to disturbing new dictatorial extremes to pretend to defend himself, seeming to flatly rebuff the report’s claims that numerous aides refused to carry out his demands to rein in the Russia investigation.
Asked at the White House about the story the report tells of aides running around the illegal demands Trump made of them, the president didn’t deny ever having made the orders in the first place. Neither was his go-to response at this point even that the orders weren’t illegal or inappropriate, although he’s certainly claimed as much on other occasions.
He told reporters at the White House:
‘Nobody disobeys my orders.’
Here’s video of Trump telling reporters, “Nobody disobeys my orders.” pic.twitter.com/wtOcKT6xDL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 22, 2019
On a factual level, the president is lying. Perhaps most prominently, the Mueller report confirms the previously reported story of then-White House counsel Don McGahn refusing to get Mueller out as Trump had demanded. McGahn prepared to resign right then and there over the issue, although he ended up sticking around for awhile. Trump has previously publicly denied that the incident took place, but the Mueller report confirms otherwise. Trump is seemingly sticking to his denials of the reality proven multiple times.
There is another apparently possible motivator of Trump’s comment too — his apparent conviction that his position gives him unfettered power to the point of it being supposedly inappropriate for anyone to disobey his demands.
To that end, he recently shouted on Twitter:
‘I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted. I chose not to. I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn’t!’
Is him rambling on social media about supposedly being free to “fire everyone” supposed to be reassuring? Are we supposed to believe that he actually has a grasp on the nature and demands of the office he holds? If he “fired everyone,” there would have no doubt been serious repercussions. Trump’s repeated assertions otherwise make his comment this week that “nobody disobeys my orders” seem not only like a denial of the facts but a threatening embrace of dictatorial tendencies like those exemplified by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who Trump has said he “fell in love” with.
On another occasion, he offered the unsettling “joke” while discussing the North Korean leader:
‘He speaks and his people sit up in attention. I want my people to do the same.’
In other words, it’s clear via those and other occasions that Trump thinks very highly of himself on account of his office — to put it and its implications lightly.
That could have consequences. In light of the Mueller team’s findings on obstruction of justice outlined in their report, a number of prominent Democrats have been discussing and even pushing for impeachment. The conclusion seems to be that if Trump was not a sitting president of the United States, he would have been charged, just like what’s at this point half a dozen of his associates.
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