Following an explosive day in court for disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which saw the former aide to President Donald Trump get a dressing down from a federal judge for betraying his country, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post said Tuesday’s events might be a turning point for Trump — and not a good one.
After Flynn left the courthouse without receiving his sentence — with rumors he might have to give up something on Trump to avoid jail — Jennifer Rubin said the president is seeing his power slowly slipping away.
“A trio of developments on Tuesday underscore that President Trump’s power, like sand through an hourglass, is steadily falling. All of the usual tricks (distraction, lying, photo ops) will not reverse the downward trend,” she began, before pronouncing sentence: “Perhaps the worst blow yet to Trump — and the aura of power that helps keep his cult-like following in a trance — occurred in a federal courtroom.”
“The judge postponed the sentencing for 90 days, leaving the distinct possibility that Flynn could face jail time,” she continued. “The shocking turn of events decimated the notion that Trump associates’ crimes are small beans.”
Rubin went on to say that possible legal setbacks for another of Trump’s former close aides weren’t the only indignity heaped upon the president on Tuesday.
There were two more.
“Trump is in the process of folding on his border wall, for which he lacks political support. His press secretary declared, ‘At the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border,'” she wrote before bluntly adding, “Her boss had said otherwise.”
Rubin reported that Trump family is shuttering their embattled New York City-based foundation — but that may not keep any of them out of court.
“If he commingled foundation and campaign funds, there may be other civil and criminal issues. (In combination with his hush-money payments, one does get the impression Trump was reckless, if not contemptuous, of campaign finance laws.)” she explained. “Moreover, the attorney general is pursuing Trump and his children for repayment of $2.8 million.”
“In sum, today we saw just how little power Trump has over events. The prosecutors are closing in, his finances are being scrutinized, and he can’t even tell his base he delivered on the wall. Never has he looked so small and so weak,” she concluded.
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