The Trump administration Friday scrambled to contain the damage from a shocking report alleging that President Donald Trump instructed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Trump tower in Moscow.
The report not only alleges that Trump told Cohen to perjure himself, but also suggests his business dealings in Moscow were far more extensive than he's claimed in the past.
On Friday, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni floated the argument that Trump's reckless business ventures in Russia well into his campaign show he didn't think he'd be President and vulnerable to investigations like the Mueller probe.
"I’m struck in particular by how this revelation, if true, underscores what many Trump observers have long believed, an insight that explains so much about his eccentric campaign and unethical governance: He never really expected to be president," Bruni argues. "More than that, he never really hoped to be."
The idea that Trump was as surprised as post political observers about his victory might explain his behavior during the campaign, argues Bruni.
"That’s why he didn’t put business matters on hold or disentangle himself from glaring conflicts of interest. That’s why he refused to yoke himself to the sorts of rules that his predecessors had endeavored to follow," Bruni argues.
"That’s why he indulged in behavior that would come back to haunt him in the White House: He never planned on moving there. He wasn’t supposed to come under this kind of glare or have to lie this much (though lying comes easily to him). If victory had really been the point, he might not have left himself so exposed."
"He had neither the requisite knowledge nor experience to serve as president. Now we know he wasn’t prepared psychologically, either," Bruni continues.
"His campaign wasn’t a rehearsal for civic leadership. It was a brand-burnishing interregnum, a time-limited adventure in egomania.