Washington Post White House bureau chief Philip Rucker told MSNBC on Monday that President Donald Trump’s claims of “total exoneration” may well go down in history like President George W. Bush’s premature claim of “mission accomplished” in Iraq — which famously preceded disaster for the U.S. invasion.
“I don’t know how you read the behavior of the last two weeks where he has been going in so many different directions,” said host Andrea Mitchell about Trump’s bizarre week. “He seems both emboldened and also more aggressive against his perceived opponents.”
“You could also look at what President Trump has been doing the last couple of weeks and surmise that there could be some anxiety there about the Mueller report because he has been creating so many big headlines in other areas,” replied Rucker, pointing to the president’s attacks on congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and immigration grandstanding.
“He is creating all these brush fires, which we know from covering him the last few years, this is what he does when there is a big story he wants to distract from,” Rucker continued. “You talk to the president’s aides and allies privately, and they do express some concern that the report could be politically damaging to them.”
“You have to wonder if it really is a bad report for the president, does ‘total exoneration’ become his ‘mission accomplished,'” Rucker added, “which President Bush had the banner on the aircraft carrier prematurely declaring an end to the Iraq war.”
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