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.”
Watch the video below.
‘Ignorance at the highest level’: Intel Democrat slams Trump for bizarre letter to Turkish president
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, ripped President Donald Trump for his juvenile letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.
"The White House just released the text of the less letter that the president sent to Erdo?an of Turkey, among other things, saying in the aftermath of the earlier decision by the U.S. to pull out troops, saying 'Don't be a tough guy, don't be a fool,'" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What is your reaction to that?"
"You know, I'll be honest, I saw this online first. I got a copy of the letter," said Quigley. "I actually thought it was a prank, a joke. It couldn't possibly come from the Oval Office. It sounded all of the world like the president of the United States, in some sort of momentary lapse, just dictated angrily whatever was on the top of his head. These are extraordinarily serious issues. And an extraordinarily dangerous part of the world."
Here are the two Trump claims that the Pentagon chief refused to vouch for
The White House meeting Wednesday afternoon didn't go well for either party, according to their counterparts. Both sides are dishing on details, including a Democratic aide who said that there were two of President Donald Trump's claims that his own Pentagon chief wouldn't vouch for.
At the onset of the meeting, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) began by reading a quote from Gen. James Mattis, who briefly served in Trump's administration.
"But POTUS cut Schumer off," reported PBS News correspondent Lisa Desjardins. Trump then "said that Gen Mattis was: 'the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month."
Former Clinton lawyer scolds Trump’s White House counsel on impeachment: ‘we never considered’ behaving this way
On Tuesday, Lanny Breuer, a special counsel who worked for President Bill Clinton's White House, wrote an open letter in the Washington Post to President Donald Trump's White House Counsel Pat Cipollone — telling him that, while he understands an impeachment is a horrible thing for an administration to go through, Clinton and his lawyers would never have behaved the way Trump is now.
"In 1998, we felt under siege," wrote Breuer. "We argued at the time, as you do in your letter, that Congress should provide additional procedural protections to the president ... For example, instead of conducting its own investigation, the committee relied almost exclusively on [independent counsel Ken] Starr’s report, which had serious flaws. The House took only three months to adopt articles of impeachment, and we had only two days to present our witnesses. The president’s personal lawyer, David Kendall, had only 30 minutes to question Starr. We felt this was deeply unfair and a derogation of the House’s constitutional duty to investigate thoroughly whether impeachment was warranted."