President Donald Trump is clearly angry and shaken – despite his occasional public insistence that he is neither – by the revelations surrounding his efforts over the summer to pressure the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden.
How do I know? Because I watched the President’s news conference with the Finnish President on Wednesday – a spectacle of bullying, victimhood, anger and vengeance that is shocking even for Donald Trump.
Asked whether he would cooperate with the subpoenas from the House related to the impeachment investigation, Trump said this:
“This is a fraudulent crime on the American people, but we’ll work together. With shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them, and we’ll see what happens, because we did absolutely – I had a great call with the President of Ukraine. 100%.”
Trump went on to accuse House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) of having a “mental breakdown” during his questioning of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. “He should resign, and some people even say it was treason,” Trump added of Schiff.
He said that the rough transcript of the Ukraine call, which administration officials made very clear was not an exact transcript, was, in fact, “a transcript done by very, very talented people, word for word, comma for comma, done by people that do it for a living.”
He referred to himself as a “very stable genius.” He claimed, with zero proof, that Schiff has co-authored the whistleblower complaint. He said to the assembled media, “You never had wins with other presidents, did you?”
On and on and on it went.
What we know of Trump is that when he feels most in jeopardy and most cornered, he retreats into his worst instincts – namely, bullying and paranoia. Everyone is against him – and they are all terrible, evil, vicious people. He is being persecuted like no president ever before. His sole crime? Doing more great things better than anyone else.
The Point: Wednesday’s news conference revealed – whether Trump knew it or not – a President absolutely consumed by scandal and reacting the only way he knows how: with anger, resentment and bitterness.