Standing at a podium decorated with a variety of facts and figures on the Mueller probe — and with the words “NO COLLUSION” and “NO OBSTRUCTION” featured prominently — Trump went off on Democrats (and the media) for, among other things, their alleged inability to accept the fact that he had done nothing wrong in regard to Russia or Mueller’s investigation into that country’s attempted interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“I came here to do a on infrastructure meeting with Democrats — not really thinking that they wanted to do infrastructure or anything else other than investigate. And I just saw that Nancy Pelosi, just before our meeting, made a statement that we believe that ‘the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.’ It turns out I’m the most — I think most of you would agree to this — I’m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country.”
Trump, according to CNN reporting, had marched into the planned meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a potential infrastructure deal and informed them he couldn’t do any deals while Democrats were investigating him. End of meeting. The President had been set off by Pelosi saying Wednesday morning — following a meeting of the entire House Democratic caucus — that Trump had “engaged in a cover-up” as it related to Mueller’s Russia probe.
“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump insisted in the Rose Garden shortly after the “meeting” with the two top Democrats in Congress. (Trump was, according to CNN’s Pamela Brown, incensed by Pelosi’s “cover-up” allegation.)
Trump’s claims are decidedly questionable.
What’s very clear from what happened in the Rose Garden Wednesday is this: Donald Trump was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. The man who has built a political career on name calling (“Sleepy Joe”! “Crazy Bernie”!) and rhetorical bullying didn’t like Pelosi using the word “cover-up.” So he took his ball and went home. No infrastructure deal. No nothing. Unless and until Democrats drop all of their investigations into the Executive Branch. Or, put another way: Unless Democrats forgo their constitutionally-mandated oversight capacity.
“I have much better judgment than she does. There’s no question about that. I also have a much better temperament than she does. I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament,” Trump said. “I have a winning temperament, I know how to win. She doesn’t win.”
But polling suggests that the hardcore GOP base is far less than a majority of Americans — or voters. And for the rest of the public — and the rest of the world who was undoubtedly watching (or will see) — you have to wonder how Trump’s angry demeanor sits with them.
Put simply: Do we want four more years of a pop-off president?