From The Washington Post — Written by Greg Sargent — Image courtesy of Rex/Shutterstock
The appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian meddling in the election puts the Trump presidency in substantially greater peril than it was in only 24 hours ago. But, remarkably enough, this did not even have to happen at all — it only happened because the unhinged behavior of President Trump himself made it happen.
Yet it’s not clear that Trump’s less-than-vise-like grip on reality permits him to even grasp this.
Separately, The Post reports that Trump is raging at his staff for failing to mitigate his “stumbles.” Why? Because “Trump largely thinks that his recent mishaps are not substantive but simply errors of branding and public relations, according to people close to him and the White House.”
But, despite Trump’s suggestion that he is being victimized by a witch hunt, and that a more adept PR strategy could minimize the damage, this is a situation entirely of Trump’s own making. And each of Trump’s actions leading up to this moment are rooted deep in Trump’s autocratic and authoritarian impulses; his total contempt for basic institutional processes; and his tendency, when his sense of grievance strikes, to slip into a delusional belief that he can overwhelm the institutional independence of his persecutors the way he might steamroll someone in a business deal.
The point is not just that Trump’s actions are entirely to blame for the appointment of the special counsel. It’s also that there are no indications that Trump even understands this. And on top of that, these actions themselves — which simply did not have to happen — will now likely be probed by the special counsel, too.