Donald Trump has again done more damage to himself than any Democrat could have.
In the midst of this overwrought federal investigation into the forty-fifth president’s alleged mishandling of loads of classified documents, Trump apparently admitted—on tape, of course!—that, as president, he “could have declassified [the documents he took from the White House and stored in Mar-a-Lago], but now I can’t!”
If ever there was a smoking gun that would allow for federal prosecutors to vigorously pursue and convict Trump for having violated the Espionage Act, the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and then of having obstructed justice, it’s this infernal recording.
Then again, though, the former president is legendary for having been unable to keep his innermost thoughts and machinations locked away inside his brain.
Clearly, the forty-fifth president never had a parent or grandparent who’d admonish, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans!”
So Much for 4D Chess
This is another—in an unfortunately very long line of—total Trump moves (TTM), in which the former president’s mouth and social media accounts do far more damage to him than anything the Democrats could possibly do. Trump’s enemies are constantly making room in public for the forty-fifth president to step forward and self-incriminate and self-own.
And Trump never misses an opportunity to fall into the obvious traps that the media and Democrats set for him. So much for four-dimensional chess!
By now, Republicans should be tired of the endless amateurism exhibited by Trump and those around him. Alas, the cult of personality is strong–at least for now, as there is some indication that in key battleground states, support may be waning.
But the endless legal action directed against Trump, combined with the forty-fifth president’s stunning ability to make his situation worse, will be a deal-breaker for most voters.
It surely will be in the General Election, should Trump beat DeSantis for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
Whatever possible conspiracy exists – at least to conservative voters, that is – to prevent from Trump from returning to the White House in January 2025, Trump exacerbates the negatives with his antics, which, in turn, lose him key support among moderates and swing voters.
If it were just these overwrought legal investigations into Trump, he’d probably be all right. If, however, you throw in Trump’s own boorishness, he loses. Bigly. Which is precisely what will happen.
Whereas in 2016, Trump’s bombastic, tough-talking, no-holds-barred schtick was novel. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (which Trump’s policies made life harder for most Americans) as well as the turgid economic situation under President Joe Biden that most people are enduring, voters outside of the GOP stalwarts, are tired of Trump’s braggadocio.
What’s more, a recent poll has found that most voters are angry about Trump’s classified documents scandal as well as the similar scandal currently dogging President Biden.
A majority of those polled indicate that they want both Trump and Biden investigated equally and want both men held to the same level of accountability as any other, less connected or powerful American would be, if that ordinary American violated the same standards and rules that both Trump and Biden did.
The difference is that Biden has more wiggle room in public. He’s insulated by a pliant press and a protective bureaucracy.
War Plans for All!
The 2021 recording of Trump was made by the two authors of a biography of Trump’s final White House chief of staff, the former House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Meadows (R-SC).
In the recording, Trump is being interviewed at Mar-a-Lago and raging against one of his favorite targets—and one of his “very best people”, US Army Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley—claiming that he had proof that Milley lied to journalists about how Trump was planning to attack Iran as a distraction for his election defeat in 2020.
As he spoke, the sound of rustling paper could be heard on the recording, prompting listeners to speculate that he must’ve had a copy of the offending classified document.
In fact, it now appears that authorities have determined what the document in question was: the Pentagon’s most updated war plan for a potential invasion of Iran. In the recording, Trump calls upon his two interviewers to review the classified document.
Trump has just indicted himself with this recording. It explains why two of Trump’s most prominent attorneys—notably former DOJ attorney, Jim Trusty—resigned just one day after the indictment rolled through. With 37 counts related to violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, now coupled with this incriminating recording, it’s all over for the former president.
Trump Says “I’ll Never Leave!”
Meanwhile, the former president has vowed to continue running for office, even if convicted for his apparent violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction justice. This is meant to galvanize the Republican Party primary voters at a time when even they are starting to waver from total, undying fealty to the increasingly weakened Donald Trump.
In Iowa, for example, Trump’s chief GOP rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is now tied with the forty-fifth president among likely Republican voters in that critical state.
To be sure, Trump’s horrific enemies are abusing the system by ramping up what amounts to process crimes and turning them into a national scandal that could lead to prison time for the former president.
It is undoubtedly political the way he is being prosecuted and Joe Biden, thus far, is not for similar (even more heinous) crimes. Yet, Trump has done this to himself as well with his big mouth and loose talk.
Trump won’t be able to survive this the way he thinks he will. Even a cat has only nine lives. Trump used his up. Donald Trump went from owning the Libs to owning himself.
Who wants this orange mess as their president?
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.