WASHINGTON – There are two ways to interpret the reports that President Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June and backed down only after his White House counsel threatened to resign.The first is with guarded optimism: The episode shows that, although Trump is mercurial and blustery, his worst instincts can be contained, and that his ordinarily enabling staff can sometimes summon courage to do so.
The second is with dreadful foreboding: that Trump feels so threatened by the Russia probe that he’s willing to take the most extreme steps to shut it down.
Right now, much as I hope to be proven wrong, my money is on dread. Not necessarily in the form of Mueller’s dismissal – that alone would not end the investigation – but in the form of the more constitutionally fireproof tactic…
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