Will he or won’t he? As of this writing, President Trump and his ever-growing convocation of legal eagles have not yet decided on whether he’ll answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller in person, in writing, or not at all. As usual, there are political and personal reasons to consider all three scenarios before making a decision.
There are supposedly some 40 or 50 queries already prepared, and a few of them have, surprise, surprise, been leaked. The Washington Post and other papers posted six of the ones they found most intriguing, such as:
“What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?”
“How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?”
“What did you think and do in reaction to the news that the special counsel was speaking to Mr. Rogers, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Coats?”
“Did you discuss whether Mr. Sessions would protect you, and reference past attorneys general?”
“What did you think and what did you do in reaction to the news of the appointment or the special counsel?”
“During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?”
I suppose those are all spine-tingling issues among the denizens inside the beltline. For those of us who actually live in the real world, they aren’t exactly the most pressing concerns of the day. However, much time and taxpayer money have already been spent on pursuing the possible Russian involvement in the 2016 election, so it seems incumbent on all who made an April 15thdonation to the public coffers to pay at least a modicum of attention to the ongoing probe.
The Donald continues to get advice from all quarters. Some feel as if he should refuse to answer anything. Others suggest putting all answers in writing. That cadre believes he could limit himself to the specifics of each topic. There are a few, however, who trust he has nothing to hide and should therefore meet face-to-face and answer verbally.
The problem with the latter, it seems, is that Mr. Mueller might not stick to just the ready-made questions. He could quite possibly have carte blanche and may decide to throw in a few more for good measure. The fear is Mr. Trump might say something on the spur of the moment he could come to regret later. And the questions wouldn’t necessarily have to do with the boys and girls in Moscow.
For example, Mueller might ask, “What’s up with the hair, Donald? Do you think that combover-look is really the best style?”
Or, “What’s your favorite Stormy Daniels movie?” “What do you really think of Jeff Sessions?” “CNN, MSNBC, CBS, or NBC. If you had to get your news from just one network exclusively, which one would it be?” “Who are the biggest idiots in Washington? (Note: Limit 200 names. We don’t have all day.)” “In what prison would you like to see Hillary Clinton sitting?” “Do you ever use a ‘foot wedge’ when you play golf?” “Do you sometimes think you’re mired in the middle of a really trying season of The Apprentice?” “Who makes your teeth grind more, Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi?” “Aren’t you glad you didn’t pick Rudy Giuliani as your Vice President?”
If Mueller got a chance to ask those kinds of questions, then I’m pretty sure most of America would be a lot more interested than in anything having to do with foreigners with unpronounceable names or who had borscht with whom and when. It just seems to me that most people would like to know what else Mr. Trump has in mind for them. The tax cuts are apparently a big positive for lots of people. Some obviously are benefitting more than others, but those worker bees who got bonuses and raises in dozens of companies wouldn’t mind seeing more of that.
I doubt if anyone who has ever occupied the Oval Office really had any idea of the enormity of the job. Especially if you’ve never been in politics before. I think if I had the opportunity to add a question to the mix for Mr. Trump it might be this: “If you knew in 2016 what you know now about what the job of being President would be like, do you think you’d still sign on?” He’d probably Tweet an emphatic “Yes,” but the question might give him pause.
©MMXVIII. William J. Lewis, III