ACT News


Is this the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency?

With the social media responses to Donald Trump's assertions that "no politician in history.... has been treated worse... than me" and "this is the greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history" now having taken on a life of their own it is easy to lose sight of what prompted them.

The President's tweets, which have been lampooned around the world as thought bubbles from an infantile, self-absorbed narcissist, could even be seen as a successful attempt to divert attention away from his worst week since entering the White House.

While that, in itself, is saying something given the ongoing gaffes and controversies that have dominated the news since January, May 17 and 18, 2017, could well end up being remembered as the beginning of the end for the most controversial American president since Richard Nixon.

Nixon, like Trump, played the victim card and described himself as the victim of a media "witch hunt" when the Watergate scandal began to unravel in the early 1970s.

Nixon, like Trump, also tried to divert the public's attention elsewhere and, also like Trump, did not take kindly to the appointment of a special investigator.

While Nixon was able to force the sacking of special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, on the night of October 20, 1973, Trump is going to find it much harder to get rid of his potential nemesis.


The surprise appointment of former FBI director, Robert Mueller, as a special counsel with the power to investigate any links between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign reopens a can of worms the President may have thought he had shut down by sacking James Comey as FBI director last week.

Mr Trump, perhaps rather predictably, reacted by making himself and his response the central issue. This tactic, premised on the fact the media has a short attention span, has worked quite well for him over many decades and in many different incarnations.

It may not be sufficient this time around however as it is a special counsel, who he will find it extremely difficult to influence or to dismiss, and not the media that is doing the digging.

Mr Mueller, who served both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations with distinction, is seen as a non-partisan figure who has the advantage of gravitas and credibility on both sides of the American political divide.

He also has the unquestioned authority to call any and all members of Trump's staff to ask them about the administration's inner workings and to produce all relevant documents.

As special counsel he is, in short, well placed to get to the bottom of whether or not there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump camp ahead of the election and, equally significantly, what led up to Trump's sacking of Comey.

It may just be that the self-styled worse treated politician in history hasn't seen anything yet.