They can hide from Trump’s lies, but not from the truth.
Donald Trump spent his weekend spewing lies about the Republicans’ false intelligence memo, but he and the rest of his administration hid out from anyone who might ask tough questions about it.
While the rest of the world greeted the smear-filled memo with deserved mockery, Trump insisted that it “totally vindicates” him in the Russia probe.
But there were conspicuously few White House officials willing to defend that view on Sunday.
Just days after Trump’s first State of the Union address, not a single White House official was booked to appear on any of the five major Sunday news programs, a rarity for any weekend. Even rarer, though, is the fact that no other Cabinet official, agency representative, or spokesperson appeared on any of the shows.
The only appearance by a Trump official anywhere on cable news this weekend was Kellyanne Conway, who only ventured as far as the friendly turf of Fox & Friends Sunday, where she still managed to make a mess of her interview.
Trump himself broke with tradition and refused to sit for a pre-Super Bowl interview — a decision which predated the memo’s release, but which conveniently prevented him from having to answer questions about the fiasco.
Chief among the questions Trump and his surrogates would like to avoid is whether Trump still intends to use the memo as an excuse to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump hinted at that threat on Friday when he was asked if he still had confidence in Rosenstein and told reporters “You figure that one out.”
Since then, even the Republicans who created the false memo have refused to give Trump any cover, and have pushed back against Trump’s insistence that the memo “vindicates” him. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on Saturday, glowingly praised Rosenstein’s leadership during a speech, further complicating Trump’s campaign to fire the deputy AG.
The complete dearth of administration officials willing to defend Trump this weekend could be an indication that the White House is rethinking Rosenstein’s ouster in the face of this embarrassment, or it could simply mean that no one is willing to have their name and face attached to it.
In either case, they can’t escape the fact that plot could be seen as yet another attempt to obstruct justice, and that justice is coming for them anyway.