Via Raw Story, there’s no way that this happens. Even someone as undisciplined as Trump must understand how legally perilous it would be, especially after his own friends were calling him out yesterday for sabotaging his travel-ban defense on Twitter.
Either the president will wise up and decide against this on his own or his lawyers will confront him beforehand and threaten to quit if he does it. You can’t defend a client who won’t take your advice to shut the fark up already.
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa told MSNBC on Tuesday that the president would directly respond to Comey on Twitter as the testimony is underway.
“I was just talking to some White House officials this morning and their view is that the president himself wants to be the messenger, his own warrior, his own lawyer, his own spokesman,” Costa explained. “Some outside people, some surrogates will be available.”
“But the president is expected to be tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey, not to stay quiet during the testimony,” he added. “Because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.”
Costa emphasized on Twitter that, yes, he’s talking specifically about “live-tweeting” during the testimony. Any reason to believe that’s possible? Well, Trump did tweet this earlier today:
The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
Even dumber than making damaging admissions in a public forum in a fit of pique is the idea of doing this while Comey is testifying. Does Trump not realize that Senate Democrats will be monitoring his Twitter feed and will give Comey a chance to respond to him in real time? It’s good that Trump wants to be “his own lawyer” as he may have no choice after he alienates every legal professional around him by doing this on Thursday.
He’s already alienated some, in fact, according to Michael Isikoff:
Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations, in part over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice, according to five sources familiar with discussions about the matter…
“The concerns were, ‘The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen,’” said one lawyer close to the White House who is familiar with some of the discussions between the firms and the administration, as well as deliberations within the firms themselves…
Another lawyer briefed on some of the discussions agreed that the firms were worried about the reputational risk of representing the president. One issue that arose, this lawyer said, was “Do I want to be associated with this president and his policies?” In addition, the lawyer said, there were concerns that if they took on the case, “Who’s in charge?” and “Would he listen?”
It’s one thing to have a loose-cannon client who might damage his own defense at any moment. It’s another thing if that client has a reputation for not paying people whom he’s hired. There’s no reason to sign up for guaranteed aggravation if there’s no guaranteed giant paycheck at the end.
Say, wasn’t there supposed to be a “war room” in the works stocked with lawyers and spin doctors who would handle the messaging duties on Russiagate going forward? Indeed there was, but the war room is yet another Trump initiative that’s stalled. According to Axios, White House counsel Don McGahn drew up a workable blueprint for it but Trump couldn’t get it staffed, partly due to the misgivings among lawyers described by Isikoff and partly because of additional misgivings about lead Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz. (Kasowitz reportedly had misgivings of his own about bringing in high-powered D.C. lawyers.) So we’re two days out from Comeymania and the White House still has nothing planned by way of rapid response. Is it crazy to think Trump, who believes he’s the only effective messenger in his administration, might handle that job himself? His lawyers would say yes, emphatically. But only one man’s opinion counts.
Whatever happens, Trump won’t be live-tweeting during Comey’s *entire* testimony. He’s scheduled to speak before the Faith & Freedom Coalition on Thursday morning at 11:30 ET.