The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that Trump himself is under investigation by special counsel Bob Mueller for the possibility that he obstructed justice in his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump seemed to confirm that story — his White House hadn’t denied it but instead condemned the leak from which it sprang — in a Friday morning tweet. “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” wrote Trump. His aides scrambled in the wake of that tweet to make clear the President was simply saying he had read the reports that he was under investigation but had not been told it separately.
The point is that Mueller’s investigation is broadening, not narrowing. And Trump’s attitude toward the investigation is getting worse and worse. Between Thursday morning and Friday morning, Trump sent a series of tweets that suggest he is extremely frustrated with his current position.
“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. By that afternoon, Trump was re-litigating the 2016 election; “Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are? he tweeted.
It’s not clear whether Trump doesn’t grasp the severity of the circumstances he now faces or simply doesn’t care. But he is now in a place that he can’t tweet or talk his way out of. Mueller continues to hire investigators as the probe widens. And, short of firing Mueller — which would be political suicide for Trump — he just has to wait and see how it plays out.
The problem for Trump — and Congressional Republicans — is that Mueller’s investigation is going to take time. And with the investigation reaching all the way up to Trump — and with Trump regularly tweeting about it — it’s nearly impossible for the White House to compartmentalize.
The “cloud” that Trump has been complaining about for months got bigger and darker this week. And he is outside without an umbrella.
Donald Trump, for your refusal to stop digging yourself into a hole, you had the Worst Week in Washington.