the national interest

Trump Uses Social Media to Announce Attack on Syria, Confess to Obstruction of Justice

The president. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak/Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

In what is almost certainly a global first for any world leader, early this morning, President Trump used his Twitter feed to announce he is launching missile attacks in Syria. So much for the element of surprise:

Ten minutes later, Trump fired off another pair of tweets, in which he casually confessed to obstruction of justice:

The key phrase here is “No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back).” When you say “other than,” you are conceding it fits into the larger category, while identifying it as an exception: I didn’t eat the cookies you left out, other than the one that already had a bite out of it. In this case, however, “fight back” is an exception large enough to encompass all Trump’s efforts to impede the investigation into Russian interference on behalf of his campaign. Everything from demanding James Comey let Michael Flynn go free to firing Comey to dangling pardons for Paul Manafort is fighting back against the investigation. He is rebranding obstruction of justice as Trump fighting back. Of course, Trump already admitted a year ago, on camera, he fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation, so it’s hardly a Tom Cruise–Jack Nicholson moment.

The confession came as a kind of side thought to his larger point, which is that his presidency is “very calm and calculated.” Because obviously.

Trump Tweets Syria Attack, Confesses Obstruction of Justice