Giuliani: Trump wants to meet with Mueller

President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says that his team is negotiating with special counsel Robert Mueller on a possible interview with Trump because Trump would like to testify.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 12:26 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 12:48 PM

The New York Times has the story. It reads:

"President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel's office about him sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators' questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

"Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a 'witch hunt.'"

There's a line of thinking that this is just the latest piece of an elaborate ruse by Trump and his lawyers -- led by Rudy Giuliani -- to make the President look like he really wants to talk to Mueller but that his lawyers just won't let him. The little secret, according to that theory, is that Trump has zero interest in testifying but wants to make it look like he does so that he looks less guilty to the public.

I'm not an adherent of that theory. I've long believed that Trump is entirely sincere in his desire to talk to Mueller, for one major reason that the Times piece touches on: He thinks he can convince the former FBI director of how he, Trump, has been right about this probe all along.

Remember that Trump views everything in life, from mundane conversations to billion-dollar business deals to a summit with the leader of North Korea, as face-offs -- mano a mano tests of will and strength: The whole world is a deal and he is the world's greatest dealmaker.

"I'm the first to admit that I am very competitive and that I'll do nearly anything within legal bounds to win," Trump wrote in "The Art of the Deal. "Sometimes, part of making a deal is denigrating your competition."

Sound familiar? In recent months, Trump has drastically upped his attacks on not just the special counsel investigation but Mueller personally. "Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend," Trump tweeted over the weekend.

This sort of chest-thumping is the kind of stuff Trump has done in advance of a showdown that he expects to happen. Think of "Little Rocket Man" and the other taunts Trump lobbed at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un prior to the duo's historic summit in Singapore earlier this summer. The President is following that exact same blueprint.

Dodging Mueller -- despite the potential legal soundness of that decision -- isn't in Trump's DNA. Especially since it's no secret that he is absolutely fixated on the Russia investigation and his belief that this is all one big hoax aimed at trying to undermine his 2016 victory. And double especially because Trump views Mueller as just the sort of guy who has always irked/fascinated him: A lifetime bureaucrat who has not only risen to the top of his field but whose intellect and toughness is revered and feared by everyone in Washington.

In Trump's tweets, you can see his disregard for Mueller's sterling reputation oozing through. This guy thinks he's smarter and better than me. He's not. I'll show him.

The best way I've found to understand how Donald Trump thinks about himself is as someone always on the outside looking in, faced pressed against the glass as the "elites" pal around inside. His father was a developer in Queens but never broke into Manhattan. When Trump the younger took on Manhattan, the old money elites didn't want him in their clubs -- he was too brash, too uncouth. (Why do you think Trump built his own golf clubs? You can't deny membership to the guy who built the club.) When he came to Washington in 2011, wanting to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, he was mocked and laughed at by President Barack Obama and the Washington political establishment.

"I hate it, I meet these people, they call it the elite," Trump said on the campaign trail recently. "We got more money, we got more brains, we got better houses and apartments, we got nicer boats, we're smarter than they are and they say they're the elite. You're the elite, we're the elite."

The idea of a man-to-man showdown/sit-down with Mueller is just more of the same in Trump's mind. Another member of the elite who thinks he's smarter and knows better. Another chance for Trump to prove that he is the alpha, the boss, the guy who can sell anything to anyone.

Trump's rational mind -- and his legal counsel -- may well have concluded that an interview with Mueller is a no-win situation. But reason doesn't rule in this case. This is about who Donald Trump believes he is -- and who he has been his whole life. And that person is someone who not only sits down with Mueller but who proves to the former FBI director (and everyone else) that Trump was right all along about this special counsel investigation, and about everything else.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
Lafayette482792
Lamar471162
Washington4700122
Bolivar3915105
Oktibbeha384279
Panola357274
Pontotoc356552
Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
Pearl River313891
Leflore2969104
Lincoln290185
Sunflower275868
Tate264759
Alcorn257850
Itawamba257058
Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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