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.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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