The West Wing is supposed to be a “miserable place to work” according to John Kelly. He should know. Anthony Scaramucci, remember him, confirmed that Kelly grabbed Corey Lewandowski by the shirt collar one time and pushed him against the wall, until the Secret Service broke it up. Kelly was upset because Lewandowski had been publicly critical of Kelly’s handling of the Rob Porter scandal. Kelly also got into a screaming match, reportedly, with John Bolton, when Bolton critiqued how Kirstjen Nielson was handling the migrant issue.
But all is calm nowadays, in the West Wing, because Jarvanka is solidly in charge. Jared is viewed as a “kingmaker” and Rudy Guiliani is predicting that Bill Barr is going to name a special prosecutor to investigate the
oranges origins of the Mueller investigation. Oh, and last but not least, all agree that 2020 is in the bag. Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair:
Another weapon Trump intends to use against Mueller’s report and to stoke his base is his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and the origins of the Russia probe. “From day one they’ve been trying to get a Hillary investigation going. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and do that,” a Republican close to the White House said. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told a prominent Republican last week that Barr has all the evidence he needs to name a special prosecutor to investigate the basis on which Mueller was appointed. “Rudy is dead focused. He wants Barr to take action and investigate McCabe, Strzok, Page, Rosenstein, and Comey,” the Republican said, referring to the senior Justice Department and F.B.I. officials.
Jarvanka loved the Barr summary letter, even though Barr himself clarified that it was not in fact a summary letter, a few days after he authored it. Be that as it may, Jarvanka lives in their own reality and in that corner of the Twilight Zone, the Mueller report has been utterly nullified.
While Trump relishes the prospect of going after his opponents, his family is acting emboldened in the post-Mueller environment. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, in particular, are taking a more aggressive approach to internal politics, sources said. “Jared is totally relieved about Mueller. He feels they’ve been completely exonerated. The criminal liability has gone away,” a source who spoke recently with Kushner told me.
A former West Wing official said Kushner’s influence has never been stronger. “He’s running the R.N.C. He’s running the campaign,” the official said. “You have to go through Jared on everything,” a Republican close to the White House said. “He’s the kingmaker.”
Jared’s in charge, God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world and the West Wing.
The prevailing West Wing view is that Thursday’s release is mostly a formality—the verdict is already in. That optimism is spilling over into a very rosy view of the president’s 2020 prospects. “They think they’re going to win unless they really fuck up. Trump is super happy all these Democrats are getting in,” a Republican close to the White House said.
Query: what do you suppose that the definition of “really fuck up” is at this White House? Dropping a nuke on Iceland? Declaring war on China? I’m not sure that I want to know.
What we will know after Thursday is how true the rumors are that a lot of White House aides spoke to Mueller and said a great many derogatory things about Trump. Most probably, Barr can’t redact it all, unless he just dips whole pages of the report in a vat of ink, like an ice cream cone in chocolate. And he might try. But Nadler and Schiff have a subpoena for the report and don’t look for either of them to lie down and roll over any time soon.
And never forget for a minute that Jared, “Secretary of Everything” is the one who persuaded his father-in-law to commit the “greatest mistake in modern political history,” i.e., the firing of James Comey. But for that marvelous mis-step, there never would have been a special prosecutor or a report. Be that as it may, Jared is purportedly the man in control, the guy with all the ideas, the Hand of the King, if you will. Jarvanka, collectively, are the de facto chief strategist and chief of staff, given as how they eliminated the parties who used to hold those titles. Jarvanka would have done great in that Star Trek episode where promotions on an alternate universe Enterprise were achieved by assassinating the current holder of the office. That’s their kind of a power structure, as they stumble about “playing government” and feeling Machiavellian.
Let’s see if the bubble bursts Thursday.