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Trump’s loyalty only goes one way

Trump's loyalty only goes one way

by digby



Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair has some insider gossip about Trump's thinking on Kavanaugh. He doesn't really like him that much -- he's a Bush guy:

Trump allies are imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose for the sake of saving Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms. The argument these advisers are making is that if Kavanaugh’s nomination fails, demoralized Republicans will stay home in November, and Democrats will take the House and the Senate and initiate impeachment proceedings. The end result: Trump will be removed from office. “The stakes are that high,” the source said. Another Republican adviser told me: “Trump is very worried now, and is finally waking up that it’s the end of his presidency if he loses the Senate.” Trump’s outside allies are advising him to nominate Amy Coney Barrett and fast-track her confirmation before the midterms. “Some in the White House think you can only appoint a woman now,” a former administration official told me. An outside adviser added: “Democrats won’t be able to pivot fast enough to attack her, since she’s a woman.”

Even before Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer reported Deborah Ramirez’s account that Kavanaugh exposed his penis without her consent at Yale (which Kavanaugh emphatically denies), Trump has been unhappy with how Senate Republicans are handling the nomination process. According to sources, Trump blamed Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for agreeing to delay Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony until Thursday. “He thinks they look weak,” a Republican briefed on Trump’s thinking said.

A White House official told me Trump was also angry that Senate Republicans waited hours to respond to Ford’s interview with The Washington Post, creating a vacuum in the news cycle that allowed the narrative to take hold. “You don’t let that happen,” the official said.

Last week, White House advisers, including Johnny DeStefano, implored Trump not to attack Dr. Ford. A source said Bill Shine and Corey Lewandowski were pushing a more aggressive approach. Trump listened to the moderates until Friday, until he reverted to form and tweeted: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

As Kavanaugh’s poll numbers plummet, Trump is telling people in private that he was never a fan of Kavanaugh’s selection, sources said. According to two people who’ve spoken with Trump recently, Trump complained that establishment Republicans foisted Kavanaugh on him, because they reasoned Kavanaugh would unite the party in November. According to one former West Wing official, Trump’s first choice was Judge Thomas Hardiman, who served on the federal bench alongside Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry.

Trump is keeping his distance from the nominee. A White House official said he hasn’t spoken with Kavanaugh in recent days. “This is Brett Kavanaugh’s fight,” the White House official said.

So far they're sticking with him. But I'd say there'sat least a 40% chance they get him to withdraw. He's damaged goods.