Rachel Maddow knew Donald Trump’s presidency was melting down fast, but didn’t realize just how fast until she saw this fascinating story in her news feed.
On Thursday night, the popular MSNBC host said she read an article in The Washington Post titled “Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation.” That’s already a major bombshell, but it was the second paragraph that grabbed her attention.
Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
That’s right. The so-called Leader of the Free World and his legal team are hedging their bets. They plan to undermine Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation with bogus “conflicts of interest” allegations. But in case that doesn’t work, he also wants to know whether a president can issue presidential pardons to himself, his family, and his staff.
An amazed Rachel Maddow told her audience she never thought Donald Trump’s demise would begin so soon.
“Even as I was warning you that things might go fast right now, I didn’t think things would go quite so fast. I have been telling people in my personal life that I thought we would start to see news like this by the end of the summer…uh…But we’re seeing it now.”
She added the GOP’s president is highly “disturbed” that Robert Mueller’s probe could go deep into his and his family’s finances, including those missing tax returns. She then brought in The Washington Post‘s Ashley Parker via phone to talk about the article.
Maddow first asked if Parker has “any sense of where they are in this decision-making process.” The young reporter cagily replied “the way it was explained to us, certainly the president has made no decisions.” She went on to very charitably describe Donald Trump as an “avid consumer of news” and then added he’s just “curious” about the reach of his authority as president.
But can a president actually pardon himself? Rachel Maddow asked what advice he’s gotten from his lawyers. Ashley Parker merely agreed that it’s a “confusing” question and said it’s something the president’s team is discussing.
But what about Donald Trump telling The New York Times he’s regretting bringing Jeff Sessions in as U.S. Attorney General now that he’s recused himself from the Russia investigation. Does the GOP’s president want Sessions to resign? The WAPO reporter said she doesn’t know, but he’s “incredibly savvy” and “absolutely knows” the kind of “message he’s sending.” Meanwhile, his staff was blindsided.
The TRMS host pointed out getting rid of the attorney general would be an important step towards firing Robert Mueller, Ashley Parker said Trump and Sessions have been “at loggerheads” since he recused himself without warning. And then “things went downhill from there.”
Meanwhile, ABC News reports Mark Corallo, the spokesman for Donald Trump’s legal team, abruptly resigned Thursday night. This comes on top of Marc Kasowitz, the head of Trump’s legal team, resigning as well. Now Ty Cobb’s taking the lead when it comes to responding to the Russia investigation.
WATCH: Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump seeking advice on pardoning himself.
Featured image: Video screen grabs via The Rachel Maddow Show.