Two weeks ago, as you may recall, Trump fanatics were doggedly trying to get Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, fired from his job, accusing the comedian of "homophobia," after Colbert made an oral sex reference.
Even with #FireColbert trending on social media, the president himself showed great restraint, choosing to stay out of the fray. All of that changed this week.
On Thursday, Time magazine published an interview with President Trump wherein Trump tore into Colbert. "You see a no-talent guy like Colbert," Trump said, "There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base."
A remarkable statement, considering it’s coming from the guy whose catchphrase is "grab them by the pussy."
Trump went on to tout his own ratings prowess, saying, "I’ve done his show ... But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high—highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had."
Of course, the biggest ratings win this week came when, on Tuesday, Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. That came one day after former attorney general Sally Yates gave testimony before a Senate Subcommittee on how she warned the Trump White House that national security advisor Michael Flynn was susceptible to Russian blackmail.
The timing of Comey’s firing was problematic. The White House insisted that Comey’s dismissal was not connected to the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling with the presidential campaign, even though reports indicate that just days before, Comey had requested from the Justice Department, increased resources for that Russian investigation.
Curiously, in Comey’s termination letter, Trump asserted "on three separate occasions" that Comey told Trump he wasn’t under investigation. Does the lady doth protest too much? Methinks.
Trump had sent his personal bodyguard to FBI Headquarters to hand deliver Comey’s termination papers, but Comey was in Los Angeles speaking with FBI agents at a field office. Comey learned of his firing while watching television and initially thought he was the victim of some practical joke. It was no joke – Comey got Trumped!
Vice President Mike Pence explained the decision to give Comey the boot was based on a recommendation by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which indicated that Comey had lost the support of the FBI with his handling of the Clinton email server investigation.
Later, on Thursday, Trump would negate this reasoning, telling Lester Holt "I was going to fire Comey – my decision," adding that Comey was a "showboat."
Press Secretary Sean Spicer, on Tuesday, didn’t know what to say, so he reportedly hid in the bushes outside the White House, finally emerging to speak with reporters only under the condition he was not filmed, shouting to camera crews, "Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off. We'll take care of this ... Can you just turn that light off?"
The next day, White House staff clarified Spicer's whereabouts during the incident, and the Washington Post updated the story to read, "Spicer huddled with his staff among bushes near television sets on the White House grounds, not in the bushes."
Pundits began comparing Trump's firing of Comey to Nixon’s handling of Watergate, but the Richard Nixon Library, wanting to distance itself from anything Trump-related, quickly tweeted: "Fun Fact: President Richard Nixon never fired the Director for the FBI #FBIDirector #notNixonian."
Nonetheless, Nixon did fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox who, at the time, was investigating the burglary that would lead to the Watergate scandal. If those parallels weren't enough, Trump jumped through the wormhole back to 1973 when, on Wednesday, he had a meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in the Oval Office.
Kissinger, if you recall, guided Nixon through those turbulent years of the impeachment process. Was he back to do the same for Trump?
While pundits are bringing up Watergate, Trump meets Kissinger. Surely that'll silence the Nixon comparison. https://t.co/JS4hTj8qfO— Jørgen Jensehaugen (@JJensehaugen) May 11, 2017
Trump added on another layer of surreal when, on Wednesday, he had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to the US, in the Oval Office. Trump barred U.S. reporters from taking photographs of the event but allowed Russian reporters to do so, expecting them somehow, to not publish the photos.
Russia's news agency TASS promptly posted the photos, prompting a White House official to say "They tricked us," and "That's the problem with the Russians – they lie."