After a weekend of bad news for Trump, he returned to one of his favorite hobbies: attacking black athletes.
As a whirlwind of bad-news revelations mounted over the weekend regarding the Russia scandal, Donald Trump on early Monday morning retreated to his political safe space and picked a fight with an NFL player over his refusal to stand during the national anthem on Sunday.
Unable to pass any meaningful legislation during his first nine months in office, Trump now clings to the NFL feud and treats it as one of his main Oval Office accomplishments.
Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017
Trump opted for the race-baiting NFL tweet on Monday after ABC News confirmed Sunday night that Trump is likely being investigated for obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller for the firing of FBI Director James Comey in May. At the time, Trump quickly admitted during a televised interview that he fired Comey because of his handling of the Russia investigation.
“The latest move suggests the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation,” ABC reported.
Added Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA):
This document request shows Special Counsel Mueller saw the same thing we all saw: The President of the United States committing Obstruction of Justice and then admitting it on national TV. https://t.co/ngSGimtCuB
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 20, 2017
Also on Sunday night, the Washington Post reported that Trump’s West Wing is bracing for a difficult winter as the White House is now officially under siege with regards to Mueller’s Russia probe.
“So far, at least nine people in Trump’s orbit had contact with Russians during the campaign or the transition to the White House,” the Post reported. “Witnesses questioned by Mueller’s team warn that investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that have not yet become public, and to expect a series of new revelations..
Legal experts told the Post that the probe would likely “extend deep into 2018 and possibly longer.”
Facing that gloomy political future, Trump on Monday returned to one of his favorite rituals, loudly complaining that the small number of NFL players who take part in a silent, sidelines protest by taking a knee during the national anthem are being unpatriotic and should be punished by the league.
The soggy NFL affair has become a West Wing obsession in recent months. Vice President Mike Pence even wasted $14,000 in local taxpayer money staging a political stunt in October when he attended an Indianapolis Colts game with the intention of immediately staging a walk out when players on the visiting team, the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the anthem.
Trump likes to depict his NFL feud as a clear culture war win for him, but poll after poll has shown a clear majority of Americans disapprove of his comments about NFL players, especially the idea that they should be fired or suspended for expressing their first amendment right.
Trump’s return to the feud on Monday came after he spent the weekend castigating the father of a black player on the UCLA basketball team. In his first year in office, Trump has established a long history of attacking successful, black American athletes.