Now that the text of the Mueller report is about to drop, Trump's antics have become increasingly chaotic and distracting.
Trump's renewed interest in cruel anti-immigration tactics and his frenzied purging of staff at the Department of Homeland Security are part of an effort to distract attention from the Mueller report, according to a Sunday New York Times report.
Trump's attorney general, William Barr, said a censored version of the Mueller report will come out later this week, with many experts telling the Times that it will contain damaging information about Trump.
Before that likely damaging report comes out, Trump is engaging in increasingly reckless behavior — including "purposefully escalating his language" against immigrants in order to rile up his base, according to the Times. Trump apparently thinks that if news outlets are focused on his abject cruelty and racism, they might pay less attention to the allegations in the Mueller report.
Trump recently floated a racist plan to send asylum-seeking immigrants to so-called "sanctuary cities," as if it were some kind of punishment to liberal lawmakers. While administration officials say the plan was rejected, Trump seems to think that women and children fleeing terrible situations should be used as political pawns.
Trump even told his top staff to break the law to prevent asylum-seekers from entering the United States, promising a pardon if they got in trouble.
Trump recently engaged in a purge at the Department of Homeland Security, pushing out former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and several other top officials. Trump's primary complaint: His staff — which had ripped toddlers from their parents and thrown them in baby jails — was not cruel enough to immigrants.
Trump is clearly worried about what the full Mueller report — or at least, as much of it as Barr will allow to be made public — will say about him.
Trump has falsely declared that he was exonerated by the Mueller report — based not on the report itself, but on a four-page summary written by Barr, his hand-picked attorney general.
At the time the summary was released, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said it "smells of a whitewash."
But even that likely biased summary included a direct quote from the Mueller report explicitly saying that the report "does not exonerate" Trump.
Trump's false claims of total exoneration may backfire, according to some experts.
"Whatever Trump may have thought when he claimed total exoneration two weeks ago, subsequent events strongly suggest that claim will fall flat on its face," Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general during the Obama administration, told the Times.
Katyal may be referring to multiple news reports about Mueller's team saying Barr's summary is covering up exactly how bad the Mueller report will be for Trump.
If more damaging information is about to come out, no wonder Trump wants to distract the media. And once again, Trump's favorite means of distraction is being even more cruel and dehumanizing to immigrants than usual.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.