The Corner

White House

Rudy Giuliani’s Harebrained Scheme

The president is obviously responsible for his own actions, but Rudy has a lot to answer for in this mess, which is the topic of my column on the home page:

Where’s John Kelly when you need him?

President Trump’s chief of staff, cast aside like so many of Trump’s advisers, irked the president with his efforts to bring some discipline to him and his operation. But if there’s one thing that’s obvious from the Ukraine controversy, it’s that the president could use more “no men.”

During Roman triumphs celebrating military victories, a slave was supposedly given the task of riding behind the conquering general and constantly whispering in his ear, “Remember, you are mortal.” The White House needs someone constantly whispering in the president’s ear, “There’s no freaking way we’re doing that.”

Anyone who had taken Government 101 would have told the president that going down the path of asking for investigations from the Ukraine president in the context of a discussion of military aid would certainly bring more headaches than upside.

If press reports are to be believed, plenty of people in the White House realized this. They tried to keep Trump from doing it but were outmaneuvered by Rudy Giuliani, who volunteered for double duty as an amateur sleuth and diplomat and has honchoed arguably the most harebrained foreign policy scheme since Ollie North delivered a cake to the Iranians.

In short, Trump needs people around him who will say, “Sir, if you do that, they’ll impeach you.” Instead, he had Rudy apparently urging him on.

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