The Corner

The Bully Pulpit, Cont.

President Trump has given us a couple of classic instances of Trump bluster this weekend. First, he called Judge Robart a so-called judge, which is not the way anyone expects a president of the United States to talk and, at the margins, probably makes it less likely that other judges will overturn Robart’s (shoddy) order, since it’s now been made a symbol of judicial independence. 

And in an interview with Bill O’Reilly airing today, Trump again excuses Putin’s crimes by saying we are guilty of our own, an appalling exercise in moral equivalence. 

One of the key questions about the Trump administration is how much its actions will reflect these bar stool-style musings. On the judiciary, just a few days ago, Trump appointed a rigorously constitutionalist jurist in a highly professional process that relied on the counsel of some of the most serious people on the Right. On Russia, Nikki Haley showed up at the U.N. and immediately blasted Russia for its aggression.

This question, along with at least two others (will there be a serious breach between the core Trump White House and his cabinet secretaries, and will Trump break at some point with congressional Republicans?), will have a large influence on the shape of things to come.