The camera didn’t lie. Trump was clearly distracted when all the other presidents in the front row at Pres. George H.W. Bush’s funeral were reciting the Apostles’ Creed. It was printed on the program so not having memorized it was no excuse.

It is brief and isn’t that difficult.

If Trump was Jewish or Muslim he could have an excuse for not reciting a prayer referencing Jesus, but he professes to be Christian and has courted support from evangelicals. His detached silence is being covered in the media and the subject of a critical Tweetstorm.

I have to wonder whether Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is his mole, an unabashed Trump spy currying favor the way Devin Nunes did when he chaired the House Intelligence Committee. Perhaps he has already shown him the clean version of the report, even if he didn’t explain the ramifications of what was redacted.

Since Whitaker hasn’t recused himself from Mueller investigation he could have asked or legally (if unethically) demanded, to see the unredacted sentencing report. Doing so could open him to having the president insist that he share the report with him.

Pundits have been speculating that the paragraphs of blacked out text contain information about ongoing investigations that could implicate Trump and his family in illegal activities which could be grounds for impeachment.

Image adapted from the real Adobe software for making redactions.

Even if Whitaker didn’t explain what the information about sensitive ongoing investigations meant for Trump, I assume Trump could have his new White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (replacing Emmett Flood who replaced Don McGhan) lay this out in simple language. I don’t know how much he’d be legally able to explain about what this would mean regardinh Trump’s possible impeachment.

Of course, the unredacted report is confidential so I doubt it is legally sharable with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani and his team.

However, does anybody believe that if Trump knows that the gist of what Mueller is working on implicates him and his family it wouldn’t get back to him in ways even his lawyers could dumb down enough so he would be able grasp the danger it represents to his presidency?

Some might offer the opinion that Trump looked so angry and distracted because he knew he was being compared unfavorably to a president who had dignity and class. I doubt that. Trump sees those characteristics as attributes, he thinks they are weaknesses.

I think that what was on Trump’s mind, even if he didn’t see the unredacted report, was fleeting visions which even in his naricssitic denial he couldn’t block from his thoughts. The baying of the hounds of Mueller and his team, and of the Democratic Congressional committees which will be investigating him, are getting louder and louder.

This would explain why he couldn’t manage fake caring and grief for the huge television audience.


(Related: The Five reasons it would be very difficult if not impossible for Trump to fire Mueller.)

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