Donald Trump discussed his potential impeachment on Fox & Friends, marking the first time he’s delved into the possibility at length in public. And he’s only playing at playing defense.
His earlier references to impeachment since he took office have been mostly confined to tweeting that people pushing for it are deranged and the prospect is highly unlikely. Rather than explaining why he’s done nothing to deserve such a fate, or even trying to change the topic entirely, Trump spent time on Fox today (Aug. 23) explaining why he thought it would be bad for the US.
His approach is part of the latest Republican strategy ahead of the midterm elections. His party is attempting to paint a Democratic takeover of the House as the ultimate threat to Trump, seeking to get his hardcore supporters to vote GOP. “Vote GOP or the Democrats impeach Trump,” as conservative website Breitbart proclaimed this week.
Trump told Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt he wasn’t sure how “you could impeach someone who has done a great job,” and then proceeded to discuss all the things he thought would go wrong in America if it happened.
“If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking, you would see…numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse,” Trump said. He went on to say how bad he thinks that the US economy would have been under Hillary Clinton, and how much stronger China would be had she been elected in 2016.
The Democratic party leadership has already indicated it won’t rush to impeach Trump if they somehow regain the House in November. Trump’s tried-and-true strategy is to seize on a controversy that divides the country, and rely on traditional news media to act as a megaphone to amplify the controversy.
It is working, again.
Immediately, many major US news outlets were discussing impeachment, and the real impact that it might have on the economy.
No, the markets wouldn’t crash, analysts told Bloomberg, in part because the most business-friendly part of Trump’s policies (corporate tax cuts, deregulation) have probably already happened.
Still, the facts or the history behind Trump’s claims have never mattered much to his supporters. They’re the ones Trump is talking to.
White House advisors estimate that one-third of the attendees at his rallies aren’t Republicans, and believe the key to preventing a Democratic takeover of the House is to get them to vote GOP in November.
The ongoing discussion of impeachment in the media today serves to reinforce Trump’s new favorite talking point: If Democrats win in the 2018 election, they’re coming after me.