If President Trump reads one commentary this week, it should be Rich Lowry’s in the New York Post.
These excerpts tell him why:
With Robert Mueller unveiling his first indictments and plea deal in the Russia case, President Trump should do what’s hardest for him — nothing.
The indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates — together with news of a plea agreement with former Trump foreign-policy advisor George Papadopoulos— will generate a torrent of negative press coverage of the sort that drives Trump crazy.
His instinct to lash out is his worst enemy. Trump is at more peril from his own reaction than from any of the facts that have been uncovered by Mueller, congressional investigators or the press to this point. If he were to fire Mueller, he’d endanger his presidency — and perhaps over nothing.
There is no suggestion in the indictment that any of Manafort’s alleged wrongdoing, which dates back to 2006, had anything to do with the campaign.
As for George Papadopoulos, his plea for lying to the FBI actually involves his work for the campaign. He misled investigators about the timing and nature of his contacts with Russians who wanted to set up a Putin-Trump meeting and spoke of dirt on Hillary. This is suggestive, but Papadopoulos was a bit player, and it’s not clear the talk went anywhere.
If Trump fired Mueller in reaction to all this, he would take a matter that now is at the edges of his world — Manafort has already been gingerly tossed under the bus and no one knows Papadopoulos — and make it a truly all-consuming crisis. And for what?
Mr. Trump will not get better advice than what Mr. Lowry is offering. If he can overcome his chronic sky-high ego and paper-thin skin, he’ll thank Lowry and do exactly what he says.