This weekend, the president retweeted a Fox News clip of Geraldo Rivera saying former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week dropped the odds of Trump’s impeachment from three percent to zero percent.
Short of impeachment, the only other way for Trump to be legally removed from office is under the terms of the 25th Amendment, which requires the vice president and at least half the cabinet to attest to the president’s unfitness for office.
By sheer coincidence, Trump assembled his entire cabinet at the White House on Monday, and, in a display of dominance and humiliation like none I’ve seen in an advanced democracy, invited everyone in attendance to go around the table praising Dear Leader before the press corps. The whole creepy-bordering-on-obscene spectacle lasted about 11 minutes:
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao looks like she’s been taken hostage, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (the only one who didn’t essentially swear loyalty to Trump) is clearly pissed, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sounds desperate to keep his job (reportedly, he is).
It’s been clear for years that everyone who agrees to work for Trump eventually abases themselves, but it usually isn’t as plain as it is here, with multiple supplicants surrounding him, essentially being ordered to humiliate themselves. Whether it was to preempt a rebellion or a constitutional challenge to his presidency or not, someone orchestrated this at Trump’s direction. Getting to the bottom of who and why will make a juicy news story, but it’s also critically important.