Trump is saved by scandal overkill
WASHINGTON -- President Trump is a force of nature. Actually, he is a full-blown meteorological phenomenon.
This week, what in any other presidency would have been a Category 5 hurricane made landfall at the White House. It felt more like a drizzle.
The president's personal lawyer confirmed that he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, reportedly so she wouldn't talk about an alleged affair with Trump dating to 2006, months after Melania Trump had given birth to their son, Barron. Daniels's rep said she is now free from her confidentiality agreement and ready to talk.
Trump in an adulterous affair? With a porn star? And hush money? You couldn't invent a scandal better than this.
Stormy Daniels just couldn't compete with Stormy Porter. Even the Trumpophilic Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he was launching an investigation into why White House staff secretary Rob Porter was allowed to stay on the job despite credible allegations of wife-beating. Leaked White House documents showed that as of November, Porter was but one of more than 130 political appointees in the Executive Office of the President who didn't have permanent security clearances -- including the White House counsel and press secretary.
Stormy Porter, meanwhile, had to compete with Stormy Shulkin: Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin's office was found to have altered an email to try to legitimize a taxpayer-funded trip to Europe for Shulkin and his wife.
And over at the Environmental Protection Agency, Stormy Pruitt was intensifying. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was justifying his frequent first-class flights by explaining that he has had "issues" with passengers in coach class not being nice to him.
All those storms, in turn, are but upper-level disturbances compared with the tidal surge now washing over the White House from Stormy Mueller's probe, which has secured two guilty pleas from Trump campaign officials and indictments of two more as well as 13 people allegedly involved in a Russian "troll farm."
The Post reported this week about still more Trump tampering with the probe: Trump asked White House counsel Donald McGahn to get then-FBI Director James B. Comey to say publicly that Trump wasn't under investigation.