What can keep Donald Trump off Twitter? His staff pin their hopes on his lawyer’s wealth

The White House / Flickr trump saudi...
The White House / Flickr

How can Donald Trump’s staff get him off of Twitter? We know the “covfefe” mockery isn’t going to do the job, so does his international trip offer any clues? Can his lawyers do it? That’s the latest shred of hope his staff seem to be grabbing onto, after his loud Twitter-mouth has already been used against his Muslim ban in court and as he faces a special prosecutor on Russia ties. And sure, Trump’s been ignoring one lawyer on this point all along, but maybe a different lawyer will get through to him. 

Mr. Trump’s aides, especially his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, have long implored the president to cut down on his tweeting, especially about the Russia investigations. But Mr. McGahn is not perceived as a peer by Mr. Trump, unlike Mr. Kasowitz, whom the president respects for building a successful business. White House aides hope that Mr. Kasowitz, who has advised Mr. Trump for years, can get through to the president — and that if Mr. Kasowitz leads a vigorous public defense, the president may not feel the need to do it himself.

Because “My lawyer wasn’t rich enough for me to pay attention to his legal advice” is well known as a successful courtroom argument. There was one recent stretch when Trump largely stayed off Twitter, though:

The best way to keep Mr. Trump off Twitter, advisers said, is to keep him busy. During his foreign trip, he was occupied 12 to 15 hours a day, seldom left alone to fulminate over the Russian investigation and given less unstructured time to watch television — although he did tune in to CNN International and fumed privately that it was even more hostile to him than the domestic network.

Whereas during the normal course of being president, he’s just not all that busy. It’s exactly the kind of job that leaves a person lots of time to watch TV news and vent on social media. Totally appropriate to draw a distinction between when the president is merely in the White House running the country and when he’s really busy orb-grabbing with the Saudi royal family.

So there you go: Possibly Trump will listen to his personal lawyer because this lawyer has a lot of money, and failing that, he can be sent on a lot of foreign trips where he won’t have all the leisure time the White House affords.

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