The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What Happened Today – The New York Times

In his decades-long public life, Mr. Trump has continually said things that shock (“Russia, if you’re listening …”). But today’s open request for China to investigate his political adversary still felt like new territory. I talked to my colleague Maggie Haberman, who has covered Mr. Trump for many years in New York and Washington, about the significance of his statements.

Maggie, why would he just blurt out that he wants China to investigate the Bidens?

He clearly knows something a wise person once said to me, which is that the value of a secret is its ability to be disclosed. So he tries to move the window of acceptability by publicly doing the very thing he is accused of doing in private.

What is it about his circumstances that might encourage him to make a request like this out loud?

He has led a consequence-free life despite enormously self-destructive behaviors over time. The divorces were marriages he wanted out of. The bankruptcies impacted his lenders most, not him. All of his behavior in 2016 ended with him winning the presidency. And the Mueller obstruction inquiry ended with no definitive answer.

Does his request this morning remind you of anything?

The period of time that is the most illuminating happened after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out. The next day, I wrote a story about Mr. Trump holed up at Trump Tower. He came downstairs sometime after 4 p.m. and went and immersed himself in a crowd of supporters who were outside on the street, and pumped his fist. The next day, he went to the debate in St. Louis and paraded Bill Clinton’s accusers in front of Hillary Clinton. It was the most savage thing I had ever seen anyone do in politics. And it underscored what Mr. Trump does when he is wounded.


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