I’m not sure how much weight to give to this CNN Business story, but we report, you decide:
A former Trump Organization executive says she thinks President Donald Trump may resign rather than face possible removal from office by impeachment.
“He does a lot of things to save face,” Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization vice president, told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources [Oct. 6].
“It would be very, very, very bad for him to be impeached,” Res said. “I don’t know that he’ll be found guilty but I don’t know that he wants to be impeached. I think that’s what this panic is about. And my gut [instinct] is that he’ll leave office, he’ll resign. Or make some kind of a deal, even, depending on what comes out.”
Res said she was hesitant to share her opinion, because “I could very well be wrong.”
But Res has first-hand experience working with Trump. She was the construction engineer on some of his key projects, including Trump Tower, and she is the author of “All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction,” which partly chronicles her time working for the President while he ran his company.
She has been critical of Trump in recent years, including during the 2016 campaign, when she said he wasn’t fit for office.
Her comments come as the impeachment inquiry over Trump’s interactions with Ukraine’s president intensify. House Democrats on Friday subpoenaed the White House as part of the investigation into Trump. And on Sunday, the lawyer for the first intelligence whistleblower to come forward with accusations concerning Trump and Ukraine said he is now representing a second whistleblower regarding the President’s actions.
The inquiry has sent Trump into a tweetstorm in recent days, defending himself and denouncing both Democratic lawmakers and critics within his own party.
Res said she is not surprised by Trump’s reaction.
“He was always very quick to react, he never responded to anything, always reacted to it and got very, very angry,” Res said. “He had this notion that everything that happened that was bad was directed at him, like they were after him, people were after him.”
She said there have, however, been some elements of the Trump campaign and presidency that she wouldn’t have expected, saying his behavior has gotten worse than when she worked for him. Res was surprised to see reports that Trump told Russian officials he was unconcerned about the country’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election because, she said, “that was a stupid thing to say and I never thought of him as stupid.”
But most of the time, Res said the President is still the Donald Trump she knew while working for him for over a decade.
“This is Trump — I say Trump Squared because he’s had, since I knew him, many, many years of fame and fortune and getting richer and now he actually does believe he’s a stable genius and he does believe he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, and so far it looks like he can,” she said. The president famously said during the 2016 campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and his supporters would not abandon him.As for Trump’s fitness for office, Res said she agrees with George Conway, the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who published a piece in The Atlantic earlier this week saying Trump is unfit for office.
“I thought that when he was running for office,” Res said. “And not necessarily for the mental reasons that you talk about but because he didn’t have the experience, you know, lots of different things.”
So here we have a former Trump employee who claims to know that which is unknowable, the inner workings of Trump’s mind. Notice also that this story is three weeks old, but has only come out beyond CNN viewers over the past day or so. And the source seems to not grasp how the impeachment process works — the House of Representatives decides to impeach or not, while the Senate conducts the trial and must vote by two-thirds margin to convict and remove from office. Anyone care to bet on the last happening in a Republican-controlled Senate?
Newsweek reported this back in January:
Alan J. Steinberg—who served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush—wrote in an opinion piece published this week that he didn’t believe President Donald Trump would be removed from office through impeachment.
Steinberg, a former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, said that he believed Trump would resign in 2019 in exchange for immunity.
“Trump will not be removed from office by the constitutional impeachment and removal process,” Steinberg wrote in The Star-Ledger. “Instead, the self-professed supreme dealmaker will use his presidency as a bargaining chip with federal and state authorities in 2019, agreeing to leave office in exchange for the relevant authorities not pursuing criminal charges against him, his children or the Trump Organization.”
Steinberg noted in the piece that should the House of Representatives impeach Trump, 20 Republican senators would have to break with the president to remove him from office—and that seems very unlikely. Steinberg wrote that the many legal challenges facing Trump—the investigation from special counsel Robert Mueller, the probe from the Southern District of New York as well as inquiries from the attorney general of New York and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office—could lead him to leave the White House, especially as authorities close in on his family.
Steinberg wrote for The Star-Ledger:
“Aside from all the legal nightmares facing Trump and his presidency, it appears virtually impossible for Trump to be reelected in 2020. The economy appears headed for a severe recession, as evidenced by the recent plunge in the stock market, which appears on pace for its worst December since the Great Depression.
There are only two years left in Trump’s presidential term. With his approval ratings in an abysmal state, and the forthcoming recession making it near impossible for Trump to stage a political recovery, it appears most likely that he will use the continuation of his presidency as a bargaining chip.”
Steinberg is far from the only person who believes Trump will be out of office before his first term is up.
Right! Again from Newsweek, again from January:
Aformer Republican congressman predicts that President Donald Trump will leave the White House “soon” in a “spectacular political crash-and-burn” set to take place during 2019.
John LeBoutillier, who represented New York’s 6th District in the early 1980s, predicted Trump’s downfall in a column for The Hill.
“Donald J. Trump’s presidency will not survive 2019,” LeBoutillier wrote.
“The downward trajectory of every aspect of his tenure indicates we are headed for a spectacular political crash-and-burn—and fairly soon.
“His increasingly erratic and angry behavior, his self-imposed isolation, his inability and refusal to listen to smart advisers that he hired, all are leading him to a precipice.”
There are a number of threats to Trump’s turbulent presidency. The largest of all is the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with agents of the Russian state to help Trump win. …
“The Mueller investigation will unveil evidence of Trump putting himself out to the highest bidder in return for campaign help and financing: Russians, Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris—there will be evidence that millions of foreign dollars illegally flowed into the Trump campaign coffers in 2016,” LeBoutillier predicted.
“In other words, Trump basically said, ‘I’m for sale.'”