Donald Trump’s Advice to Graduates

“I’ve accomplished a tremendous amount in a very short time as President,” Donald Trump told the graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Connecticut, on Wednesday, a day when, with talk of impeachable offenses in the air, it became reasonable to wonder if his entire time as President might be very short. Multiple congressional committees were on their way to subpoenaing any documentation that James Comey, who was the director of the F.B.I. until last week, had written regarding his meetings with the President. According to a Times report, the notes memorialized Trump saying, with regard to the F.B.I.’s investigation of the former national-security adviser Michael Flynn and his dealings with Russia, “I hope you let this go.” Comey didn’t; Trump fired him. The Times story was published on Tuesday evening. By the time that Trump got on the stage in New London, more than one congressional committee was going after what was quickly becoming known as the Comey memo. Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and the chair of the House Oversight Committee, was busy scheduling hearings, with Comey as a witness, for next week. And, as much as the President regaled the graduates with tales of his victories—he has “saved the Second Amendment” and appointed a Supreme Court Justice “who’s going to be fantastic for forty-five years,” and the construction of his border wall is “going along very, very well”—what came across most clearly were his borderless delusions.

“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately,” Trump said, with a broad shrug. “Especially by the media. No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.” After that splendidly ahistorical reminder of how fine the line is between self-aggrandizement and self-pity, Trump continued, “You can’t let them get you down. You can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.” At that, there was a smattering of applause, which Trump sucked in as if he were a mylar balloon in need of a hit of helium. “I guess that’s why we won,” he said.

Trump may indeed believe that he won because people like seeing him ignore anyone who tells him “No.” He urged the graduates to “fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.” If, however, the fight comes in the form of spurned subpoenas, Trump may be surprised at how it works out. (On Wednesday evening, the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as special counsel in the investigation into possible Russian involvement in the Presidential election.) Or maybe not. So far, the President has had, if anything, a shortage of naysayers, particularly in his…

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