Unraveling Trump’s Twitter thread on Maggie Haberman, a woman he talks to all the time, but hardly knows, and never speaks with.

Donald Trump went nuts on Twitter again this morning. It would seem that he didn’t like Maggie Haberman’s most recent piece in the New York Times, titled, “Michael Cohen Has Said He Would Take a Bullet for Trump. Maybe Not Anymore.” Following, in case you missed it, is a bit of Trump’s irate thread.

As for what specifically set Trump off, one assumes he didn’t like Haberman’s central premise, which is that Trump’s “fixer”, Michael Cohen, now that he’s facing a litany of criminal charges, may be considering the possibility of turning on the President and cooperating with special prosecutor Robert Mueller… Here’s an excerpt from Haberman’s piece, which was co-authored by Sharon LaFraniere and Danny Hakim.

…For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.

“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s informal and longest-serving political adviser, who, along with Mr. Cohen, was one of five people originally surrounding the president when he was considering a presidential campaign before 2016.

Now, for the first time, the traffic may be going Mr. Cohen’s way. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers have become resigned to the strong possibility that Mr. Cohen, who has a wife and two children and faces the prospect of devastating legal fees, if not criminal charges, could end up cooperating with federal officials who are investigating him for activity that could relate, at least in part, to work he did for Mr. Trump…

OK, so let’s address these comments of Trump’s point by point.

First, we have his assertion that Haberman is a “third rate reporter” who he has “nothing to do with.” Well, as Haberman just won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting, I suspect that makes her at least second rate, and Trump has known her for well over a decade, since she was covering him for the New York Post and the Daily News, when he was just a failing New York real estate developer with a third rate reality television show. And they do talk… quite a bit, actually. In fact, Haberman is known in journalistic circles as the “Trump whisperer,” as she’s proven to be the most able of those covering the White House to coax information from Trump and members of his inner circle… Here the two are together not too long ago.

Speaking of the closeness between Haberman and Trump, check out the following excerpt from Vanity Fair.

No one embodies the surreal, codependent, often abusive relationship between the media and Donald Trump as much as Maggie Haberman, the most prominent White House correspondent for the publication Trump likes to call “The Failing New York Times.” Much as he professes to despise the Times—“total fiction,” he’s called it—he can’t quit Haberman. He returns her calls, gives her exclusives. “He wouldn’t talk to me as much as he does if I wasn’t at the Times,” Haberman said on a podcast recently. “That’s just the reality. He craves the paper’s approval.”

…Haberman’s signature is her preternatural ability to get lots of people telling her lots of things they probably shouldn’t be telling her. She’s regarded as the best-sourced reporter in Washington, the irony being that she only spends part of her time there, working largely out of her home turf in New York. She’s able not only to get inside the room with Trump, but to seemingly get inside his brain—to translate for the masses what he and the people around him at any given moment are thinking about the crisis or controversy du jour. That skill has made her incredibly valuable at a time when juicy, granular, inside-the-room dish has gained massive journalistic currency—Trump watching cable news in his bathrobe, Trump in a foul mood for this reason or that, and so on.

…Haberman had occasionally covered Trump, in his capacity as a vulgar real-estate mogul and man-about-town, during her time at the New York Post and the Daily News. But it wasn’t until Haberman’s Politico days that her connection with Future President Trump began to take root. She’d gotten wind of his early White House flirtations at the beginning of 2011 through—who else? — G.O.P. political svengali Roger Stone. In a wide-ranging interview, Stone told Haberman that Trump had a $2 billion war chest, that he was seriously weighing a run and that it wasn’t just a publicity stunt, as well as various other things that all sounded totally crazy at the time. The next day, Trump called Haberman himself to pour a bit of cold water on Stone’s remarks. “I appreciate all of the nice things he’s been saying, but he does not represent me,” Trump told her. “And he is not an adviser to my potential campaign.” The relationship took off from there…

So, while it’s true that Haberman has authored some pieces that could be deemed to be critical of Trump, it’s certainly not the case that she’s a Hillary Clinton “flunkie.” In fact, quite a few folks have questioned her coziness with Trump, and feel as though her humanizing, insufficiently critical portraits of Trump on the campaign trail helped get him elected. [Haberman, it should be noted, also promoted the anti-Clinton email server conspiracy theory in her pieces for the New York Times.] But it looks as though the good times may have officially come to an end with the publication of this piece today.

As for the New York Times consciously “going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with (Trump)” in the hopes that he’ll flip, Trump may be right. Maybe there’s some truth to it. Perhaps the folks at the New York Times really do feel bad about not being critical enough of Trump in the run up to the election, and, as a result, they’ve decided to set things right by consciously targeting Cohen, reminding him of the fact that Donald Trump has treated him like shit for the past 15 years. I suspect, however, given what I’ve read of Trump’s treatment of subordinates, that he probably didn’t need reminding.

As for the “non-existent sources” and the “drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael,” according to Haberman, the President is referring to Sam Nunberg, his former aide, and friend of Roger Stone’s, who lost his mind back in March, and started going on cable news shows talking about how Trump “may very well have done something during the election with the Russians.” Here’s Haberman’s tweet, identifying Nunberg as the object of Trump’s anger, and suggesting that Trump went after Nunberg instead of Stone, who was also quoted in today’s New York Times piece, because he’s afraid of Nixon’s former rat-fucker.

Later, when former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara asked Haberman on Twitter if she was serious about Trump being afraid of Roger Stone, Haberman replied with a simple, “For years.”

Now, that brings us to, “Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories.” While Trump goes on to say that he doesn’t see Cohen doing that, it’s clear that he’s getting ready for that possibility and planting the seed that Cohen might make something up just to save himself from prison.

Oh, and, just in case Cohen didn’t get the message a few days ago when Scooter Libby was pardoned, Trump tweeted again today about his willingness to dole out pardons.

It’s like Trump is saying, “Yes, Michael, I may have treated you like shit, and called you a big dummy… And maybe I didn’t pay you back when you sent that hush money to Stormy Daniels, like I told you that I would… but did you see the part in this tweet where I talked about how ‘I have always liked and respected’ you? I really do love you, man. Oh, and check out the part where I said, ‘I am considering a Full Pardon!’ You know who I’m talking to, right?”

As for all of this being a “Witch Hunt,” I’d just like to remind everyone that, as of right now, the Mueller probe has already resulted in 5 guilty pleas and 19 indictments for things ranging all the way to “Conspiracy against the United States.” This isn’t the Clinton e-mail server investigation, or the Benghazi investigation. This is a real investigation of very real crimes.

I could go on, but I think I’ll stop there. I just find all of this so incredibly crazy… the idea that Trump is so rattled right now that he’s saying that he doesn’t talk with Maggie Haberman, telling us that Cohen may lie in order to save himself, and attacking a former aide for being a drug-addicted loser. [#AllTheBestPeople] I knew, the more the net tightened around Trump, the more he’d lash out, and the more insane things would get, but it feels like we’re now just one news story about Cohen working with Mueller away from everything going completely off the rails.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Haberman pushed the Clinton email server story for Trump during the campaign.


  2. Rat
    Posted April 22, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    He is losing his fucking mind.

  3. Rat
    Posted April 22, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Another great headline from today about Roger Stone.

    Trump pal Roger Stone calls Barbara Bush a ‘vindictive drunk,’ loses GOP speaking gig.

  4. Dirtgrain
    Posted April 22, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Did he just acknowledge that there is something to “flip” about, that Cohen does have damning information on Trump?

  5. Lynne
    Posted April 22, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I just hope that we can get through this mostly unscathed.

  6. teacherpatti
    Posted April 22, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The article about Stone was…enlightening. He legit has a Nixon tattoo on his back? Mrs. Nixon didn’t even hate Nixon tattooed on her. WHO DOES THAT?!?!?! (this guy, apparently). And his anti-Hilary website? I know he called himself a rat fucker but that is actually an insult the people out there who enjoy carnal relations with furry little beasts.

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