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Jonathan Bernstein

Firing Mueller Has No Upside for Trump

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.
Not a good look.

Not a good look.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

With an investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Donald Trump now confirmed, there's even more talk about the possibility that the president might fire the special prosecutor. I have no idea what he'll do, but to be clear: He would almost certainly be severely damaging himself by doing so. 

We can't know for sure what the public's reaction would be, but it certainly seems likely that it would be severely negative, pushing his approval ratings even lower. We can't know for sure where Trump's approval floor might be, or even if it is lower than his current 38 percent. What we do know is that several previous presidents including George W. Bush reached as low as about 25 percent; that governors sometimes go even lower; that Trump has been losing ground at about the same rate Barack Obama did (but from a much lower starting point); and that Trump's strong support has eroded along with his overall approval.