It’s time to stop asking whether President Donald Trump will learn lessons from the controversies he constantly stokes — of course he does. But far from stepping back or opting for contrition as his critics and appeasers hope, Trump draws darker political conclusions.
The result is that he expands his own power by confounding institutional restraints and opening a zone of presidential impunity — while at the same time delighting his political base. Trump’s interference in the sentencing of his long-time associate Roger Stone and a post-impeachment retribution splurge reflect a lifetime’s lessons of a real estate baron turned public servant.
On Wednesday, Trump publicly praised the Justice Department for reversing its call for a stiff jail term for Stone after his own critical late night tweet that laid bare fears of blatant interference in bedrock US justice.