It t would take a colossal dash cam—rolling 24 hours a day, filming in Cinerama, capturing it all in surround sound—to retain all the Donald Trump and Russia news that sailed by this week. As Air Force One carried Trump to the Middle East and Europe in the first big trip of his presidency, the images broadcast back home made him look like the star of a musical comedy directed by Robert Altman. There was some goofy sword dancing in Saudi Arabia, gaffe-ing in Israel, where he said he hadn’t said “Israel” to the Russians, and some body-control issues in Brussels as he dispensed semi-secret handshakes, under-basket elbows and lectures to befuddled European leaders who shunned him.
This was the week that the seeds of scandal and ineptitude planted over the past six months finally sprouted their first shoots, wrapping green tendrils around the president’s ankles and around the throats of his aides, yanking them to earth. This was the week the idea that Trump could stall or outrun his tormentors was put to rest as two congressional committees, one special counsel, the FBI and the deep state pressed him from every angle. Trump is now caught in history’s grinder, and the sparks and noise emitted are lighting up the media universe.