The UN General Assembly is now underway, bringing traffic-snarling street closures to East Midtown as the world's leaders kick off a full week of high-level meetings on matters of global peace and security. President Don John Trump is here too, and since arriving via helicopter in Manhattan last night, he's wasted no time setting into motion a national nervous breakdown. Call it a Gridlock/Constitutional Crisis Alert Day, if you want.
Moments after leaving a morning session on global drug issues, the president reportedly affirmed his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, declaring that the mounting sexual assault allegations could turn out to be "one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate." About an hour later, news broke that Trump was possibly attempting to force out Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
Given the Kavanaugh dumpster fire, look for the @POTUS to be particularly provocative at the U.N. this week to divert attention away from the squalid spectacle in Washington.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 24, 2018
(Though news outlets initially said that Rosenstein had submitted a verbal resignation to the White House, that reporting has since been walked back, and most recent reports now suggest that while Rosenstein expects to be fired, he does not plan to voluntarily resign. Can't wait for tomorrow's Daily News cover depicting a screaming Baby Trump flinging a feces-filled diaper at Rosenstein under the headline "SPARE THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD.")
Just before 1 p.m., White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement noting that Rosenstein and Trump "had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C."
As it happens, Thursday is also the day that Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify in an open hearing about her allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
If Trump thinks he can divert attention from the Kavanaugh hearing by scheduling a meeting with Rod Rosenstein that same day, he’s going to be sorely disappointed when he learns that women can multitask. https://t.co/bRwae6tqCc
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 24, 2018
On Tuesday, President Trump is scheduled to address the General Assembly for the first time since referring to Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man." The following day, he will chair a Security Council meeting focused on nuclear non-proliferation. He will then go back to Washington to meet with and possibly fire the person overseeing the investigation into his campaign's alleged crimes, as his fellow Republicans attempt to push through a Supreme Court nominee credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple woman—a person who may soon happily obstruct women's reproductive rights for decades to come.
Traffic is expected to be bad throughout this time, as street closures will shut down 1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street, along with most adjacent streets between 1st and 2nd Avenue (Full street closures can be found here.) It is highly recommended that you don't drive through the area, read breaking news on the internet, or do anything else this week that further aggravates your already fragile mental state. An evening walk or bike ride, far from your cell phone or Midtown Manhattan, sounds pretty nice though.
— Roger Clark (@RogerClark41) September 24, 2018