For several weeks – roughly since the Charlottesville riots – the likelihood of Donald Trump failing to last a full term as President has consistently traded above 50% on Betfair markets. Reflecting our polarised times, in which anyone can create their own news bubble aligned with their politics, there is no shortage of confidence on either side of the bet. Over £50,000 was matched at [1.8] (56%) before a slight rally this weekend.
So where are we in this unprecedented saga? As ever during the Trump era, the challenge is staying focused on the main issue. The last two years have been a never-ending media circus which all news outlets – liberal or conservative, real or fake – have found impossible to ignore. Nowadays it isn’t just crazy tweets, wild speeches or chaotic press conferences. The agenda is also driven by cataclysmic events like Hurricane Harvey or North Korean missile tests.
While such issues may influence public perceptions of Trump, they are unlikely to end his presidency. He won’t be impeached over foreign policy, insulting people or lying on Twitter. Rather, his fate will be determined by Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and, on that front, significant developments are emerging on a daily basis. There isn’t anywhere near enough space to discuss them all here, but this exhaustive timeline from former White House Press Secretary Bill Moyers covers the subject well.
Three issues are particularly noteworthy. First, the trail of revelations from e-mails that Trump was lobbying to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, even during the campaign. Note this killer line to Trump’s lawyer from long-term business associate Felix Sater “Our boy can become POTUS and we can engineer it. I will get Putin on this programme and we will get the Donald elected.”