The Washington Post published quite a story this morning about the latest infighting in the Trump White House. WaPo reporters spoke to 18 “White House officials, outside advisers and other Trump associates,” who collectively painted a picture of a President who blames everyone but himself for his administration’s considerable failures. I’m sure Trump’s response will be to rail against the “leakers” in his administration who talked to WaPo. It is a good piece of reporting and you should read the whole thing.
The piece starts off with the #NotNews that Trump is firebombing every political relationship he has, increasingly isolating himself from the Republican Party and the rest of the world:
Frustrated by his Cabinet and angry that he has not received enough credit for his handling of three successive hurricanes, President Trump is now lashing out, rupturing alliances and imperiling his legislative agenda, numerous White House officials and outside advisers said Monday.
In a matter of days, Trump has torched bridges all around him, nearly imploded an informal deal with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, and plunged himself into the culture wars on issues ranging from birth control to the national anthem.
WaPo’s sources reveal (again, not really new news) that Trump longs for the campaign trail and chafes under any discipline that might lead to actual governance:
In doing so, Trump is laboring to solidify his standing with his populist base and return to the comforts of his campaign — especially after the embarrassing defeat of Sen. Luther Strange in last month’s Alabama GOP special election, despite the president’s trip there to campaign with the senator.
Indeed, Trump is upset that he couldn’t turn his weekend trip to North Carolina into a good old fashioned Bubbafest campaign rally of the type Trump loves:
Trump also made it known to several people that he wished to have a rally in North Carolina over the weekend and not just a fundraiser — but he ultimately flew down for only the fundraiser, spending just two hours on the ground in Greensboro. Trump complained that he wished he had gotten back out in front of the rowdy crowds he loves, these people said.
Bless his heart. Rowdy crowds of racist idiots are so much more fun than the tedium of running the actual executive branch of the most powerful country on Earth.
It’s apparently even more tedious to Trump when he hears that his Secretary of State called him a moron and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee thinks Trump needs constant supervision so he doesn’t have a tan-tan and start World War III via Twitter:
Sen. Bob Corker’s brutal assessment of Trump’s fitness for office — warning that the president’s reckless behavior could launch the nation “on the path to World War III” — also hit like a thunderclap inside the White House, where aides feared possible ripple effects among other Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Trump in recent days has shown flashes of fury and left his aides, including White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, scrambling to manage his outbursts. He has been frustrated in particular with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was reported last week to have earlier called the president a “moron.” Trump’s Sunday morning Twitter tirade against Corker caught staffers by surprise, although the president had been brooding over the senator’s comment a few days earlier about Trump’s “chaos” endangering the nation.
As a result, Trump’s own people thinks he’s about to blow his top:
One Trump confidant likened the president to a whistling teapot, saying that when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode. “I think we are in pressure cooker territory,” said this person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.
Mike Pence sent out an unsolicited email blast to all media outlets decrying all the bad press about the Trump administration and claiming Trump’s been doing lots of good things, but nobody on the Hill is listening to that bullshit for two seconds.
The most quotable quote in the WaPo story is from a Trump confidante who thinks Trump’s recent wars with Corker and others have already destroyed Trump’s presidency:
One Trump loyalist — noting that Corker has many more friends in the Senate than Trump does — said the rift could dash chances for a tax law overhaul or other meaningful legislation. “His presidency could be doomed,” said this person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to alienate the president or his staff.
Adding to the administration’s problems is the decision of Stephen Bannon, now back heading up Breitbart after he was fired as Trump’s chief strategist, to back right-wing primary challengers for GOP senate incumbents up for reelection in 2018. The threat of senators being primaried from the right has been greatly energized by Trump-backed mainstream Alabama GOP Senator Luther Strange’s crushing defeat in the nomination run-off last month by far-right religious zealot nutbag Roy Moore.
With all this going on and his various wives engaged in public squabbles, right now it sucks to be Donald J. Trump.