We’ve known for quite awhile that Trump is prone to childish temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, which is pretty much all the time. And we’ve seen Trump in a slow but definite spiral out of control. But, according to a new report by Gabriel Sherman in Vanity Fair, the true extent of that spiral is much worse now than we might have thought.
Sherman says he spoke to several high-profile Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all say the same thing: Trump is “increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods,” and his advisers are struggling more than ever to keep him contained. Trump reportedly even said:
“I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!”
The White House officially denies that, but the White House will deny anything that makes Trump look bad.
The final trigger seems to be Luther Strange, who failed to win the GOP nomination for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions despite Trump’s endorsement. One person close to Trump said, “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche. He saw the cult of personality was broken.” Indeed, he tried to make up for the embarrassment that was Strange’s loss by claiming:
In analyzing the Alabama Primary race,FAKE NEWS always fails to mention that the candidate I endorsed went up MANY points after endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
Besides that, things are so bad that one of Sherman’s sources wouldn’t be surprised to find that General John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed “tackling” Trump if he “lunges for the nuclear football.” And other Trump supporters, such as longtime friend Tom Barrack, are “shocked and stunned” by Trump’s behavior.
The official line out of the White House is, of course, that everything is just hunky-dory and Trump is in great spirits. This is in spite of the fact that aides have to work to keep him from doing adversarial interviews so he doesn’t blow up on television. At this point, it seems he’ll only talk to friendly interviewers like Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee. His canceled appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” was a relief to some aides, according to Sherman’s sources.
Their official line also comes in spite of the fact that Trump openly questioned when he can have the FCC revoke NBC’s broadcasting license, which is a dangerous question for him to pose as president. His first job is to uphold and defend the Constitution – trying to take a television network down because he doesn’t like what they’re reporting shows a grave lack of willingness to understand his primary job.
Furthermore, he’s so ignorant about the way things work that he believes shutting NBC up is really as simple as pulling their license. NBC doesn’t have a license. Broadcasting licenses are granted to those that carry NBC over the airwaves, not the networks themselves. Trump, like anyone else, can file a complaint, but that’s it.
Even Steve Bannon only gives Trump a 30 percent chance of serving out his full term. Bannon believes the biggest threat to Trump is the 25th Amendment, not Congressional impeachment. Under the 25th Amendment, the Cabinet can vote to remove a president from office if they believe he’s unfit to serve. While it’s hard to trust anything Steve Bannon says, this has apparently been a concern to White House advisers for some time now.
Trump’s feud with the NFL, and with Bob Corker; his ongoing diatribes about fake news and his insistence on making his Cabinet lie in official statements to discredit the media; his temper tantrums, his inability to focus, and more, are all painting an ever-grimmer picture of a man who was never stable enough for the presidency.
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