It’s no secret that America’s 45th president has had a rough time adjusting to his new job. Within days of winning, sources within his transition team claimed that he was overwhelmed by how much responsibility he’d have upon taking office. And since his inauguration things have been one train wreck after another. But a new report from Politico suggests his emotional state is even more unstable than it appears from the outside.
Six former White House Staffers explained to Politico that they had to engage in a number of unusual practices just to help the president cope:
One Trump associate said it’s important to show Trump deference and offer him praise and respect, as that will lead him to more often listen. And if Trump becomes obsessed with a grudge, aides need to try and change the subject, friends say. Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House.
Most disturbingly, it seems as though the president’s staff views his well-being as their main goal rather than policy. One staffer describes how he’d look at the news early and try to influence “alternative sources” like Breitbart and Fox to air more favorable coverage later in the day. He says he did this not to manage PR, but simply because Trump is so bothered by negative press and cannot function unless he gets enough praise.
At the forefront of their concerns is keeping the president off of Twitter when he’s upset. Apparently, the staff were all blind-sided by Trump’s Twitter meltdown after his Supreme Court pick criticized Trump’s attacks on another judge. Trump went after a Senator’s military record over the matter; something Trump often does despite how poorly it usually plays with his base.
It’s getting harder and harder to imagine how this could last for a full 4 years. Impeachment is something that gets kicked around a lot in America. However, with a president who can barely control the fall out from his own statements it is certainly a reasonable possibility. The moment a real challenge comes along this delicate damage-control system is likely to fail. And thanks to Twitter we’ll all be listening live.
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