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Thread: “i hate everyone in the white house!”: Trump seethes

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    “i hate everyone in the white house!”: Trump seethes


    In recent days, I’ve spoken with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president that seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.

    OCTOBER 11, 2017 2:40 PM

    At first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Times interview—in which the Republican senator described the White House as “adult day care” and warned Trump could start World War III—was an inflection point in the Trump presidency. It brought into the open what several people close to the president have recently told me in private: that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.”

    The conversation among some of the president’s longtime confidantes, along with the character of some of the leaks emerging from the White House has shifted. There’s a new level of concern. NBC News published a report that Trump shocked his national security team when he called for a nearly tenfold increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal during a briefing this summer. One Trump adviser confirmed to me it was after this meeting disbanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”

    In recent days, I spoke with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods. Trump’s ire is being fueled by his stalled legislative agenda and, to a surprising degree, by his decision last month to back the losing candidate Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. “Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche,” a person close to Trump said. “He saw the cult of personality was broken.”

    According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.

    One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said. Even Trump’s most loyal backers are sowing public doubts. This morning, The Washington Post quoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.


    Even before Corker’s remarks, some West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office. Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.

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    Yeah, well, he's an unstable guy.

    He had a limited amount of time to get big things done from the get-go. The problem was always going to be one of Trump thinking he could just bark orders and the entire Republican majority in Congress would be falling all over themselves to obey him, otherwise Trump would "primary" them. I don't think Trump has any deep understanding of the multi-faceted context regarding the many reasons he won last year. He didn't even initially run even thinking he would last as long as the first primaries. He had an instinctual grasp of the dissatisfaction millions of average Americans have with the entrenched political/moneyed classes. He stoked up pre-existing fears of various outsider/minority groups at his rallies and made a vague, overarching promise to make America great again. All of that resonated just enough in the right geographical areas to make the slim difference. Wrap everything up inside Trump's boastful, carnival barker personality, it proved to be a winning combination. Having Hillary as his opponent also helped bigly yuge: her negatives were baked in the cake from the outset, and she's never been able to close the deal on anything substantive beyond winning easy Senate victories in both primaries and general elections where the nomination was virtually handed to her and the general had a weak opponent facing her.

    Trump doesn't take any of that into account. He can't even admit his Inauguration Day turnout wasn't the biggest crowd ever. The facts are whatever he deems them to be at any given moment as suits his immediate needs. The problem there is that Trump's core supporters are going to expect Trump to act on his promises at some point. Where's the wall? When are the jobs coming back? What about the infrastructure plan? Where's that great healthcare plan he promised that would cover everybody? Wasn't the swamp going to be drained?

    Instead, we've got a gutting of social services across the board by some of the most inept Cabinet members one has ever seen put into such high level positions, massive tax cut proposals for the wealthiest of a magnitude that conventional Republicans wouldn't have dreamed of asking for left to their own conventional devices, a re-upping of our debacle in Afghanistan, Trump campaign advisors/surrogates/immediate family members/in-laws galore who were in business with Putin loyalists in the run-up to the election, and to top it all off now Trump is casually threatening via tweets and childish name-calling to get into a nuclear war with North Korea.

    And I can't even derive any satisfaction that the areas of the country that supported Trump the strongest are going to be the ones hit hardest first by the stripping of government funding and services, because I love my country and all my fellow citizens: I don't want to see anybody suffer, even if it was because they voted for a man they clearly didn't care to understand for reasons that were more emotional than rational.

    Trump only knows how to play to his base. He's not even trying to reach out to those that didn't vote for him. It's as if he thought once he took the Oath of Office the rest of the country would fall in line out of respect for the Presidency, regardless of what he did or said as President.

    For whatever a Hillary Clinton presidency would have brought, it's hard to imagine it would have brought a Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense having to collude about how they could avoid Hillary from carelessly starting a nuclear war because of her unstable temperament. But this is where we are now.
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