August 15, 2017
Clean up in aisle three. Trump has made a mess of it. Again. Unlike former presidents who usually spoke softly and carried a big stick, Trump speaks loudly and has a little one. (Insecurity is his middle name. I am not referring to the fact that he does have access to the nuclear codes which is a big stick. I am referring to his sick psyche.) Again and again we see this president making a mess of something or other with his 14 character Twitter eruptions or his verbal eruptions. This is a clear pattern. There is a problem he faces. It makes him mad. He fumes. He spews on Twitter. His team walks it back and normalizes it. There is a problem he faces. He fumes. He spews again. His team wipes up the mess and normalizes it. Trump often uses Twitter to express his raw, often angry, unscripted thoughts in 140 character word-vomit. He is unable to keep himself in check. And no one is able to stop him.
Now we know even Kelly cannot stop him. Sometimes he just lashes out verbally. There he was in a press conference about opioid abuse and he had to open his big mouth and spew about fire and fury like the world has never seen, threatening North Korea. And then his team had to clean it up, try to walk it back, normalize it, and act like it was part of a planned approach which it wasn’t. More lies from the White House. More insanity. In fact if you try to stop him, he is like the teenager out to prove his parents wrong -he says the very thing he was not supposed to. So there!
What does this do to his credibility? It ruins it. Here at home a whopping 60% of Americans do not trust what the White House is saying. That is 6 out of 10 Americans who do not find Trump honest and trustworthy. Only 24% trust most or all of what they hear from the White House. He has made 836 false or misleading claims in his first 6 months of office. So what if his base doesn’t care about his lies. They are turning out to be a measly 24% of the electorate. They do not represent the viewpoint of a clear majority of the American people.
Credibility is not the only thing getting eroded. After the election about 50% of Americans thought Trump had the management ability to handle the presidency. Only 200 plus days into his presidency that number has shrunk to 36%
On the world stage our credibility is going down the drain as well. How can anyone believe anything that comes out of this White House?
This is a country and world at odds with this president. In his combative stance with almost everyone, we also see Trump shoot himself in the foot over and over. Trump will go down in history as the most despised and hated president we have ever had.
Interestingly in his news briefing yesterday he sat there with his arms folded in front of him. Why does that matter? Because what it tells us is that he is feeling attacked. He is feeling beset. When people cross their arms like that that is a tell. He is feeling personally assaulted. By what?
I think it is the Mueller investigation. The fact that the FBI team showed up at Manafort’s home at 6 am and knocked on the door without warning is more the way a gangster would be treated (not trusted to turn over the requested evidence and likely to hide it) rather than a white collar criminal (who is being trusted to turn over the requested evidence thru his lawyer). Manafort had appeared before the Senate Intelligence committee the day before. Sen. Grassley was not happy with Manafort and seemed to think he was not being fully forthcoming. That concern was conveyed to the FBI and that prompted the FBI to get the warrant and move swiftly to be sure Manafort did not destroy evidence.
The fact that the FBI subjected Manafort to this sort of search tells us that 1) Mueller is serious and is moving swiftly to get the goods on Manafort so that he will flip on (probably) Trump. 2) Mueller might have wanted to scare Manafort as part of a push to get him to understand they mean business and move him closer to flipping. 3) Senator Grassley seems to be serious about getting to the bottom of this.
What does Trump do when he feels assaulted? He assaults back and not necessarily at the real object of his anger. The real objects are Mueller and the FBI but his lawyers have told him to make nice with Mueller to get the best possible result for himself and his family so for now he is buying that advice. He lashes out at others instead. Consider the many wars and brush fires that he has started: he attacks N. Korea verbally risking an accidental war, he attacks Mitch McConnell, he allows the National Inquirer to attack Paul Manafort, he is also attacking Paul Ryan apparently.
The list of Trump’s brush fires is already long and will get longer as Mueller’s investigation gets closer to Trump. Trump is isolating himself with his knee jerk reactions and battles on many fronts. Think about it. He is assaulting the two most powerful Republicans on the Hill, so how does he expect to get anything accomplished?
I do not think that Trump is capable of strategically or systematically thinking through his options. He reacts with verbal vomit. When he feels attacked, he spews in Twitter bursts and verbal bursts.
Clean up in aisle three. Many more messes to come.
Following the President’s nuclear threat, his underlings resumed a familiar tactic: defending their volatile boss and suggesting there is a method behind the apparent madness.