Donald Trump Is Angry. You Wouldn't Like Him When He's Angry. (Just Kidding, You'll LOVE IT.)
Puny institutions of representative democracy!
That loveable old curmudgeon Donald Trump has his limbic system in a twist again, getting all bent out of shape over the Jeff Sessions stuff and his overall perception that the world is refusing to treat him fairly, so he is very GRR! and kicking things and sending out insane tweets again. Why, it's almost as if his great big speech last week didn't magically turn him into a Real President after all. Insane Tweets from a president tend to get treated as if they were important, or at least more important than insane tweets from a deranged reality TV guy.
It really was not a happy weekend for the poor sad idiot. Friday morning, he had a fine old Oval Office hissy fit at his staff over how the White House handled the revelation that Sessions had spoken to the Russian ambassador twice during the campaign, and over Sessions's decision to recuse himself from any possible investigation of Trump and Russia. CNN reports Trump had a screamy shouty meeting with his senior staff, where he used bad words and blamed staff for "allowing" the Sessions story to overshadow his hugely successful teleprompter speech last Tuesday, as if they had any control over news.
"Nobody has seen him that upset," one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative.
Someone even managed to take video with a telephoto lens, which means now all meetings in the Oval Office will be held with the curtains drawn:
Or maybe Trump will build a great big beautiful wall, 40 feet high, around the White House. According to Politico, Trump insisted the Sessions story would have gone away if only Sessions hadn't decided to recuse himself Thursday (sure, it would have!) and things got ugly. Or at least Trump's "exasperation was apparent":
At one point, Trump addressed White House counsel Don McGahn, who was also in the room, directly, and said he was unhappy about the turn of events, the sources said.
“There were fireworks,” said one person briefed on the events.
Priebus, Kushner, and Bannon all weighed in with their thoughts. “There was a robust discussion,” said a second person familiar what occurred.
A very robust meltdown. After which Trump left for Florida in a snit on Air Force One, leaving Priebus behind to think about what he'd done wrong. The White House insisted the plan was for Priebus to stay in Washington all along to prepare for today's expected release of the revised, new and improved executive order on the travel ban that will stop all terrorism forever, or at least look like Trump is following through on his vow to ban Muslims, not that it's a Muslim ban, no sir. Or if you go with what one White House official told CNN, Priebus stayed in DC for a "family celebration." Or possibly to wash his hair.
Trump's Saturday morning Twitter rants about Barack Obama tapping his wires and stealing his strawberries was received about as well as you might expect by White House staffers, at least the ones who are traitors who speak to reporters:
One White House official said he woke up Saturday morning to Trump's tweets and grimaced. It was unclear, this person said, where the president had gotten the idea, but that it likely wasn’t from an official source. "It could have come from anywhere," this person said.
Several other people close to Trump said they weren't sure where he got his information for the posts. One of these people said most of Trump's aides were back in Washington and woke up exasperated at the posts.
And then there's the Washington Post's Big Picture Trump So Cray Cray story, which focuses on Trump's overall ragey mood, because he's finding out that Presidenting is haaaaard. Nothing could cheer up Trump at all this weekend, apparently, and we imagine WaPo's photo of Trump's tie flapping in the breeze with visible scotch tape -- lots of it -- didn't make him a happy camper either.
But let's not obsess on the tie, however incredibly stupid it looks. The WaPo story presents Trump in a full-on Nixonian rage over his sudden, evidence-free insistence that Barack Obama definitely tapped his phones during the campaign. Only unlike Nixon, he wasn't drunk or making late night demands for Henry Kissinger, so at least we don't have to visualize Trump shouting "Where's my Jew? Get my Jew in here!" Still, it isn't exactly flattering:
When Trump ran into Christopher Ruddy on the golf course and later at dinner Saturday, he vented to his friend. “This will be investigated,” Ruddy recalled Trump telling him. “It will all come out. I will be proven right.”
“He was pissed,” said Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, a conservative media company. “I haven’t seen him this angry.”
You can also bet Trump will take issue with WaPo's routine statement that its reporting was based on "interviews with 17 top White House officials, members of Congress and friends of the president," because how could they possibly find that many people who are disloyal to Donald Trump? They have to all be Obama holdovers, including the alleged friends of the president. Trump is reportedly very angry at the machinations of the “deep state” -- all the entrenched power structures in Washington, especially the bureaucracy and the press -- that are out to get him. Of course, if 17 people close to Trump are telling WaPo how he's acting like a petulant whiner, not all his problems are with the "deep state." The shallow state is trouble for him, too.
In any case, nothing could cheer Trump up the last few days. He got a nifty bomber jacket and a USS Gerald Ford cap when he spoke to Navy people on that still-unfinished, grossly over-budget aircraft carrier Thursday, but hardly anyone paid attention because the news was all about Sessions. There was the outburst at the staff meeting Friday, which Priebus tried to deny even happened. Even the prospect of sticking it to some Muslims barely made him feel any better:
[Saturday] night at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had dinner with Sessions, Bannon, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, among others. They tried to put Trump in a better mood by going over their implementation plans for the travel ban, according to a White House official.
We don't know whether they tried to get him to smile by pointing out that at least Syrian children were probably shivering from the winter cold in refugee camps in Turkey. Sometimes, even your favorite things don't even help.
Even the momentary delight of learning that his unfounded wiretapping claims were dominating Sunday talk shows was short-lived. Trump got angry when he noticed that Republicans weren't exactly rushing to defend him on The Shows, his primary source of information on everything:
Some Trump advisers and allies were especially disappointed in Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who two days earlier had hitched a ride down to Florida with Trump on Air Force One.
Pressed by NBC’s Chuck Todd to explain Trump’s wiretapping claim, Rubio demurred.
“Look, I didn’t make the allegation,” he said. “I’m not the person that went out there and said it.”
Trump hates this stupid job. At least he can go golfing every weekend.
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