If you want to get a good feel for the panic level in the Trump White House, just park yourself on Twitter and wait.
President Trump has to be a horrible poker player. He just doesn’t seem to have the ability to control his emotions, and all too often it spills over to his Twitter account.
Knowing that, the fact that he hasn’t committed seppuku on the social media platform yet, given the last couple of days of really bad news is pretty amazing.
For this week, the president has had to battle back the allegations from the upcoming Bob Woodward book, that paint a vivid picture of an incompetent, petty man, seen as a bumbling fool by his Cabinet and an obstacle to be worked around, as they attempt to keep the nation from careening off the tracks and going over a cliff.
While those fires were being put out, the problem was compounded on Wednesday when The New York Times dropped a bombshell op-ed from an author claiming to be a senior staff member within the Trump White House that pretty much confirmed the attitude of the Woodward book.
According to the op-ed, there was a point in Trump’s presidency where the 25th Amendment was discussed.
The 25th Amendment is a process by which the president can be declared unfit and removed.
And while the guessing game has raged on with those attempting to figure out who this senior member of Trump’s administration may be, too much attention is being paid to that point, and too little is being paid to what the op-ed said.
Axios is reporting that there were two more senior officials that reached out to them earlier Thursday. It’s not looking any better for the president.
“I find the reaction to the NYT op-ed fascinating — that people seem so shocked that there is a resistance from the inside,” one senior official said. “A lot of us [were] wishing we’d been the writer, I suspect … I hope he [Trump] knows — maybe he does? — that there are dozens and dozens of us.”
Still, while Trump and his loyalists huff, these officials expressed the same concerns that were expressed in the NYT op-ed: Our nation is in the hands of a lunatic and they stay in an attempt to save the nation from him.
A good number of current White House officials have privately admitted to us they consider Trump unstable, and at times dangerously slow.
By “dangerously slow,” they don’t mean he’s moving at a snail’s pace, either. They’re saying he’s the Derek Zoolander/Forrest Gump of government.
He’s particularly so, when it comes to foreign policy.
You have to really take into sober consideration how that settles with the well-being of the nation, when you consider he’s not only dumb, but also paranoid.
The Axios piece goes on to tell of a handwritten list of suspected leakers that Trump carried around with him every day, last year.
“He would basically be like, ‘We’ve gotta get rid of them. The snakes are everywhere but we’re getting rid of them,'” said a source close to Trump.
Trump would often ask staff whom they thought could be trusted. He often asks the people who work for him what they think about their colleagues, which can be not only be uncomfortable but confusing to Trump: Rival staffers shoot at each other and Trump is left not knowing who to believe.
Paranoia, in fact, seems to dog his every step as president. He has obsessed over conspiracy theories and those “out to get him.”
“Especially early on when we would be in Roosevelt Room meetings, he would sit down at the table, and get to talking, then turn around to see who was sitting along the walls behind him.”
“One day, after one of those meetings, he said, ‘Everything that just happened is going to leak. I don’t know any of those people in the room.’ … He was very paranoid about this.”
So, to recap, we’ve got a book full of current and former administration officials saying things that are far removed from being flattery. It is enough to create a sense of dread, knowing this reckless individual is in charge.
Next, we’ve got an op-ed that seems to confirm the worst of what the book reveals, as well as rumors that have been out there, ever since Trump took office.
I fully believe that there are people within the administration that are there trying to guide policy and work for the best, in spite of Trump. Will these revelations, however, have an opposite effect? Will Trump now put his paranoia at maximum level and do something drastic?
That’s the risk that has been taken.