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Donald Trump Jacob Heilbrunn Politics US Politics

There are two theories that explain Donald Trump’s recent behaviour

And he won’t like either

August 30, 2018

6:43 PM

30 August 2018

6:43 PM

Here we go again. Donald Trump is on a fresh Twitter orgy, around 20 or so in the last day, attacking everyone from ‘degenerate fool’ Carl Bernstein to CNN chief Jeff Zucker to Nellie Ohr. Believe it Ohr not, her sin is not only to be married to Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, but also to — gulp — be fluent in Russian. ‘She worked for Fusion GPS where she was paid a lot,’ Trump wrote. ‘Collusion!’

There are two theories circulating about Trump’s collusion effusions. The first is that he’s simply going bonkers. The poor fellow, so the thinking goes, is cracking up under the strain of the stream of revelations about his misdeeds, concupiscent and otherwise. (The New York Times, for example, just reported that he had tried to hatch a plan with Cohen to acquire the decades of dirt that American Media Inc. head David Pecker had in his safe.) Soon Trump will be trundled off to the loony bin and all will be well again.

The second is less charitable and more sinister. It holds that Trump is executing a Saturday Night massacre in slow motion — the decapitation of various FBI officials and White House counsel Don McGahn to be followed by the termination of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, not to mention Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In addition, Trump is now claiming that NBC News was guilty of ‘fudging’ the famous interview with Lester Holt in which he divulged that the ‘Russia thing’ was foremost in his mind when it came to the firing of former FBI director James Comey. In this scenario, Trump is moving methodically and with malice prepense.

But a blockbuster Washington Post story today suggests that Trump is floundering. ‘Winter is coming,’ an official told the Post. ‘Nobody is prepared.’ The lack of preparations refer to the likely Democratic takeover of the House in November. The Democrats will, among other things, be able to scrutinise his tax returns, which he has refused to release. The White House Counsel’s Office is apparently in disarray, unable to retain competent staff even as Trump himself boasts that he is presiding over a ‘“smooth running machine’ with changing parts.”

Yeah, right. As always, the one thing that Trump’s detractors can count upon to save them from his authoritarian impulses is his sheer ineptitude.


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