The hinges are all hanging loose and broken.
From the The New York Times:
Inside the White House, Mr. Trump-furious after the F.B.I. raided his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen-spent much of the day brooding and fearful and near what two people close to the West Wing described as a “meltdown.” Mr. Trump’s public and private wrath about the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election are nothing new. But the raids on Monday on Mr. Cohen’s Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room have sent the president to new heights of outrage, setting the White House on edge as it faces a national security crisis in Syria and more internal staff churn.
I am fully aware that, more than any other occupant of that office, this president* is capable of creating a sturdy bubble in which he is the indomitable and wise master of the universe, all objective evidence to the contrary. But, ever since the FBI dropped by Michael Cohen’s office, it seems that this might be the event that shatters the bubble for good.
We can safely speculate that Cohen knows everything: the money, the scams, the women, the Russians. All of it. And in the days since the raid, Cohen has abandoned the truculent public persona that had served him so well in the past in favor of being someone who seems grateful that he wasn’t hauled off to Pelican Bay on the spot.
"I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided. But I will tell you that members of the FBI that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful. And I thanked them at the conclusion," Cohen said in a phone conversation on Tuesday with CNN. Asked if he was worried, Cohen said: "I would be lying to you if I told that I am not. Do I need this in my life? No. Do I want to be involved in this? No." The raid was "upsetting to say the least," he added.
This would seem to indicate that Cohen has sized up matters and decided that his best move is to flip on the president*. Back in ‘73, you wouldn’t have seen Gordon Liddy complimenting the FBI on his arrest, I’ll tell you that. They don’t make thuggish apparatchiks like they used to.
Anyway, back at Camp Runamuck, things are going pretty thoroughly haywire. From the Times:
Mr. Trump’s mood had begun to sour even before the raids on his lawyer. People close to the White House said that over the weekend, the president engaged in few activities other than dinner at the Trump International Hotel. He tuned into Fox News, they said, watched reports about the so-called deep state looking to sink his presidency and became unglued. Mr. Trump angrily told his advisers that people were trying to undermine him and that he wanted to get rid of three top Justice Department officials - Jeff Sessions, the attorney general; Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller; and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director - according to two people familiar with what took place.
He eventually calmed down and the anger abated. But it was stoked anew on Monday, after the F.B.I. raids on Mr. Cohen. Mr. Rosenstein in particular was a source of Mr. Trump’s anger on Monday, and some aides believed the president was seriously considering firing him, to a degree he has not in the past.
Ah, but the strawberries, that’s where I had them…
Few people still at the White House are able to restrain Mr. Trump from acting on his impulses after the departures of crucial staff members who were once able to join forces with other aides to do so. That included Hope Hicks, his former communications director; Rob Porter, his former staff secretary; and, in 2017, the chief of staff Reince Priebus and the chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon. John F. Kelly, the current chief of staff whose influence over the president has waned for months, appeared beaten down and less hands-on, according to two White House officials. Mr. Kelly has told Mr. Trump it is frustrating for staff members that the president deems most news media stories fake news but believes the ones accusing various advisers of leaking, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Let us sum up, shall we? We have a deeply corrupt and incompetent president*, who’s never been entirely on the rails, sensing quite accurately that he’s very close to being run to ground by a prosecutor he can’t bully or bribe out of his way. And, as this Times story indicates, as the ship continues to list, the traffic down the ratlines is getting awfully heavy.
All these anonymous quotes are coming from people who are clearly immunizing themselves against ever having signed aboard this catastrophe, in the hopes that they will one day have careers in politics again. This has to be stoking the president*’s paranoid rage to the point where it’s melting ice lagoons on Neptune. Meanwhile, there’s a genuine crisis brewing over Syria, and there’s only one person who can give the national command orders, and he may be unravelling by the hour.
Maybe voting for someone just because he pretended to be pissed at the same people you’re pissed at wasn’t the best idea in the world.
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