Donald Trump's presidency already has been one of the most controversial in U.S. history, and its ending could be just as action-packed and unpredictable as his first seven months in office.
As the 45th president deals with his stalled agenda, his sinking approval ratings and the investigations into his presidential campaign's ties to Russia, White House advisers have reportedly been warning Trump about his potential political doom: the exhaustive impeachment process that could result in his removal from the Oval Office. And he isn’t doing himself many favors.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have become a subject of Trump's daily Twitter storms, with the president repeatedly denouncing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP's continued failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He has also warned others to fall in line and help pass his campaign promises or face the wrath of his 140 characters.
"It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President," Trump tweeted in late July. "If Republicans don't Repeal and Replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!"
His actions could spell disaster for Trump if special counsel Robert Mueller determines that his presidential campaign colluded with the Kremlin, or that the president attempted to obstruct justice at any point throughout his short tenure in politics. Either situation would swiftly encourage more Democrats to push for his impeachment—and if Trump doesn't have enough Republican allies, he could be ousted.
Several White House advisers have spoken with the president about his possible impeachment, and about how overcoming such proceedings would require friendships with the elected officials responsible for deciding whether he should remain in office, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
But Trump might just be positioning himself apart from the Republican Party ahead of 2018, a form of "triangulation" that could help him gain friendships across party aisles during a moment of presidential crisis, former Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett explained.
"It’s right out of the Bill Clinton playbook…triangulation is something that [Clinton] perfected" during his own impeachment proceedings, Bennet told the Post. During that period, from 1998-99, Clinton managed to retain unanimous support against numerous articles of impeachment and avoided removal from office through his relationships with Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.
But Trump is in an entirely different arena not even one year into his presidency, clashing with the entirety of the Democratic Party while continuing to denounce colleagues on his side of the aisle. If the president is unable to make inroads with influential leaders on Capitol Hill ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, impeachment seems inevitable. Is anyone’s guess at this point whether he can garner support from enough Republicans or any Democrats to keep power.
But when you look at the president’s Twitter feed, he doesn't seem all that concerned with making friends who will have his back in Washington.
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