Friday, February 10, 2017
It was always obvious he was dumb as a rock
But people chose to see that as some kind of act because he's rich. There are lots of dumb rich people, especially the ones who inherited their money and then their money made them richer.
Trump is a brand --- like Jessica Simpson. And I suspect she's actually smarter.
Anyway, the chickens are coming home to roost. And they're freaking out.
Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.
In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, from congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives to staff in-fighting and leaks.
The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation. Yet it has become apparent, say those close to the president, most of whom requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of the White House, that the transition from overseeing a family business to running the country has been tough on him.
Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to "seem in control at all times," one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.
After Trump grew infuriated by disclosures of his confrontational phone calls with foreign leaders, an investigation was launched into the source of the leaks, according to one White House aide. National Security Council staffers have been instructed to cooperate with inquiries, including requests to inspect their electronic communications, said two sources familiar with the situation. It’s not clear whether the investigation is a formal proceeding, how far along it is or who is conducting it.
The administration is considering limiting the universe of aides with access to the calls or their transcripts, said one administration official, adding that the leaks — and Trump’s anger over them — had created a climate where people are “very careful who they talk to.”
The president and his allies believe career NSC staff assigned from other agencies are out to get them. In turn, some NSC staff believe Trump does not possess the capacity for detail and nuance required to handle the sensitive issues discussed on the calls, and that he has politicized their agency by appointing chief strategist Bannon to the council.
Last week, Trump told an associate he had become weary of in-fighting among — and leaks from — his White House staff “because it reflects on me,” and that he intended to sit down staffers to tell them “to cut this shit out.”
He also became aggravated after learning about complications surrounding his appointment of one of his top fundraisers, Anthony Scaramucci, to a plum White House job, which Trump blamed on internal jockeying between aides, according to one person with knowledge of the situation.
Trump “was furious,” this person said. “He doesn’t like this shit.”
The White House press office did not respond to a series of detailed questions about the way the president has coped with leaks, in-fighting and setbacks.
Christopher Ruddy, a Trump friend and the chief executive of the conservative Newsmax Media, said “Running the federal government is something new for him, for sure.” But, Ruddy added, “I think if he's demonstrated anything in his life, he is a very fast learner and adapts very quickly. The man is not to be underestimated.”
For all his frustrations, Trump has reveled in the trappings of the presidency. He has taken a liking to the Oval Office, where he spends much of his time working. Following a recent gathering of business leaders, he brought the group into the storied room and showed them around.
But he has also sought refuge from the pressures of the presidency, frequently calling up old friends and sounding them out about golf.
Trump aides joke that they wish their boss would spend more time at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., where they say the president appears more relaxed and at ease. He dispensed hugs and kisses to female guests attending a Red Cross ball at the estate last week, and is scheduled to return this weekend for a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Most of those interviewed for this story requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of a White House where they say the tension has been intensified by the president’s propensity for knee-jerk micromanaging when faced with disappointment, and jockeying among aides to avoid blame or claim credit when possible.
The interviews paint a picture of a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high. Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.
Why anyone thought it would be any different under this dim-witted, puerile braggart I will never understand. I get that his TV addicted voters just bought his TV persona as a brilliant businessman and assumed he had magical abilities to "get things done" and just say "you're fired" if "the government" failed to do exactly what he said. They believe a lot of silly things and they are brainwashed by right wing media.
It's the rest of the Republicans who have something to answer for. There were those who noticed that the Emperor was not only naked, he was stupid and mentally unstable. They were treated like dogs by Trump's shock troops and many of the them backed down. But there were far fewer of these than there should have been.
Now we have this. And the extent to which people are leaking is astonishing. It must be very, very bad.
digby 2/10/2017 09:00:00 AM