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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Cray-cray on steroids

by digby

He's telling everyone to go fuck themselves

This article by Ryan Lizza about George Conway's odd tweet the other day in response to Trump's  statements using the words "travel ban" again looks at one of the aspects of dysfunction inside the White House:
A few hours after George’s initial tweet, after Washington went into a tizzy over his loud new voice on social media, he followed up with a burst of tweets,explaining that he still supports Trump—and Kellyanne—but that “every sensible lawyer in” the White House counsel’s office and “every political appointee at” the Department of Justice would “agree with me (as some have already told me).” He added that the point “cannot be stressed enough that tweets on legal matters seriously undermine Admin agenda and potus,” and that “those who support him, as I do, need to reinforce that pt and not be shy about it.”

George did remain somewhat shy, and did not reply to an e-mail from me. Kellyanne told me last night that she had not discussed her husband’s tweets with the President yet. But the mild-mannered Conway losing patience and resorting to a tweetstorm to get the President of the United States to take some standard legal advice raises an interesting question: What, exactly, works for people inside and outside the White House who are trying to influence this President, a stubborn seventy-year-old who is regularly described to me by the people who know him best as “crazy”?


A former campaign official told me that during the Republican Convention in Cleveland last year, rather than developing a message of the day, as a traditional campaign would, Trump’s communications team would simply spend the morning consuming the same media as Trump.

“We knew he would watch ‘Morning Joe,’ we knew he would switch his channel over to the morning show on CNN, we knew he would go to ‘Fox and Friends,’ so all of us watched all those things, read all five papers, and then we tried to decide what the message of the day was,” he said. “We were placing bets, because the message of the day would appear in his tweet at some point. We were just trying to guess.” He added, “A lot of it was trying to divine what was going to get in the President’s craw by reading exactly what he’s reading and trying to think like he thinks.”

Sam Nunberg, who has worked for Trump and advises the White House, regularly goes to the major newspapers when he needs to get Trump’s attention. “If I want to communicate to the President and I don’t want to bother him directly, then I speak to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times,” he told me. Others noted the importance of the two major New York tabloids, the Post and the Daily News, which Trump reads religiously. The opinion page of the Daily News, which was not previously considered to have large influence in Washington, is considered a highly coveted outlet for Republican P.R. professionals trying to get Trump’s attention. “The line is around the block—you can’t get in,” a G.O.P. consultant said. Slipping Trump a news story, whether real or fake, has, according to Politico, influenced his opinion on climate change, sunk nominees for prominent positions, and helped get a top staffer fired.

Some Republican advertising firms have developed a slightly more high-tech way of getting to the President and the people around him. The Republican consultant explained that clients can pay to have I.P. addresses for the White House and Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida retreat, bombarded with ads.

“The reporters that are around Trump and around the White House and everyone around the President is being targeted through geotargeting and I.P.-address targeting,” the Republican consultant told me, “by people who couldn’t get onto the big TV shows and into the big papers.”

That's pathetic but probably right. On the other hand, Trump's clearly buckling under the strain and he's just gone rogue:
Last night, hours after George Conway’s barb at Trump, the President seemed to offer a response to the lawyers who are trying to save him from himself: “That’s right, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!”
He doesn't care what a bunch of idiot lawyers have to say. He won the electoral college in an unprecedented landslide and had a yuge inaugural crowd. He's king!