When do the full Nuremberg rallies start?
I think we're moving into a new phase. And it's not good:
"You can't overstate how important the tax bill was," said Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media and a Trump friend.
It not only will accelerate growth, it gives the president a sales pitch about leadership that he has and will take on the road all year, especially because he adores flying on Air Force One. "He loves all the pomp and circumstance and the salutes," said another friend.
But the confidence also comes from darker places: From a tighter feedback loop of loyal aides who survived the temper tantrums and firings of the first year; from the kind of self-delusion that only a master salesman is capable of (salesmen are the most gullible customers); and from a year of successfully dominating the news and changing the rules to suit his cut-throat, disruptive methods. [aka: authoritarian tyranny]
There is more of that disruption ahead.
Sources say that Trump has adopted a two-track strategy to deal with the Mueller investigation.
One is an un-Trumpian passivity and trust. He keeps telling some in his circle that Mueller — any day now — will tell him he is off the hook for any charge of collusion with the Russians or obstruction of justice.
But Trump — who trusts no one, or at least no one for long — has now decided that he must have an alternative strategy that does not involve having Justice Department officials fire Mueller.
"I think he's been convinced that firing Mueller would not only create a firestorm, it would play right into Mueller's hands," said another friend, "because it would give Mueller the moral high ground."
Instead, as is now becoming plain, the Trump strategy is to discredit the investigation and the FBI without officially removing the leadership. Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
"Here's how it would work: 'We're sorry, Mr. Mueller, you won't be able to run the federal grand jury today because he has to go testify to another federal grand jury,'" said one Trump adviser.
Mitch McConnell 1/30/2018:
"2017 was the best year for conservatives in the 30 years that I've been here. The best year on all fronts."