Donald Trump is his own worst enemy.
And you’ve got to know that all kinds of people have told him as much, but if they have, he’s not listening.
If you need evidence that Trump is in the habit of Plaxico‘ing himself, you need only look at the James Comey fiasco.
Obviously, the optics around Comey’s dismissal were terrible. Trump literally fired the guy leading an FBI investigation into the administration’s ties to Moscow.
But even if we ignore that and assume Trump doesn’t care about the optics (itself an absurd assumption because really, all Trump cares about are optics/ratings which is why it was clear that inviting Sergei Lavrov to the Oval Office was more “Putin’s instructions” than it was “Trump’s goodwill gesture”), firing Comey was stupid because it virtually guaranteed that special counsel would be subsequently appointed.
Of course Comey is just the most poignant example of Trump’s penchant for sawing off a limb he’s sitting on. Another example is his adversarial relationship with the mainstream media. Trump attacked the press from Day 1, and it seems pretty clear (see his tweets about “changing libel laws”) that he thought those attacks would be ok because he would ultimately be able to stifle dissent.
When he subsequently discovered that “free press” actually means “free press” and that he wasn’t going to be able to do anything about that, he was incredulous (same dynamic with the judiciary). Once the incredulity gave way to a begrudging acceptance of reality, he did what he thought was the next best thing to shutting down entire newspapers: he labeled the press an enemy of the people.
It didn’t seem to occur to Trump that labeling the press the “enemy” only works if you can shut it down. If you can’t, all you’ve done is made the press corps even more determined than they were before.
And so, fresh off a hilarious romp through the Mideast and Europe that was a comedy of errors if not the complete debacle it could have been, someone gave Trump his phone back and here was the result:
The first thing he does is praise Greg Gianforte who, you’re reminded, not only assaults reporters but believes that a fairy tale (the Bible) offers a more plausible account of the Earth’s history than what scientists have come up with using… well… using science.
Having gotten that out of the way, he goes on to claim that each and every (“whenever”) anonymous source that speaks out against his administration is a figment of WaPo, NY Times, and Reuters collective imagination. Thanks to the dynamic we described earlier today, a lot of Americans undoubtedly believe him.
But the kicker of course is Trump once again calling the media the “enemy.”
One way or another, Trump won’t make it through his first term. But the tweets you see above are just the latest example of how he’s accelerating the timetable for his removal.
Summed up in one hilarious tweet…