👑 Portrait of a President


#81

From this very insightful article, this analysis of T’s world view. Alarming, I mean really bombastic and WTF.

Wright, who published his analysis at a time when most everyone in the foreign-policy establishment considered Trump’s candidacy to be a farce, wrote that Trump loathes the liberal international order and would work against it as president; he wrote that Trump also dislikes America’s military alliances, and would work against them; he argued that Trump believes in his bones that the global economy is unfair to the U.S.; and, finally, he wrote that Trump has an innate sympathy for “authoritarian strongmen.”


(Matt Kiser) #82

But in subtle and not so subtle ways, the White House waged a quiet campaign to ensure that Mr. Trump had a second opportunity in his administration’s first 18 months to fulfill one of his most important campaign promises to his conservative followers — that he would change the complexion and direction of the Supreme Court.

When Mr. Trump took office last year, he already had a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, the one created by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Mr. Trump dearly wanted a second vacancy, one that could transform the court for a generation or more. So he used the first opening to help create the second one. He picked Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who had served as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat.

And when Justice Gorsuch took the judicial oath in April 2017 at a Rose Garden ceremony, Justice Kennedy administered it — after Mr. Trump first praised the older justice as “a great man of outstanding accomplishment.”

“Throughout his nearly 30 years on the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said, “Justice Kennedy has been praised by all for his dedicated and dignified service.”

That was an overstatement. Justice Kennedy is reviled by many of Mr. Trump’s supporters for voting to uphold access to abortion, limit the death penalty and expand gay rights. Conservatives have called for his impeachment. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, once called Justice Kennedy “the most dangerous man in America.”


#83

A psychological profile of T’s inner workings and his unstable responses to world events while his own power center being threatened. Interesting to note what might be contributing towards his ever-changing quixotic (unrealistic) statements towards his critics (press/Dems) the legal threats (Mueller/Rosenstein/Sessions) and why he likes strongmen (no one questions their authority.)

Why is President Donald Trump behaving in ways that seem ever more irrational, impulsive, self-destructive, dangerous and cruel? Many Americans have been shocked by Trump’s behavior, most recently by his taking the side of a known enemy in Vladimir Putin and Russia over his own intelligence community.

Our assessment is based on descriptions from those who have worked with him, his own voluminous responses to real situations in real time, and above all by our unique vantage points. One of us is a forensic psychiatrist who has treated more than 1,000 individuals with characteristics similar to Trump’s. The other spent 18 months shadowing, observing and interviewing Trump in order to co-write The Art of the Deal.

Trump’s increasing grandiosity is evident in the superlatives he uses to refer to himself—“stable genius” among them—and in the way he has consolidated his power by getting rid of aides and Cabinet members who have challenged his authority. Because no person or circumstance can possibly satisfy his needs, nearly everyone in his life eventually becomes expendable, and he becomes more and more isolated.

Trump’s growing paranoia is reflected in the vitriolic comments he has made about a range of perceived enemies, including Democrats and Republicans, allies in the G-7, the intelligence community, the news media and immigrants. His hunger for absolute power is evident in his bizarrely admiring words about despots, including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. His frequent lies reveal his need to redefine reality when the truth doesn’t serve his needs.

Given Trump’s volatility, incuriosity and severely limited attention span, his decisions are not significantly influenced by reflection or analytical reasoning. Because he cannot tolerate even the mildest criticism, he is largely immune to learning and growth. Instead, unable to regulate his emotions, he reacts angrily, and often with threats of revenge, to any challenge to his authority. Even success provides him with only momentary satisfaction.

Trump’s psychological disposition has profound implications for our personal, national and international security. Unfortunately, Americans remain deeply reluctant to talk openly about mental health or to recognize how profoundly it can influence behavior. Because the president’s level of mental impairment is so unusual to observe, it is difficult for most of us to understand what catastrophic desperation such people can feel to fill their own inner sense of emptiness.

Trump described to Tony a cold father with whom his relationship was “almost businesslike” and a mother who was mostly uninvolved in his life. Through Bandy’s work interviewing men who were deprived in childhood of the love and support necessary to develop a core self, she concluded that the stable internal center that holds their beliefs, principles, attachments, loyalties—and even their capacity for humanity—never gets well established.

Instead, most such men become almost completely dependent on others for their sense of self-worth. They become hypersensitive to slights. In the most extreme cases, their envy can prompt them to take sadistic pleasure in tormenting perceived enemies, and those they think are getting more respect than they are. In Trump’s case, his need to demonstrate over and over that he is worthy of admiration overwhelms his capacity to focus on nearly anything else.

While our elected officials and much of the news media have avoided the topic of Trump’s mental health, it is clear that our adversaries have carefully studied his psychological weaknesses and determined how to use them to their advantage, as we saw during his negotiations with Putin and Kim Jong Un. Ironically, our own intelligence community does just this sort of analysis about foreign leaders.


#84

#85

:woman_facepalming:t2:

There’s an old rule in crisis PR: If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation — to one about “white genocide” in South Africa.

Or, so the president of the United States appears to believe. Amid an avalanche of damaging headlines (and serious legal challenges), Donald Trump announced Wednesday night that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers.”

By all accounts, the president’s statement was not prompted by any intelligence briefing, or appeal from international human rights organizations, but rather, by a segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. Which makes sense: Although empirical evidence shows there is no “large-scale killing” of white farmers in South Africa, white nationalists have been promoting that idea for years — and Tucker Carlson has been promoting white nationalist ideas for most of the Trump presidency.


#86

This is staggering. When I heard this, I thought, well Post-Apartheid South Africa, there must be a large number White Nationalists there.

No other possible answer and therefore T wanted to give a whistleblow to this group. Oh, and to puppet what Tucker sez.

T is in melt-down mode.


#87

And here…another upshot from this. 1) Tucker Carlson’s statement untrue (well, we could have guessed that. 2) Stirred up White Nationists on social media.

On Wednesday night, he noticed that several prominent white-nationalist Twitter users were celebrating President Trump’s tweet about white farmers in South Africa, an issue brought to Trump’s attention by a segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show that evening.

“‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ exclusive: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has just begun the process of seizing land from his own citizens, without compensation, purely due to their skin color,” the blurb for the segment says on YouTube. “That’s far more racist than anything Donald Trump has ever done, of course, but elites in America barely even care.”

A fact check from the Associated Press indicates that Trump’s tweet isn’t true. The assertion that white farmers are being unfairly racially targeted, though, has been a staple of white-nationalist rhetoric for some time, as Holt and others noted on Twitter. Trump himself implied earlier this month that racism targeting whites was a matter needing to be addressed.

We asked Holt to help identify a nonscientific group of prominent white-nationalist Twitter accounts or prominent accounts sympathetic to white-nationalist ideas. Our goal was to get a sense of how unusual the emphasis on Trump was after his tweet. Using Twitter’s data-collection tool, we loaded the most recent 3,000 tweets for 12 accounts (identified at the bottom of this article). Then we checked the frequency of terms such as Trump and POTUS.

We also checked for mentions of different demographic groups, including whites, Jewish people and immigrants. Because the 12 accounts tweet at different frequencies, 3,000 tweets go back different lengths of time for each user. (Tweet 100 times a day, and it covers a month; tweet once a day, and it’s over eight years.) The number of tweets on each subject are presented as a percentage of all of the tweets from the 12 accounts on that day. Remember that this, too, is a small sample size.

The accounts tweeted a lot more about white people than other groups. There was a big spike in tweets about whites earlier this month, in response to the New York Times’s hiring of writer Sarah Jeong, who was targeted by alt-right groups and other conservatives for a series of tweets about white people.


#88

#89

This puts T’s character like Macbeth - one who is finally unloved.

But it will end…

The end is within reach. :zap:

And what of Trump himself? In this respect he will be like Macbeth. Where Nixon, who was a statesman, saw the inevitable and resigned, this president is more likely to go down spitting defiance.


#90

Gabe Sherman’s Vanity Fair piece on the state of T.

“Nuts” - says it all.

But I would add that T’s emotional state reflects his self-centered point of view (read narcissist) and he can not bear that he’s been cornered by the judicial system. He’s defiant, (see - no real tribute to McCain) and he’s petty (McCain & taking away Brennan’s security clearance.)

Trump Is Nuts. This Time Really Feels Different”: Trump Rejects “War Council” Intervention, Goes It Alone
With his closest allies defecting, the president increasingly trusts only his instincts. He “got joy” from stripping former C.I.A. director John Brennan’s security clearance. And after betrayals by Allen Weisselberg and David Pecker, a former White House official says, Trump “spent the weekend calling people and screaming.”

More than ever, Trump is acting by feeling and instinct. “Trump is nuts,” said one former West Wing official. “This time really feels different.” Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine has privately expressed concern, a source said, telling a friend that Trump’s emotional state is “very tender.” Even Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are unsettled that Trump is so gleefully acting on his most self-destructive impulses as his legal peril grows. According to a source, Jared and Ivanka told Trump that stripping security clearances from former intelligence officials would backfire, but Trump ignored them. Kushner later told a friend Trump “got joy” out of taking away John Brennan’s clearance. His reaction to the death of John McCain—quashing a White House statement in praise of the senator, and restoring White House flags to full staff—falls into the same self-indulgent category.


#91

It does seem odd, T’s behavior that places him in such a reviled position of being excluded from polite society because his actions/statements have been so abhorrent.
But he gets what he deserves…no love.

Trump’s conspicuous absences at both McCain’s and Barbara Bush’s funerals offer perhaps the starkest examples of the ways in which Trump finds himself ostracized from some of the duties other presidents performed as almost de facto aspects of their job.

It is a tearing of the fabric of the presidency that he’s not invited, but I understand why he’s not invited because he’s personalized the presidency in a way no previous occupant of the presidency has done,”

Yet Trump has also found himself excluded from — or opting out of — other, more routine parts of the presidency.

We’ve kind of elected this apex predator, and you don’t sit T-Rex down at the dinner table,” said Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant and strategist. “I think civilized society doesn’t want him behaving crudely at the dinner table, and he has no interest in their pretensions.

At his recent rallies, Trump has taken to expounding on his lack of acceptance by the so-called elites, proclaiming it a badge of pride. And his disdain for what he terms political correctness is similarly applauded by many of his supporters.

The thing to realize is that Donald Trump’s base revels in him playing the transgressive jerk,” said Rick Wilson, author of “Everything Trump Touches Dies” and a veteran of Republican campaigns.

Trump%20No%20funeral


#92

This is the DJT I remember from living in NYC during his hyper-publicized life - messy divorces, affairs, bankruptcies, Central Park Five outrage, gold-encrusted life.

a meanness crept into Donald’s rhetoric,” (George) Rush said recently

He would definitely call me, personally, absolutely—on a lot of occasions.” Trump, Colasuonno says, was “like a walking, talking tabloid editor’s dream. He was fun. He was entertaining. He sold papers for us—no question. That’s a fact.” Lou Colasuonno

We served a purpose—to keep his name in boldface
It was January 1990, and Mitchell Fink

'He was born without the gene for shame
Trump’s mistress was having a baby, and Linda Stasi’s


#93

Curious why T decides there should be a village next to his (failing) golf course. And again, where does the money come from.

Note: there is a T crest…linked below

@MddeH

THREAD: Last month, the Trump Organization announced it was spending $200m to build what’s basically a small town next to his golf course in rural Scotland. It’s very weird, for the following reasons:

article - click onto link and there are hyperlinks within this QZ article to “follow the money.”

Is it someone else’s money?

It’s genuinely difficult to work out what in Trump’s business empire is producing so much cash that he can spend hundreds of millions without borrowing, leading some to speculate that the money is coming from a third party. What’s more, UK real estate is a notorious money-laundering hole; Scotland, in particular, has had serious problems with the issue.

The source of Trump’s cash has raised eyebrows before. In 1998 the US Treasury fined him $477,000 for breaking money-laundering rules at the Trump Taj Mahal casino property, and as Davidson points out in the New Yorker, there’s nothing in Trump’s history to suggest he’s troubled by working with deeply suspicious characters. Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who commissioned former British spy Christopher Steele’s famous dossier, has said the question of Russian involvement in Trump’s golf course was “concerning” to his firm while it was conducting opposition research on Trump.

“If you’re familiar with Donald Trump’s finances and the litigation over whether he’s really a billionaire, you know, there’s good reason to believe he doesn’t have enough money to do this and that he would have had to have outside financial support for these things,” Simpson saidin Congressional testimony (pdf), when asked if Russian money may be invested in Trump’s Scottish golf courses. “A lot of what I do is analyze whether things make sense and whether they can be explained. And that didn’t make sense to me, doesn’t make sense to me to this day.”

Eric Trump allegedly said himself that the Trumps received Russian funds. Golf journalist James Dodson claimed last year that during a 2013 round with Trump’s youngest adult son, he asked how the Trumps were funding their golf investments when no banks had “touched a golf course” since the 2008 recession. According to Dodson, Eric replied: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia…we’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.” Eric Trump has called Dodson’s anecdote “completely fabricated.”

What the money-laundering theory doesn’t answer, though, is why any partner would want to invest in Scottish golf sinkholes. Stashing cash in British property isn’t difficult, and there are plenty of lovely buildings that aren’t in the middle of nowhere and don’t cost millions per year to maintain. And yet, plenty of Russians keen to get their money out of the Kremlin’s reach have found happy homes in Trump’s US projects. The US president has built relationships with tycoons from several parts of the former Soviet Union—and golf has been in vogue with Russian oligarchs for quite a while. There’s also the grand theory that the Kremlin has long been working Trump, and invested in his properties either to gain leverage over him or as payment for work done.


#94

T in a lump, all by himself, fuming, and sulking while the rest of the nation mourns a hero, Sen. John McCain.

Scathing remarks about him below…

There is now this level where nothing he does is shocking any more. All week people have been saying can you believe the flag was up and then down and then up again, but then there’s a shrug. That’s who he is. He’s a man without honour.” (Sally Quinn) :frowning_face:

In April, there was a glaringly obvious, Trump-shaped hole at former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in Houston, where his wife Melania Trump was photographed alongside past presidents and first ladies, looking curiously happy.

(Sally) Quinn commented: “This is going to be much worse. McCain is a national hero in the national cathedral and Trump will be sitting fuming in the White House. Saturday is going to be a very bad day for Donald Trump.”

Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, suggested Trump has failed to understand the ceremonial power of the presidency to bring people together and promote his own causes.

“Sure,” he said, “the guy is coarse, but that’s not the main issue here. The flag going up and down is a metaphor for his lack of realpolitik qualifications. Machiavelli would be blushing at the sheer ineptitude.”

Saturday will be a moment of “national humiliation”, Jacobs said. “It’s part of a big pattern. In so many ways, Donald Trump has marooned himself on a faraway island. His boat is now wrecked on the shore and he’s sitting sulking.”

Along with the Bush funeral, Trump was not invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and American actor Meghan Markle.

Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior adviser to Bill Clinton and biographer of Abraham Lincoln, said: “He’s a designated non-mourner. From Windsor to Washington, he is beyond the pale. I can’t think of another president who is beyond the pale.”

In Washington itself, the president remains something of a pariah, apparently dining only at the White House or his nearby luxury hotel.

“He lives in his own little kingdom, his own kleptocratic state which has the physical manifestation of his hotel, which should have a moat around it,” Blumenthal said. “He just doesn’t mix at all.”


#95

Ok - Fear - Bob Woodward’s book is going to shake the WH. This is going to rattle the Prez. Bigly.

In the White House residence, Dowd peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions and lies until the president eventually lost his cool.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump erupted at the start of a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying, “I don’t really want to testify.”

The dramatic and previously untold scene is recounted in “Fear,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward that paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals.

Woodward writes that his book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses that were conducted on “deep background,” meaning the information could be used but he would not reveal who provided it. His account is also drawn from meeting notes, personal diaries and government documents.

Woodward depicts Trump’s anger and paranoia about the Russia inquiry as unrelenting, at times paralyzing the West Wing for entire days. Learning of the appointment of Mueller in May 2017, Trump groused, “Everybody’s trying to get me”— part of a venting period that shellshocked aides compared to Richard Nixon’s final days as president.

The 448-page book was obtained by The Washington Post. Woodward, an associate editor at The Post, sought an interview with Trump through several intermediaries to no avail. The president called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. The president complained that it would be a “bad book,” according to an audio recording of the conversation. Woodward replied that his work would be “tough,” but factual and based on his reporting.

A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.

Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.


#96

#97

Many of the feuds and daily clashes have been well documented, but the picture painted by Trump’s confidants, senior staff and Cabinet officials reveal that many of them see an even more alarming situation — worse than previously known or understood. Woodward offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides — both current and former Trump administration officials — grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.


Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an “idiot” and “unhinged,” Woodward reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of “a fifth or sixth grader.” And Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as "a fucking liar," telling Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.

"He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown," Kelly is quoted as saying at a staff meeting in his office. “I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
CNN obtained a copy of Woodward’s book, scheduled for release September 11. The explosive revelations about Trump from those closest to him are likely to play into the November midterm election battle. The book also has stunning new details about Trump’s obsession with the Russia probe, describing for the first time confidential conversations between the President’s lawyers and Mueller. It recounts a dramatic session in the White House residence in which Trump failed a mock Mueller interview with his lawyers.


#98

@DavidNakamura

Sarah Huckabee Sanders statement on @realBobWoodward’s “Fear”: “This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad.”


#99

#100