DEVELOPING. Donald Trump Campaign In Freefall. GOP Leaders Planning Intervention And Trump Exit (VIDEO)

We are all entitled to our fantasies. So just bear with me.

There are a couple of stories floating around today, that in the context of the past week actually bear watching.

First, the Washington Examiner reports that morale in the Trump campaign has hit Marianas-Trench-like depths. Here is the link but I’m putting the guts of the story in Storify because it is tweet heavy.

Back in 1974, Virginia Representative William L. Scott was named as the “Dumbest Member of Congress” in a bulls*** list in a bulls*** publication. I’m agnostic on the truth/falsity of the ranking but lean toward believing it based on what happened next. He called a press conference to deny that he was the Dumbest Member of Congress. The denial put out by the Trump campaign essentially called attention to a story that might have very well passed unnoticed.

Having said that, there is nothing in the Harwood story that is remotely implausible. Chaos, backbiting, feuding fiefdoms, and rank incompetence, along with a whiff of immorality and corruption, are what the Donald Trump campaign is about. Now Part Deux as our secretary of state might say in moments of high passion.

Via Mediaite

On Good Morning America Wednesday, ABC’s Jon Karl reported that senior officials in the GOP are now actively strategizing and having conversations about the process to replace Donald Trump atop the party’s ticket should he drop out. This, after another disastrous day on the campaign trail for the real estate titan turned politician, who recently said that he would not necessarily be endorsing members of his own party in their upcoming elections. “Senior officials at the party are actively exploring what would happen if Trump dropped out and replaced him on the ballot,” Karl told GMA’s George Stephanopoulos.

Keep in mind this is a respectable outlet that is not giving to trolling. Both Karl and Stephanopoulos put their brand on the line when they engage in out-in-left-field speculation.

Also consider this from The Hill:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is furious with Donald Trump’s refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan or Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), NBC News reported. Priebus is “apoplectic” over Trump’s remarks and called campaign chairman Paul Manafort and other top staffers to voice his “extreme displeasure,” NBC reported, citing a source in the GOP.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd reports that top level GOP leaders are planning the equivalent of an intervention to stop the sucking chest wound Trump has become to Republican candidates:

Key Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large.

Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.

The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children – who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers – to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy. Trump’s family is considered to have by far the most influence over the candidate’s thinking at what could be a make-or-break moment for his campaign.

The idea is in its early stages, and there’s no guarantee that Trump’s team would entertain a conversation requiring such comprehensive changes for a candidate who has resisted calls to moderate his tone or reel in his most outlandish political positions.

Todd also refers to the Karl story about the GOP searching for an exit ramp.

Stunned Republicans began seriously considering the idea of an exit ramp after an extraordinary few days during which Trump continually lashed out against a Gold Star family critical of his position on Muslim immigration, declared that he’d “always wanted” a Purple Heart but that it’s “easier” to receive one as a gift, and declined to endorse top Republican candidates including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Earlier in the year and late last year there was a lot of informed speculation that Trump got into the GOP primary as a publicity stunt. The communications director of a defunct Trump super PAC has written that the goal was to get Trump’s polls into the double digits and finish respectably. This dovetails with his yammering about being treated fairly by the GOP as he was creating a narrative that allowed him to punch out of the race at any time. Now he’s doing the same thing again in whining about fixed races and bogus polls. The moment Trump thinks he will lose, he could very well quit the race. And it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to see his constant stream of consciousness on national television as demoralizing staff who, though deeply and profoundly incompetent in their own right, at least have a Plato’s Cave image of what competence looks like.

Trump, himself, for all his total lack of intellectual curiosity or introspection, is a showman and he his undoubtedly discovering that he can’t offset bad media coverage by creating even more bad media coverage. The fights he has picked with the Khan family was a disaster. His attempt to change the subject by refusing to endorse Paul Ryan hasn’t helped him lose his “chocker” stench and it hasn’t made the Khan issue go away. He’ll undoubtedly try a lot more stupid stuff before he’s forced to conclude that in politics there is such a thing as bad publicity. Will it happen? Who knows? Who, back in August, would have predicted the current state of affairs? I know I didn’t. And can you imagine the utter chaos it would cause if Trump checked out of the race in October after Hillary had spent a $100 million vilifying him? Like I said, we all need our fantasies. Thanks for sharing mine. // ]]>