Trump loyalists likely spent an uneasy night, wrestling with their consciences and torn between the fantasy version of Trump-as-conservative-white-knight and the reality of Trump-the-big-government-con-artist.
After a Friday morning tweet, where he announced that he would veto the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, he quickly pulled a fast one on the nation and signed it, anyway. He gave Democrats everything they wanted – billions in aid to foreign nations, fully funded Planned Parenthood, and a host of expensive goodies that have nothing to do with making America great again.
If his devotees were honest, they’d openly ask how things would have been different with Hillary Clinton in charge. You know, just get it out in the open. Spit that poison on the ground, breathe some fresh air for the first time in several years, clear their heads, drop that damnable pride, admit they were duped and just let the healing begin.
Yeah, I know. Some are still clinging to the “strategy” life raft. They really do believe Trump rolling over and offering up his throat on this is part of an ingenious plan, and not just capitulation.
He’s got them just where he wants them!
Meanwhile, for those of us not living on Planet Coo-Coo Bird, we’re seeing the chaotic manner of this Trump administration, where he says one thing and does another. He has no principle and he stands on nothing.
A report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday evening pointed out that his aides spent a tense few hours after his tweet, where he said he was considering vetoing the bill.
Only a day before, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short were sent out to assure the press that Trump was going to sign the bill.
Vice President Pence echoed that sentiment, boasted about the “down payment” on the southern border wall included in the bill on Thursday, while in New Hampshire.
White House sources told the Journal that Trump has been behaving more erratically with tweets and comments amid administration chaos in recent weeks.
“Never been this wild,” one source told the paper.
The president disputed reports last week that he would fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster, telling advisers the reporters were “total f—ing bullshit,” according to the Journal.
He announced Thursday that he would replace McMaster with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Then came Trump’s Friday tweet, and within the span of about 4 hours, he changed his mind. Again.
So what brought about the change?
According to the report, it was several things.
For one, there was the insistence that the bill did give “some things” that could be counted as a win, like the increased military spending.
In fact, that’s the bulk of what Trump spoke about during his press conference on Friday. He briefly turned the mic over to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in order to explain what would be covered.
Then, of course, was the fear that his Mar-a-Lago weekend could potentially be marred by bad press for allowing a government shutdown.
After aides told him that he could face backlash for allowing a government shutdown on a weekend he was scheduled to spend at his Florida resort, Trump responded “F— that,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
All of this may very well be Trump’s emotional reaction to a Mueller probe that seems to be inching closer and closer to him.
Lead attorney for Trump’s Russia investigation legal team, John Dowd, stepped away this week. Rumors are that White House counsel Don McGahn is likewise looking at a potential exit.
Also, only hours after announcing that Joe diGenova would be added to the legal team, some are reporting that may be in jeopardy. DiGenova, according to rumors, looked over the case and determined he was not “the right fit” to defend Trump.
Keep in mind, he was brought in because Trump saw him on Fox News blabbering conspiracy theories about a plot to bring down Trump and help Hillary Clinton.
Bottom line: Trump’s erratic behavior is no longer simply putting the credibility of his staff and defenders at risk. It’s threatening the well-being of the nation, burying us under debt, straining relationships with our allies, and making us appear weak to geopolitical foes.
There is no winning, here.