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Mistah Trump — He Crazy


This is fake outrage. Here’s a link to Schiff’s opening statement. At the four minute mark, just before he says the words that so offend POTUS, Schiff says that he’s paraphrasing the president. Schiff made it clear that he was not quoting the president, but offering an interpretation of the transcript’s meaning. And for that, Trump is publicly speculating on arresting the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for treason.

This, in the United States of America, in 2019.

Quoting his de facto chaplain:


So: the President of the United States has raised the prospect of arresting a leading opposition legislator for treason, because the president objects to the opposition leader’s characterization of his phone call. And he has approvingly quoted the prospect of something like the Civil War arising from an attempt to impeach him.

This is unhinged. It really is. Trump’s paranoia, à la Nixon, is going to destroy him. Thomas Bossert, the first director of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, is now saying that Trump’s obsession with 2016 persisted even though officials tried to explain to him that the Ukraine theory was not true:

“It is completely debunked,” Mr. Bossert said of the Ukraine theory on ABC. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos, Mr. Bossert blamed Mr. Giuliani for filling the president’s head with misinformation. “I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again, and for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity.”

He added that pressing Ukraine’s president was disturbing, but noted that it remained unproven whether Mr. Trump’s decision to withhold aid to Ukraine was tied to the demand for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

“It is a bad day and a bad week for this president and for this country if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent,” Mr. Bossert said. “But it looks to me like the other matter that’s far from proven is whether he was doing anything to abuse his power and withhold aid in order to solicit such a thing.” On Twitter later on Sunday, he added that he did “not see evidence of an impeachable offense.”

Other former aides said separately on Sunday that the president had a particular weakness for conspiracy theories involving Ukraine, which in the past three years has become the focus of far-right media outlets and political figures. Mr. Trump was more willing to listen to outside advisers like Mr. Giuliani than his own national security team.

Mr. Trump has known Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, for years and likes his pugnacious approach and the fact that he never pushes back, said one former aide, who like others asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Mr. Giuliani would “feed Trump all kinds of garbage” that created “a real problem for all of us,” said the former aide.

Read the whole thing. In it, Bossert explains in greater detail how Trump would perseverate on that conspiracy theory, despite his people telling him it’s not true. Bossert says this is going to destroy the Trump presidency if he doesn’t let go of it.

The thing is, we know that Trump will neither arrest a member of Congress, nor start a civil war. By now, we just roll our eyes at this garbage. Nevertheless, the same crazy streak that led him to say things like this over Twitter also overwhelmed the normal restraints that would have prevented him from risking his presidency over obsession with the 2016 election which he won. 

Ross Douthat wrote on Sunday:

But if Trump survives impeachment and somehow gets re-elected, there will be no after Trump, not yet and not for four long years. Instead Trump will bestride his party like a decaying colossus, and his administration’s accelerative deterioration will be the G.O.P.’s as well. There will be no second-term policymaking, no John Kelly to stabilize the ship — just a floating hulk drifting between the icebergs of recession and foreign crisis, with all American conservatism onboard.

“Accelerative deterioration,” aye. He’s already tweeting about the arrest of his political opponents, and a new Civil War, as prophesied by a court-evangelical TV preacher. Seriously, everybody, this is a problem. This is a big problem. As ever with Trump, he is his own worst enemy.

UPDATE: If you want to know why a lot of conservatives find crazy Trump less of a threat than crazy liberals, read this about the new Tawana Brawley. 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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