In a week which has seen numerous federal agencies openly rebel against Donald Trump by setting up unofficial social media accounts that he can’t censor, one account in particular has captured the imagination of the American public for its unique nature: it purports to be coming from inside the White House itself, run by Trump’s own disgruntled staffers who have found themselves stunned at his behavior behind the scenes. One of the details they’ve provided suggests that Trump no longer even trusts his own staff.
Trump publicly announced yesterday that he would be investigating what he called “voter fraud” and provided a list of examples which included people being registered to vote in more than on state. But the media quickly confirmed that no evidence of institutional voter fraud exists in the United States, and used voter registration records to confirm that at least four prominent members of Trump’s family, staff and cabinet are currently registered in multiple states, causing his stunt to backfire. It turns out someone on Trump’s staff had to break that bad news to him, and it caused him to flip out.
The White House whistleblower Twitter account posted the following today: “POTUS demanding accuser to ‘put up or shut up,’ after top staffer suggests family vote fraud w/o any evidence. ‘This is mutiny.'” It then went on to add: “White House survival 101: DO NOT accuse POTUS without evidence. Even a bad POTUS is still a powerful POTUS.” The implication is that not only has Trump become distrustful of his own staff, he considers them to be mutinous against him when they bring him bad news, and he may be punishing them for doing so.
The clandestine nature of the @RoguePOTUSStaff account is such that the people running it can’t easily prove they’re White House without risking revealing their individual identities in the process. But as they continue to post more details which seem to fall in line accurately, more Americans are concluding that the account is viable; it now has more than a hundred thousand followers. In that sense, it appears Donald Trump isn’t wrong about that whole “mutiny” thing.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report