Whatever was left of Donald Trump’s crumbling mind when the day began on Monday, it was all but gone by the time the day ended. Trump initially and mistakenly interpreted the charges against his campaign chairman Paul Manafort as good news because he wasn’t mentioned in them, and then he completely fell apart when it was reported that George Papadopoulos had pled guilty and confessed to Trump campaign Russian collusion. Just how badly did Trump fall apart?
According to a report from CNN, Trump was “seething” about the news, and he spent the day “hunkered down” with just a small handful of trusted advisers as he tried to figure out what to do in response. Trump complained to his own attorneys that Manafort was getting too much credit for the campaign, and he seemed incredulous that Papadopoulos was the one who nailed him (link). Other accounts paint an even more dire picture of Trump’s post-arrest meltdown.
According to a Washington Post report, Trump spent the morning “fuming” at his television as he watched the news come in, and that his advisers were worried about his absence from the Oval Office (link). In yet another CNN report, this time on-air from Jim Acosta, there was a “sense of dread” among Trump’s staff that “Winter is coming.” It somehow gets even worse for Trump.
Donald Trump is now using his political allies to float the notion that he might not seek reelection in 2020 (link). This is a fairly transparent attempt on his part at trading away any shot at a second term in exchange for being left alone to finish out his first term. No one, not prosecutors, and not the American public, is going to take him up on such a deal at this point. However, it’s a clear sign that he’s in the process of giving up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report