Donald Trump just suffered a bodyblow

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When a political analyst tries to get inside Donald Trump’s deranged mind in order to figure out what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, it’s a lot like when a criminal profiler tries to get inside the mind of a serial killer or arsonist. Even if you figure out the patterns, you may never truly understand what drives that person’s psyche. This brings us to Trump, and the bodyblow that he suffered yesterday in plain sight.

Donald Trump insisted yesterday that he didn’t know his handlers went to great lengths to hide the USS John McCain from him during his Asia trip. The available facts line up with that premise, so it looks like he’s telling the truth for once. Here’s the thing. Imagine being Trump, a guy who convinces himself that he’s beloved by all around him. A guy who hires people to say nice things about him, and then truly believes it all. A narcissist who has convinced himself that he’s an invincible badass genius.

Then Trump finds out what his own handlers – the ones who routinely tell him how strong and brilliant he is – really think of him. They think he’s so psychologically frail, they moved heaven and earth to make sure he didn’t see a name on a boat, because they truly feared it might break him.

It’s not that a delusional narcissist like Donald Trump can accept that harsh dose of reality for very long. Sure enough, by last night his followup tweets made clear that his staff had fed him some story about the Navy having exposed the whole thing as fake news. Trump can’t accept the reality that he’s an emotional weakling being coddled by his handlers, so he’s eagerly swallowing whatever silly alternate version of history they’re now feeding. But what a bodyblow it had to be for Trump to realize – if only briefly before rejecting it – that he really is just some fragile and pathetic loser who wouldn’t last five minutes without his nannies.

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