After his bluffs were called on both Iran and mass deportations, Donald Trump retired to Camp David for the weekend. While it’s the official presidential retreat, Trump usually never goes there unless he and his closest staff are plotting something shady together – the latter group usually consisting of his family. Trump announced via Twitter that he’d be working on many things over the weekend, Iran being a priority on his mind, as he sat in meetings and took important calls.
Such a meeting might seem unsettling, if not somewhat expected, during this tumultuous time in his presidency, but no senior policy aides accompanied him on the trip. Not even White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went along initially, showing up only near the end. Donald Trump’s family stayed behind in Washington. He traveled instead with mostly junior staff. The highest ranking member was Dan Scavino, who runs Trump’s Twitter account and writes most of his formal tweets.
Scavino’s presence is about the only clue we have of what went on during the weekend. We don’t exactly know if Iran was even talked about much – as the White House press office has refused to release any readouts related to Iran. None of his communications staff traveled to Camp David anyway – so the only communications we have are his tweets of a TIME magazine cover that shows him repeatedly winning future elections, and a plug for a new book written by one of his supporters. He also tweeted a half-baked explanation for calling off the attacks and a not so surprising announcement that he was backing down on ICE raids.
As Trump finds himself further in over his head, the only thing he can think about is how to spin his image through all of this – how can he still come off as a hero in the eyes of his supporters? This takes precedence over just about anything his senior staffers might have to say about actually solving the problem.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making