Yesterday Donald Trump’s entire world fell apart. He lost Hope Hicks, the only non-family adviser he seemed to care about. His security clearance feud with his son-in-law Jared Kushner came to a head in a way that’ll probably cost him his relationship with his daughter Ivanka. Oh, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller has connected Trump to everything from the Russian money trail to the stolen DNC emails. So how did Trump respond this morning? By posting what turned out to be a very expensive tweet about aluminum, of all things.
Trump woke up this morning and tried to distract the public from all his problems and failings by creating a new trade war: “Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!” The trouble: the stock market didn’t exactly like the idea of a trade war.
It didn’t take long for the Dow Jones to plunge by around five hundred points. By the afternoon, Trump was either trying to turn things around by posting one tweet after another about how great the economy supposedly is under him. It didn’t help the market, which ended up closing down 420 for the day. Last month the market suffered a severe week-long plunge which seemed to be a combined result of bad economic news and Trump’s own increasing instability.
This time around, however, there is no question about what caused today’s market plunge. Donald Trump tried to distract from his endless failures and controversies by creating yet another one. We’ll see what the stock market does tomorrow. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that investors have lost patience with the illegitimate president.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report