It’s been nearly two weeks since the proverbial “Russia cloud” has supposedly been lifted from Donald Trump’s presidency. The predicted surge in the polls following his “total exoneration” never really came – and any credibility he might have gained from William Barr’s whitewashed four page summary was thrown out the window when he decided to go after Obamacare and make a list of his enemies in the media and the Democratic Party – maybe hoping to make one bigger and better than President Nixon’s.
As the House Judiciary Committee moves to subpoena both Mueller’s report and all correspondence between Mueller and Barr, White House aides are again preparing for the worst, according to one Republican close to the Trump administration, says Vanity Fair. This is a bit of a tall order, because according to another source, a former West Wing official: “There’s no brain trust.” One might imagine Donald Trump watching TV all day while Mike Pence does all the work, or everything from national security to infrastructure gets dropped on the desk of Jared Kushner – but Vanity Fair makes either of those scenarios seem optimistic.
As terrifying as having Kushner or Pence in charge of national affairs may sound, at least there would be someone to report to and tasks being delegated. Instead, it’s anarchy – or more accurately, Donald Trump’s family vs. everyone else. A feud is believed to have broken out between Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who privately complained that Jared took all the credit for the administration’s latest foreign policy move with Israel. Trump’s social media director Brad Parscale was reported to have spoken to Trump about his tweeting, just days before the infamous weekend tantrum over John McCain, but he denies even having been in the country at the time.
If you think this sounds bizarre, it gets worse. There are rumblings inside the White House that for the 2020 re-election campaign that Donald Trump Jr. could emerge as chief strategist, but Jared will probably play a central part as well – sending his personal assistant to meet with donors. The picture presented by these leakers may seem absurd, but it’s also not that far from what we’ve seen in firsthand descriptions of this administration. With fewer and fewer staff left, the chaos within may not be sustainable for much longer.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making