“You’re going to hate me for this”

Last month, federal troops rammed and teargassed peaceful demonstrators just so Donald Trump could enjoy a photo op with a Bible in Lafayette Square. Now, the Trump administration is facing multiple lawsuits after a week of ordering camouflaged stormtroopers to jump out of unmarked cars away from federal property to kidnap Portlanders without identification or explanation. What’s going on?

Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist who speaks and writes with unique authority about her uncle, offers a simple yet disturbing answer. In an interview last night on CNN, Mary told Chris Cuomo that “Donald is a psychologically deeply damaged man, based on his upbringing and the situation with his parents.” She then warned that Trump “is not going to get better and he is, without question, going to get worse.”

Soon after, on MSNBC, national security analyst Frank Figliuzzi suggested that we should expect this new pattern of unleashing mysterious troops on Americans to continue. “What we’re looking at here is something that looks like exploitation of a national emergency—remember, we’re still under a national emergency declaration for the COVID-19 virus,” he explained. “I fear that we’re going to see exploitation of that until that declaration ends and there’s no sign that that declaration’s ending soon.”

Lacking empathy, a conscience, and a soul, Trump has always been perversely eager to exploit any tragedy for political or personal gain. Back in the 1980s, for example, after a few of Trump’s top casino executives lost their lives in a helicopter crash, Trump issued a statement about how “deeply saddened” he was. Trump then lied to the press, claiming he was supposed to be on the flight and narrowly escaped death. According to BuzzFeed News, seconds before uttering that fabrication, Trump reportedly told some of his staff, “You’re going to hate me for this, but I just can’t resist. I can get some publicity out of this.”

As Trump’s gross mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic proves deadlier by the day, his exploitation of the situation for personal and political gain only cements his standing as a monster of world history. Trump’s new embrace of Gestapo tactics shows how quickly he is unraveling—and it reveals this deeply damaged man’s fear of the reckoning that awaits him on Election Day.

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