Perhaps it’s the pressure of the impending recount, which could not only reverse the results of the 2016 election, but also expose whatever rigging scheme may have been put in place. Or perhaps it was merely inevitable, considering how his team came together. But over the past few days, infighting Donald Trump’s top handlers has exploded to the point that they’re no longer simply firing each other in private; they’ve now begun publicly eating each other alive.
The first sign of trouble came when, almost immediately after Donald Trump was controversially named the winner, his son in law Jared Kushner appeared to be responsible for the firing of Chris Christie (and everyone loyal to Christie) from the transition team. But since that time, more prominent players in Trump’s inner circle are now trying to sabotage each other’s efforts. Things came to a head when campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who now has no clearly defined role within Trump’s posse but still regularly claims to be speaking on his behalf, began publicly attacking his potential pick for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney.
But even as Conway was apparently trying to sabotage whoever within Trump’s inner circle was pushing Romney, presumably that same person retaliated by telling NBC that Trump was “furious” at Conway’s antics. And so now Kellyanne Conway and the other unnamed member of Trump’s team (possibly Steve Bannon) are now doing everything they can to publicly sabotage each other. This comes even as Donald Trump himself appears to have gone into hiding and has said nothing about any of the above, instead allowing his top people to engage in a public food fight with each other.
If that all sounds confusing, it’s because Trump’s inner circle appears to have descended into such pure chaos that no one can tell who’s in charge at this point – if anyone. Trump has been capricious in terms of whom he’s allowed to call the shots during his brief political foray, with everyone from Corey Lewandowski to Paul Manafort to Christie to Conway to Bannon appearing to be officially or unofficially in charge of the campaign at various points, seemingly elevating whoever has been best at stroking his ego at any given time.
Now that he’s largely retreated from the public eye and only speaks through tweets (which he may not be writing) and occasional brief pre-taped videos, seemingly having lost any real interest in being the “president-elect” at this point, his power mad handlers appear to be eating each other alive with no one to keep him separated. Is anyone in charge?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report