There are now so many surreal and embarrassing storylines emanating from the rocks inside Donald Trump’s head that at times it’s difficult to determine what’s meant to be a distraction from what. Trump is clearly nervous about his Russia scandal closing in. But his decision to blame Obama for the Trump Tower wiretap, despite being Russia-connected, may have been an attempt a distracting from a humiliatingly childish incident involving two top advisers and Air Force One that had taken place the evening before.
Here’s what is known for sure: after Trump learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself investigating the Russia scandal, Trump went ballistic on his own White House senior staffers. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who often tries to keep Trump on track, and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who has the most influence over Trump, were both caught in the crossfire.
As we reported last night, there are two differing characterizations as to what happened next. One is that after the blow-upm Priebus and Bannon sense Trump didn’t want them getting on the flight to Mar-a-Lago scheduled for minutes later, and they begged off. The other is that Trump removed them. But either way, they were both left off a flight which they’d been listed on the flight manifest for (Bannon later flew down to Mar-a-Lago separately). Whether Trump scared his own top advisers away from him, or he was punishing them, it’s an embarrassing enough incident that even Trump may have understood that the story shouldn’t become public.
With his chaotic and poorly staffed White House having become a leaking sieve of insider information, it was inevitable that word of the Friday afternoon incident would leak out – and it did. But by 6am the next morning, Donald Trump was tweeting his explosive accusations about President Obama. It was based on a phony Breitbart story that had already been in circulation, and while Trump may have indeed believed it and been upset by it, he appears to have timed his Twitter explosion to drown out the news of his fracturing relations with Bannon and Priebus. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report