Don’t you just hate Mondays? You know, the day of the week when you find out the President of the United States is a conniving, gossiping, braggart with too much free time to make phone calls to his Mean Girl global dictator buddies and a huge chip on his shoulder over not having actually won a mandate from Americans to run the country the way he wants to?
I sure do. So when I saw a piece from Carl Bernstein on CNN today listing just how many upper echelon people in the US government had taken notice of Trump being petulantly all of the above, I got a pretty serious case of the Mondays.
According to Bernstein’s report, some heavy hitters in the federal government — “his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff” — have become, over time, convinced that because Donald Trump is so phenomenally bad at his job, so astronomically incompetent, so woefully unarmed in any given battle of wits, that he himself is a danger to America’s national security, surely a first for an elected leader.
It’s like being allergic to yourself.
Trump’s narcissism is so sociopathic that it’s almost inconceivable that he has any idea how awful he looks and sounds to literally everyone with any sense whatsoever. But it was the details from hundreds of classified phone calls to other world leaders that caused these former Trump officials to conclude that the president wasn’t just screwing up the office, but he was actually endangering lives with his nonchalant buffoonery.
Bernstein’s series of interviews with these officials — NSC advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly — serve to underscore the current news of Trump’s briefed-or-not-it’s-bad Afghan bounty scandal, in which Donald’s pal Putin paid Taliban operatives to murder American soldiers.
The president is still denying not that this happened, but that he was ever briefed about it, a spoke in the ever-turning wheel of plausible deniability Trump so carefully cultivates by refusing to ever take responsibility for literally anything, ever.
But the tale laid bare by his former cohorts paint a picture of a man who would do exactly nothing about such a scheme, being so utterly convinced of his own greatness that he couldn’t imagine anyone telling him no when he casually asked them to stop murdering our troops for money.
Not that he’s asked them to.
These phone calls in the former officials’ accounts show a Trump obsessed with trash-talking former presidents, other world leaders (especially women), and basically anyone not named Donald J. Trump or whoever he was talking to on the phone in that moment.
John Bolton’s much-hyped insider account of his time in the Oval Office with Trump corroborates essentially the entire theme of Bernstein’s interviews, but the timeline of the phone calls on which the reporting is based extends outside both ends of Bolton’s tenure.
But Trump’s arrogance and obsequiousness toward dictators hardly make up a dire enough story to have published so consequentially as this one. The reporting spans months of interviews and, according to one official cited by CNN, represents a cumulative “abomination” that would make even hardened GOP stalwarts blush.
Bernstein is a far superior writer, and this account of his account hardly does any justice, but it struck me — no, punched me — so hard that it was necessary to parse at least this one little message out before sending you along to read Carl’s work itself:
At the end of it all, there will have been a “worst president in history,” and in just 3 short years, Trump has preempted centuries worth of competition for that title.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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