The star of ‘Presidential Apprentice” has a predictable pattern. Within 24 hours of any breaking news story on his administration, denials turn into justifications and Donald Trump shrugs it all off, saying “so what?” as he undercuts his own communications team.
After news broke last night that Trump had shared classified intelligence from a US ally during his meeting with Russian foreign minister Lavrov and ambassador Kislyak, White House staff were scrambling to deny, spin, or explain it all away. But in a series of tweets this morning, Trump insisted on his “absolute right” to share whatever he likes.
TASS, the Russian state news agency that was the only press allowed in the room during last week’s meeting, says that the alleged president “talked in detail” about the threat that a US ally had identified in the Islamic State.
Yet denials persist on the right, where the most important issue of the day is who leaked the story, not the story itself. Because apparently, presidents can share any secrets they please just as long as they don’t use a private email server. Who knew?
This is part of a pattern. Trump pulled the rug out from under his own team last week when he admitted he had fired FBI Director James Comey in a transparent bid to obstruct investigations into his Russian influence scandals. Each time, the White House staff has been plunged into chaos and recriminations by the president they serve.
Communications staff and senior staffers at the White House were literally “hiding in offices,” according to a senior Trump aide, as a gaggle of White House press stormed White House hallways just after the Washington Post story broke on Monday evening.
“Do not ask me about how this looks, we all know how this looks,” the senior aide told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. Trump administration officials spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity so as to speak freely. The aide described a scene at the White House as tense and “a morgue,” where senior officials such as Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Stephen Bannon convened to sketch an immediate path forward in handling the aftermath.
Does that remind you of the scenes in the Führerbunker from the classic film “Downfall”? It should, because the psychology here is exactly the same. That’s why I’ve done the only reasonable thing to do in such circumstances: I made this nice parody clip for you to enjoy. Watch:
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