Following the news that George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and several others had been the target of bombing attempts, both Donald Trump and the White House said all the right things about condemning violence and bringing the perpetrator to justice. Someone obviously had a talk with the president before his speech in Wisconsin Wednesday night because it included a lot of Trump patting himself on the back for being “nice.”
But by Thursday morning, it was clear that the facade was starting to wear off. The president needed to go on the attack and find someone to blame.
Do you want to guess what comes next? After years of observing Donald Trump, Paul Waldman nailed the progression.
Stage 1: Grudgingly reads reasonable statement written by others (yesterday)
Stage 2: Full of resentment at being scripted and constrained, lashes out in tweet (today)
Stage 3: Erupts in full-blown rage and hate before lustily cheering crowd of supporters (tomorrow)
One of the things we can count on is that over these last couple of days Trump has probably spent a lot of time talking to Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, who comprise his “cable news cabinet.” According to the New York Times, he is more interested in what they have to say than the fact that China and Russia are listening in.
Mr. Trump typically relies on his cellphones when he does not want a call going through the White House switchboard and logged for senior aides to see, his aides said. Many of those Mr. Trump speaks with most often on one of his cellphones, such as hosts at Fox News, share the president’s political views, or simply enable his sense of grievance about any number of subjects.
The reason Trump doesn’t want these calls going through the White House switchboard is because he doesn’t want his chief of staff to know about them. Before going on, let’s keep in mind how bizarre this all is.
On responding to the recent bombing attempts, what do you suppose the president is hearing from his cable news cabinet? Here is what Lou Dobbs was tweeting before someone convinced him to delete them:
I’d be willing to bet that it’s only a matter of time before Trump is talking about how “fake bombs” are diverting us from the real issue of “left-wing driven caravans.” Then, as Waldman noted, he’ll be back to his “full-blown rage and hate.” At least we know that is the advice he’s getting from his cable news cabinet.