- Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
- Former Trump administration officials have expressed concern about President Donald Trump’s recent behavior, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
- On Wednesday, Trump shared messages from a conspiracy theorist claiming that Israeli Jews regarded him as the “second coming” of God.
- On the same day, Trump insulted Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as “nasty” after she rebuffed his offer to buy Greenland, describing it as “absurd.”
- Former officials who spoke with The Times suggested that the president’s increasingly erratic behavior might be linked to private worries that a recession in the US could torpedo his chances of reelection in 2020.
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Former Trump administration officials are concerned about the president’s behavior in recent days, speculating that his increasingly erratic outbursts are linked to private worries that a recession in the US could torpedo his chances of reelection in 2020, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
In recent weeks Trump has generated almost daily controversies, several of which came to a head this week.
The past four days have seen approvingly share a tweet where he’s described as the “second coming” of God, attack Denmark’s prime minister over her refusal to consider selling Greenland, and question the loyalty of Jews who vote for the Democratic Party.
Here’s a snapshot of the president’s comments so far this week:
- On Wednesday, Trump described Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as “nasty,” having previously canceled a visit to Denmark after she dismissed his proposal to buy Greenland as “absurd.” Trump later attacked Denmark, a NATO ally, on Twitter over its military spending.
- Earlier Wednesday, Trump quoted a right-wing conspiracy theorist who claimed that Israeli Jews saw him as the “second coming” and the “King of Israel.” In remarks to reporters at the White House later in the day, Trump described himself as the “chosen one” in the trade war against China.
- On Tuesday, Trump used an anti-Semitic trope in questioning the loyalty of Jews who voted for Democrats. He doubled down on the view in remarks to reporters Wednesday.
Donald Trump looked to the sky with his hands raised and said, "I am the chosen one," as he defended his administration's tough stance on trade with China and slammed past U.S. presidents https://t.co/c4HKWX4Yed pic.twitter.com/sCXDpvo44Q
— POLITICO (@politico) August 21, 2019
The unnamed former officials who spoke with The Times said these outbursts were most likely linked to fears from Trump that the US economy was weakening and might slip into recession in 2020, which could damage his chances of reelection.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Several reports in recent days have suggested that economic data indicating a recession may be looming has rattled Trump – who has based his case for reelection on the strong performance of the US economy during his presidency.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters the US economy was strong and recession was not on the horizon, but he has privately expressed worries about the threat of a recession, according to The Washington Post.
- NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
Trump also said on Tuesday that an economic downturn, if it did happen, would be a price worth paying for winning his trade war with China.
But even as some link Trump’s recent behavior to recession fears, some analysts believe the president has simply been acting in accordance with his long-established playbook of fostering conflict with institutions he has portrayed as controlled by elites exploiting the American people – such as the Democratic Party or NATO.