- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
- Some White House insiders and close associates of President Donald Trump have expressed concern about Trump’s behavior of late. Ongoing feuds with fellow Republicans have isolated Trump as he struggles to implement his agenda. Trump’s public fights on social media – including with members of his party – have only grown more intense. Trump has reportedly found himself isolated in a White House that’s far more subdued under the direction of the chief of staff John Kelly.
A cadre of White House insiders and close associates of President Donald Trump have painted a grim picture of an increasingly volatile Trump, who in the past few weeks has found himself at the center of near-constant battles that have frequently spilled out into the public.
Trump’s most recent feuds, social-media spats, and public wars of words have pitted the president against critics including a handful from his own party. And the arguments have become increasingly bitter, a reflection of a volatile and isolated Trump, people interviewed by The Washington Post said in a report published Monday night.
One person close to Trump likened the president to a “pressure cooker,” according to The Post.
The report comes at another challenging time for Trump’s still-nascent presidency. Repeated failures to pass healthcare legislation have been a consistent source of angst for Trump, and his immigration agenda suffered numerous false starts before the US Supreme Court handed the administration a nominal victory in June on the president’s controversial travel ban.
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Trump and the Republican-led Congress have now turned their attention to tax legislation, but Trump’s behavior in recent days could throw that effort into doubt, partly because of Trump’s latest battle with Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican who this past weekend said he was concerned about Trump’s ability to lead and the president’s penchant for brusquely speaking off-the-cuff on foreign-relations matters and issues of national security.
In an interview with The New York Times, Corker, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump’s rhetoric could put the US on the path to World War III. That was after he used Twitter to critique the president’s behavior, likening the White House to an “adult day-care center.”
Trump has lashed out at Corker, who recently announced he would not seek reelection in 2018. The president targeted Corker much in the same way he has other people who have landed on his bad side: by throwing darts at them on Twitter. Corker was his target Sunday, but in the past nine months of his presidency Trump has also gone after:
- Sen. John McCain of Arizona Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic The NFL and players who kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who criticized the government’s handling of hurricane relief efforts
The Post on Monday reported that some close associates of Trump said the president’s angst stemmed from some lingering open wounds with few people left to soothe his frustrations.
- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Trump’s longtime confidant and head of Oval Office operation, Keith Schiller, recently left the administration and, because of the chief of staff John Kelly’s strict oversight in the West Wing, Trump is left with few people with whom he can blow off steam, The Post said.
Trump has been here before.
Less than a month before he won last year’s election in a shocking victory over Hillary Clinton, The New York Times wrote of an “increasingly upset and alone Donald Trump,” a candidate fuming over near-constant GOP repudiation in the dwindling weeks of an explosive presidential race.
CNN painted a similar picture in late May, weeks after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey ahead of his first foreign trip as president.
The ongoing tirades – covering his displeasure with people he considers disloyal, outrage over media coverage, and more – show no signs of ending.
And that has prompted some of Trump’s allies and detractors to question his capacity to fulfill his duties as president.
“He concerns me,” Corker said, according to The Times. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”