The Reverend


I normally shy away from palace intrigue reporting. Not today...



This account of White House infighting is based on interviews with more than two dozen Trump aides, confidants and others close to his administration, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity. They described a distracting and toxic atmosphere, with warring power centers blaming one another for an ever-growing list of setbacks. The dysfunction has further paralyzed an administration struggling to deliver on its blunt promises of wholesale change.



At the highest levels of the West Wing, the mood has grown so tense that staffers have begun calling up reporters inquiring whether other senior aides are leaking damaging information about them.



"The various warring fiefdoms and camps within the White House are constantly changing and are so vast and complicated in their nature,” said one former Trump campaign aide, “that there is no amount of reporting that could accurately describe the subterfuge, animosity and finger-pointing that is currently happening within the ranks of the senior staff."



What I found most interesting in that Politico report is the fact that "more than two dozen Trump aides" were willing, anonymously of course, to spill the inside skinny on the Trump administration. That, after senior Trumpers have often complained publicly about insiders leaking information to the press. Those "more than two dozen" Trump aides are well aware of Donald's vindictive and revenge-seeking ways.....and yet they still were willing to spill the goods anonymously to those Trump has called "America's enemies".



So, it would seem to me that the Trump White House is in some stage of panic mode. Donald is a divider not a uniter.....it's just his style of "leadership"....and now Trump's style has apparently led to a total meltdown inside the White House.



CBS News opinion piece....



(Trump Chief of Staff) Reince Priebus is on the ropes, and for good reason. He’s been elevated to a job he wasn’t sufficiently qualified for. The GOP health care plan he championed in the White House has died an ignominious death.



The whole administration is a mess, understaffed and, to make things worse, too incompetent to staff up in the way it obviously needs to. And from an ideological standpoint, Reince and Trump might as well belong to different parties; in terms of worldview, there’s just very little the two have in common.



So it’s time for Reince to go.



Is it? Time for Priebus to go? With these incompetent nihilists, who knows?



After the November election, and following Trump's appointment of Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Steve Bannon as chief political strategist....I suggested that Bannon would all-but nullify Reince's effectiveness. Priebus is a GOP party guy....Bannon is a white nationalist Leninist, hellbent on destroying the U.S. federal government. While Priebus still believes in our traditional democratic system with all it's imperfect processes....Bannon longs to burn that system to the ground.



"Team of rivals"? Or, an untenable proposition? I ask the questions....you decide.



I find it interesting that "no drama Obama" has given way to "nothing but drama" Trump. We're now in the 10th week of a new presidency. The in-fighting and finger pointing among Republicans is worse than ever. That situation is not the fault of Reince Priebus, or Paul Ryan, or even the nihilist Steve Bannon. It's Donald Trump's fault. He is not a leader of men...he is an incompetent, Lone Ranger business guy/con man who doesn't have any idea what it takes to bring even his own closest aides and employees together in singular purpose.



Because Donald is incompetent, impatient, and actually disinterested in the governing process....he believes that all the palace intrigue reports from his own insiders and the humiliating fragmentation of his own party members as witnessed in last Friday's AHCA clustermess....won't affect his next Art of the Deal-making attempt. Ezra Klein at Vox....



...it is clear (Trump) has somehow convinced himself tax reform will be easier. It won’t be. And soon, Republicans will have to raise the debt ceiling, and pass their appropriations bills, and, if they’re going to hold to any of Trump’s budget proposals, find 60 votes to bust the budget caps. And they’re going to do all of that with the myth of Ryan’s policy genius and Trump’s dealmaking skill shattered.



So, get rid of Priebus and push Paul Ryan out of the Speaker position? That will help, how? It won't....because the problem is Donald, himself.



And if all of this executive branch turmoil, paranoia, in-fighting, etc. is not bad enough for a ten week old presidency....overshadowing all of it is the fact that Roger Stone and Paul Mannafort have now volunteered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about the Russian coordination thing. And Mike Flynn's recent silence may indicate that he has already cut a deal with the FBI.



Lawrence O'Donnell claimed on Friday that the presidency of Donald Trump is now effectively over. I'm not so sure about that claim...but what is inarguable, I think, is that the Trump presidency is now in a kind of downward panic spiral...one that is likely to worsen in the near term...and one that will eventually lead to his resignation under the threat of Republican-led impeachment proceedings.