Much has been made of President Trump’s first 100 days in office, but it’s the immediate aftermath that has White House staff losing their minds.
Trump went on a tirade of mind-boggling statements with a series of embarrassing media appearances. One senior Republican aide told Politico, “He just seemed to go crazy today.”
Among them, Trump praised Philippines’ strongman Rodrigo Duterte while inviting him to the White House, said it would be an honor to meet North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un, claimed Andrew Jackson would have stopped the Civil War, enraged the entire Republican Party by floating a gas tax and threatening to break up the banks, and took fear mongering to a whole new level by saying “none of us are safe” from a North Korean nuclear attack.
“It seems to be among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history,” said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. “It was all just surreal disarray and a confused mental state from the president.”
White House staff did not disagree.
“[The media appearances] were not helpful to us,” a senior administration official told Politico. “There was no point to do all of them.”
“I have no idea what they view as a successful media hit,” marveled a senior Republican consultant who is close to Trump’s White House.
In response to Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s assertion that Trump was right to praise North Korea’s Kim because he “led his country forward,” even the conservative National Review turned on Trump. Editor Jay Nordlinger firing off this tweet:
I would not say that Kim III has moved the country forward. At all. Why is the presidential spokesman talking like this? Are we America? https://t.co/gl8dyd4OOQ
— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) May 1, 2017
In the mainstream of the Republican Party, frustration is clearly growing to a fever pitch even as the white nationalist of the so-called alt-right continue to stand by their man. Thanks to Trump’s ignorant comments about the Civil War, that support could also be short lived according to David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University.
“White supremacists, lost causers, states-rights activists could latch onto this,” he said. “I don’t know if Trump even knows he’s doing it. You can be too ignorant to know you’re ignorant.”
In the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency, the most disappointing phenomenon has been his base’s unwavering allegiance despite the rampant lies, ignorance, and corruption. The story of the next 100 days, at least so far, seems to be his closest allies turning on him.
And it’s not because they are tired of winning.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com