It may have been difficult to notice Donald Trump’s descent into total paranoia since even on his best days one might not notice any difference in his contempt for anyone but himself.
Now that Axios has reported in detail about the list that the president and his staff have compiled of potentially disloyal government officials working in the administration, however, and the great purge of those who testified to Congress about his criminal behavior has begun, it is impossible to deny the depths to which Trump’s instincts for self-preservation in the face of the widespread opposition to his dastardly agenda have reached.
According to Axios:
“The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.”
“While Trump’s distrust has only intensified since his impeachment and acquittal, he has long been on the hunt for ‘bad people’ inside the White House and U.S. government, and fresh ‘pro-Trump’ options. Outside advisers have been happy to oblige,” the website reports.
While the disgraced former President Nixon had his infamous “enemies list” while in the White House, at least Nixon had enough of a sense of shame over being caught in a criminal coverup of the Watergate scandal to resign before the Senate could try him on impeachment charges.
Then again the GOP of the early 70s still retained enough moral fiber to not even consider merely ignoring presidential malfeasance, unlike the complicit enablers of today’s Republican Party.
Since the existence of a similar list of dis-loyalists in the Trump administration has long been rumored or assumed, perhaps the most shocking detail revealed by Axios in their story today is that fact that the wife of a sitting Supreme Court Justice is among the “well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials” who are “quietly helping develop these “Never Trump”/pro-Trump lists” and sharing their opinions with the president, as the publication says that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is doing through an organization she leads called Groundswell.
Justice may be said to be blind, but the adage never mentions what Justice’s spouse is looking at and whispering in his ear.
In a mental state that is usually associated with ingesting large quantities of psychedelic drugs, Trump believes that the “Deep State” — as the president refers to those long-term government employees who are actually qualified for their positions because of their knowledge and experience — is filled with “snakes,” and he has welcomed the input of Ginni Thomas and her group.
Thomas reportedly handed a list of certified true believers directly to the president early last year and some of the names included on that list are enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone who believes in the concept of a non-politicized civil service.
Her recommendations included putting noted Trump supporter Sheriff David Clarke and Fox News’ Dan Bongino in senior Homeland Security roles and assigning Devin Nunes’ aide Derek Harvey — who coordinated with Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas in trying to uncover dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine — for the National Security Council.
You can check out the full details of Axios’ investigation into what they call “Trump’s ‘Deep State’ hit list” in their article here, but let’s skip ahead to the conclusion that writer Jonathan Swan reaches after his research on the White House paranoia panic attack.
“The bottom line: As the New York Times’ Peter Baker wrote on Saturday, ‘in some of the most critical corners of the Trump administration, officials show up for work now never entirely sure who will be there by the end of the evening — themselves included.'”
“Groundswell is an influential driver of that uncertainty. Its members have been working toward this moment for three years. They have lists. They have memos. And they have the president’s ear,” Swan writes.
If that thought doesn’t inspire your own outbreak of paranoia, it’s not certain that anything can.
Original reporting by Jonathan Swan at Axios.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.