Though he still refuses to admit it, Donald Trump will soon be finally, blessedly evicted from the White House and President-elect Joe Biden will move in. The current Republican occupant has seen his authoritarian attempts to overturn a legitimate election tossed out of just about every court in the land and is now reportedly flirting with the idea of imposing martial law to assert a second term for himself.
A new report from Axios’s Jonathan Swan paints a picture of the inside of the White House that bears more than a passing resemblance to the final days in the Führerbunker. According to top officials, the president is “turning bitterly on virtually every person around him,” angered when any of his officials dare to cast doubt on the increasingly insane conspiracy theories he is toying with as his ego-poisoned mind tries to grapple with his loss.
The president believes most of those surrounding him are “weak, stupid or disloyal” and with less than a month to inauguration day, he is gravitating towards those willing to entertain radical schemes to reverse Biden’s win.
“We cannot stress enough how unnerved Trump officials are by the conversations unfolding inside the White House,” writes Swan.
One need only glance at the president’s Twitter to see how persistent his delusions are.
THE DEMOCRATS DUMPED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BALLOTS IN THE SWING STATES LATE IN THE EVENING. IT WAS A RIGGED ELECTION!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have become some of the primary targets for Trump’s ire as he looks for anyone but himself to heap blame on.
Pence, in particular, has cause for concern if he intends to pursue a future career in GOP politics, because it will fall to him as vice president to validate the election results on January 6th. If he chooses to uphold our democracy and does his constitutional duty, Trump will see it as an “ultimate betrayal,” according to Swan. Trump already thinks he isn’t “fighting” hard enough for him. If Trump turns on Pence and begins blasting out insulting tweets about him, the MAGA base will turn on the vice president en masse — shutting him out from a large chunk of votes in future primaries.
The president has grown so unhinged that many top officials are avoiding the West Wing because anyone who enters the president’s direct orbit is a possible target for attack. The only people managing to duck such barrages are those advocating for Trump to “use the Department of Homeland Security or the military to impound voting machines.”
As the clock ticks out on his presidency, Trump will likely grow even more crazed and antagonistic. The man is pathologically incapable of admitting that he has been rejected by the country that made the mistake of electing him four years ago. It’s clear that he intends to take down other Republicans with him on the way out, the only question is who and how many. It’s exactly what they deserve for enabling him.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.