President Donald Trump supposedly said to one of his close friends that he hates everyone in the White House. “There are a few exceptions but I hate them,” the president said, the magazine Vanity Fair assures us, citing two unidentified sources. If it is impossible to verify the story, one thing is certain: The head of the United States executive branch insists on fighting with half the world. Every day he seems less competent for the post and 10 months after arriving in Washington, his administration is in chaos.
The influential Senator Bob Corker, Republican like the president, said publicly what is murmured here in private: The current White House “is an adult day care center” where trusted aides watch the president so he does not throw tantrums that could take his country to a third world war. And what did Trump answer? He called the legislator, who is not very tall, a “dwarf.” That is the stature of the presidency today.
The president is described as losing heart, someone who cannot concentrate, who easily flies into a rage and is always in a bad mood. According to The Washington Post, those working with him compare him to “a pressure cooker ready to explode.” The most serious crisis, they say, happened last month when Luther Strange, to whom the president had openly given his support, lost the primary election for governor of Alabama.* Trump could not believe that his protégé would lose.
But it appears that Trump’s rage was already growing based on the frustration that he feels about the political defeats which his government has sustained. He did not manage to abolish the health plan established by his predecessor Barack Obama, the second version of the plan to prohibit the citizens of six Muslim countries to the United States was invalidated by a judge and it looks certain that his proposal for tax reform will fall apart.
The president is not only engaged in constant war with the press, the great daily newspapers and television stations that publish things he does not like, but since he assumed the presidency he has fought lately not just with football players who do not stand during the national anthem, but also with Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, both of Arizona, the latter considered a military hero; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; and even the leader of the upper chamber, Mitch McConnell, all Republicans and senators whose votes in Congress he needs to advance his agenda.
Analysts are beginning to ask themselves whether the president is physically and emotionally in a condition to govern. Trump lacks discipline; one day he says one thing and the following another and frequently he displays a complete ignorance of politics, history and reality. His speeches are full of empty words, of adjectives that say nothing, but the phrase that is most intriguing and creates the most questions is the “we’ll see” that he uses almost daily and that could be either a threat or simply his way of not answering. According the public radio network NPR, he has used it more than 100 times this year, directly to journalists, in front of the heads of state of other nations and before all kinds of audiences.
For liberals and even for many conservatives, the hour of panic has arrived with this president who still has three years left. For his followers, who are still many, all this is false and the criticisms of Trump will have the resonance in 2017 that they had in 2016 when he won the White House. According to Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist, the Democrats are wasting their time in dreaming about applying the 25th Amendment to him and declaring him incapable of carrying out the duties of his position. The base of the party, they say, is with him 100 percent.
For his part, well-known analyst Howard Fineman claims that while Trump’s critics focus on the chaos that they say reigns in his administration, his people work diligently to place ultra-right-wing professionals in key positions in the judicial branch and end in one way or another Obama’s legacy. But above all, they are occupied at this time in laying the foundation for his re-election.
*Translator's note: Luther Strange, incumbent U.S. senator from Alabama, lost the Alabama U.S. senatorial primary race, not a race for governor.