Life at the Trump Circus

Trump’s latest embarrassing remark that necessitated a clarification from the White House is the one concerning a possible meeting with Kim Jong Un. Over the last 100 days, the administration’s officials, spokespeople and ministers have been working hard in order to “mitigate” the damage done by the president’s unpredictable announcements.

The administration’s officials, spokespeople and representatives run out of breath as they pursue the Great Elephant, i.e., the president, trying to mop up the unpredictable droppings he spreads all over the circus ring. Today, the “Bucket Brigade” had to clean up after the Great Elephant’s statement on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It had to clarify that the president would in no way be “willing” nor “honored” to meet him face to face (just a few hours earlier, Trump had stated that it was time to “[prepare] for the worst”) as “those circumstances do not exist now.” This time, the Elephant has made a real mess.

Every day, the Bucket Brigade toils over a thankless task. One example is the wall, that wonderful barrier that was supposed to be built a few days after the inauguration. It has already been postponed until the fall, to a time we in Italy refer to as “after the holidays” — that is to say, never.

The Great Tax Reform resulted in a stillbirth and all the sensational tax rate reductions and tax cuts lay scattered on the floor, halted by a Congress that has realized that the numbers do not add up. Now the circus ring must be cleared from the debris of propaganda in order to start over, this time without trumpeting.

The health care counter-reform, which Trump claimed would surely become law in the early days after his election, is still being discussed 100 days into the term. Now, a new bill that modifies Obama’s health care law without completely erasing it may be passed next week. In the meantime, Trump keeps making enthusiastic phone calls to some of the worst despots on earth, such as president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, whom he even invited to the White House. The Bucket Brigade immediately springs into action and frantically explains that those phone calls to Erdogan or Duterte do not mean that the U.S. has suddenly become the protector of tyrants.

At all hours of the day and night, these stressed-out janitors must go through interviews, impromptu statements and avalanches of contradictory tweets in order to eliminate the waste left in the wake of the Great Elephant. Some of them are overwhelmed and give up, like the many officials who retired from the circle closest to him, the National Security Council.

The only ones who are holding up well are the first lady, who steers clear of the circus tent and has no intention of running after her husband with a bucket, and his daughter Ivanka. As co-owner of the Trump Circus, she is certainly not going to complain about the Elephant.

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