In a report for the Washington Post on Thursday, reporters Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker outlined the grueling and “Kafkaesque” standards President Donald Trump places demands of his aides — standards that now-former National Security Adviser John Bolton failed to live up to.
“He tolerates a modicum of dissent, so long as it remains private; expects advisers to fall in line and defend his decisions; and demands absolute fealty at all times,” they wrote.
One anonymous source for the piece explained how his demanding nature is also, at times, excruciatingly paradoxical:
“There is no person that is part of the daily Trump decision-making process that can survive long term,” said a former senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment. “The president doesn’t like people to get good press. He doesn’t like people to get bad press. Yet he expects everyone to be relevant and important and supportive at all times. Even if a person could do all those things, the president would grow tired of anyone in his immediate orbit.”
Anthony Scaramucci described the role of Trump’s staff in particularly degrading terms. In his view, Trump wants “catatonic loyalty” and for his people to act as props. Others told the Post that Trump likes to stage disagreements between his aides and then “play emperor” and decide the winner.
Dozens of Trump aides and appointees have fallen from his grace and been ousted from the administration for failing to play the dutiful role to perfection: former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, former Chief of Staff John Kelly, and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, to name just a few.
Notably, Bolton wasn’t going to be a prop in this game. When Bolton entered the White House, it was clear to most observers — though apparently not Trump — that he was committed to enacting his vision of foreign policy, one that contrasted sharply with the president’s preferences. It seems Trump appreciated and tolerated Bolton at times, but Bolton’s goal was to manipulate the president in the end. Once even Trump realized that Bolton wasn’t just a tough-guy war-monger stage prop, but an ideologue using the president for his own purposes, he had to go.
The piece interestingly doesn’t mention the roles of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, in the White House. They seem to defy the usual standards for Trump’s aides, and he clearly doesn’t view them as disposable, like a chief of staff or a national security adviser. Being family is different.
But the piece also doesn’t address some of the outlier aides in Trump’s orbit. Why have, for example, Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller stuck around so long? How did they avoid the fate of so many others — especially when they both have gotten their fair share of bad press?
Fundamentally, though, the account rings true for the vast majority of Trump’s people. For example, consider that, in the video that sparked the “Sharpiegate” story, Trump had the acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan sitting off to the side, voiceless, acting like a prop and displaying the doctored weather map:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 4, 2019
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Watch: Trump Says He Will Be the ’47th President’ – Is He Skirting Federal Campaign Finance Law?
In video posted Wednesday to Instagram Donald Trump appears to say he will be the “47th President,” which would indicate once again he has decided to run again.
That video (below) was also reported by the New York Post, which notes, “Trump hasn’t publicly said if he is planning to run for the White House again — but he has repeatedly teased a second campaign and has been holding rallies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”
The right wing PJ Media adds, “this might have been the ultimate Freudian slip,” and says it suggests a re-election campaign.
Trump has not officially announced he will run for several reasons, as Rolling Stone explained last October:
Trump very much seems like he is running for president in 2024, which according to campaign finance law should prohibit him from coordinating with super PACs like MAGAA, or his leadership PAC Save America, which together brought in north of $80 million in the first half of this year. Trump is able to coordinate with those PACs, though — and use their money to finance his travel, his campaign-style rallies, his God knows what else — because he hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy. The former president is then, in essence, running what appears to be a shadow campaign designed to skirt campaign finance regulations while holding the still-distant race for the Republican nomination hostage.
“As long as Trump doesn’t explicitly announce he’s running for president,” Rolling Stone added, “he can essentially raise as much money as he wants from whomever he wants, and spend it unfettered by the restrictions or transparency requirements imposed upon actual candidates.”
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Whoopi Goldberg Destroys Bill Maher’s Anti-Mask Rant: ‘How Dare You Be So Flippant?’
Whoopi Goldberg blasted HBO’s Bill Maher after the increasingly right-moving comedian declared he doesn’t want to live in pro-vaccine Americans’ “masked paranoid world” anymore.
On Monday’s “The View” Goldberg called Maher’s remarks “not really funny to people who have lost their kids” or “family members or dear friends to this,” she said, apparently meaning to COVID. (She obviously misspoke, saying the “vaccine.”)
Maher on his HBO show on Friday had said, “I don’t want to live in your paranoid world anymore, your masked paranoid world anymore, you know, you go out it’s silly now. You know you have your mask, you have to have a card, you have the booster, they scan your head like you’re a cashier and I’m a bunch of bananas. I’m not bananas you are.”
Goldberg continued, saying, “listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this, this is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families, and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody. Because if you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and your confidence needs, you don’t want to then stay out of the public man. This is not, nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting the people who are still at risk. who cannot get vaccinated. People who can’t get – little kids under the age of five. Yeah, well people with health conditions How dare you be so flippant, man?
The View’s Whoopi Goldberg goes off on Bill Maher for mocking COVID mitigation measures:
“That’s not really funny to people who’ve lost … family members or dear friends … This is not something we’re doing because it’s sexually gratifying.” pic.twitter.com/gxA3SQwNEC
— The Recount (@therecount) January 24, 2022
Backlash Grows Against McConnell as Viral Video Shows His Racist Remarks Deeming Black Voters Not Real Americans
Many across the nation paying attention to the Senate’s doomed voting rights vote – failing 48-52 Wednesday night, thanks to two conservative Democrats and every single Republican – noticed GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s post-vote remarks in which he essentially deemed Black voters not real Americans, or in a separate class as the rest of American voters.
Calling the “concern” about minority voters having less access to the ballot box “misplaced,” McConnell told reporters: “because if you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
This clip garnered one million views in less than 12 hours:
— Brendan Egan (@bse229) January 20, 2022
There are clips from different sources, all of which flooded social media overnight.
The outrage has been palpable.
Mitch McConnell is just a more politically savvy Jesse Helms, and if such a thing is possible, even more ruthless. “African-American voters are voting at just as high a percentage as Americans.” https://t.co/ZxV18QkiA3
— Van Firth (@Van_Firth) January 20, 2022
“Mitch McConnell didn’t say the quiet part out loud, people,” said political strategist Tom Watson. “He said the main plank of the Republican Party out loud.”
🚨: Here is U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell justifying his blocking of voting rights protections by claiming that, “AFRICAN AMERICAN voters are voting in just as high a percentage AS AMERICANS.” pic.twitter.com/3J6aGMvVpw
— Matt Rogers (@Politidope) January 20, 2022
New York Times journalist and “1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones:
Once again: the white is silent. And we know why. https://t.co/b4gXoJcUf5
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 20, 2022
NBC and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie S. Phang noted: “After tonight’s vote, McConnell is just letting it all hang out.”
Mitch McConnell went on a live mic and said the only voters he considers American are people who aren’t African-American, and this crusty racist motherfucker has been a senator since before I was born.
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) January 20, 2022
Sociologist and Brookings fellow Victor Ray: “McConnell saying “African Americans are voting at just a high of percentage as Americans” shows exactly why they are targeting voting rights and who he considers fully American.”
Most Black Americans weren’t surprised at all by McConnell’s comment. We feel, experience, and live this sentiment every day in this country. https://t.co/trc3B6hb8V
— uché blackstock, md (@uche_blackstock) January 20, 2022
“McConnell did not misspeak,” said TV writer and producer Bryan Behar. “In one quote, he summarized the entire GOP worldview. They think it’s a White nation and anyone who isn’t White isn’t a true American.”
Tell me African-Americans aren’t Americans without telling me you’re a racist @LeaderMcConnell.
“African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.” pic.twitter.com/hlIgxQPXiV
— Scott Huffman for NC 🏴☠️ (@HuffmanForNC) January 20, 2022
Mitch McConnell: “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as American voters.”
Toni Morrison: “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 20, 2022
This is how Republicans view black people, we’re not really Americans to them, this is why they will always make it difficult for us to vote.
McConnell: “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.” pic.twitter.com/QmJEPULvNg
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) January 20, 2022
JUST IN: Mitch McConnell just told voters of color that their concerns about voter suppression are “misplaced” and added: “If you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
The dogwhistle just became a foghorn.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) January 20, 2022
“African Americans are voting in just as high percentages…as Americans”
If you’re not white, you’re <insert race here> American.
In Mitch McConnell’s melting pot, the cream needs to remain at the top…at any cost.
— Smite!⚡️ (@7Veritas4) January 20, 2022
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