President becomes unraveled if he ever was raveled to begin with.
For a few days Trump’s Twitter account became (by his standards) almost what you would expect from a sane, responsible adult with his finger on the nuclear button. It consisted mostly of positive messages regarding the economy or what he was doing. The almost shocking display of fundamental maturity, devoid of his making an ass of himself, likely befuddled critics and relieved supporters. It was widely attributed to his new Chief of Staff imposing some military discipline on his Commander in Chief.
But it all flew away on the wings of crazy little Twitter birds as Trump bumbled what should have been an easy response to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia culminating in a white supremacist driving a car into a crowd, killing one and injuring many others. The same President who hesitated during the campaign to condemn the KKK and David Duke could not find it within himself to condemn Nazis and the White Supremacists behind all this. Instead, he blamed “all sides.”
What followed was universal condemnation from all sides. Well, not quite all sides. The Nazis loved what he said. However, Republicans and Democrats alike condemned the President’s words. For two days the White House did nothing. Think about that, nothing. Well nothing except release an anonymous statement saying that by “all sides” the President surely meant the Nazis too.
As eyes rolled, and Republicans cringed, the weekend turned to Monday and the President finally issued a statement rather clearly condemning the Nazis and white supremacists. Republicans breathed a collective “whew,” at least until Tuesday (more on that later). While it was regarded as too little too late, at least it was done and they could move on (again, at least until Tuesday)
But the fallout unhinged a barely hinged President. While he blamed the “fake media” (particularly CNN, again) the criticism came from all sides. What’s more, resignations poured in from CEOs on his Manufacturer’s Council. Over a 24 hour span (as of this writing) six (I had to edit from four even as I was drafting this) have resigned:
- Merck CEO Ken Frazier
- Intel CEO Brian Krzanich
- Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank
- Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul
- Mario Longhi, former CEO of U.S. Steel. Stepped down as CEO in May; company said it is no longer represented.
- Mark Fields, former CEO of Ford.
They join Disney’s Bob Iger and Tesla’s Elon Musk who previously resigned weeks ago over separate disagreements with Trump. Those are all big names, folks. The batfecalmaterialcrazy meltdown followed.
Trump focused his strongest, most direct ire on the one black person on the committee who resigned, Merck CEO Ken Frazier, devoting two tweets to him and being the only one he specifically called out by name:
Less direct criticism of the others soon followed. It was truly petulant, 5th grade type stuff of the “I didn’t want you in my club anyway” variety.
He invited every one of those “grandstanders” onto that Council.
Of course the “fake media” was attacked, this was typical.
Not so typical was a cartoon depicting a train running over a CNN reporter tweeted in the context of CNN’s coverage of a woman being run over by a car driven by a Nazi.
In a rare move for the unapologetic Trump, he deleted the retweet about 30 minutes later. Precious few of Trump’s embarrassing tweets are actually deleted. But lightning was about to strike twice in one day as Trump actually retweeted a tweet calling him a fascist. I swear, I’m not making this up.
This too was deleted, presumably after Trump’s aides pulled him aside and told him being a fascist is actually a bad thing.
In the midst of a controversy where Trump is being accused of defending racists, he defended a racist. Trump retweeted a Fox & Friends tweet stating he was seriously considering granting a pardon to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio was found in criminal contempt for refusing to obey a court order to stop racially discriminatory traffic stops.
To summarize, Trump’s Twitter meltdown included:
— Retweeting a graphic of a train running over a CNN reporter, then deleting it.
— Retweeting someone calling him (Trump) a fascist. He deleted it presumably after aides explained to him that being fascist is a bad thing.
— Attacking the CEOs quitting his Manufacturing Council for “grandstanding,” petulantly declaring in 5th grader fashion he had lots more to replace them.
— Retweeting a Fox Article saying he was seriously considering pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for failing to stop racist traffic stops.
— Personally and by name attacking the one black CEO formerly on his Manufacturing Council when he quit.
Alas, I am not done with this article. Frankly, I wish I were. But the story is not quite done. Twice I told you to wait for more news regarding Tuesday. It’s now time to discuss that.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Trump undid all he had done on Monday to insult the Nazis and white supremacists. In fact, he flat out took the Nazis’ side on the issue behind it all. The issue the white nationalists were protesting was taking down statues of confederate war heroes. In regards to that, he squarely sided with the Nazis saying they were protesting those who were “changing history” and “changing culture.” He actually said the following:
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?”
Even conservative Republicans were not long in distancing themselves from Trump and even directly calling for him to apologize. Conservative Republican Will Hurd of Texas was among the first.
David Duke, however, promptly thanked the President.
The Trump Presidency is unravelling. It’s only a matter of time before he does himself in. Oh, and that Russia thing has not actually gone away. It will be back.