We have occasionally had this opportunity before, and we have another chance this morning, to pick through evidence that the White House is nowhere near as confident and brass as it appears on the outside. According to thorn in Trump’s side CNN reporter Jim Acosta, White House aides are pretty angry with Trump, and scared of the future.
With respect to Trump, they see nothing perfect about the Ukrainian call and dearly wish Trump would just shut-up about it:
“I just spoke with a source close to the White House a short while ago who objected to the president continuing to say that his phone call with the leader of the Ukraine was ‘perfect,’” said Acosta. “Nobody really is echoing that message on behalf of the president. It doesn’t seem that anybody here in Washington, except for the most partisan of partisans feels, that the president’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine was perfect.”
Okay there is a huge temptation to just sneer with a “No shit?” type of reaction. After all, the call involved human beings, or at least on one end, and nothing ever done by humans is perfect, especially by one particular human.
On the other hand, we’re talking about people working around a man who insists not only upon loyalty, but fidelity to perfection, a near god-like presence who cannot possibly do anything but reach perfection. So the fact that a White House aid scurries around a corner to pin Acosta, knowing that his next couple sentences will be relayed to Anderson Cooper in the next few minutes, is a sign of desperation. After all, everyone knows, if you want to get a message to Trump, put it on TV. (That is so embarrassing to write, we’re talking about the president of the United States watching TV, learning what he needs to know, like Sesame Street).
So, going to the cameras to send a message? It is the only way to tell the man, “STFU about ‘perfect calls’ and start thinking!!”
They must be pretty damned desperate to get him that message, and they must have an equally damned good reason.
We hear similar stuff from the campaign staff which overlaps seamlessly with staff inside, since Trump seems to believe his entire time as president is a constant rehashing of either the last election or fluffing the next one.
Acosta said that the campaign’s biggest fear is not the release of damning information to the public, of course not, that’s all fake. They worry about even a small number of defections.
“The other thing to point out, there is some nervousness inside Trump world, inside Trump’s camp,”
“I talked to another source close to the campaign who said, listen, if any Republicans defect in this upcoming process, it damages a key message for the White House. They believe this is a partisan White House and it was just Democrats voting in the house impeachment inquiry that Nancy Pelosi held. If any Republicans defect, that is big news in this inquiry and very bad news for the White House.”
Clearly the campaign staff is hearing some inside baseball stuff from Congress. We haven’t heard a thing beyond “It’s perfect. It’s a hoax. Where’s Hunter? Procedure and transcript! Shifty Schiff…” and all that.
They must hear a little more, unfiltered.
I can see their point, though. Everything about Trump is divide and conquer. He never once attempted to be “everyone’s president.” Instead, he hardened his base the only way he could, he hated on the Democrats more than his base did. He defines himself by his “enemies,” and if even a couple Republicans become “enemies” by voting against him, he’s in trouble.
Trump’s entire “brand” is mystique, perfection, con. None of it works if his “team” is not wholly faithful to the man on top. Perhaps White House staff can tolerate a few defections among the congressional and senate ranks, but the campaign sure can’t. They would have damaged goods going into 2020. Not just any damage, either, bubble-popping damage, wall-breaking damage, daylight in the darkness damage.
It just cannot happen.
Yet, some of the people closest to Trump are worried, worried enough to put their worries out on CNN and thus the world, all likely in an effort to reach the man inside, whom they cannot possibly speak to with anything but … perfect purity.
Such is the state of things, and we’ll hear plenty more today about hoaxes, perfection, and pure partisan blah blah. It is Tuesday, another day, in a big country, led by a small man. Not perfect.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter@MiciakZoom