Donald Trump has gotten away with saying more ridiculous things than any President in modern history. With his stunning remarks Tuesday on the violence in Charlottesville, VA, Trump may have finally gone beyond a point that his own staff is willing to follow.
As multiple media outlets are reporting today, Trump’s insane comments seemingly defending white supremacists could lead to a mass exodus of vital staff members.
Here’s NBC News:
To President Trump’s aides, it was stunning. Multiple sources inside and close to the White House described the president’s senior staff as confused and frustrated, caught off guard by Trump’s decision to defend his initial response to the violence in Virginia.
He “went rogue,” one senior White House official told NBC News.
White House aides are wrestling with how to respond to President Donald Trump’s defiant news conference on Tuesday in which he doubled down on his statement that “both sides” are to blame for the Charlottesville violence and offered what some perceived to be overtures to white supremacists.
No aides had yet threatened to resign as of Wednesday morning, according to White House officials and advisers, but a number of White House staffers had private conversations on Tuesday night about how terribly the day went. [Pols emphasis]
White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who was standing near Trump on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a statement about infrastructure, was particularly displeased, according to people familiar with the matter, as the president launched into a rant about the culpability of the “alt-left” while calling some of the protesters at the white nationalist rally “very fine people.”…
And The Washington Post:
Now that President Trump has reverted to his earlier position that “many sides” are to blame for the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the dismay of senior people very close to him is suddenly getting smuggled out to the rest of the world, as if by magic. [Pols emphasis] We are told that Gary Cohn, a top economic adviser to the White House, was “disgusted” and “upset.” We learn that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been urging moderation. We are informedthat Trump’s top aides were “stunned” by Trump’s comments, and that new chief of staff John F. Kelly was “very frustrated” by them.
And the New York Times:
No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as “unprecedented.” But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. [Pols emphasis] The National Economic Council chairman, Gary D. Cohn, and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who are Jewish, stood by uncomfortably as the president exacerbated a controversy that has once again engulfed a White House in disarray.
We could go on and on and on, but let’s wrap up with this story from CNN:
Donald Trump always got away with everything.
The most unorthodox candidate and president in history has exhibited a near-mystical capacity to evade the price of blunders that would have felled conventional politicians.
If that is ever going to change, the moment may be now.
Trump’s approval ratings continue to plummet, as does his hope of advancing any sort of policy agenda with Congressional Republicans who are increasingly distancing themselves from the President. The President has already burned through three different Communications Directors in his first 200 days in office; Hope Hicks, who is all of 28-years-old, is the new White House Communications Director. But what happens when critical staff members such as Cohn and Kelly decide that they can longer work for Trump?
At what point does the White House all but cease to function? We may be on the verge of finding out the answer to that question.