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Here is what the self-proclaimed “very stable genius” president of the United States did this weekend: told by aides that it would be a bad look to go golfing a few miles from where seventeen people were massacred in a high school, he sat in his mansion watching the news—specifically, a barrage of reports about Robert Mueller’s indictment of thirteen Russians for election interference—and tweeted at the television. It looked something like this:
WHAT IT MEANS:
- WaPo: “President Trump lashed out with fresh anger about the intensifying Russia probe over the weekend, accusing Democrats of enabling a foreign adversary to interfere in the 2016 election and attacking the FBI as well as his own national security adviser. In a defiant and error-laden tweetstorm that was remarkable even by his own combative standards, Trump stewed aloud about the latest indictments brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III against Russians for their elaborate campaign to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and push voters toward Trump.”
- “Trump’s latest attacks built on remarks last week in which he misrepresented the evidence revealed by Mueller. He tweeted falsely, ‘I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.’ He blamed President Barack Obama’s administration for doing ‘nothing’ to stop the intrusion. Trump rebuked national security adviser H.R. McMaster for publicly saying the evidence of Russian interference was ‘incontrovertible.’ And he held the FBI responsible for last week’s devastating shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 dead. Trump tweeted that the bureau was committing so many resources to the Russia probe that it missed ‘all of the many signals’ about the shooter.”
- “Trump sent the messages from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., where he was ensconced for two days. He spent much of the time watching cable news, venting to friends about the Russia investigation and complaining that it has been driving so much press coverage, according to people who have spoken to him.”
- NYT: “But once ensconced at his Florida estate on Friday, Mr. Trump, facing long hours indoors as he avoided breezy rounds of golf after last week’s school shooting a few miles away, began watching TV. The president’s mood began to darken as it became clearer to him that some commentators were portraying the indictment as nothing for him to celebrate, according to three people with knowledge of his reaction. Those commentators called it proof that he had not won the election on his own, a particularly galling, if not completely accurate, charge for a president long concerned about his legitimacy.”
We’ve become so accustomed to the insanity of the last couple years that sometimes I have to step back and remind myself of the astonishing and surreal fact that the people of the United States—or, at least, the Electoral College of the United States—elected this man to its highest office, and that his approval ratings are actually getting better. (Is eight a.m. too early to begin day-drinking?)