'On the brink of a complete meltdown': Conservative columnist argues Trump's growing incoherence is driving away his political allies

Signs are emerging that President Donald Trump's political coalition may be weakening.


The most obvious place for the president to break with the other power centers in his party is on foreign policy. Of all the issues the president faces, foreign policy has been the one realm where Trump has been most willing to buck GOP orthodoxy, and where Republican leaders have been most willing — if only, at times, with meek whimpers — to push back.

But with his morally corrupt and tactically baffling handling of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which from all reports appears to have been a political assassination at the direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Trump is earning serious rebukes even from his close allies.

Even Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have spoken out against the president's position on the issue, despite their usual full-throated support for Trump.

As Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin observed Monday of Trump's handling of the Saudi controversy, "he remains politically isolated against a united front of our international allies, Democrats, Republicans and our intelligence agencies."

She also noted that Trump has even begun to stump his own allies on domestic budgetary issues, sending conflicting and incoherent messages about fiscal policy and the budget deficit. His failure to present compelling visions for the future of his administration is "giving the impression of a president teetering on the brink of a complete meltdown," Rubin argued.

She added: "He’s not so much leading as he is meandering  — with aides racing after him to prevent bigger disasters and embarrassments."

Without coherent policy priorities coming from the top, Rubin argued, the other GOP leaders face a stark choice: Stick by the president and careen toward electoral disaster — or find a way to distance themselves from the Trump.

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