'Wallowing in self-pity': Leaks about protesters sending him running for the bunker are still absolutely killing Trump
Donald Trump is in a foul mood. He's "wallowing in self-pity" about the coverage he's getting for his abysmal responses to the global pandemic and the racial reckoning that’s roiling the nation. Some White House aides aren't even sure wants to win a second term given his bouts of ragey self-sabotage, like tweeting out the racist catchphrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
But one thing Trump is clear on is his desire to smoke out and punish whoever leaked info on his run for the bunker several weeks ago during peak White House protests, according to The New York Times.
The Times reports Trump has once again become "consumed" with finding the leakers of that humiliating bunker retreat, for which he earned the nicknames "Bunker Boy" and "Bunker Bitch." And according to several sources, he also wants to prosecute them.
But the bigger picture is that aides aren't even certain Trump's trying to get reelected given his recent behavior, and it's unclear whether that's because he won't rein in his own wretched impulses or he can't rein them in (i.e. he's too mentally impaired to control his fits of rage).
Let's face it, Trump's always pretty pissy about something—he's been wronged, or hasn't been given his proper due, or someone's lurking around the corner to do him in. But things are reportedly worse than usual, according to the accounts of about a dozen people who regularly interact with Trump.
"His recent behavior and remarks, and his inability to move beyond them, strike advisers as different from his usual aberrations," writes the Times. "They’re struck by how his demeanor has shifted during this latest dire threat to his presidency."
Oh, and Trump's new chief of staff has been shocked to learn the White House experience isn't all rainbows and unicorns. "Mark Meadows, the fourth White House chief of staff, has complained that he had no idea how fractious and unwieldy the climate was until he got there." Wow. Turns out it's a hornet's nest in there. Who could've known?
Of course, Trump never really wanted to govern—he just wanted to get elected. Former campaign aide Sam Nunberg noted how immersed Trump was in the details of trying to win the presidency in 2016—he just never happened to mention what he might do if he won. “Over a three-year period between 2012 until 2014, he was focused on the details and even the minutiae of the primary and the general election process," recalled Nunberg. "It was always clear that Trump wanted to be elected president. But the reality of being president was never discussed.”
Apparently, all these national crises are really getting Trump down. He's clearly sick of all the media coverage of the death and destruction he's presiding over. "He has told advisers that no matter what he does, he cannot get 'good' stories from the press, which has often been his primary interest," writes the Times. The death and destruction itself—ya know, people losing their lives, livelihoods, and loved ones—is obviously secondary, if that. Actually, never mind.
More than anything, Trump can't stand the idea of being seen as a "loser" and aides are counting on that to refocus his attention come fall. As for what he might do in a second term? Not a single clue. There’s nothing like visionary leadership.