News & Politics

Trump Seriously Thinks the Incessant Bad Headlines About Him Are His Staff's Fault

The president refuses to take responsibility for his failures.

Photo Credit: White House

Poor, poor Donald Trump. All of his a-MAZ-ing accomplishments in the White House are being undermined by the fact that his staffers go running to the media with leaks after every meeting. Anyway, that’s how Trump sees it—because heaven knows, the problem is not his terrible leadership and dysfunctional staff and lack of accomplishments. 

... in recent months, Mr. Trump, who has never been convinced that his aides have his best interests at heart, has felt increasingly aggrieved. He blames his staff for not delivering better headlines on key initiatives, like tax cuts or a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea. And he sees leaks as a cause of the distractions that have helped deprive him of those headlines, according to interviews with several current and former White House officials, all who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe internal discussions.

Yeah, well, about that North Korea thing … But how weak a leader does Trump have to be to see himself as the victim of his own staff? Not to say Trump’s aides aren’t problematic, but the problems seem to arise in the ways they’re similar to Trump.

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In one case, a crackdown came after a junior aide was found to be taping meetings with Mr. Trump and playing them to impress friends, according to several people familiar with the episode.

Wow. But it’s not difficult to imagine Trump doing that himself. Or, you know, implying he had secretly taped a conversation and used that to try to threaten someone.

That’s not to say there’s no discipline anywhere in the White House:

But the chaotic environment Mr. Trump has sowed in the West Wing stands in contrast to the East Wing, which has successfully kept the movements of the first lady — including the details of her stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a procedure on her kidney — under wraps.

Maybe Trump should start stealing aides from his wife. Or maybe her aides would start leaking like sieves the moment they started working for him, because the leadership is the problem.

Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.