You have to get inside Donald Trump’s head to understand what happened this week. In his own mind he is a very successful businessman who could even turn bankruptcies into profitable events, a street fighter who demolished his Republican competitors and then took the presidency everybody considered inevitable away from Hillary Clinton, and now he is the most powerful man in the world. He had to be pretty much a genius to do all that. And here come the media, questioning his mental stability, calling him unhinged, saying that he doesn’t understand the policy issues he has to deal with, and even suggesting that he owes his election victory to Russian interference. Trump must feel like the English kings during and after the War of the Roses, who saw conspirators and enemies everywhere, challenging the legitimacy of their mandate and plotting to overthrow them. The only remedy was to throw them in the Tower and have them summarily decapitated, no matter how close they once might have been, to make room for the next intriguer, and the next after that.
To Trump, the main connivers are the anchors of MSNBC. Television is his medium and apart from Fox News he has no friends there, and although he calls all the media fake MSNBC is the most critical of him. His sudden and shameful attack on Mika Brzezinski has two causes, one, the fact that his presidency is totally ineffective, and two, the fact that he once considered her a friend, which makes her a traitor, worse than just an enemy. The president is convinced that the media are against him, because for obvious reasons he cannot acknowledge that he is a pathological narcissist, a megalomaniac, a sexist bully and an intellectually empty suit, and understand that the media are only reporting on the consequences of that package. And by attacking Mika Brzezinski and earlier Katy Tur Trump only makes things worse for himself, for as much as quality newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post try to be objective, they cannot ignore that a mental patient – in more ancient terms a ‘madman’ – lives in the White House.
There were suggestions that Trump deliberately attacked Mika Brzezinski in the most appalling way to distract from his inability to get health care legislation passed, but that implies more rationality than he possesses. The best proof is that he followed up on his original tweet with the ‘information’ that Joe Scarborough, Mika’s partner in life and work, had begged him to keep the National Enquirer from publishing an article about the couple.
In Joe’s version of this story, which only became public because Trump brought it up, the White House informed him that a vicious publication was imminent, but that Trump could prevent it if only Joe and Mika would call him to apologize for their reporting on MSNBC. This kind of blackmail is a crime, and will now be part of Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.
The second version matches Trump’s mental condition more than the first one. And as for his intellect, yesterday in a meeting with the South Korean president he confused the US trade deficit with the national debt. It makes you wonder how badly he’ll fuck up at the G20.