Photo: Susan Walsh / AP
In private, President Trump has taken to physically mocking M&M: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (slumped shoulders; lethargic body language) and Sen. John McCain (imitating the thumbs-down of his historic health-care vote).
Trump is venting about his frustration with what he considers failed leadership by Senate Republicans as he takes his lumps this week in wars with, well, everyone:
- Steve Bannon beat him last night in the Alabama Senate primary, with the Breitbart-favored candidate thumping Trump's man by 10 points.
- Moderate Republicans killed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act — again.
- NFL players lock arms in opposition to him. And Firehouse Strategies, a GOP firm, concludes from new polling: "[V]oters overwhelmingly (64%) say that the President should focus on other issues."
- He's getting pounded in social and conventional media for a slow, cold response to the humanitarian tragedy in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.
- Bob Mueller is tightening the screws on Trump's staff, and is now getting data from the IRS about "key Trump campaign officials."
- "Rocket Man" government says Trump has declared war on North Korea. WashPost: "North Korean government officials have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in Washington, in an apparent attempt to make sense of President Trump."
All this has left Trump isolated inside his White House at a time when he needs muscle with the Hill and juice with the public to try to pass tax reform.
Be smart: With his stoking of the culture war and bombastic style amid national and global turbulence, Trump continues to make every issue about himself — at the very time that he most needs friends.