A Trump adviser says that after a tumultuous seven months in office, it had finally dawned on the president: "People really f@&@ing hate me." For someone who has spent his life lapping up adulation, however fake, it was a harsh realization. This is a man with an especially acute need for affirmation.
This week's bear hug of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer opened Trump's eyes to one solution: Stop doing things that people hate, and start striking deals.
Who knows if this will stick. But there's reason to think it might, according to Trump's friends and aides. Here's why, based on conversations Jonathan Swan and I had in the aftermath of the surprising deal:
- He can blame Republicans for his troubles. Trump has convinced himself he was duped by GOP leaders into repealing health care and blowing his first seven months on a fool's errand. If he can strike a few deals, he can reshape history to make the party — not himself — the culprit.