Donald Trump demands that the traitors in his midst be identified and handed over to the authorities

Generally speaking, I have have very little sympathy for those who have chosen to work for Donald Trump. And I certainly don’t think of them as heroes, which, based on things I’ve read in the past, is how many of them apparently see themselves. They argue that, by remaining in the administration, they’re able to keep Donald Trump from doing even more damage to the fabric of our nation. I can certainly understand why someone working in the White House right now might want to see himself, or herself, as an heroic figure, rather than as a co-conspirator in any number of crimes, but I don’t buy it. If these senior members of the Trump administration really felt that strongly about the threat posed by this President, they could just walk out onto the White House lawn, call a press conference, and urge Congress to act. Instead, though, they continue to enable Donald Trump as he threatens longtime allies and rips immigrant children from their parents, apparently telling themselves all the while that it’s OK because they were able to stop him from doing things that might be even more dangerous, and more racist.

Yesterday, as you may recall, news broke that Bob Woodward’s explosive new book about Trump will contain a story about White House economic adviser Gary Cohn removing papers from Donald Trump’s desk, in hopes of avoiding a national security crisis in South Korea. Trump, Cohn apparently felt, couldn’t be trusted to read whatever was in those papers, objectively asses the information that they contained, and give thoughtful direction. So, according to Woodward’s account, he just took the documents in question off Trump’s desk. And, this story, of course, was a shared alongside quotes from members of Trump’s senior staff about his being an “idiot” who had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader”.

So, as you might imagine, we started today with news about a White House-wide “witch hunt”, as Donald Trump looked to discover the identity of those individuals who had turned on him, and talked with Bob Woodward about the absolute insanity of his presidency.

But then things got even more strange late this afternoon, when the New York Times broke with standard protocol and posted an anonymous op-ed from a person they referred to as “a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure“… Here’s a brief excerpt from the essay, which is titled, “I am part of the resistance, inside the Trump administration.”

…The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t…

Again, I don’t see these people as heroes. A hero, it would seem to me, would be someone who left the administration, and then did something tangible to stop the madness. And, by my count, the only person who has even come close has been Omarosa Manigault Newman, who, while not exactly a pillar of virtue, at least refused to take the pay-off that offered to her as she exited the White House, and instead went to the press to talk about what she’d seen. [According to reports at the time, she was offered $15,000 a month for her silence.] Say with you will about Manigault Newman and her motivations, but this is significantly more than we’ve seen from the likes of Republican party stalwarts like Dina Powell and Rex Tillerson, or any of the others who have abandoned the Trump ship over the past year. Any one of them could have done the right thing, and, whether they were afraid of being publicly attacked by Donald Trump, or just really loved his tax cuts and Supreme Court picks, they stayed silent. And, worse yet, in my opinion, are those self-described “heroes” who still serve in the West Wing.

But I will give these folks credit for pushing the betrayal storyline along. The idea of “an agent of the resistance” working right beneath his nose, I suspect, will eat at Donald Trump like nothing to this date has, and I can’t wait to see how he responds. I suspect it’ll be even more Shakespearean that yesterday’s revelation about how he refuses to enter the Oval Office alone, for fear of being battered about by the ghosts LBJ and other former presidents. The weight, my friends, hangs heavy on this man, and the final scene cannot be far off at this point. I just hope, when it comes, it’s not too bloody… With that said, I’ve always maintained that this would end in murder, and I don’t see any reason to change that prediction now.

update: OK, since I started writing this, Trump has read the New York Times op-ed and responded. He, like the mob boss that he is, is demanding that the “gutless” traitor who authored the piece be handed over to the authorities so that he might be able to exact some kind of retribution. This, my friends, is not normal. Not by a long shot.

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  1. wobblie
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I know it is hard to take your eyes off of a train wreck, I am with MM on the moral bankruptcy of those who continue to work for Trump. The Republicans continue to erect more road blocks to voting.

  2. Eel
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I expected for him to demand the head of the gutless traitor in a sack. The tweet you shared demonstrates to me that he’s learned to be presidential.

  3. John Brown
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Agent Orange is clearly disposable to traditional republicans. Hell they can whip up such a frenzy around his inevitable demise that there will be no energy available to fight the concurrent attacks on labor, the environment, finance law, election integrity, etc etc etc. Stooge has never described someone so well. Whether from pootins or the republicans POV.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Trump still has his supporters. He just posted this.

    “Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims “unwavering faith in President Trump.” Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” – Donald Trump

  5. Demetrius
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Agents of “the resistance,” my ass.

    What we are witnessing is White House officials openly, and in a coordinated fashion, thwarting the will of a president who is becoming increasingly erratic and unhinged. If this were any other president, under any other circumstances, we’d be calling this exactly what it is – a slow-motion coup, and a looming Constitutional crisis.

    These White House officials, along with many in the House and Senate who understand the gravity of this situation but refuse to speak out, are clearly willing to continue propping up this increasingly absurd administration – ignoring the chaos around as they keep their eyes on the (true) prize: massive tax cuts for the wealthy, unprecedented business deregulation, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape a radical, right-wing Supreme Court that will hobble America for decades to come.

    I appreciate Bob Woodward and the New York Times for being willing to call out the true nature of this insanity. Now, what other national leaders are going to step forward to stand for a return to sanity and the rule of law?

  6. A.J. Delgado by proxy
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The op-ed writer is the ultimate DC grifter:
    – someone who was anti-Trump but became pro-Trump, out of selfish career ambition, once he won the GOP nomination or the election
    – now fears ‘writing on the wall’ & wants to begin to cushion his or her fall
    – will switch camps again

  7. Concerned Michiganian
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    At first, when I read the piece I thought that it might be a ruse, or at least something strategic intended to bolster confidence in Republican voters in November. Trump’s reaction (and that of his press secretary) belie this assumption.

    I doubt it is fake, but it is disturbing that the executive branch is now a rickety ship with a crew at war with itself. It makes me worried for when a real crisis might happen. Of course, Trump himself is to blame. Organizations with adversarial, confrontational and unpredictable managers tend to quickly fall into a state of dysfunction.

    The solution is to GET OUT AND VOTE DEMOCRAT so we can work on the business of IMPEACHING TRUMP!!!!

    #Sanders2020 #BlueWave2018

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Sign of desperation over DJT declassifying FISA documents leading to all hell breaking loose on your side.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    HW– you crack me up. The writer is a conservative, not someone interested in protecting the Dems.

    In reality, this is all just more click bait nonsense. We already knew the Trump Whitehouse was a hot bed of dysfunction. Trump is volatile and volatile leaders create chaos. What the op-ed writer describes is called ‘managing up’ in business. It’s extraordinarily common and it’s function is to maintain existing power structures, aka the status quo. It’s the opposite of ‘resistance.’ It’s certainly far from heroic. The NYT is getting a lot of clicks though…

    I’m reminded that Masha Gessen has said you cant stop totalitarianism. We cant stop Trump, except in the voting booth. I hope we rise to that occasion as readily as we rise to NYT outrage prompts.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Anonymous– Kim Jong Un can kiss Trump’s ass all he wants because China just opened up more trade with North Korea in defiance of Trump. So our threats of economic stranglehold repercussions on North Korean nuclear expansion are now meaningless.
    Oh and Russia just helped bomb the shit out of the last rebel stronghold in Syria so they and Iran won and we lost. Trump is a useless leader on foreign policy. An idiot how can be diverted by praise while being undermined where it matters. He’s so clueless about foreign policy, he doesn’t even seem to know he’s being made a fool and losing ground.

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink


    You haven’t figured out there is such a thing as a RINO?!

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    “as we rise to NYT outrage prompts.”

    Hahahahaha! Actually, really, truly lol here.

  13. Melania Trump responds
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Melania Trump responds:

  14. Kim
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Benjamin Wittes agrees with you.

    “I have no respect for someone who would say these things—of whose truth I have no doubt—in an anonymous oped, rather than in a public resignation letter copied to the House Judiciary Committee.”

    You are in good company.

  15. John Brown
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Agreed that this NYT oped was one notch above an anonymous bitchy post-it note on the workplace microwave.

    On Gina Louden on Hannity saying “actually trump is like totally sane, cause, like science you know?” OMG. I try hard to avoid misogyny because I don’t want to alienate any potential female Progressive Militia members. But, since it’s been a thing on MM lately, get that Gina and Stormy together in a data driven psychotherapizing porno! Most “downloads” ever?

  16. Jcp2
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I dont’t mean to be offensive, but ……….. Good job! You didn’t offend!

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I like this Charles Pierce fellow more and more.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Also excellent:

  19. Posted September 7, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Nice one, MM!

  20. Elviscostello
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I think the comparison of the GOP and the letter writer to Vichy France is apt.

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