We are in the fourth day of the Trump regime, and two things are happening. Lies are flowing out of the mouth of the President with unremitting frequency, and leaks are pouring out of the White House just as fast.
First, the Big Lie of the Day. Pay attention, because this is surely Trump's way of soothing his bruised ego while also laying the foundation for a national Voter ID law.
According to the Washington Post, Trump met with Congressional leaders today and lied to their faces.
Two people familiar with the meeting said Trump spent about 10 minutes at the start of the bipartisan gathering rehashing the campaign. He also told them that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote.
This is demonstrably false, and has been debunked over and over again. It must really sting for him to know he barely won the electoral college but lost the popular vote by millions.
As a side note, let's check up on the media to see how they're doing with their headlines. Oh, look! One of them forgot to mention the words "false" or "lie"!
There's a lot of Game of Thrones jostling going on right now. Or maybe it's Hunger Games. Whatever it is, the leaks are flowing like water through a sieve.
The broader power struggles within the Trump operation have touched everything from the new administration’s communications shop to the expansive role of the president’s son-in-law to the formation of Trump’s political organization. At the center, as always, is Trump himself, whose ascent to the White House seems to have only heightened his acute sensitivity to criticism.
Trump has been resentful, even furious, at what he views as the media’s failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements, and he feels demoralized that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.
This is what he's putting energy into? What's going to happen when he actually has a REAL emergency?
And then there's the infighting. Kushner v. Conway. Kushner v. Mercer. All served with a side of snark.
Efforts to launch an outside group supporting Trump’s agenda have stalled amid fighting between Kushner loyalists, such as the campaign’s data and digital strategist Brad Parscale, and conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, according to people familiar with the tensions. Major disputes include who would control the data the outside group would use, with Mercer advocating for Cambridge Analytica, a firm in which her father is invested, and who would control the lucrative contracts with vendors, these people said.
Two people close to the transition also said a number of Trump’s most loyal campaign aides have been alarmed by Kushner’s efforts to elbow aside anyone he perceives as a possible threat to his role as Trump’s chief consigliere. At one point during the transition, Kushner had argued internally against giving Conway a White House role, these two people said.
Because Conway operates outside of the official communications department, some aides grumble that she can go rogue when she pleases, offering her own message and promoting herself as much as the president. One suggested that Conway’s office on the second floor of the West Wing, as opposed to one closer to the Oval Office, was a sign of her diminished standing. Though Conway took over the workspace previously occupied by Valerie Jarrett, who had been Obama’s closest adviser, the confidant dismissively predicted that Trump would rarely climb a flight of stairs.
One precaution about getting snarky about these leaks and the apparent chaos. This is exactly what he did during his campaign too, and everyone thought every misstep would be the end of his campaign, while it instead just made him more popular with his True Believers. So I'm not kidding myself into thinking that any of this means he won't get the agenda he wants. It does, however, point to a deeper dysfunction within Trump himself, and his narcissistic need to constantly have his ego stroked. That's disturbing.