As they are wont to do, the Morning Joe crew tried today to parse Trump's actions and figure out his strategy. (They may as well try to read the entrails of a sheep.)
Willie Geist said a senior administration official told NBC, "Trump and McConnell haven't spoken in weeks, to use their terms. Despite what Sarah Huckabee Sanders is saying there, there is a deep divide."
"Look, if you look at a story that got a lot of attention in the New York Times that had the leader's fingerprints all over it a few days ago, with McConnell, I don't think the relationship is chilly or frosty," John Heilemann said.
"But the leaders are waging war on the president, the president is waging war on the leader in open view. I mean, the president in open view with his Twitter stream and the leader, in very obvious ways in the press. His allies -- I don't really, i'm looking at this Washington Post story on the front page, did a very good story of the notion that Trump is distancing himself from the congressional leadership, trying to see if he can create political space for himself apart from the party's congressional leadership.
"I don't think i ever understand how that works in the context not of a presidential election year, i could understand how it would work," he said.
"In the context of a mid-term election year, who is on Team Trump? The Democrats are not. And what, he's going to run against Republicans when they're running for re-election in mid-term elections and his name isn't on the ballot? I don't understand the logic of this.
"Again, in 2019 I can understand the logic of this. I don't get what he's trying to accomplish here. In the short term because if they lose control of one or both houses in 2018, it's bad for Donald Trump.
"In some cases, he's willing to unseat Republicans like Jeff Flake," Mark Halperin said.
"He is willing to lose that seat to a Democrat potentially, by making a point to Jeff Blake he shouldn't try to undercut the president."
"In so many ways, this president said I am president and I am loyal to myself only," said Republican strategist Susan Del Purcio.
"I'm not president of this country for all. I am here, it's all about me. I'm not in any way interested in uniting it. All I care is about me. So when you see him making those attacks, it's just a gut reaction at this point. Now it's time for the Republicans both on the House and the Senate side to bear down, get their agenda down, treat the president as a neutral fact.
"They want to bring something forward and go into the 2018 election and seek re-election and get it, they better show some results. At this point, I think the president will sign anything. He really has no deep caring about any particular issue."
"So Jeff Flake, who he mentioned, was asked in an interview yesterday about the future of president trump and perhaps a primary in 2020," Willie Geist said.
Flake responded by saying if Trump governed in a different way, he could avoid it. But if he continues on the same way, "I don't know."