Few people found it difficult to believe that President Trump’s doubling down on his “both sides” Charlottesville comments happened because he “went rogue.” He’s a stubborn guy and a billionaire who’s always been able to “fire” anyone who’s opposed him. And he’s still firing people (R.I.P. White House Mooch) but can’t exactly fire America. Yet a new Politico report (which sources multiple advisors) says Trump’s solo act occurred because he lost his temper over being told what he can and cannot say. No wonder John Kelly looked like this during the press conference.
According to one advisor, Trump was so enraged about the backlash to his initial response, in which he declined to blame Nazis and white supremacists, that he simply dug in his heels and went for the gold by claiming that some are “very fine people.” This further led to his inexplicable defense of extremists and blaming of “both sides” for the murder of Heather Hayer (by a white supremacist). All because Trump believes he’s never wrong:
“In some ways, Trump would rather have people calling him racist than say he backed down the minute he was wrong,” one adviser to the White House said on Wednesday about Charlottesville. “This may turn into the biggest mess of his presidency because he is stubborn and doesn’t realize how bad this is getting.”
While the stubbornness is a named factor here, another advisor tells Politico that Trump truly believes in his point of view: “[He] thinks he’s right. He still thinks he’s right.” All of this reportedly builds upon Trump’s anger before and after he (unilaterally) tweet-declared his ban on transgender troops in the military, and he wants to show his staff and lawyers that he is in charge:
“For Trump, there came a moment where he wanted to re-establish that he was going to do what he was going to do,” said the adviser, who knows both the president and members of the staff. “He let his lawyers know that it’s his job to make decisions and their job to figure out how to implement it.”
Well, this era of history is totally The Celebrity Apprentice: The White House Years, but hey, at least Trump’s not threatening North Korea this week.