For all the pomp and tacky gilding around the man, Donald Trump's narcissism is of the simple dollar-store variety. Whenever something good happens, Donald believes it is because of his own genius. Whenever something bad happens, Donald believes it is because everyone else is stupid. There's no option three. It's never come up.
It may be Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel's time in Trump's barrel o’ scapegoats. Republicans got flattened in nationwide elections last week—again—and it certainly can't be a sign that the party's devotion to a coup-attempting, quad-indicted seditionist is backfiring on it, or a sign that voters are recoiling from the party's hard-right lurch on every conceivable social issue. So, as this CNBC story would have it, Trump "has grown 'increasingly sour'" on McDaniel and on RNC leadership in general.
What's this? Donald Trump may kick a longtime ally to the curb, one who retooled her whole career into being nothing but his own lapdog and party enforcer? Wow, that actually sounds ... exactly like him. And yet Republicans continue to alter their very personalities around whatever burps have most recently come out of his mouth. Go figure.
Before anyone gets too excited, this has all the makings of a planted story. CNBC doesn't have much actual evidence that Trump himself is "souring" on McDaniel. What they do have is someone in Trump's inner circle who's pushing the story that the people surrounding Trump very much want him to "sour" on her, and are doing their best to make it happen.
Several of the people lobbying the former president to turn on McDaniel also encouraged Trump not to publicly support Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier this year, as the California Republican fought a losing battle to save his speakership.
“We didn’t want McCarthy, and then months later we lobbied the president to not save McCarthy,” a person familiar with that effort and the move to push McDaniel to resign said. “I do think if there’s enough pressure from us and Trump, McDaniel might just decide, ‘this is humiliating,’ and step down.”
Aside from former White House adviser and full-time troll Steve Bannon, who at this point makes his entire living from performatively screwing other Republicans, everyone pressuring Trump on this remains anonymous. So what we really have here is an anonymous somebody bragging that they're the real power behind the Trump throne, and that they're the reason for Trump changing his tune on ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Now they want McDaniel to know that it wouldn't be hard for them to convince Trump to turn on her, too.
Trump is famous for compulsively wanting to read every news story that so much as mentions him; do you think the people who collect those snippets for him are going to include this one? Because this story suggests that Trump is merely a dull-minded puppet manipulated by his own advisers, and that those very advisers are running the show when it comes to Donald actually coming up with opinions on things.
It's almost certainly true, mind you. But Donald's been in a very pissy mood as of late, what with all the indictments and felony counts, so he probably doesn't want to hear that right now.
It's also clear that no matter who's putting the pressure on, it may soon be the Republican National Committee chair herself who finds an unusual number of face-eating leopards prowling committee offices. It doesn't matter how loyal you are to Donald Trump—or how many crimes you commit on his behalf. Trump needs an unending supply of scapegoats to save himself from his own embarrassments and failures, so you're going to end up being one of those scapegoats sooner or later.
The Trump archives are full of people who thought they'd be the special ones, the ones not cast aside. It's a hell of a thing to stake your career and reputation on.
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