2018 Is the Year of Trump Unchained

The Washington Post, once again, regales us with an inside story about the Trump White House “based on interviews with 19 presidential advisers and administration officials.” This time the piece focuses on all the people who have been fired—or are about to be fired—and how it’s affecting the mood of Trump staffers. Here’s a quick rundown:

Staffers are gripped by fear and un­certainty … administration in turmoil … the mood inside the White House in recent days has verged on mania … anxious and nervous … characters in an absurdist farce … betting about which staffer will be ousted next … “Everybody fears the perp walk” … death watch for McMaster.

So who’s in danger? Just about everyone:

[National Security Advisor] H.R. McMaster … with whom he never personally gelled … Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has attracted Trump’s ire for his spending decisions as well as for general disorder … Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has generated bad headlines for ordering a $31,000 dining room set for his office … Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has been under fire for his first-class travel at taxpayer expense … Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose agency spent $139,000 to renovate his office doors … Education Secretary Betsy DeVos drew attention this week when she stumbled through a pair of high-profile television interviews … [Chief of Staff John] Kelly’s departure could be imminent.

Whew! The Post also reports that Trump is thrilled about finally ignoring all the Chicken Littles and just putting the damn steel tariffs in place. And everything turned out fine! See? So now he wants to do all the other stuff that he knows in his heart is right, but that his tedious advisors keep resisting with “facts” and “studies.”

So 2018 will be the year of Trump Unchained. We’ll finally get to see Trump being Trump. And just you wait. Everyone who says you “just can’t do” stuff like tearing up NAFTA and nuking North Korea will be proven wrong. It should be a fun year.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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