With his popularity waning and legal woes expanding by the day, Donald Trump, like any washed-up showman, is growing desperate. He’s embracing the more extreme and conspiratorial elements of his base, possibly the only ones left to love him, and blathering wildly into any megaphone he can find.
In a Wednesday night interview with one of his favorite toadies, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump discussed the civil lawsuit New York Attorney General Letitia James dropped in his lap earlier in the day, accusing him of widespread fraud and falsely inflating his wealth by “billions of dollars.”
Trump suggested he can’t be blamed for anything because the valuations of his assets on loan applications came with “a very powerful disclaimer,” something I’d argue his presidency should have come with as well.
Maybe they were looking for Hillary’s emails!
He also told Hannity the FBI agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, uncovering a slew of highly classified government documents, may have been there looking for “the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted.”
Does that make sense to anyone who still has an oar even partially dipped in the waters of reality? Of course not. Trump is just gargling nonsense and hoping the noise distracts people from the walls closing in around him.
The mess Donald Trump’s life has become
These are the truths America’s narcissist-in-chief is running from: His rallies have shrunk. His status as a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 is in question, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis now polling higher than him in the home state they share. The bonkers candidates he has endorsed – Herschel Walker in Georgia, Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona – may well cost Republicans a chance to control the U.S. Senate.
And the investigations. Oh, lord, the investigations.
A tornado of legal trouble touching down
The New York attorney general’s lawsuit could drive a stake through the heart of his business.
The Justice Department’s investigation into classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago got a boost late Wednesday when a federal appeals court overruled a U.S. district judge’s order halting the department’s criminal investigation. So that work will continue. The appeals court’s ruling even said of Trump, the plaintiff: “We cannot discern why Plaintiff would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”
This isn’t the Mueller probe: Why Trump charges in DOJ case aren’t out of the question.
A district attorney in Georgia is building an election fraud case involving several people in Trump’s orbit, and the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is set to resume public hearings Sept 28.
‘They’re out to get me’ gets old after a while
There’s more, but you get the idea. Trump paints this all as some coordinated persecution, but most Americans, even some who once supported the former president, are leaning toward the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” side of the fence.
That’s when a person like Trump, incapable of admitting even the smallest mistake and ever-desirous of flattery, starts to get panicky. What if the adoration dries up? What if the consequences he’s dodged his entire life finally hit him where it hurts?
A QAnon-sequitur, except it makes perfect sense
At a weekend rally, Trump recited a dark description of an America falling apart to music that sounded just like the theme song adopted by followers of the deeply unhinged and cult-like QAnon conspiracy theory. Many in the crowd raised their arms with their pointer fingers extended, a one-figure salute associated with QAnon.
On his failing social media site, Truth Social, Trump recently posted a picture of himself wearing a QAnon pin. The photo included the words “The Storm is Coming,” a nod to the belief that Trump will be returned to the White House to round up all who wronged him.
He doesn’t love you, QAnon, he just needs you
I don’t for a minute think Trump believes the cackling nonsense that’s gospel to QAnon followers, like the idea a Satanic cabal of Democrats is running a global pedophile ring. But I absolutely believe he’ll pander to these people if they’re the only ones left willing to give him money and fluff his ego.
Trump, like the entire MAGA movement, doesn’t have an ideology. He calls himself a Republican, but that’s just a vehicle he rode to power, and MAGA has always been little more than a con. And some Republicans are starting to see others, like DeSantis, as more viable candidates – Trump without the baggage.
That leaves the former president stuck with dead-enders and hangers-on.
We the people have broken our country. Division in Washington reflects that fact.
To destroy Trump, is it OK to break the rules? We’ll pay a high price for doing so.
Chaos, thy name is Trump
Some see Trump’s recent embrace of QAnon as a sign his beliefs are growing more extreme.
Beliefs? I don’t think he has those. He simply bends opportunistically toward whatever helps him make money or gain love, like a house plant stretching toward sunlight. (I apologize to house plants for the comparison. They deserve better.)
Trump isn’t growing more extreme. He’s growing more desperate, and the extremists are becoming the only followers he can fool.
He will, as always, grow worse and more destructive. Trump is entropy, and he should be feared until he’s gone from public life.
But the gig is slowly growing old. The audience is slowly shrinking. And the hateful showman may, in the not-too-distant future, find himself left with only the deluded, hopelessly babbling delusions of his own.
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