Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Newsweek / Alternet.
Chris Riotta

It seems Attorney General Jeff Sessions survived yet another feud with President Donald Trump—for now, at least.

Despite offering his resignation to the president, Sessions will remain in his post overseeing the Department of Justice indefinitely, ABC News reported Tuesday. But that isn’t to say the nation’s top-cop necessarily has job security: Tensions between he and Trump have reached new peaks amid a federal investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election, which Sessions recused himself from after it was discovered he had several undisclosed meetings with Russian envoys during the campaign season as a then-senator of Alabama.

Related: Here’s How Donald Trump Could Actually Be Impeached

Trump found Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the probe to be “weak” and has since “grown sour” of his once-avid supporter throughout the campaign, the New York Times reported Monday. But Sessions isn’t the only member of the Trump administration feeling the wrath of the embattled president, as psychologists, television pundits and critics alike ponder the commander-in-chief’s temperament.

“In private, the president’s exasperation has been even sharper” than his tweet storms, The Times’ Maggie Haberman wrote, citing several White House sources. Trump has “intermittently fumed for months” over Sessions, repeatedly taking to Twitter to denounce his own administration’s Justice Department, the nation’s courts and federally-appointed judges and his apparent enemies, Haberman added.

“He’s unhappy when the results don’t come in,” David B. Rivkin Jr., a White House lawyer under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, told the Times of his two stalled executive orders restricting travel from seven, then six, Muslim-majority nations. “I’m sure he was convinced to try the second version, and the second iteration did not do better than the first iteration, so the lawyers in his book did not do a good job. It’s understandable for a businessman.”

The frustrations of the presidency seemed to direct Trump’s anger at numerous aides without much warning. Trump was “livid” with National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster and at one point “screamed at McMaster on a phone call, accusing him of undercutting efforts to get South Korea to pay its fair share,” toward a new missile defense system in the region, Bloomberg reported in May.

Following actress Melissa McCarthy’s now-infamous portrayal of Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live, Trump reportedly “regrets” the appointment “every day and blames Priebus,” his chief of staff, the Hill reported.

Trump also grew “isolated” after “weeks of bitter battle with other senior aides aligned with Jared Kushner,” and also sought to undermine his chief strategist Steve Bannon in a series of interviews, the New York Times reported in April.

Many psychologists and experts have argued his personality displays clear narcissim and a tendency to be disagreeable, though it’s impossible to truly diagnose the president based off public speeches and his apparent short-temper. Still, it’s clear more than ever the weight of presidency and new developments in the investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian Kremlin are making Trump angry.

And when Trump is angry, he tends to fire, whether it be through firing his aides or firing off tweets.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.