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Trump Melts Down (Again) After Reports Kelly Called Him ‘An Idiot’

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Trump Melts Down (Again) After Reports Kelly Called Him ‘An Idiot’

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When faced with embarrassing news circulating about them, most people would try not to draw even more attention to it. But Trump is not most people.

He didn’t try to ignore the reports that his chief of staff John Kelly called him an “idiot.” Instead, he decided to shine the glaring neon light of his Twitter account right at them.

NBC reported Monday afternoon that Kelly has made such comments on multiple occasions, according to eight current and former White House staffers.

Kelly of course quickly denied the report, calling it “total BS.” He insisted that he is “committed to the President, his agenda, and our country.”

Trump could have let Kelly have the last and at least somewhat dignified word on the matter. But that wouldn’t have been very Trumpian of him.

Instead, he let loose on Twitter with two bizarre and barely understandable posts:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Fake News is going crazy making up false stories and using only unnamed sources (who don’t exist). They are totally unhinged, and the great success of this Administration is making them do and say things that even they can’t believe they are saying. Truly bad people!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The White House is running very smoothly despite phony Witch Hunts etc. There is great Energy and unending Stamina, both necessary to get things done. We are accomplishing the unthinkable and setting positive records while doing so! Fake News is going “bonkers!”

Trump calling anyone else “unhinged,” especially while ranting on Twitter with random capitalizations and unnecessary quotation marks, is amusing. And his renewed whining about “witch hunts” and strange obsession with “stamina” is worthy of an eye-roll.

But the whole debacle points to something more serious: The people closest to Trump, and the ones generally thought to be the “adults in the room” reining in his worst impulses, apparently all think he isn’t intelligent enough to run a bake sale, let alone the United States of America.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson surely helped along his own firing by reportedly calling Trump a “fucking moron” and then refusing to outright deny it. And H.R. McMaster, Trump’s former national security adviser, reportedly called him an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartener.”

Trump’s inability to exercise even a modicum of self-discipline when it comes to responding to news he doesn’t like only makes him look worse. In fact, one could say it’s something only an idiot would do.

And that all of these incredibly damning assessments of his capabilities — or lack thereof — are coming from his top advisers only makes the 917 days until the next election seem a whole lot longer.

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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