A Cornered Trump Is a Dangerous Trump

In "Trump Is Angry and I Am Scared," I explained why it is that I'm not settling in with a bowl of popcorn to watch what unfolds as Bob Mueller gets closer to Donald Trump. All that I feel at the moment is abject fear of what Trump may — and has the capacity and authority — to do.

At Vanity Fair, Gabriel Sherman has a chilling account of what Trump is doing at the moment: Seething, primarily — and seeking advice from Steve Bannon, the Leninist who wants to "bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment," and Roger Stone, whose least objectionable quality is having a portrait of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back.

But this is the bit that should make anyone's spine straighten:
Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller's appointment, according to a source briefed on the call. When Roger Stone recently told Trump that Kushner was giving him bad political advice, Trump agreed, according to someone familiar with the conversation.
Jared Kushner is, of course, a spectacularly dreadful political advisor, having zero political experience and absolutely no room to offer counsel his advisee doesn't want to hear.

But that hasn't changed. That's always been true. What's changed is Trump's disposition toward his son-in-law. His favorite child's spouse. Family.

Family is the one reliable arena of loyalty Trump has. (It's one-way loyalty, and it's been obliged by abuse, but it's good enough as far as Trump is concerned.) He has no real friends to speak of, and no real allies, but he's got his kids, whom he turned into "advisors" in order to keep them close and maintain this thin tract of durable fealty.

If he now feels alienated from Jared, whom he once trusted so profoundly that he made him Secretary of Everything, that is a troubling development. It is an indication that Trump is extremely isolated, and thus potentially at increasing risk of doing something reckless.

There are no "moderating influences." There are only Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, whispering in his ear.

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