All about him

The Post has a big think piece on Trump’s completely self-centered attitude to the Russia question. On the one hand yo, national security, rival power, hostile rival power; on the other hand, me me me me ME me me.

The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president — and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality — have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat. The repercussions radiate across the government.

Rather than search for ways to deter Kremlin attacks or safeguard U.S. elections, Trump has waged his own campaign to discredit the case that Russia poses any threat and he has resisted or attempted to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account.

Because it’s insulting to him and diminishes his Triumph, and that outweighs the rather larger issue of who and what Putin is and what kind of society he presides over and what kind of society he will allow us to have and whether we want him deciding our elections for us.

To put it another way, the personal insecurities of the president should be entirely beside the point on an issue of this magnitude, yet they are central. The giant narcissism of one Giant Baby could ruin everything in a way even the megalomania of Hitler failed to do.

White House officials cast the president’s refusal to acknowledge Russian interference in the election as an understandably human reaction. “The president obviously feels . . . that the idea that he’s been put into office by Vladi­mir Putin is pretty insulting,” said a second senior administration official.

Jesus christ. This isn’t fucking high school. It doesn’t matter what the president feels is “insulting” to his precious Self. Nobody should care what he “feels” about it. (It’s usually the hard right that is scornful of Feelings; I guess Trump is the One Great Exception.)

Meanwhile, the Russians feel good about it. It didn’t cost much and it has made the US a joke.

The Russian operation seemed intended to aggravate political polarization and racial tensions and to diminish U.S. influence abroad. The United States’ closest alliances are frayed, and the Oval Office is occupied by a disruptive politician who frequently praises his counterpart in Russia.

What’s not to like?

U.S. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump. Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update — known as the president’s daily brief, or PDB — is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

Ponder that little bombshell. His daily intelligence update is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

Russia-related intelligence that might draw Trump’s ire is in some cases included only in the written assessment and not raised orally, said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the matter.

Which, the Post neglects to spell out, means he’ll never be aware of it, because he doesn’t read. He’s that incompetent for the job. (Bush was close to that incompetent for the job. He demanded and got very short briefings, because he too dislikes reading.)

The allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, which the president has denied categorically, also contribute to his resistance to endorse the intelligence, another senior White House official said. Acknowledging Russian interference, Trump believes, would give ammunition to his critics.

Still others close to Trump explain his aversion to the intelligence findings in more psychological terms. The president, who burns with resentment over perceived disrespect from the Washington establishment, sees the Russia inquiry as a conspiracy to undermine his election accomplishment — “a witch hunt,” as he often calls it.

“If you say ‘Russian interference,’ to him it’s all about him,” said a senior Republican strategist who has discussed the matter with Trump’s confidants. “He judges everything as about him.”

It’s a loop that he’s caught in. If you’re that entangled in your own ego you can’t get interested in what’s outside your own ego, so you get only more entangled in your own ego, and on it goes.

All this was perfectly obvious before he was elected. I will never understand why the danger of it was not equally obvious.

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