He just wants to

Well, you have to see it from Trump’s point of view. He’s never had any respect for the rule of law; it’s the way he was raised. His father was a crook, so that’s what he saw growing up.

Jake Tapper tells us it’s been boiling over lately:

Three Thursdays ago, in a meeting at the Oval Office with top officials — including Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, top aides Jared Kushner, Mercedes Schlapp and Dan Scavino, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and more — the President, according to one attendee, was “ranting and raving, saying border security was his issue.”

Senior administration officials say that Trump then ordered Nielsen and Pompeo to shut down the port of El Paso the next day, Friday, March 22, at noon. The plan was that in subsequent days the Trump administration would shut down other ports.

Nielsen explained why that would not be a good idea, and Trump said he didn’t care.

Ultimately, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney seemed to have been able to talk the President out of closing the port of El Paso. Trump, however, was insistent that his administration begin taking another action — denying asylum seekers entry. Nielsen tried to explain to the President that the asylum laws allow migrants from Central America to come to the US and gain entry. She talked to the White House counsel to see if there were any exceptions, but he told her that her reading of the law was correct.

But Trump doesn’t care about that, because he considers himself better than the law.

Last Friday, the President visited Calexico, California, where he said, “We’re full, our system’s full, our country’s full — can’t come in! Our country is full, what can you do? We can’t handle any more, our country is full. Can’t come in, I’m sorry. It’s very simple.”

Behind the scenes, two sources told CNN, the President told border agents to not let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.”

After the President left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability. You have to follow the law, they were told.

So. The president told federal agents to break the law and to tell judges to take a hike. He thinks he is the boss of the law as well as all of us. We all have to do what he says, and he doesn’t have to do what anyone says.

There’s also been an ongoing struggle over the past four months over Trump’s urgent desire to resume the practice of taking children away from their parents.

According to multiple sources, the President wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers. The President wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.

Sources told CNN that Nielsen tried to explain they could not bring the policy back because of court challenges, and White House staffers tried to explain it would be an unmitigated PR disaster.

“He just wants to separate families,” said a senior administration official.

He just wants to. He really really wants to. He wants to the way normal people want to go to the beach or eat ice cream or see a movie. He wants to for the pleasure of it. He likes doing it because it’s fun for him. That’s what he is.

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