Trump has been largely uninterested in the minutiae

He thinks it’s a game. He thinks he’s winning.

When President Trump made a rare journey to the Capitol last week, he was expected to strategize about how to end the government shutdown he instigated. Instead, he spent the first 20-odd minutes delivering a monologue about “winning.”

“We’re winning” on North Korea, the president told Republican senators Wednesday at a closed-door luncheon. “We’re winning” on Syria and “we’re winning” on the trade war with China, too. And, Trump concluded, they could win on immigration if Republicans stuck together through what is now the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, according to officials who attended the presidential pep talk.

He thinks it’s a game. People are working without being paid; national parks are being trashed; years of scientific work is being destroyed – and he thinks it’s a game.

In the weeks leading up to December’s deadline to fund the government, Trump was warned repeatedly about the dangers of a shutdown but still opted to proceed, according to officials with knowledge of the conversations.

Because he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t pay attention, he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t function like a normal adult with all parts working.

Trump’s advisers are scrambling to build an exit ramp while also bracing for the shutdown to last weeks longer. Current and former aides said there is little strategy in the White House; people are frustrated and, in the words of one, “freaking out.”

They didn’t know they were working for Trump?

Only after Christmas did administration officials begin realizing the full scale of the logistical problems a prolonged shutdown would cause. Aides said Trump has been largely uninterested in the minutiae of managing government agencies and services.

During negotiation sessions, Trump’s attention has veered wildly. At one such meeting with Pelosi and Schumer in the White House Situation Room earlier this month, the president went on a long diatribe about unrelated topics. He trashed the Iran nuclear deal, telling Democrats they should give him money for the wall because they gave President Barack Obama money for the agreement with Tehran. He boasted about his wisdom in ordering the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. And he raised the specter of impeachment, accusing Pelosi of wanting to try to force him from office — which she denied.

Then he emptied the wastebasket over his head while singing the Marseillaise.

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