All the various statements, each of reflects poorly on Donald Trump’s first few days in office, comes from aides, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity. In some cases, it’s one aide. In other cases, it’s as many as 12 aides who provide confirmation.
In other words: Trump has very little loyalty inside the White House, so his every petulant, thin-skinned response or childish action will eventually be printed in the media.
From the NYTimes:
“The lack of discipline troubled even senior members of Mr. Trump’s circle, some of whom had urged him not to indulge his simmering resentment at what he saw as unfair news coverage. Instead, Mr. Trump chose to listen to other aides who shared his outrage and desire to punch back. By the end of the weekend, he and his team were scrambling to get back on script.”
Mr. Trump grew increasingly angry on Inauguration Day after reading a series of Twitter messages pointing out that the size of his inaugural crowd did not rival that of Mr. Obama’s in 2009. But he spent his Friday night in a whirlwind of celebration and affirmation. When he awoke on Saturday morning, after his first night in the Executive Mansion, the glow was gone, several people close to him said, and the new president was filled anew with a sense of injury.
From The Washington Post:
Trump was adamant, aides said. Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.
Many critics thought Spicer went too far and compromised his integrity. But in Trump’s mind, Spicer’s attack on the news media was not forceful enough. The president was also bothered that the spokesman read, at times haltingly, from a printed statement.
Trump has been resentful, even furious, at what he views as the media’s failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements, and he feels demoralized that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.
Two people close to the transition also said a number of Trump’s most loyal campaign aides have been alarmed by Kushner’s efforts to elbow aside anyone he perceives as a possible threat to his role as Trump’s chief consigliere. At one point during the transition, Kushner had argued internally against giving Conway a White House role, these two people said.
Trump watched Sunday as Conway sparred with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” Some Trump allies were unsettled by her performance, but not the president, according to one official. He called Vice President Pence to rave about how she handled questions from Todd, whom Trump mocked on Twitter as “Sleepy Eyes,” and called Conway to offer his congratulations. Trump was perturbed that the media focused on two words from Conway’s interview: “alternative facts.”
Most mornings, Trump flicks on the TV and watches ‘Morning Joe,’ often for long periods of time, sometimes interrupted with texts to the hosts or panelists. After the 6 a.m. hour of ‘Joe,’ he’s often on to ‘Fox & Friends’ by 7 a.m., with a little CNN before or after.”
But inside, the finger-pointing and blame-casting continued. Unfortunately for Spicer, Trump is obsessed with his press secretary’s performance art. Our Jonathan Swan hears that Trump hasn’t been impressed with how Spicer dresses, once asking an aide: “Doesn’t the guy own a dark suit?” Spicer looked a lot sharper yesterday than he did on Saturday — in a dark, bankerly suit.
One person who frequently talks to Trump said aides have to push back privately against his worst impulses in the White House, like the news conference idea, and have to control information that may infuriate him. He gets bored and likes to watch TV, this person said, so it is important to minimize that.
This person said that a number of people close to him don’t like saying no — but that it has to be done.
This person said. “He’s never going to admit he’s wrong in front of everyone. You have to pull him aside and tell him why he’s wrong, and then you can get him to go along with you. These people don’t know how to get him to do what they need him to do.”