The pressure on Donald Trump is reaching crushing proportions
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 11:06 AM ET, Wed March 21, 2018
(CNN)The White House has canceled all public events on Wednesday due to the spring snowstorm hitting the nation's capitol. Which means that President Donald Trump has nothing but time on his hands -- time to stew on the current morass (or, more accurately, morasses) in which he currently finds himself.Consider:* On Tuesday alone, three civil lawsuits brought against Trump by women with whom he allegedly carried on relationships or groped were in the news. Porn star Stormy Daniels' lawyer released a still photo and the results of a 2011 polygraph test in which she is judged to be telling the truth about engaging in vaginal sex with Trump. Former Playmate Karen McDougal sued the company that owns the National Enquirer for the right to be allowed out of her nondisclosure agreement regarding her alleged relationship with Trump. And a New York judge denied a request by Trump's lawyers to dismiss the defamation suit brought against former "Apprentice" candidate Summer Zervos.
Cillizza: The real problem for Donald Trump in the 'DO NOT CONGRATULATE' story* A phone call between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday almost immediately leaked, with The Washington Post reporting that Trump had ignored talking points from his national security team to avoid congratulating Putin for his re-election win.* Special counsel Bob Mueller's team met with White House lawyers late last week to go over potential areas of interest if/when Mueller sits down with Trump -- including the circumstances surrounding the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey last spring.* Cambridge Analytica, a data firm employed by Trump during the 2016 campaign, has come under increased scrutiny for the manner in which they used Facebook data to obtain detailed information about its users. The company also suspended its CEO, Alexander Nix, after undercover videos showed him advocating the use of bribery and entrapment.* Trump's legal team appears to be in a state of flux, having added conservative cable TV favorite Joe diGenova to the team and attempting, unsuccessfully, to bring on former Solicitor General Ted Olsen as well. While the White House insists they are more than happy with their current group of lawyers, those twin actions suggest that's not entirely accurate.That would be a lot for a White House to deal with in a year. The Trump White House had dealt with it all in just the last week.Adding to that toxic mix is the fact that all of the reporting coming out of the White House since the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson eight days ago suggests that Trump feels as though he is coming into his own as President -- a sentiment that has him more confident in trusting his gut (and ignoring the advice of so-called "experts") when it comes to decisions big and small that come to his desk.And never forget that we have ample evidence that Trump is hugely mercurial -- prone to fits of rage, frustration and lashing out. And that he is at his angriest when he feels as though media coverage of his administration is unfairly negative.We have all of those factors at the present moment. Not to mention the fact that the President suddenly has lots of time on his hands Wednesday thanks to the snow.Now. Trump is someone who values chaos and even seems to revel in it. He has said publicly and privately that he believes that out of conflict and drama comes good ideas and progress. (The data on that so far in his presidency isn't hugely supportive of that supposition.)
Play VideoTrump on White House chaos: I like conflict 02:28But, this many stories, all at once and all bad for Trump is, at minimum, a distraction and, at maximum, blocking out all of the other priorities of this President and this White House.Trump, despite his efforts to portray himself as immune to effects of pressure, is human just like the rest of us. He puts his pants on one leg at a time. It is literally impossible for him to not be affected by the swirl of stories, lawsuits and leaks around him right now.The White House is always a pressure cooker for any president. But, rarely does a president operate under as much constant pressure as Trump has in his first 14 months in office. And there's little question that the events of the past week have turned the pressure up to brain-busting proportions.What happens when the pressure gets too much to handle? You need a release. And what is Trump's release? Yes, Twitter. And, right on cue, we've had a series of tweets over the past few days in which Trump has begun a personal assault against Mueller -- insisting that the Russia probe should have never started and suggesting that Mueller has 13 Democrats on his team. (He doesn't.)I've written before that the assault on Mueller is likely to only get worse. I'd expand that outward: Trump's lashing out at any and all of his perceived enemies is likely only to get worse.The pressure inside the White House is surging. And that almost certainly means that the President is on the verge on a(nother) explosion.
SOURCE : CNN