gop cannibalism
‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies — inside their own government.

In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them.

Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes.

Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cellphones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to try to identify leakers on his team.

It’s an environment of fear that has hamstrung the routine functioning of the executive branch. Senior advisers are spending much of their time trying to protect turf, key positions have remained vacant due to a reluctance to hire people deemed insufficiently loyal, and Trump’s ambitious agenda has been eclipsed by headlines surrounding his unproven claim that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone lines at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.

One senior administration aide, who like most others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the degree of suspicion had created a toxicity that is unsustainable.

Now that they control both houses of Congress, Republicans are beginning to learn the limits of their newfound power. For the third day in a row, Senate Republicans called a vote on a bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded. And for the third time, it failed to clear a Democratic filibuster.

The problems were old and new: political divisions within the party, difficulties over managing the expectations of conservative lawmakers, and the simple arithmetic of getting to the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes when there are only 54 Republican senators. The tactics that had served them well when they were in the minority were now being effectively exploited against them.

Democrats were gleeful as, one by one, they flashed thumbs down to the Senate clerks and recorded their no votes.

“The Republicans are like Fido when he finally catches the car,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. “Now they don’t have any clue about what to do. They are realizing that being in the majority is both less fun and more difficult than they thought.”

Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism,” Romney said. “Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.

The slow-motion implosion of the Republican Party

Oh, Mittens, the GOP was associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and violence loooooooong before Trump came along.

Trump goes on the attack again, with Scott Walker as his latest target

First Donald Trump questioned whether Sen. John McCain was truly a war hero.

Then he revealed to a South Carolina crowd the personal phone number of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

On Saturday Trump went for the hat trick, gleefully insulting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker because one of Walker’s fundraisers called the billionaire real estate mogul ‘DumbDumb.’

“Finally, I can attack!” Trump said at a packed rally at Oskaloosa High School. “Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core!”