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Inside Trump’s Brain



He’s scared.

Of a Democratic House that will vote articles of impeachment against him. Of a Democratic Senate that will convict him and remove him from office.

Imagine the darkness of his thoughts, late at night, when he’s in bed, alone, brooding. The foreboding…the catastrophizing…his blood pressure must be through the roof. What does Donald J. Trump do?

Part of him knows that there’s nothing, literally, that he can do. The die is cast: Mueller is on the hunt, the walls are closing in. The Wolff book, which rings true despite Trump’s pronouncements about libel lawsuits, permanently destroyed whatever little reputation he had among independents. He sees Republican congressmen quitting in droves, knowing that re-election is almost an impossibility.

There’s no one he can talk to. He’s never had friends, only subordinates. He doesn’t even have a dog. His wives, including Melania, haven’t been confidantes, but trophies who married him for his money. He’s said to be close to his children and Jared, but Trump has to be careful what he says to them these days; everybody’s already testified under oath, or will have to. So Trump, who lives in his head, is utterly alone.

But he’s a strategic thinker who fancies himself “a genius.” He may be facing difficulties that seem overwhelming, but his belief in himself is enormous. He can overcome anything! All it takes is a grinding determination to forge ahead—with what Hitler called “granite will”—a mastery of strategic thinking, and, possibly, a little luck. Well, he’s always been lucky. He lucked out with “The Apprentice” when everybody said it was a dud. He lucked out with the bankruptcies and business failures. He won the damn Presidency! So there’s nothing, really, that can bring him down. Or so he tells himself.

There was no collusion, he says over and over and over again. Even Democrats know that, he insists. He knows that, in the end, he will be exonerated, and the world will see that Donald J. Trump is an honest man, pursued by his enemies, the liberals, the same way Reagan was pursued. Actually, Trump will remind you, he has a lot in common with Reagan. Sometimes, Trump even thinks about his Presidential library: where it will be, who will design it, what it will contain. These fantasies help get his mind off his troubles.

But still…he’s scared. He would never admit it to anyone. Not his style. But deep down inside, it’s there. Maybe he should start being friendlier to Democrats. Warm up to Pelosi, to Schumer, to Steny Hoyer and Dianne Feinstein, make nice sounds about DACA, talk about love (he knows it’s gibberish, but Democrats like to talk about love). Maybe, somehow, he can keep the House Republican, by one seat, if his luck holds. That’s all he needs, a one-seat majority. Even he if loses the House, maybe he can keep the Senate. Even if he does get impeached, there are certain things a President can do to hold onto power. (Here, even Trump knows his thoughts are crazy, but sometimes, you have to be crazy to win.) He is Commander-in-Chief, after all. Has anyone ever tested the limits of that? Memo to self: Find out who can tell him if he can have the Army seize control of the Capitol.

But who could he ask to find out? Kelly? McMaster? No. Can’t trust them. Can’t trust anyone, only himself. Sigh. The fear churns. Need something to take his mind off it. Fox & Friends! That always works. They still like him. Right?

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