Well, that's comforting.
The administration’s attempts to quell concerns about Donald Trump’s mental stability reached a crescendo of failure on Sunday, with one administration official melting down on live television, while another offered a defense that was laughably weak on its own terms.
But that was upstaged by White House white nationalist Stephen Miller’s unhinged CNN interview Sunday morning. Then, it was U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s turn.
On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, host George Stephanopoulos asked Haley if she had seen anything about Trump’s behavior that would support concerns about his fitness for office.
Haley attempted the trick of trying to defend herself, while also insulating herself from future criticism, by repeatedly noting that she interacts with Trump and his team far less frequently than the folks quoted in Michael Wolff’s new book:
I will tell you, I have not read the book, I won’t read it, but the excerpts that I have seen and the things that I have seen in the press, I know those people in the White House. I’m there once a week. These people love their country and respect our president. I have never seen or heard the type of toxic language that they’re talking about.
Now, I’m not there seven days a week, but I’m there once a week, and I’m there for a day with White House meetings and everything, no one questions the stability of the president.
According to Wolff, however, people who see Trump every day (including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner) have seen enough to question his fitness, and even to discuss the prospect of removal via the 25th Amendment on a daily basis. While there has been a concerted effort to attack the book, Wolff says he has hours of tapes to corroborate his reporting.
Elsewhere in the interview, Haley made the terrifying revelation that Trump’s tweets make world diplomats, including allies, view him as “unpredictable,” and that she views this as a good thing.
“I notice that they’re are absolutely glued to [Trump’s tweets], but they see him as unpredictable,” Haley told Stephanopoulos.
“I think they don’t know what the U.S. is going to do at any given time, and so for that reason they’re getting much more cautious, and they’re paying attention to how they work with us,” she continued.
There is a world of difference, though, between not knowing whether the U.S. will support this or that resolution, and whether the U.S. will start a rain of nuclear hellfire that will kill millions, or suddenly cut off aid to a region that’s crucial to fighting terrorism.
That’s the difference between “unpredictable” and “unstable.”
The threat that Wolff’s book represents to this presidency is illustrated by the extraordinary lengths Trump has gone to to quash it, but the administration’s attempts to defend Trump are turning out to be just as frightening as anything that’s in the book.