BREAKING NEWS : Police: Driver dies in crash after short pursuit Full Story

Think the White House is in chaos now? Just wait.

President Donald Trump has, throughout his life, embraced chaos as a life philosophy. (...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 7:16 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 7:16 AM

President Donald Trump has, throughout his life, embraced chaos as a life philosophy. (He's like Littlefinger in that way.)

But now, chaos -- spurred by surprise departures, the ongoing Russia investigation and Trump's own grudge-nursing -- is threatening to overwhelm his presidency, and there's every reason to believe things will get worse, not better, in the coming days.

Here's why: Trump is not only beset on all sides by bad stories -- Russia investigations, a feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson's taste for fine furniture, etc., etc. -- but he is also forced to face these stories with an ever-diminishing group of loyalists around him.

It's a perfect storm for Trump -- and not in a good way.

The descriptions coming out of the White House describing Trump's state of mind over the last few days all paint a picture of a frustrated and angry executive who feels more and more isolated in his own White House.

Here's how CNN's White House team described the mood:

"The tumult of the past week has fueled a deep and seething anger within President Donald Trump -- not an uncommon emotion for the insolent commander in chief -- but one that allies and aides say has escalated as he faces a new gauntlet of problems."

Axios' Mike Allen put it this way:

"After a crazy 24 hours, sources close to President Trump say he is in a bad place - mad as hell about the internal chaos and the sense that things are unraveling."

Even longtime Trump defender -- and 10-day White House communications director -- Anthony Scaramucci acknowledged in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo Thursday morning that "the morale is terrible."

What's important is not that Trump is angry or thinks he is ill-served by staff. He thinks that pretty much all the time. What's different this time is that three of the people he trusts most -- his daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his longtime aide Hope Hicks -- are either leaving him or weathering problems that put them in weakened positions, at best, and in jeopardy of being forced to leave the White House, at worst.

Hicks' decision to resign as communications director was clearly a blow to Trump on a personal level. Hicks' title is far less important than how Trump regarded her: as a trusted loyalist who had been with him when everyone else thought his presidential candidacy was a joke. Outside of his immediate family, Trump trusted no one more and listened to no one more than Hicks.

Speaking of the President's immediate family, they've had a rough run of things too. Ivanka's trip to the Olympic closing ceremonies in South Korea raised the hackles of the likes of chief of staff John Kelly. And her response that it was "inappropriate" for a reporter to ask her about the sexual misconduct allegations against her father simply served to highlight the difficulty of simultaneously being the daughter of the President and a senior adviser to that President.

If Ivanka's last few weeks have been bad, Kushner's have been worse. First came the news that his security clearance had been downgraded by Kelly amid ongoing questions about Kushner's ability to secure a permanent clearance. Then the news that countries had targeted Kushner as vulnerable to manipulation due to the complexity of his financial holdings. Then The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Kushner's family had received $500 million in loans following meetings between Kushner and the heads of investment companies that made the loans.

The spate of stories on Kushner have occasioned talk that he might not be able to even approximate the job he has been assigned in the Trump White House and may have to move on -- whether to Trump's growing 2020 staff or return to the private sector.

Even if Javanka stays put -- and yes, it's totally fair to consider them a matching set -- it's not clear they are in any sort of position to talk Trump down when he is angry or frustrated -- or both. They are dealing with problems of their own, problems that distract them from giving their full attention to the President of the United States.

All of which means that Trump faces the most serious set of problems since the start of his presidency with fewer and fewer people he feels he can truly rely on.

And a lonely and cornered Trump rarely reacts well.

I keep thinking back to the early days of Trump's time in the White House -- when he was largely alone and unhappy. This, from a stunning New York Times story in February of 2017, is the image that sticks in my head:

"Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home."

While the White House denied that Trump wandered around the White House in his bathrobe and Melania and Barron have since moved to Washington, there's little question that the more isolated Trump gets -- or feels -- the more he gives in to his most basic instinct: score-settling via Twitter.

Without the likes of Hicks to rein him in, we are likely headed into an even more chaotic moment for Trump. Unleashed to say and do what he wants when he wants -- and increasingly convinced that he is being victimized by, well, everyone -- Trump is likely to get even more unpredictable in the weeks to come.

That's a prospect that has to terrify Republicans, who are desperately trying to hold on to their House and, to a lesser extent, Senate majorities in November. But they better get used to it. It's likely to be the new normal.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 141585

Reported Deaths: 4580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25445600
Cuyahoga16907638
Hamilton12559307
Montgomery7334148
Lucas7017356
Butler548798
Summit5020246
Marion304947
Mahoning2968279
Warren285648
Stark2673168
Pickaway261944
Lorain222786
Delaware206920
Fairfield197650
Columbiana190778
Trumbull1837131
Licking182461
Clark169337
Wood162271
Clermont157919
Lake154849
Medina140538
Allen133767
Miami131249
Greene128826
Portage104566
Mercer102017
Tuscarawas90719
Wayne89266
Erie87144
Ross84322
Richland76918
Madison76412
Darke74539
Belmont70427
Geauga69747
Hancock6419
Ashtabula63748
Athens5692
Lawrence56918
Sandusky55020
Auglaize5479
Shelby5428
Huron5207
Putnam50919
Ottawa46430
Union4622
Scioto4496
Seneca41814
Preble41113
Holmes3687
Muskingum3622
Jefferson3174
Logan2893
Henry28512
Champaign2833
Perry2839
Knox27615
Clinton27513
Brown2712
Defiance26910
Morrow2482
Hardin24613
Washington24223
Coshocton23111
Fayette2236
Fulton2221
Highland2163
Jackson2162
Ashland2124
Crawford2086
Wyandot20012
Williams1883
Gallia17910
Meigs1679
Hocking1589
Guernsey1547
Carroll1487
Pike1410
Adams1174
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding960
Harrison601
Morgan460
Vinton453
Noble240
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Angola
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntington
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 51°
Decatur
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Van Wert
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Cool, dry for the weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events