The man in the White House is melting down, like the second scoop of vanilla ice cream left sitting on the nightstand. At 12:06 am, Donald Trump tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe… and that was all. Radio silence descended on Trump’s Twitter account.
Of course, midnight Twitter had a ball with it. But Trump supporters insisted that the president either did it intentionally, to mess with the haters, or was just showing his trademark disdain for conventions like correct spelling and complete sentences. Kayleigh McEnany, one of CNN’s appalling Trump defenders, inanely tweeted, “Covfefe was not poll tested or focus grouped. Another reason our POTUS is simply great! He’s human. He’s real. He’s just like us!” Comedian Travon Free won the night with “Ask your doctor if Covfefe is right for you,” above a photo of a hot couple about to get it on. Around 6 am, someone deleted the “covfefe” tweet from Trump’s account.
I mean, we know where Trump was probably going—“covfefe” is pretty easy to translate as “coverage.” He was readying another whiny, self-pitying tweet about his press coverage; it’s just another day ending in “Y.” But the fact that the tweet trailed off in mid-sentence, ending in a misspelling, was another sign that something is wrong in the White House. It’s not just one tweet, of course. You could maybe excuse “covfefe”: He’s tired. He just got back from an eight-day trip. The time zone shifts messed with him. He needed to use a golf cart while his G7 counterparts strolled around Taormina, Italy. We all have days like that. Maybe his second scoop of ice cream kicked in.
But this isn’t the first time Trump’s Twitter feed went haywire. I could pick dozens of examples, but to me the scariest was the day he went after the FBI director he’d just fired, James Comey, and warned him not to leak damaging information about their conversations because there might be “tapes.” It looked like witness intimidation. That was worse than covfefe. I sat watching Twitter, wondering how far he would go before someone stopped him. Death threats? He stopped there, just as he stopped after “covfefe.” Whew.
There is growing evidence that Trump is slipping. CNN reported Tuesday night that his friends and aides say he is growing angry and isolated. “I see him emotionally withdrawing. He’s gained weight. He doesn’t have anybody whom he trusts,” one “confidante” told Gloria Borger (note to my confidantes: Please tell me, not the national media, if you notice that I have problems like this). He’s even angry at son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner, who assured him he could fire Comey without political blowback. Now that Kushner’s been named as a target of the FBI investigation, and papers are reporting that he tried to set up his own secret, secure communications channel with Russian officials before Trump’s inauguration, we see why he was so anxious to fire Comey. But of course the move backfired, and Trump, Kushner, and other campaign and White House officials are now at the mercy of special counsel Robert Mueller.