Mister tough guy, Donald J. Trump, is showing signs of incredible weakness around all the edges. Not only did the Turkish president thumb his nose at Trump’s childishly written letter this week more GOP lawmakers are finding the cajones to speak out in criticism on his abandonment of the Kurds.
The impeachment inquiry is gaining steam with almost daily revelations of new and inappropriate activities by the Trump administration. Trump’s poll numbers are weakening and over 53% of Americans support the impeachment inquiry.
More influential GOP lawmakers/conservatives are speaking out in support of the impeachment inquiry and we expect the number will only grow as more revealing and damning evidence comes out about Trump and his handling of The Peoples Business.
President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies.
Trump now finds himself mired in a season of weakness. Foreign leaders feel emboldened to reject his pleas or contradict him. Officials inside his administration are openly defying his wishes by participating in the impeachment probe. Federal courts have ruled against him. Republican lawmakers are criticizing him. He has lost control over major conservative media organs. And polling shows a growing share of Americans disapprove of his job performance and support his impeachment.
Many of Trump’s Republican allies revolted over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops in Syria, which triggered a bloody Turkish invasion that killed Kurdish fighters and civilians.
Trump bragged about sending a “very powerful letter” warning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to invade Syria. “Don’t be a fool!” Trump wrote. But Turkish officials leaked word that their leader had thrown the letter in the trash, and Erdogan then took Trump to task for his “lack of respect.”
“Are we so weak, and so inept diplomatically, that Turkey forced the hand of the United States of America? Turkey?” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, said in a speech Thursday denouncing Trump’s Syria decision as “a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote an op-ed criticizing the pullout, a rare rebuke of Trump.
“America’s wars will be ‘endless’ only if America refuses to win them,” he wrote, referencing Trump’s frequent argument that his critics want to keep U.S. troops abroad indefinitely.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Trump “shows strength at all the wrong times, and then when he needs to show strength, he shows abject weakness.”
“When he got on the phone call with Erdogan, he was weak as could be,” Schumer said Thursday on MSNBC. “He should have told Erdogan: ‘You can’t do this. America’s not going to let you do this.’ Instead, he green lights Erdogan, and then a few hours later sends this ranting, rambling letter that shows ersatz toughness — and to show you the effect, Erdogan ignored the letter.”
“It’s deflating when the curtain is pulled back and the Wizard of Oz is a little guy,” said David Axelrod, who served as senior adviser in the Obama White House. “If your whole predicate is strength and everywhere you turn there are signs of weakness, it is a danger.”
Axelrod added: “His psyche is invested in this facade of the strongman and yet he seems to be heeled by strongmen.”
With his administration engulfed by crisis, Trump can no longer control the forces once solidly arrayed behind him.
A variety of administration officials, including high-ranking political appointees, have trekked to Capitol Hill to offer damaging revelations during day-long depositions before impeachment investigators.
By testifying, these officials have decided to ignore the Trump White House’s unequivocal refusal to participate in a “totally compromised kangaroo court,” effectively ripping off the muzzles the president placed over their mouths.
Trump is being humbled by the judiciary as well. A federal appeals court in Washington ruled against the president this month in an extended legal battle over access to his financial data, deciding that Congress could seek eight years of Trump’s business records from his accounting firm.
The mounting crises for the administration — including self-dealing accusations over Trump’s decision to host next year’s Group of Seven summit of world leaders at his own Florida resort — has weakened the president’s hold on his party. During Trump’s past controversies, most Republican lawmakers publicly defended the president even if they privately expressed frustration, but now some are speaking out in utter exasperation.
“I think it’s not a good thing to have the appearance — you know, in the law, there’s a canon that says, ‘Avoid the appearance of impropriety,’ ” said Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.). “I think that would be better if he would not use his hotel for this kind of stuff.”