To the email that the White House Communication Department sends every night to accredited journalists in Washington with the president’s agenda for the next day, there was no way to get it last night. He had only this sentence President Trump will work from early morning until very late at night. He will make many calls and have many meetings.
The literary style of the E-mail suggested the possibility that Trump himself had dictated it. In any case, whatever the reason for such a nonsensical message, the president is isolated. The decision to mobilize the National Guard – a branch of the Armed Forces – was made by Vice President Mike Pence, in coordination with Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, the chief of the Armed Forces High Staff, General Mark Milley, and the leaders from Republicans and Democrats – of Congress. That is not journalistic speculation, it is a message posted on the Defense Department website.
TRUMP CALLS ON HIS FOLLOWERS TO END THE SIEGE BUT CONTINUES TO SAY THERE WERE TRAPS
The cascade of resignations in the White House was not speculation either, although these only affect personnel of little political weight, such as the Social Secretary, Melania Trump’s chief of staff, or the deputy director of the Department of Communication. There were rumors, and many, about other more far-reaching resignations, including the director and deputy director of Homeland Security – the second of whom, Matt Pottinger, has already made his resignation effective – and the Secretary of Transportation. Still, that doesn’t affect Donald Trump’s inner circle. What’s more, that inner circle is ultimately reduced to two people, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared.
Other rumors, however, were highly speculative. Among them, the possibility of Mike Pence invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which opens the way for the president to be removed for incapacity. According to various media outlets, this was a possibility that was being considered “on a preliminary basis” by the Trump cabinet. Some House Democrats have asked Pence to start the process, but as long as they don’t have the backing of any Republicans, the idea is going nowhere. The reason is that the final decision would be in the hands of Congress, and it is highly unlikely that a sufficient number of Republicans would vote in favor to carry it out.
Something similar is possible to think of the possibility that Congress removes the president. An impeachment, a censure from the House of Representatives would come through. But the dismissal again would not be viable, because it would require the vote of 18 of the 50 Republicans who today are in the Senate, a figure that seems unattainable. Finally, there is the fact that there are only two weeks left for the transfer of powers to take place. Thus, everything seems to indicate that Trump will remain in the White House, although probably with little contact with the rest of his team. Another thing, of course, is that the president, as is usual for him, surprises his allies who, among the American political class, can be counted on the fingers of one hand and his rivals.