- An MSNBC commentator offered an unvarnished take on the motivations behind President Donald Trump’s freewheeling rhetoric of the past few weeks.
- John Heilemann, a national affairs analyst for NBC News, said Monday that Trump is harking back to his base and suggested that it is the president’s go-to response when things get tough in Washington.
- “His base matters to him – it’s like his binky, and he never wants to let go of the binky,” Heilemann said.
- Trump in just the last week has sniped at Amazon, the media, immigrants, and the Justice Department and FBI.
President Donald Trump’s rhetoric of late has been increasingly freewheeling, as he has in recent weeks returned to the persona that defined his raucous campaign in 2016, unleashing his deepest grievances in public and on social media.
Trump most recently has sniped at Amazon, the media, immigrants, and the Justice Department and FBI. The president’s gripes come amid what has been a tumultuous few weeks for his administration:
- Trump fired his secretary of state, lost his third national security adviser and White House communications director, and fired the Veterans Affairs secretary in a span of about a month.
- The financial markets have been convulsing as a result of new US tariffs targeting international trade partners that are largely unsupported domestically.
- The president and his associates are staring down the vortex of the Russia investigation, in which the special counsel Robert Mueller seems to be homing in ever closer to Trump’s inner circle.
Trump’s fiery rhetoric has increased in tandem with these and other developments. One MSNBC commentator offered an unvarnished take on what might be motivating the president. John Heilemann, the prominent political commentator who is a national affairs analyst for NBC News, said Monday that the president is harking back to his base.
“His base matters to him – it’s like his binky, and he never wants to let go of the binky,” Heilemann said.
He said a president who won an election as narrowly as Trump did, but who also lost the popular vote and maintained consistently low approval ratings into his second year, would in theory try to broaden his own appeal.
“First thing you would do, you would think, is ‘if I’m going to get big things done in Washington, I need to expand from where I am right now, because the majority of the country isn’t for me,'” Heilemann said.
He said that, while a “conventional” president would look for ways to reach out to a broader cross-section of America, it would be unwise at this point to hope for the same from Trump.
“Trump does not have any interest in that,” Heilemann said. “What he has an interest in, is clutching his binky ever tighter.”
Heilemann suggested that Trump, in his latest administrative actions, is essentially shedding himself of what he perceives to be obstacles to his broader agenda.
Heilemann said of Trump: “He saying, ‘I want to go back to what got me here, what made me comfortable, the people I like to hear from, people who will tell me what I want to hear.”
Watch the segment below:
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