Even as his staff was telling reporters how hard they had worked — with apparent success — to keep the Boss from disrespecting Christine Blasey Ford, Trump cut loose with this tweet:
Yes, the president of the United States is suggesting that a traumatized teenager should have gone straight to the police — unless, perhaps, she’s lying about being assaulted, or the attack wasn’t “as bad as she says.” (You know, maybe it was just “roughhousing.”) The gratuitous shot at “her loving parents” is not going to go over terribly well with people who have teenage daughters.
The tweet wasn’t a one-off, either. A few minutes later, Trump added this:
The president is no more renowned for his understanding of how government works than he is for empathy toward women. But even he probably knows that the FBI doesn’t have jurisdiction over sexual assaults, but can become involved in investigations involving federal judges and nominees. Trump made a similar argument involving the agency last night in an interview with Sean Hannity, which means the people around him had quite a few hours to explain to him why this whole snarky line of discourse is absurd and offensive.
Clearly, Trump could not be controlled and could not control himself, even as his own counselor Kellyanne Conway was publicly urging all Republicans to avoid attacks on Ford. He was like a toddler in close proximity to a sweet in the famous “marshmallow test” measuring the ability to delay gratification:
It will be an interesting day at the White House as flummoxed aides and congressional allies try to walk this back. But who knows when the president will bust loose again? His renewed threats to shut down the government in a tantrum over his border wall against the advice of virtually every Republican in sight really ought to be taken more seriously. And Judge Kavanaugh’s backers should understand that the maximum support of POTUS can be a mixed blessing.