Right now, Trump still has too many powerful defenders for him to face a political or legal reckoning, but he is getting seriously frustrated with the political crisis he has himself wrought, and wants desperately to ‘change the channel’ to distract attention from his manifest troubles. And when he is on the defensive, Trump lashes out.
There has been an ongoing debate amongst Trumps critics about whether he is a dangerous, vengeful authoritarian or simply an incompetent narcissist. As I and others have noted, this is a false dichotomy. Trump has both authoritarian tendencies and is a politically inexperienced and inept, profoundly ignorant, arrogant and narcissistic, man. So far, Trump’s character traits have worked against themselves to produce the chaotic and amateurish spectacle we have seen over the past few months. His worst impulses (and those of his ideologues) have been contained, but lasting damage has also been done.