According to a report in Politico, many of Donald Trump’s problems are the direct result of his inability to get over the smallest of slights leading him to make poor decisions because he can’t see his way to let go of a grudge.
The report notes, “Whether in the privacy of his clubs or out on the campaign trail, the president can’t help but hold onto a grudge. Even as Trump heads into an election year with a record that he claims ranks him among the best presidents of all time, political grievances continue to drive everything from policy decisions to rally speeches to some of the biggest scandals of his presidency — including his impeachment.”
Case in point, Trump has been at war with a billionaire Florida businessman who ran for governor and used a clip of an altercation with Trump as part of a campaign ad.
“At his private club in West Palm Beach, Trump was smarting over a local political feud. After finishing a round of golf the weekend after Thanksgiving, a small group approached the president as he stepped off the 18th green: two of his biggest donors, and a Florida neighbor,” Politico reports. “The president shook everyone’s hands, but then coldly turned to his neighbor, a fellow billionaire who lives down the block from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. ‘Pretty nervy of you to come to this club,” Trump snapped.”
That neighbor is “Jeff Greene, a real estate tycoon from Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago member who ran for Florida governor in the Democratic primary last year. Greene said he wasn’t surprised by the reception. A year earlier, he and the president had gotten into a shouting match at the golf club that he videotaped and then featured in political ads across the state,” Politico reports, adding that it didn’t end there.
“After the chilly exchange,” Greene told Politico, “Everyone parted ways and went to the club’s dining room for a bite. But the president didn’t let it go. Sitting at a separate table in the dining room overlooking the golf course, Trump twice yelled across the room at Greene according to his retelling.”
According to the report, Trump’s unfounded belief that elements in Ukraine were trying to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election led him into the Ukraine corruption quagmire that threatens to swallow his presidency.
“More than Biden, the president is in this pickle because of his belief that Ukraine meddled against him,” explained former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. “His primordial instinct to exact revenge can sometimes — as in this case — completely backfire.”
According to Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer, this comes as no surprise.
“When people get in his way, he has no patience for it and it becomes a personal vendetta even when it shouldn’t and when it’s against his own self-interest,” he explained. “He’s ungoverned around that — he won’t take advice, he won’t look to getting more informed — he will simply do whatever he wants. “He’s used to getting away with that because he was insulated from his own mistakes his whole life. His family and his money helped protect him, and then he became a celebrity and he enjoyed the halo of protection that celebrity has, and now he is president he enjoys legal protections.”
As Politico notes, that hasn’t stopped some of his antagonists from trying to get back in Trump’s good graces — as long as they are willing to suck up to the president.
“The president has converted some of the targets of his political vitriol. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who Trump once labeled an ‘idiot,’ is now a staunch ally and golfing partner. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.- Texas), who faced nasty Trump barbs about his wife’s appearance and conspiratorial insinuations that his father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination, now stands by him in Congress. And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), who Trump once called a ‘brat’ with a ‘badly functioning brain,’ has championed some of Trump’s more controversial military actions,” the report concludes.
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