If you think the last few days of President Donald Trump's presidency have been crazy, watch out. You ain't seen nothing yet.
White House officials expect the increasingly emboldened president to become even more outrageous in the coming months, especially if Republicans manage to pass a major tax reform bill, reported both Axios and the Washington Post.
"Officials tell us Trump seems more self-assured, more prone to confidently indulging wild conspiracies and fantasies, more quick-triggered to fight than he was during the Wild West of the first 100 days in office," reported Mike Allen for Axios.
Trump, who overcame a never-ending deluge of scandals during his campaign, hasn't faced any pushback from the GOP congressional majority.
"If there are consequences for his actions, Trump does not seem to feel their burden personally," reported the Post's Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker. "The Republican tax bill appears on track for passage, putting the president on the cusp of his first major legislative achievement. Trump himself remains the highest-profile man accused of sexual improprieties to keep his job with no repercussions."
The president has this week attacked individual media figures by name, called for the boycott or investigation of others, re-tweeted virulently anti-Muslim videos posted by a British fascist, cast doubts on the "Access Hollywood" tape he has already admitted was real, and again pressured the Department of Justice to bend to his will.
Allen, a longtime Washington insider, suggested the president would become even more unrestrained if Roy Moore, whom he's endorsed despite multiple allegations of child molestation, wins election to the U.S. Senate in Alabama.
"Trump has internalized the belief that he can largely operate with impunity, people close to him said. His political base cheers him on," the Post reported. "Fellow Republican leaders largely stand by him. His staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior — or even to laugh it off. And the White House disciplinarian, chief of staff John F. Kelly, has said it is not his job to control the president."
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said this week that Trump was "one of the best presidents I've served under," and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised the president's efforts on the tax reform bill.
Alex Castellanos, a GOP campaign consultant, said Trump's hardcore supporters like his aggressively unhinged behavior.
“A strong daddy bear is what a lot of voters want,” he said. “Right or wrong, at least he’s fighting for us.”
He said the highly polarized political environment gave Trump plenty of room to operate however he pleases.
“In an intensely polarized world, you can’t burn down the same house twice,” Castellanos added. “What has Donald Trump got to lose at this point?”