NBC political director Chuck Todd described a White House in chaos, with President Donald Trump's aides constantly scrambling from one emergency to the next as a president who sees himself as the star of his own reality show rampages through Washington like King Kong in a red baseball cap.
"What is going on here?" asked MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, clearly reeling after a week in which the president threatened to close the border, promised again to reform health care and just as quickly reversed that promise, attacked Puerto Rico again, reversed himself on releasing the Mueller report, and cut off aid to Central America.
"We try so hard to figure out his deep motive," Todd, who was at a loss, replied. "Does anybody think there's a deep motive other than getting through the day, entertaining himself through the day, maybe defending himself?
"I think we try so hard to look for some larger grand scheme, when everything is the moment," he said. "It's about getting a laugh line in the moment. It's about 'okay, I want to shut down the border. They're not cooperating with me so let's just shut down the border and that will make them cooperate.'"
"What's amazing to me is there's one of two things happening inside the White House," Todd went on. "Either there's a whole bunch of people who are not competent about how to manage a White House or they are competent and their whole job is to keep him from doing things like shutting down the border. I'm starting to think it's truly more the latter." He noted that Trump's chief economist had been forced to explain why shutting down the border would be a bad thing for the country and for his base.
"This is what the White House staff has to spend its day on -- preventing him from causing bigger political headaches."
Watch the video below.