President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.
"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.
"Trump now finds himself mired in a season of weakness," Rucker explained. "Foreign leaders feel emboldened to reject his pleas or contradict him. Officials inside his administration are openly defying his wishes by participating in the impeachment probe. Federal courts have ruled against him. Republican lawmakers are criticizing him. He has lost control over major conservative media organs. And polling shows a growing share of Americans disapprove of his job performance and support his impeachment."
People are calling Trump's bluffs.
"Still, Trump’s supremacy is being challenged inside his own realm. With his administration engulfed by crisis, Trump can no longer control the forces once solidly arrayed behind him," he explained. "A variety of administration officials, including high-ranking political appointees, have trekked to Capitol Hill to offer damaging revelations during day-long depositions before impeachment investigators. By testifying, these officials have decided to ignore the Trump White House’s unequivocal refusal to participate in a “totally compromised kangaroo court,” effectively ripping off the muzzles the president placed over their mouths."
Even right-wing media like Fox News are exasperated with Trump's conduct.
"One of Trump’s greatest political advantages has been the uniformly positive coverage he receives in conservative media, but the firewall of loyal defenders on which he has long relied is cracking. Trump has been angry with Fox News Channel because he deems the straight reporting, polling and some of the punditry it airs insufficiently adulatory," Rucker noted. "The Drudge Report, arguably the most influential website in conservative media, in recent weeks has run a deluge of negative headlines about Trump in all caps or bright-red type."
Read the full analysis.