The latest head-shakingly ludicrous revelation: Donald Trump forces his staff to prepare a daily dossier with positive news stories and photos of himself in order to build up his fragile ego.
Every day, Donald Trump has his underlings prepare a folder filled with screenshots of cable news, printed-out tweets, TV transcripts, and pictures of Trump that are designed to make the unpopular head of the Republican Party feel good about himself.
Trump has an infamously thin skin, and he bristles at even the softest of criticism from even minor figures. He has turned to Twitter for tantrums about negative news stories, and has decried polls showing his pathetic approval ratings as "fake news."
And Trump and his presidency have consistently been surrounded by ego-boosting propaganda.
He leans on Fox News and his favorite program, Fox & Friends, to inform him. He has bent regulatory rules to force the pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcast Group into more homes, and he has created a propaganda broadcast (run by his daughter-in-law) for his supporters (and himself?) to reassure them that despite appearances, everything is going fine.
But apparently, all of that was not enough for Trump's delicate sense of self. His staff has to prepare a specific packet of cheerleading Trump news to soothe him.
Vice reports that in the White House, this strange collection is called "the propaganda document" by some on staff. The team that assembles the daily ego stroking has also been ordered to make it "more fucking positive."
The feel-good papers are put together via a tag-team effort by staffers at the Republican National Committee and White House staff. One side effect of Trump's bumbling presidency on multiple fronts is that there often is not enough positive news to include in the dossier, so "flattering photos of the president" are included to put Trump in a better mindset.
One former RNC official told Vice, "Maybe it’s good for the country that the president is in a good mood in the morning" — a sentiment which echoes the concerns of the generals in Trump's senior staff who agreed to babysit him as he received control of the nuclear arsenal.
Apparently the happy news dossier was the brainchild of Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, the former White House chief of staff and press secretary who were both forced out of their positions, victims of the emotional rollercoaster that Trump has installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
From the world of actual grown-ups, David Axelrod, former senior adviser for President Barack Obama, told Vice, "If we had prepared such a digest for Obama, he would have roared with laughter."
But for someone like Trump, with such obvious authoritarian and dictatorial impulses, emotional Viagra in the form of a daily dossier of self-promotion would fit right in with his increasingly bizarre personality.