Trump flew off the handle and swore at his own chief of staff when Mick Mulvaney tried to suggest a compromise position with Democrats during shutdown negotiations.
For someone who wrote a book called "The Art of the Deal," Trump seems to have a big problem with basic negotiations.
According to reports from Axios and CNN, Trump swore at and humiliated his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, in front of congressional leaders earlier this month during a Situation Room meeting on reopening the federal government.
Trump reportedly lost it after Mulvaney suggested ending Trump's shutdown by finding a compromise position between the $1.3 billion of border security funding Democrats were offering and the $5.7 billion Trump was demanding for a border wall.
"Stop, stop, just stop — What are you doing? You're fucking it all up, Mick," Trump reportedly told Mulvaney.
"It was so awkward, I was looking down, like I couldn't watch," one White House official who was present told CNN.
Trump, it seems, got mad at Mulvaney because Mulvaney dared to suggest that negotiating might involve trying to find common ground.
Trump's typical negotiating skills consist of refusing to offer any alternative positions, slamming the table, and walking out. So he may have been perplexed by Mulvaney's attempt, however feeble, to come to some sort of settlement to end the government shutdown that is now the longest in this country's history.
And perhaps Trump felt so sanguine going after Mulvaney because the latter did not exactly revere Trump before getting the nod to work in the Trump administration. In 2016, Mulvaney called Trump a "terrible human being" and said that Trump wouldn't be a role model for his 16-year-old triplets.
Whatever the underlying reason, it's entirely unsurprising that Trump would try to pin the spectacular failure of the shutdown on someone else. He has a habit of refusing to take responsibility for his actions.
When a grieving father wanted to know why his Navy SEAL son died in a botched mission, Trump blamed the military. When Trump had a lackluster State of the Union address, he blamed Democrats for being insufficiently enthusiastic.
And while Trump initially said he would be proud to own his shutdown, he now insists that the "buck stops with everybody."
It will be interesting to see how conservatives react to Trump's foul language, given the tantrum they threw about newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) saying, of Trump, "We will impeach this motherfucker."
What's actually disgraceful is that this shutdown drags on, with no end in sight, because Trump is a petulant child who has no idea how to get the country out of the mess for which he is 100 percent responsible.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.