As his poll numbers drop to the low 30s, as his "agenda" falls flat, and as he begins to feel the breath of the prosecutors and grand jury on his neck, narcissist and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump is seeking out his hardcore delusional base for affirmation. Trips to deep red West Virginia (two) and other coal country venues have become regular itineraries in the first six months of his regime. His speeches to those crowds are indistinguishable from his vile campaign rallies, where he urged violence upon the media and his political opponents and lied his big orange ass off to adoring, clueless crowds.
Writing for American Prospect, Paul Waldman notes the increasing need for Rump to receive praise and obsequious loyalty from his followers and his retinue as his political failures and legal problems mount. His demands for loyalty from others to counterbalance his own insecurity got him in trouble with former FBI Director Comey, and led to suspicions that he was hiding a very significant problem when it comes to Moscow. The news yesterday that his Vice President, Mike "Dense" Pence, was preparing for a Presidential run in 2020, must have perturbed Rump, and ended up forcing Dense to issue an over-the-top, bootlicking denial. The narcissism, the paranoia, the demands for affection and loyalty may be the biggest cause of the endemic leaking from his own White (Supremacist) House. Per Waldman:
"...Pence couldn't actually point to anything in the article that was false. But the true audience for his statement was one person, the desperately insecure man in the Oval Office, for whom it amounted to, 'C'mon baby, you know you're the only one for me.' And the president needs that reassurance more than ever. He has shown that he has a deep desire for loyalty (you'll recall that he demanded it of James Comey, whose answer wasn't satisfying), but he's not getting nearly enough. In fact, Trump's own aides could be described as less loyal than any White House staff in history. All that leaking—much of which serves to portray the president as a buffoon—comes from a White House where everyone's looking out for themselves rather than doing what Trump would hope, i.e. contributing to the greater aggrandizement of Donald Trump....It won't be enough to tout the administration's accomplishments—you have be effusive about Trump himself, telling him that he is a giant among Lilliputians, a man whose wisdom, skill, and accomplishments are so spectacular that we should all fall to our knees and thank our gods that we were privileged enough to inhabit the same historical period as such a person."Expect Rump's out-of-control need for affirmation and "loyalty" to grow in direct proportion to the escalating investigation of his ties to Moscow and his mounting failures in office.
BONUS: Greg Sargent sees the same wagon- circling.