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Is Trump unraveling?

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

Last week, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview with the New York Times that Donald Trump was treating his office like "a reality show," with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation "on the path to World War III."

Corker said he was concerned about Trump: "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation." Corker added that "the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here ... the volatility that we're dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road."

Corker's interview was followed by a report from Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, who wrote that the situation has gotten so out of control that Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis may have discussed ways to stop Trump should he order a nuclear attack. Kelly has tried to keep Trump focused by intercepting outside phone calls to the White House and restricting access to the Oval Office. Many of Trump's advisors believe he is "unstable" and "unraveling" quickly.

Is Trump really unraveling? Are Republican leaders ready to pull the plug? I phoned an old friend, a Republican former member of Congress who keeps up with what's going on. I scribbled notes as he talked:

Me: So what's up? Is Corker alone, or are others also ready to call it quits with Trump?

He: All I know is they're simmering over there.

Me: Flake and McCain have come pretty close.

He: Yeah. Others are thinking about doing what Bob did. Sounding the alarm. They think Trump's nuts. Unfit. Dangerous.

Me: Well, they already knew that, didn't they?

He: But now it's personal. It started with the Sessions stuff. Jeff was as loyal as they come. Trump's crapping on him was like kicking your puppy. And then, you know, him beating up on Mitch (McConnell) for the Obamacare fiasco. And going after Flake and the others.

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