Everyone is screaming over Trump’s absolute indifference to the safety of the Secret Service agents sworn to protect him at their risk of the own lives. The speculation is that he needed the adulation of his supporters, or that he wanted to keep the campaign momentum going, or that he couldn’t stand the idea of people thinking he wasn’t Superman. All of that may be true, but it seems there was a simpler and even more evil reason:
This article was in the WaPo this evening: Secret Service agents, doctors aghast at Trump’s drive outside hospital
Well, we’ve all heard that, but then this part caught my eye:
As the backlash [against his outing] grew, multiple aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations also called Trump’s outing to wave at supportive crowds an unnecessary risk — but said the move was not surprising. Trump had said he was bored in the hospital, advisers said. He wanted to show strength after his chief of staff offered a grimmer assessment of his health than doctors, according to campaign and White House officials. [emphasis added]
Contemplate that for a minute. Take two minutes. First is the total incomprehension of public optics required to even think that, much less say it out loud. Second, it is totally in keeping with how he thinks — only about himself, with not the slightest interest in how his action might affect others.
Trump put the lives of his agents, and probably others who had to prepare the outing, in danger because he was bored. And they know it.
“He’s not even pretending to care now,” one agent said after the president’s jaunt outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.“Where are the adults?” said a former Secret Service member.
James Phillips, a doctor at Walter Reed apparently not associated with Trump’s case, put it succinctly:
“By taking a joy ride outside Walter Reed the president is placing his Secret Service detail at grave risk,” he tweeted. [emphasis added]
The White House totally missed the point, so much so that one has to wonder if his aids agreed to his demand as one more step in getting rid of him. (As in, why did CoS Mark Meadows leak that Trump’s condition was worse than Trump had clearly ordered the doctors to say, knowing that Trump would learn about it and be furious.)
“Optics matter right now,” said one senior aide close to Meadows, adding: “Shows of strength and resilience are crucial. For the American public, but also those watching abroad.”
Yes they do. Except in the country of the blind.