Ed already mentioned this morning’s Twitter nastiness but I’m going to take the opposite line on it. Sure, Trump is a moron for handing the media a shiny object on a day when he should be focused like a laser on Clinton Foundation sleaziness, but try to look at it from his perspective. Obviously, this is what he wants to do with his time. Deep down, believe it or not, I feel some sympathy for his predicament. Over and over, no matter how many Paul Manaforts or Reince Priebuses shriek at him to stay on message, he’s been seduced into petty score-settling with media enemies like Scarborough and Megyn Kelly. It must be so confusing to him, having won the primaries by indulging his instincts towards inane insults, to hear now from the political pros he beat that the’s wrecking his chances at winning another election by refusing to change. Why not just let him do what he wants to do? What’s the harm? That was the point of Bannon joining the team, I thought. From now on, Trump would be allowed to do the things that make him happy and his fans would dutifully cheer him on and call him a genius. He’d lose badly in November, but that’s okay: He’d spin it as the product of a rigged election and many of his supporters would believe him, and then he’d go off and found Trump News for them. Everybody wins except the GOP, but screw the GOP. All of this was foreseeable when they rubber-stamped him as the nominee after he knocked Cruz out in Indiana. They bought the ticket, now they can take the ride.

So let Trump be Trump. He’s a born entertainer. Sit back, stop worrying about elections, and enjoy the show.

Act II:


https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/767696649309347841

Brzezinski went after Trump pretty hard this morning for his “what do you have to lose?” outreach to black voters, which may or may not have been the catalyst for him to start throwing roundhouses at Joe. His relationship with Scarborough’s show, in fact, may end up being a microcosm of his relationship with the GOP in that it started off neutral, blossomed into outright support, and predictably has disintegrated into vicious attacks as Joe and Mika have grown more wary about him becoming president. What sort of “real stories” about Reince and the RNC will Trump start telling on the stump in October if he’s eight points behind and the GOP cuts off his money? Or maybe that’s the point of this broadside at Scarborough, to implicitly warn other frenemies who are thinking of crossing Trump that he’s prepared to play nasty if they do.

Hopefully Sean Hannity can find five minutes on tonight’s show amid his ranting about how #NeverTrumpers are putting the Supreme Court in jeopardy to ponder whether Trump values the fate of the Court more than, say, his latest Twitter flame war. Speaking of which, the NYT cites multiple sources today who claim that Hannity has been informally advising Trump “for months” and may be angling for a job in the Trump administration, although Hannity denies the latter. “I never claimed to be a journalist,” he said to the charges of giving Trump advice, which is true — but it’s also true that employees of a news organization, whether “objective” or not, aren’t supposed to try to quietly influence the events the organization is reporting on without disclosing that. Then again, don’t you think Scarborough quietly gave Trump a pointer or two on campaigning this past spring when they were still buddies? Isn’t it highly likely that Hannity’s former boss, Roger Ailes, had a chat or two with Trump over the past 15 months when he was still running Fox in which he offered friendly advice on the primaries? People who work for news outlets shouldn’t be secretly trying to shape the news itself but none of us are so naive as to believe it doesn’t happen among major players. Two follow-up questions, though. One: Was Hannity advising Trump during the primaries? Because he swore up and down at the time, however implausibly, that he was neutral and wanted merely to give each candidate a chance to be heard. If he was whispering in Trump’s ear but not Ted Cruz’s, then his neutrality claim was untrue. And two: Did he ever secretly advise Trump on how to handle his running war on Megyn Kelly? Some might call that a conflict of interest.

Here’s new Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway telling ABC 24 hours ago that Trump doesn’t engage in personal insults.