When Trump erupts

What sets off the president, and why?

A Trump eruption usually starts with a burp of sulfur and then, in a burst of pyroclastic glory, up goes a torrid spume of lava blocks, pumice, gases and obscenities. His most recent detonation came on his trip to Davos, reports Bloomberg News, and the cause was word that an associate attorney general had called the plan to release the Nunes memo without proper Justice Department and FBI review “extraordinarily reckless.” To Trump, this was a grave affront—another effort by the Justice Department and other elements of the deep state to undermine his expose of the politically motivated witch hunt against him.

Trump erupts with such regularity that he’s like one of those impossible-to-pronounce Icelandic volcanoes whose ceaseless activity makes even occasional periods of dormancy newsworthy. His eruptions range from the megacolossal, as in the Nunes memo example, to the mundane, as when his attack on New York Times journalists as “fake reporters“ was described by celebrated volcanologist Maggie Haberman of the New York Times as an eruption.