“It was some reverse wag-the-dog bullsh*t”

As his supporters turned on him, Trump took a self-pitying attitude. He complained to one friend that European leaders were doing much worse. “The world is melting down! Look at France. Those riots are costing them a billion dollars a day!” he said, according to a person briefed on the conversation. Trump told another friend that the only person in the White House who gets good press is Jared Kushner. In an apparent bid to change the narrative, Trump announced he was withdrawing the 2,000 United States troops in Syria, but that only compounded the crisis by spurring Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign. “It was some reverse wag-the-dog bullshit,” a Republican close to the White House told me.