How Trump lost half of Washington

Mr. Trump fulfilled every fear a Trump skeptic would have. So they stayed skeptics, or became active opponents. Strangely in a political figure, the president had no particular respect for his critics’ concerns or anxieties. He never understood they could be brought into the tent. They were all enemies; it was all black and white. Some supporters were like that too, but that was understandable: The job of supporters is to fight. He’s the leader, and leaders are forced to deal with reality. He would not lessen his critics’ fears through behavioral change. Heck, he won the election by not changing, why mess with his swing?

He thought he didn’t need the ambassadors. “Experts” are just guys who marinated in a little subset and memorized its clichés. If they were any good we’d be in better shape!

It was all this—the president’s disdain, his well-fed resentments—that not only left Washington thinking Mr. Trump was crazy. It made Washington itself a fertile field for crazy. It was in this atmosphere that the Steele dossier, with its whacked out third-rate spy fiction, became believable, that sober-minded officials reportedly wondered if they should wear wires when they met with the president.

He destabilized the entire town.