For President Donald Trump, the world is divided into two kinds of people: loyalists and “rats.” But another central Trumpian characteristic — self-preservation — is increasingly challenging his worldview and leaving him exposed.
The list of loyalists turned rats or potential loyalists turned rats in Trump world is growing. It now includes not just former Apprentice star and White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman and former lawyer and confidant Michael Cohen, but possibly also White House counsel Don McGahn, who has been cooperating with the special counsel’s probe, according to the New York Times.
Trump — who values loyalty as the ultimate measure for hiring White House aides, making political appointments, and even endorsements in key House and Senate races — has learned, especially in recent weeks, how fickle his allies can be, and he is making his frustration and paranoia clear.
“It’s hard for Trump to understand why people would prefer to protect themselves because he’s so self-centered he doesn’t take into account other people,” said a former White House official. “He’s reaping what he’s sown.”