President Trump began under siege on Thursday and heard the howl of indignation over his border wall and the government's shutdown. He ended it by announcing the man's exit, which the US allies see as the final guardrail against the President's unpredictable behavior: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, whose resignation letter was a devastating blame for Trump's outlook on the world.
Perhaps the most fragile moment of his presidency – and vulnerable to political right-wing convulsions – Trump single-handedly drove the US government into crisis, saving markets this week with its gambits to save signature campaigns.
The decisions and behavior of the president have led to a rupture of Trump's coalition. Hawks condemned his sudden decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. Conservatives called him a "discouraged president" and asked if he would ever build a wall. Political friends privately asked if Trump had to be forced.
After trumping down America's footprint in overseas wars, Trump abruptly declared Wednesday that he would withdraw US forces from Syria against which Mattis and other advisors were advising. On Thursday, officials said Trump was preparing to send thousands of troops from Afghanistan.
The President also presented to Congress an ultimatum to finance the construction of his promised US-Mexico border wall government shutdown shortly before Christmas. Trump and his helpers had signaled tacit support for a short-term spending compromise that would prevent decommissioning, but the president abruptly changed course after catching a barrage of criticism from some of his most famous loyalists.
Leon Panetta, who served as Defense Secretary, CIA Director, and White House Chief of Staff for Democratic Presidents, said: "We are in a state of constant chaos in this country." He added: "It is true that [Trump’s] the need for attention." that's hell in the country. "
Panetta said Mattis's resignation was a unique moment, and his letter, underscoring how Mattis considers Trump's approach misguided, now risks the nation's security to some degree. "
Trump has been isolated in recent weeks in political and personal bunker-mode crises, as evidenced by interviews with 27 current and former White House officials, Republican lawmakers, and outside presidential aides , Some of them voted for the condition of anonymity to make honest judgments.
"There will be an intervention," said a former senior government official speculatively. "Jim Mattis just sent a shot over the bow. He is the most credible member of the administration in five orders of magnitude. He is the firm, sure hand. And this letter is brutal. He quit because of the madness. "
In his letter of resignation, Mattis wrote:" My views on respectful dealings with allies and clarity about malign actors and strategic competitors are being held for over four decades and informing immersion in these issues. , , Since you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views on these and other issues are better aligned with yours, I think it is right to step down from my position.
Although Trump's relationship with Mattis has a rocky relationship For months, the President focused on the first half of Thursday on another worn-out relationship: with his conservative base.
On Thursday, when criticism of his surrender on the wall got louder every hour, Trump complained to friends and co-workers that he felt lamented politically. He had no plan, but he spoiled a fight. At noon the president elected one.
"I have made my position very clear: Any measure that finances the government must include border security. Must, "said Trump on Thursday. He added that he had "no choice" but to act.
Trump's advisers acknowledged that the funding could not be secured in the end, but boasted that the spectacle would be positively recalled by his parent voters as evidence of his eagerness. A proposal to fund the wall was approved by the parliament late on Thursday, but was faced with uncertain prospects in the Senate.
The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Who is usually cautious in his approach to Trump, avoided arming the president in his recent talks since he knew he should step down Funding on the wall would probably only encourage him, say two people familiar with the discussions. At each corner, McConnell confided to Trump that the congress's efforts this month – from the passing of the Farm Act to the reform of the Second Criminal Justice System – were a series of victories for him, the people said.
Thanks to McConnell's comforting optimism, there was cautious optimism that the president would eventually sign a finance bill. "McConnell, of course, has a lot to do with it. They talk a lot, "said MP Harold D. Rogers (R-Ky.). "It's wise to save the fight for another day."
House spokesman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) – who this week was busy saying goodbye to Congress after two decades in office, followed McConnell's playbook and showed how Trump would do this. In the New Year, to fight for wall financing, a person close to Ryan said.
Both Ryan and the US government majority leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Told Trump last week that they could not pass a $ 5 bill on spending billions of dollars on building walls, and McConnell was kicked off by White House states that Trump would sign a short-term bill without them, according to two people familiar with the talks.
But on the Fox News Channel and in the conservative media, there was a rebellion brewing. Prominent voices urged Trump to cling to the wall and warned that cave advertising would jeopardize his re-election.
Rush Limbaugh rejected the compromise proposal in his radio show: "Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything." Another fire flag, Ann Coulter, he published a column titled "Gutless President in Wallless Country." Trump even found resistance on the couch of his favorite show "Fox & Friends," where reliable Trump anchor Brian Kilmeade sent him on Thursday.  The president was careful. He did not develop Coulter on Twitter. And he brought out a series of defensive tweets that blamed congressional leaders for not funding the wall and defensive stance as well. He suggested that a massive wall may not be necessary in its entirety, as the border is already "tight" thanks to the work of Border Patrol agents and groups.
"One of the things he is most prone to is ridicule and ridicule by his own followers," said Mark Krikorian, a leading anti-immigration activist.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus took part in the rebellion During Wednesday's House vote, Chairman Mark Meadows (RN.C.) and other members refused to budge and stand trial with journalists, scolding the Republican leadership and warning Trump that he was in
At a Oval Thursday office with Ryan and McCarthy, Trump was quiet and did not scream, but was determined and "dug in what he wants," said a Republican official who was informed of the discussion
Trump spent six to seven minutes in the meeting Ryan and McCarthy talked about "steel slats" and said that the term was preferable to the one proposed Construction to call a "wall", as the President has done for more than three years.
The administrative drama comes at a particularly dangerous time for Trump after he came to the polls in the midterm elections in November. The Democrats are preparing to take control of the house in January and use their summons to investigate Trump's finances and behavior, as well as alleged corruption in the administration.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are in their last panting the combined government is divided. A group of hardened conservative lawmakers voted against Trump's legislation, which the parliament and senate passed with the support of both parties, and is expected to be signed by the president on Friday. And many foreign policy hawks, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.), a Trump confidant, criticized Trump's decision on Wednesday to withdraw US troops from Syria.
Trump was at the Oval Office Thursday in what a Republican near the White House termed "tailspin," "totally irrational" and criticized in the "freaky out" media ,
Even when adjutants argued that a wall financing protest could deprive government employees of Christmas, Trump warned in private conversations with the republican legislators that they would all be "crushed" if they did not build the wall.
Trump pointed out to his advisers that the signing of the short-term spending bill without wallet money would make him look weak and give his constituencies the impression that he had broken a campaign promise. He also complained that Congress did not have sufficient negotiating potential and accused the officers of not offering him better options.
"He rightly says," That's ridiculous. Why should I sign this? "Said the chairman of the American conservative union Matt Schlapp, whose wife Mercedes Schlapp is a senior White House employee. "If you're the outsider, you do not want to follow the same old, stupid rules. If he does that, he does not look like an outsider.
Trump urged his helpers to go on television Thursday night and defend the government after a brutal day. Senior Advisor Stephen Miller went to CNN, where he watched a long, screaming game with anchor Wolf Blitzer. And Sarah Sanders, White House Press Officer, appeared with a trump favorite, Fox Business Presenter Lou Dobbs.
Marc Short, Trump's former director of Legislative Affairs at the White House, said Trump said, "He believes he promised the voters to build the Wall. There is a realization that with the congress the owner only gets bigger the challenge to get the financing of the wall.
Trump's pinball behavior – moving from a promise of a decommissioning to a deal and then changing his mind annoyed members of his own party. Many Republican lawmakers said they feel Trump is uncomfortably adjusting to the dynamics of a soon-to-split government and withdrawing to regain some of its dominance over the congressional agenda.
The defense secretary's resignation heightened concern.  "Being with Mattis has given us much more comfort than now," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). "Chaos was somehow the norm, but it seems to have been increased. Sometimes you think it has to settle, and then something else happens. "