On Monday, President Donald Trump sent seven -- yes, seven! -- tweets attacking his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman over claims she made in her tell-all memoir that was formally released today.
He followed that tweet-rant with this shot at Omarosa on Tuesday morning: "When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"
Eight tweets in 24 hours -- all about Omarosa. Eight tweets in which Trump refers to Omarosa, an African-American woman and former White House employee, as, among other things, a "dog," "wacky," "deranged," a "crazed, crying lowlife," "vicious" and "not smart."
Now ask yourself this: Would you ever be as focused -- bordering on obsessed -- with someone who you didn't care about and who you genuinely believed was just saying all sorts of false things? Would you call that person all sorts of names -- including a number with quite clear racial under- (and over-) tones, if that person didn't matter?
The answer of course is "no." The fact that Trump appears to be absolutely fixated on Omarosa -- and the book she wrote about her time in the White House -- speaks to the fact that Trump is concerned about what impact the allegations she makes about him might have.
(His Omarosa tweets came among a particularly active morning on Twitter for the President, during which he also attacked Bruce Ohr of the "Justice" Department -- the quotes around "Justice" are Trump's -- "disgraced" Christopher Steele, Ohr's wife Nelly, recently fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, plus his old standby, Hillary Clinton).
Trump, displaying a rare bit of self-awareness, tried to justify why he was spending so much time tweeting about Omarosa in a Monday tweet. "While I know it's 'not presidential' to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible," he tweeted. "Sorry!" (Narrator voice: He's not sorry.)
The problem for Trump is that he always reveals his true colors if you wait long enough. And by "long enough," I mean a few hours. Since that "not presidential" tweet, Trump has tweeted (or retweeted) six more times about Omarosa. And in that flurry of tweets he has revealed that Omarosa signed a non-disclosure agreement, further stoked the idea that he is willing to play with racial language for his personal political benefit and even retweeted Michael Cohen -- his former lawyer/fixer who the President has spent the last few weeks running down as Cohen appears to be willing to turn on his former boss.
None of those tweets are remotely good for Trump's political and legal standing. So why did Trump do it? Because he can't help himself.
Think about this: What does it say about Trump that he hired and fired Omarosa -- by his own count -- four times, in both reality TV life and, um, real life? To get fired four times by the same person means that you have been hired four times by that person. And in normal life, that would never happen. Maybe you would get hired and fired by the same person (or company) twice in your life. Maybe. But four times? That speaks to something totally outside the ordinary, a compulsion of sorts.
And it's not hard to see what draws Trump to Omarosa: She is, in many ways, just like him. She gets that drama works, that being the center of attention is all that matters, that death isn't bad press but no press. She's willing to do whatever it takes to win -- and remember that winning is understood by the likes of Trump and Omarosa by simply being essential or relevant.
Again, Trump's Twitter feed is revealing when it comes to Omarosa.
"Re Omarosa: Nasty, tough or smart...or all," Trump tweeted in March 2013. That same day, he tweeted this: "Honest Omarosa: she won't backstab-she'll come at you from the front." And this: "Omarosa always promises and delivers high drama..."
Trump has kicked his character assassination effort into high gear on Omarosa over the last 24 hours because he knows what she's capable of -- and how dangerous she can be. He knows this because he knows what he is capable of and how dangerous he can be. Omarosa -- and her allegations -- pose a threat to Trump even while a decent chunk of them have already been rebutted. And he knows it.
Omarosa is, in some ways, the greatest creation of the Trump reality TV era. She is just like him, which is why he understands her and knows the damage she is capable of inflicting. It's an absolutely fascinating bit of psychodrama that would make for a terrific twist in a reality TV series.
Unfortunately for all of us, this isn't "The Apprentice." It's real life.
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