Tuesday turned out to be a busy day for President Trump. He poked another U.S. ally in the eye, questioned the loyalty of American Jews, backpedaled on gun legislation and undercut the denials of his advisers on the economy. It was just another normal day in the Trump administration.
Take Tuesday’s quartet case collectively, and it portrays an administration and White House in chaos, lacking in systematic policymaking. It portrays a president who changes his mind whenever it suits him, whose statements shift with the moment, and who uses words carelessly and sometimes destructively. It forms a pattern of dissembling, of deliberate or unknowing falsehoods as well as efforts to divide already divided Americans from one another.
Adding to the chaos and confusion, the president went at it all again Wednesday with another lengthy press availability. He took back some of what he said Tuesday and reinforced other things, leaving observers — no doubt including his own advisers — to wonder what and how he thinks about the issues before him.
On Sunday, as he was preparing to return to Washington, Trump was asked about reports that he was interested in having the United States purchase Greenland from Denmark. The president confirmed those reports and said there were strategic reasons to be interested in that kind of a deal. But he played down the idea that this was an urgent issue on his agenda. “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that,” he said.