Trump is at the top of his dangerous game as midterms loom


Donald Trump fixed reporters with a hard gaze and declared: “I’m a very nonpolitical person, and that’s why I got elected President.”Like much of what Trump says, his comment required a large helping of salt, since it came in a session in which his considerable, instinctive and often cynical political prowess was on full display 14 days before the midterm elections.

With reporters and lawmakers huddled around his Oval Office desk Tuesday, Trump floated conspiracy theories, boasted about his achievements, bent facts, teased future announcements and dipped into a well of racial and cultural prejudice.
Such behavior is more often displayed by autocratic leaders who rule in personality cults than by more cautious and conventional politicians who operate in democratic systems, but it also explains how Trump has bullied much of Washington into submission.
With a chatty intimacy that tempted his audience into his confidence, Trump dominated the Oval Office, coming across as a president increasingly bullish about himself and at ease in wielding his power.”I’m not worried about anything,” he said.
Including a later photo-op at a meeting with military leaders, Trump has now chewed the fat with reporters 12 times in 11 days, and conducted a blizzard of interviews with radio and television stations.
With his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and political strategists confined to the wings, the President has seized control of the midterm election campaign, and it looks as if the GOP will rise or fall depending on how voters react.
Trump’s virtuoso flexing of his significant but often diabolical political skills came on a day when he had no campaign rally. So he just manufactured a moment to add more fuel to the rhetorical blaze he has ignited over immigration.