President Trump’s week ended with the sudden departure of a speechwriter who had been accused of brutally attacking his wife, the president’s defense of another staffer who allegedly assaulted two ex-wives
.. The president learned at a very early age that what humiliates, damages, even destroys others can actually strengthen his image and therefore his bottom line.
.. The White House lets it be known that Kelly is in the doghouse. Yet the president himself goes out of his way to speak publicly in defense of the ousted aide, without so much as a nod toward what the women have suffered.
1) Always double down on your position.
Trump has regularly argued in favor of men on his side who’ve been accused of bad behavior against women, whether that was
- Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama;
- Fox News figures Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly; last week’s case du jour,
- Rob Porter; or
- Trump himself. He weathered the “Access Hollywood” tape that many of his aides thought would sink his campaign, and he successfully batted away
- allegations from more than a dozen women that he was guilty of sexual misconduct toward them.
Saturday morning, the president tripled down. “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” he tweeted. “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused — life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
2) The president must always be the focus of attention. Aides who get too big for their britches won’t be around for long.
.. Whether or not Kelly leaves, he has been knocked down several notches, especially in the public’s view. He’s been shown who’s boss, in case he had harbored any doubts.
Trump, contrary to the caricature he fostered on his reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” rarely excommunicates close aides forever. They almost all remain in his orbit even if he has publicly humiliated them or sent them off for a long vacation.
.. But they must always learn that those who attempt to grab some of the limelight will be dealt with.
.. When erstwhile chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon made the cover of Time — for Trump still a vital marker of making it big, even as the magazine’s influence has severely waned — he was done for, at least for now.
.. He learned in the 1970s from his mentor Roy Cohn that when you face criticism, justified or not, “you tell them to go to hell and fight the thing,” as Cohn said.
.. Trump instead leaned hard on the accelerator, ratcheting up his rhetoric, pressing for a convention lineup that doubled down on appealing to his base — Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” the chief of Ultimate Fighting Championship, music by Southern, white classic rock acts.
.. In the 1980s, Trump not only didn’t push back when tabloid newspapers turned the collapse of his first marriage into a daily soap opera; Trump actively participated in the scripting of the drama, calling gossip writers, dishing out salacious morsels almost by the hour.
.. “The show is Trump,” he said then, “and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”
.. Trump had discovered in painting oneself as the rich celebrity ordinary Americans aspire to be.
Obama called it “the unfounded optimism of the average American — ‘I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.’ ”
.. he recognized that bad behavior and the notoriety it generated didn’t undermine that image. For many people, it actually enhanced it.
.. visionary business leaders succeed “because they are narcissists who devote their talent with unrelenting focus to achieving their dreams, even if it’s sometimes at the expense of those around them.”
A White House speechwriter resigned Friday after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent 2½ -year marriage
.. The abrupt departure of David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, came as The Washington Post was reporting on a story about abuse claims by his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett.
.. Sorensen’s resignation comes two days after another administration official, staff secretary Rob Porter, departed after two ex-wives said that he physically abused them.
.. he said that during her marriage to Sorensen, he
- ran a car over her foot,
- put out a cigarette on her hand,
- threw her into a wall and
- grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine’s coast, an incident she said left her fearing for her life.
.. She said she did not report her abuse allegations to police because of Sorensen’s connections to law enforcement officials.
.. Corbett said several of the incidents involved alcohol and acknowledged that she slapped Sorensen a number of times after he called her a vulgar term.
.. She gave The Post a photo of her hand bearing a scar she said was from the cigarette burn.
.. Sorensen alleged that Corbett punched him on multiple occasions. After one such episode, he said, he attempted to leave in his car and she ran after him as he was pulling away, injuring herself in the process.
In another incident, he said, she grabbed the steering wheel as he drove on a highway and punched him in the face during an argument.
.. Sorensen provided photos of what he said were injuries his ex-wife inflicted upon him during their fights, including bruises and scrapes.
.. “this incident is an opportunity to highlight the grossly underreported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.”
.. Corbett maintained that her violence never escalated beyond slapping him.
.. “Everyone can think you’re the most wonderful guy, but you’re throwing women into walls by night,” she said.
.. Sorensen said that “like many domestic abusers, she was especially adept at controlling her rage so that no others witnessed her physical attacks.”
.. Sorensen’s career was on the fast track. On Nov. 18, a month after Lauren LePage’s wedding, the governor hired Sorensen as a policy adviser whose portfolio included domestic violence. Gov. LePage has called domestic abuse, which he suffered as a child,“the most heinous of all crimes in society.
Generally, companies employ a crisis communications firm when it is cheaper than changing their behavior
President Trump’s 32-year-old senior adviser has gained attention for his hard-line stances in support of the president. Glenn Thrush takes a look at Mr. Miller, from his days as a young conservative to his current role in the White House.