Last week, which brought the release of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, was rough for the White House. But this week has been worse still, and the damage has been almost entirely inflicted by the president himself.
Consider the highlights:
On Sunday, Oprah Winfrey delivered a speech at the Golden Globes that served as an implicit rebuke of the president. By week’s end, at least two polls showed her leading Trump by double digits in a hypothetical presidential election, even though she has no political history and has not said she is running.
On Monday, several outlets began reporting that the White House was in discussions with special counsel Robert Mueller about the president testifying in the Russia probe, which his lawyers had once said would be over by either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
On Tuesday, the president invited lawmakers of both parties to the White House for a meeting about an immigration deal. The meeting was intended to show that Trump was on top of things, contrary to the portrait in Wolff’s book of a bumbling incompetent distrusted even by his top aides. Instead, the president briefly said he’d agree to a Democratic plan for extending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), before Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had to cut in and remind him that his position was exactly the opposite. Trump did, however, say he would sign any immigration bill Congress could send him.