The Atlantic Politics Daily: Trump All By Himself

“He just has no life,” one person close to President Trump recently told our White House reporter Peter Nicholas. Plus, why Rudy Giuliani is still around.

It’s Thursday, November 7. The president of Turkey will visit the White House next week, one month after the Syria chaos. Michael Bloomberg has reportedly taken steps to enter the Democratic presidential primary.

In today’s newsletter: ¶ People. Trump dining alone; Rudy Giuliani. ¶ Places. Capitol Hill.  ¶ Things. Warren’s wealth tax.


(Brendan Smialowwski / Getty)

Trump is dealing with impeachment—and the presidency—all by himself.

“He just has no life,” one person close to President Trump recently told our White House reporter Peter Nicholas.

“It’s all politics, all the time,” one former Trump White House official told him. “And that can be warping to anybody.”

Since the impeachment inquiry ramped up, Peter has been reporting out concerns both current Trump associates and former White House aides have had about how the president is handling things in the White House.

His latest reporting paints a picture of president unraveling fast, and a diminished staff around him:

It’s not just “adults in the room” (e.g., Jim Mattis, John Kelly). Many confidants have departed, including two of his closest aides, former communications director Hope Hicks and former press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Those still in the administration are focused on their own survival—or ambitions. Trump has an acting chief of staff (Mick Mulvaney) who is already on the outs, a secretary of state who hasn’t ruled out a Senate run in Kansas, a Vice President who’s popular with the GOP establishment on the Hill.

Read Peter’s full report here.



Why hasn’t Trump thrown Rudy Giuliani under the bus?

In keeping with the theme of people who aren’t doing Trump any favor: David Graham asks why Trump doesn’t consciously uncouple with America’s Mayor.

To cut him off, he’d have to acknowledge that Giuliani was doing something improper, and the president has refused to admit that anything in the Ukraine scandal was inappropriate.

Read David’s argument here.


With what looks like a political upset in the Kentucky governor’s race this week, I was fascinated by this piece on the conservative activist group that poured money into the state focusing on areas of conflict over transgender rights, such as bathroom use and school sports. It’s not clear what conclusions they’ll draw from Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s apparent loss, but this may be a sign of what's to come in races ahead.
—Emma Green, a staff writer who covers religion and politics

I was struck by this piece by my colleague Uri Friedman. The story detailed the confusion surrounding the Trump administration’s policy in Ukraine. It also vividly illustrated the danger of conducting diplomacy through presidential loyalists focused on Trump's political interests.
—Peter Nicholas


(ProPublica Illinois)

This is life in one of the whitest towns in Illinois.

Logan Jaffe, a reporter with ProPublica Illinois, revisits a “sundown town” with a long history of discrimination against black people.

I took a seat at the bar. A man two stools over from me struck up a conversation. I told him I was a journalist from Chicago and asked him to tell me about this town. “You know how this town is called Anna?” he started. “That’s for ‘Ain’t No Niggers Allowed.’” He laughed, shook his head, and took a sip of his beer.

Read the full story.

« Before You Go »

(Michael Cohen / Getty)

What does Bill Gates get right and wrong about Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax? Ian Bogost evaluates Gates’ $100 billion tax complaint:

This is a duplicitous way to talk about Warren’s proposal, because taxing $100 billion out of $106.8 billion would amount to a 94 percent tax; Warren has proposed an annual 3 percent wealth tax on assets over $1 billion.

Read the full analysis.


Today’s edition of our daily newsletter of political ideas and arguments was written by Christian Paz and edited by Shan Wang.

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