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Gazette editorial: The 24-hour chaos cycle

The erratic, narcissistic personality of President Donald Trump keeps Washington in chaos. Look at the past couple of weeks:

May 8 — Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before Congress that Trump waited 18 days before firing national security adviser Michael Flynn after learning that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about Russian contacts. Her testimony contradicted White House statements.

May 9 — Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, claiming it was because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blamed Comey for being too harsh in the Hillary Clinton email probe. This was senseless, because Trump constantly said the probe should have resulted in criminal charges against Clinton.

May 10 — The White House flip-flopped and said other factors led to Comey’s firing. News reports said the FBI director was dismissed because he probed possible Russian collaboration with the Trump election campaign and because he wouldn’t support Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

May 11 — In an interview with The Economist, Trump showed great ignorance of economic issues and his own policies. Later that day, Trump told NBC News anchor Lester Holt that the Russian probe was a factor in Comey’s dismissal.

May 12 — Trump tweeted that Comey “had better hope there are no tapes” of their private talk before his firing.

May 15 — Politico revealed that White House staffers give Trump simplistic “fake news” articles to pacify him. Later that day, The Washington Post revealed that Trump had spilled classified information to Russian diplomats.

May 16 — The New York Times revealed that Comey wrote a memo saying Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.

May 17 — McClatchy news service revealed that Flynn, while national security adviser, blocked a U.S. military plan to join Turkey’s Kurds to attack ISIL Turkey’s government, which had paid Flynn $500,000, opposed U.S. cooperation with Kurds.

An Atlantic Monthly report says Trump’s actions seem to be “the work of a man who simply has no idea what he’s doing. He doesn’t understand the gravity of Flynn’s duplicity. He didn’t think firing James Comey would be a big deal.”

What a bizarre defense of a U.S. president — that he can’t be blamed for his messes, because he doesn’t know what he is doing.

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