Donald Trump Goes Scorched Earth in Wild, Angry Arizona Speech
The president showed that he’s increasingly frustrated, often isolated, and ever willing to lash out at any and all perceived enemies.

Lachlan Markay
Asawin Suebsaeng
08.23.17 12:29 AM ET

Five days ago, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), calmly looked into the cameras of local Tennessee news stations and stated that he had doubts about President Donald Trump’s stability.

It was a shocking assessment and not just because Corker is not a man known for hyperbole. These types of things aren’t said about presidents; certainly not in the open. But it was said by Corker, and for the fairly clear purpose of putting Trump on notice that Senate Republicans were running out of patience with his presidency.

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump did little to earn back more patience. Those, like Corker, who were hoping that the president would suddenly discover a more conciliatory side were likely left severely disappointed by a rally that was equal parts angry, combative, rambling and foreboding.

To say Trump was in campaign mode would probably be to overstate how he was on the previous campaign. Speaking in Phoenix, he viciously attacked the news media, left-wing protesters, and members of his own party whom he blames for the stalling of his legislative agenda.

At one point, he went on a 25-minute rant against the press, with multiple gestures towards the pen at the back of the Convention Center. He blamed them for misrepresenting his remarks on the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. And then, when reading from printed copies of those remarks, he misquoted himself, conveniently failing to mention that he had blamed “both sides” for the atrocities.

When not reading off the teleprompter, Trump appeared angry. He threatened to shut down the government if he didn’t get funding for his famed border wall. He blamed the filibuster for stalling much of his agenda, even as he claimed to have passed more bills than any president since Harry Truman. And he went after congressional Republicans for being insufficiently obedient, even as his relationship with GOP leadership reaches new nadirs.

“Mitch is not going to be happy,” a senior Trump official conceded The Daily Beast late on Tuesday evening, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “He probably wasn’t expecting an hour of tax reform. But couldn’t have expected a shutdown threat either.”