WASHINGTON, U.S. - From lashing out at his enemies and aides alike, to rupturing crucial ties days before the tax vote, and even imperilling his legislative agenda - U.S. President Donald Trump’s increasingly volatile behaviour has spooked even those that swear by him.
According to some White House officials and outside advisers, Trump is not only feeling isolated within his own kingdom but is frustrated by his Cabinet and angry that he has not received enough credit for his handling of three successive hurricanes.
Trump’s recent actions have led him to burn bridges all around him.
Over a matter of days, Trump has nearly imploded an informal deal with Democrats to protect the young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children; and plunged himself into the culture wars on issues ranging from birth control to the national anthem.
Experts believe that while his actions might solidify his standing with his populist base and return to the comforts of his campaign, the very same actions might jeopardize his current term.
His recent very public and ugly spat with Sen. Bob Corker has led to the outgoing Senator to deliver a brutal assessment of Trump's fitness for office.
Corker has not only fought back every Trump insult tooth and nail - but has warned that the President’s reckless behaviour could launch the nation "on the path to World War III.”
However, as Trump escalated his war with Corker, whose vote will be critical on the tax-cutting plan, White House insiders are fretting over possible ripple effects among other Republicans on Capitol Hill.
A string of Twitter insults between Trump and the Tennessee Republican Corker got uglier on Tuesday, when Trump mocked Corker’s height.
Trump, on Tuesday, ridiculed Corker for his height, giving him a derogatory new nickname — “Liddle Bob.”
He suggested Corker was somehow tricked when he told a reporter from The New York Times that the president was reckless and could stumble into a nuclear war.
Then, amid last week’s differences with the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, over his rumoured differences with Trump - in an interview released on Tuesday in the Forbes magazine - Trump was quoted to have said that he was smarter than Tillerson and also called him a “moron.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton said that Trump is the most dangerous President in U.S. history.
The former Secretary of State, Clinton said, “The whole world should be concerned" about Trump’s leadership, adding he is the most dangerous President in U.S. history, because he is impulsive, he lacks self-control, he is totally consumed with how he is viewed, with how people think of him. He is vindictive."
Meanwhile, all of Trump’s aides and the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are now scrambling to manage his outbursts.
Commenting on the president’s outburst on Twitter on Tuesday, has increasingly isolated him in the capital city.
In an unsolicited email to reporters, Pence's office blasted out a blanket response under the vice president's name addressing "criticisms of the president."
The statement bemoaned "empty rhetoric and baseless attacks" against Trump while touting his handling of global threats, from Islamic State terrorists to North Korea.
The statement said, “That's what American leadership on the world stage looks like and no amount of criticism at home can diminish those results.”
Pence's words, however, did not reassure Trump allies.
According to one Trump loyalist, Corker has many more friends in the Senate than Trump.
The official said that the rift could dash chances for tax reform or other meaningful legislation and said, “His presidency could be doomed.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Caddell, a veteran pollster who has worked with Stephen Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, said, "We have been watching the slow-motion breakup of the Republican Party and Trump is doing what he can to speed it up. Trump is firmly placing himself on the outside, trying to become an almost independent president. He knows that many people will be with him, that he helps himself when he's not seen as the Republican president. But what about his program? That's the question - and possibly the cost of what he's doing."