In his newly released book, "The room where it happened", former US national security adviser John Bolton described the interchange in a national security council meeting on 15 May 2018, as one of many examples of Trump's shambolic decision-making process.

Iran PressAmerica: Despite numerous press reports and the White House denial, the cabinet members and advisers agree among themselves that they must contain his worst instincts and his worst decisions, by being the so-called "adults in the room".

Though few Republican senators have been willing to turn against Donald Trump in public, these descriptions of the president's governing style in the face of the global health, economic, and policing crises are coming up in opinion polls as significant factors in his declining support.

In one case, according to the book, the US President wanted white South African farmers to receive asylum and US citizenship, after a lobbying trip by South Africa's AfriForum led him to believe they were being killed on a large scale and their land confiscated.

Trump's foray into South Africa arose in the middle of a briefing by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford on a range of military actions the US might target in response to an attack on Saudi Arabian oil installations.

"Dunford kept trying to get Trump to focus on specific options on a graduated ladder of possible responses, but somehow we veered off to South Africa and what Trump was hearing about the treatment of white farmers, asserting he wanted to grant them asylum and citizenship," Bolton wrote.

Bolton and other White House insiders described occasions like this as requiring them to "talk him off the ledge", an example of what he called the "existing policy-making roulette". 

For Bolton, Trump's White House is beyond dysfunctional. "At most, the internal National Security Council structure was no more than the quiver of a butterfly's wings in the tsunami of Trump's chaos," he wrote.

Meanwhile, two of the top White House economists resigned in the middle of the worst depression in a century; they followed the recent departure of Andrew Olmem, special assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the White House National Economic Council; Eric Ueland, who served as the White House director of legislative affairs and played a key role in negotiations with Congress over the stimulus; and Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

As published data shows a sharp surge in COVID-19 infections, especially in Republican-controlled "red states" where masks were treated with disdain, economies were opened up, and in two states Trump held public indoor rallies against the advice of health experts; so, the next few weeks should show greater clarity on the impact of opening up, and of Trump's campaign rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Phoenix, Arizona, against the advice of doctors.

On the other hand, the European Union is planning to close its doors to US visitors because of the failure to contain the pandemic. Even Spain and Italy, Europe's least successful countries containing the pandemic earlier this year, have reduced new infections enough to be able to open their economies with reasonable safety. 212/ 104


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