The controversies that have overshadowed the American presidency of Donald Trump since he took office could have brought down any American president and sent them packing.
But strangely, Trump is a different kettle of fish. He thrives on controversy, he covets controversy, he loves controversy. “Donald Trump enjoys controversy and to a degree thrives on it,” quipped Christopher Ruddy the chief executive of Newsmax Media – also a friend of Trump.
Week in, week out there is always one controversy swirling around Trump’s White House. The historic presidential campaign of a decade ago of former US president Barack Obama brought Twitter to the forefront of American politics, but Trump who apparently has millions of followers on this microblogging platform has become one of its most prolific users.
Trump uses Twitter to belittle, denigrate, ridicule and to lash out at his enemies in the media – either real or imagined. The Twitter-in-chief uses Twitter to contradict his own intelligence agencies, that is if he is not involved in a political or sex scandal or if he takes a break from his fights with other presidents. He has also been involved in campaign finance violations and is currently under probe.
Even those close to Trump have been implicated in tax fraud, bank fraud and violating campaign finance laws and his former personal lawyer could face up to five years for violating campaign tax laws, but Trump somehow seems unperturbed and he keeps tweeting and lurching from one scandal to another. Just the other week he stirred a hornet’s nest when he told his aides that he never wants to meet someone as “lifeless” as Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. Early this year Trump was labelled as racist and vile when he referred to Africa as a “shithole” continent when he spoke about the immigrants fleeing from political strife and insurgencies in Africa seeking refuge in America.
Trump is not your conventional politician because he has spent more time, according to one newspaper report, attacking his own in the Republican Party than the Democrats. In his first year in the Oval Office, Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time bickering with his own political party. He stubbornly recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite widespread condemnation, and he pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement, leaving his European Union allies fuming.
Trump is involved in a trade war with China and the government of Xi Jinping has retaliated in kind by imposing hefty trade tariffs on US goods that will in the long run hurt American consumers. His America First Policy has boomeranged on world economic growth. But despite his controversial tweets, his sex scandals and his outrageous comments, Trump simply soldiers on.