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More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

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At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we’re seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump’s worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump’s staff was at its best, it was possible to draw a line between “Trump” and the “Trump administration.” Trump was the deeply unconventional leader who made disturbing public statements and appeared to have a fondness for authoritarian dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, but his administration was tougher on Russia than Obama and was refusing to give away the store to North Korea to cut a deal. This is the root of the words/actions distinction that so many Trump supporters rely upon to wave way his wildest statements.

Yet in both the Ukraine and Syria scandals, we’re watching what it’s like when “Trump” and the “Trump administration” start to fully merge. How does the world’s greatest democracy send a letter to a foreign letter that reads like this:

EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained........

© National Review