Before 7:30 a.m. on the east coast, Trump had fired off three tweets and retweeted two tweets via the Drudge Report.
- Retweet #1: "MEXICO 2ND DEADLIEST COUNTRY; TOPS AFGHAN, IRAQ..."
- Retweet #2: "10 SCANDALS ON DIRECTOR'S WATCH.."
With the exception of the one Drudge retweet of a CNN story on how dangerous Mexico is at the moment,
there's a very common theme here: Everybody wanted Comey gone. I did it. And now everyone is saying I shouldn't have done it. And that's bad!
It's common knowledge that Trump watches lots and lots of cable TV. And that when the coverage isn't to his liking, he lashes out -- at his aides, at the media, at anyone around. And that he also often takes to Twitter to vent.
Trump's series of tweets Wednesday morning are clear-as-day-evidence that he feels as though his side of the Comey firing is not being defended and that he is currently losing the argument. Trump insists he is always playing offense but these tweets reek of defensiveness.
The final tweet in that first triptych really drives that defensiveness home. "When things calm down, they will be thanking me," Trump tweeted. Let me translate that for you: "You'll all see. One day, you'll all see that I was right and you were so, so wrong. Just wait!"
But Trump wasn't done! After watching Richard Blumenthal on TV -- Blumenthal was on CNN's "New Day" right around 8 a.m. ET -- Trump went after the Connecticut Democratic senator in 3 tweets.
- Tweet #1: "Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. "Richie" devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history. For...."
- Tweet #2: "years, as a pol in Connecticut, Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam - except he was never there. When...."
- Tweet #3: "caught, he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness...and now he is judge & jury. He should be the one who is investigated for his acts."
What Trump, presumably, is referring to is Blumenthal's false assertions over the years that he had "served" in Vietnam
. Blumenthal received five deferments and then served in the Marine Reserves during the Vietnam War. Blumenthal's misrepresentations of his military service were a major issue during his 2010 campaign for Senate.
Blumenthal was absolutely wrong to misrepresent himself. (At the time, I wrote about it extensively for The Washington Post.) But that's not really terribly relevant to Blumenthal's views on the firing of Comey. Trump, of course, knows that. But he is trying to defend and distract. And Blumenthal's Vietnam problems are a perfect way to do that.
The image of President Trump as a lone figure in the White House with only his phone, his Twitter account and cable TV to keep him company, which came from this New York Times story
, is a powerful one and one with resonance here. Trump is isolated in the White House and often nursing grievances about both the way he is being covered and the way in which his aides defend him.
His Twitter tempest Wednesday morning speaks to that defensiveness. And it's not a very good -- or presidential -- look.