However, the President of the United States is raising new questions about his temperament, his judgment and his understanding of the resonance of his global voice and the seriousness of his role with a wild sequence of insults, inflammatory tweets and strange comments . 19659002] In normal times, it would be a preoccupation for the President to conduct himself so in disagreement with the decorum and decorum badociated with his office for more than two centuries.
If diplomacy can not defuse the North Korean crisis, or slow down its march until the time when Kim Jong Un can credibly claim that it can target all of the United States with a nuclear charge, Trump will face one of the most intricate dilemmas of any modern president. Will he live with the threat posed by a mercurial adversary and tremendously unpredictable? Or will it launch what could become a hugely bloody and destructive war to eliminate Kim's nuclear threat?
Trump's trial will have a premium, its ability to absorb the most serious details and to make decisions that could put many, many lives at risk, and attract the United States to increasing situations in Northeast Asia.
For years, Trump, living his life in the glow of the New York tabloids, took refuge in convenient alternative truths, building his own version of reality and actively promoting theories of conspiracy. He maintained that model of behavior as a candidate and president. But the fact that such behavior coincides with what could become a major global crisis will force its staff, other world leaders, the media and the public to deal with the implications.
That is the context in which Trump's recent behavior is coloring and is the reason why this moment could become more significant than the unorthodox and unconventional months of his presidency so far.
That's also why it's fair to ask questions about his mental state when, for example, retweeting explosive videos of dubious authenticity presented by the far-right nationalist group Britain First, as he did on Tuesday.
"I have no idea what would motivate him to do it," said former national intelligence director James Clapper on CNN's "New Day." on Tuesday. "For me, it's strange and disturbing, particularly when I think of him doing that in the context of North Korea, where moderation, temperance and thinking I think is critical."
Talks about Trump's fitness and mental state have infiltrated Washington for months. They have been stoked by the comments of Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who warned that the president could provoke World War III.
Republican Senator Jeff Flake last month launched an explosive speech in the Senate in which he said no one should remain silent, "since the norms and values that hold the United States strong are undermined and alliances and agreements that guarantee the stability of the entire world is routinely threatened by the 140-character level of thought. "
On Wednesday, Flake said he was "baffled" by Trump's latest behavior after reading his latest Tweets.
"It's very inappropriate. Why, what does that get us to have difficulty understanding, "Flake said, adding that he would begin a series of speeches in the Senate about Trump's indifference to the truth.
In a way, Trump's latest savage behavior gives Republicans another problem.
Republican senators will vote shortly on a tax reform bill that, if pbaded, will give Trump the long-awaited victory.
But that victory will also reinforce his prestige and power as president, leaving some wondering whether the likes of Flake and Corker are neglecting principled objections to Trump's leadership for their own political reasons.
Trump has always crushed the conventions and been ready to trample on racial, cultural and behavioral taboos, evidenced in his response, for example, to the Charlottesville riots and his willingness to exploit foreign terrorist attacks to boost their immigration policies. In many ways, his contempt for the politically correct has been key to his appeal. But some close observers of the president say they believe he has become more demoralized in recent weeks.
"Something is unraveling with him lately," said New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who wrote about Trump's return to Birther's conspiracy theories on Wednesday morning.
"I do not know what is causing it, I do not know how to describe it," said Haberman, who is also a CNN contributor.
Trump supporters often retort that the media is overreaction to their tweets and a style of behavior that often seems designed to cause outrage and offense – or to distract attention from other political controversies.
They point to the roaring stock market, the prosperous economy and the dismemberment of ISIS in Syria as evidence of a presidency that is doing much better than it seems on the news.
Although some admit that they wish it were not so inflammatory in their tweet, it is often maintained that their behavior should not be taken literally. [1 9659002] However, at a time of national crisis, and as Trump's words resound throughout the world, that presumption seems dangerous, which could lead the President and the rest of the world to misunderstandings and escalation.
In the end, the recent unrestrained behavior of the president also leaves the public with serious questions to consider, for example, his preference on many occasions for conspiracy theories about objective truth.
At some point, he might be forced to appear before the world and explain why a potentially bloody war in Asia is necessary.
But his habit of creating alternative realities and eroding trust could torment him again.