President Trump got 2019 off to a whipsaw start Tuesday, using Twitter to insult a retired U.S. commander in Afghanistan as a dumb loudmouth, sing the praises of an ultranationalist former aide and tell America to chill and “ENJOY THE RIDE.”
Trump’s cheery tone in an all-caps tweet welcoming the new year did not last the morning.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!” Trump wrote.
That may have been before he read all his mail. Trump went on to bash retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal over remarks McChrystal made Sunday, calling the president untruthful and immoral.
““General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!” Trump opined.
McChrystal was forced to resign in 2010 after making disparaging comments about Obama administration officials in a Rolling Stone article. He had been a rising star in the Army, a decorated expert on counterinsurgency tasked with turning around the stalemated Afghanistan war.
Although McChrystal’s comments were made on ABC two days prior, Trump did not comment publicly until he responded Tuesday morning to a tweet from conservative commentator Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham had tweeted an article Monday titled “Media Didn’t Like McChrystal Until He Started Bashing Trump.” Catching up to it Tuesday, Trump evidently agreed.
The president’s very first words of the new year were an endorsement of a pro-Trump book by former White House aide Sebastian Gorka. The former Breitbart writer, a frequent television defender of the president, quit or was fired in 2017 partly in protest that Trump’s first major speech about the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan made no mention of what he called “Radical Islam.”
“Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a very good and talented guy, has a great new book just out, “Why We Fight.” Lots of insight — Enjoy!” Trump wrote.
Trump has been holed up in the White House instead of vacationing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, as planned, because of the government shutdown now in its second week and his standoff with Democrats over funding for a border wall.
“One thing has now been proven. The Democrats do not care about Open Borders and all of the crime and drugs that Open Borders bring!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
The shutdown is expected to continue at least until the House returns to work Thursday, under new Democratic management.
Democrats on Monday announced plans to reopen the nearly all government offices, using a funding formula previously approved by the Senate. But that plan does not include the $5 billion in wall funding Trump is demanding, and Republican Senate leaders have said they would not support a bill not supported by the president.
“The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall,” Trump wrote Tuesday. “So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security — and our Country must finally have a Strong and Secure Southern Border!”
Trump also tweeted congratulations to newly inaugurated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a populist conservative who like Trump was elected to shake up the status quo.