During a rambling appearance on Fox Business yesterday, Donald Trump accused Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton of being criminals who deserve immediate prosecution for reasons that were hopelessly bonkers. But as it turns out, Democrats weren't the president's only targets.
In the same on-air interview, Trump was critical of Attorney General Bill Barr for failing to indict his perceived political enemies. He blasted his own hand-picked FBI director, Chris Wray, as a "disappointment" who's failed to take his election conspiracy theories seriously.
Even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo couldn't escape the president's tantrum.
He also expressed rare dissatisfaction with Pompeo, who he said should release some sort of new information on Hillary Clinton's emails. "They're in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad actually. I'm not happy about him for that reason," Trump said. "He was unable to get that. I don't know why. You're running the State Department; you're able to get them out."
It was of interest to see that Trump, just 26 days from Election Day, remains fixated on Hillary Clinton -- who left public office eight years ago, who isn't running for anything, and who has no meaningful role in the 2020 race.
It was also notable that the president has convinced himself that the State Department, which has already released Clinton's emails, has a secret batch of emails that Pompeo is responsible for finding and releasing.
But stepping back, what we appear to be witnessing is a president melting down under pressure. Trailing his 2020 rival, Trump's desperation has him looking in every direction, looking for enemies, scapegoats, excuses, and allies whom he expects to be rigging the system to prevent his failure.
Officials like Barr and Pompeo have been unflinching White House loyalists -- to a degree that has effectively corrupted their offices -- but for Trump, their sycophancy simply hasn't been good enough. The president can think of even more outrageous steps they could be taking to help him, and he's apparently furious that their actions haven't kept pace with his imagination.
Trump's rhetoric is not what one might expect from a strong leader, confident in his political standing.