Washington (CNN)The notifications began hitting phones just after sunrise.
Ten minutes later, more: “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize.”
Another eight minutes, this: “Thank you to the Cherokee Nation for revealing that Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is a complete and total Fraud!”
President Donald Trump, with an empty public schedule and a litany of festering grievances, spent Tuesday unleashing fresh vitriol at his enemies over Twitter. His targets began with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who this week released a DNA test seeking to rebut Trump’s insults about her claims of Native American heritage. But he soon moved on, griping about the porn actress who alleged to have spent the night with him, fake news, the Russia “witch hunt.”
For Trump, the practice of insulting people on Twitter now seems as routine as signing a proclamation for National School Lunch Week (as he did on Friday) or phoning embattled world leaders (he conferred for 20 minutes with Saudi King Salman on Monday). But the latest string was marked by its spite against women who have challenged him, including a cruel jab at the adult film actress who says she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
“Now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas,” Trump tweeted, delighting in a judge’s decision on Monday to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by porn actress Stormy Daniels. “She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!”
The last sentence, insisting Daniels knows little about him, seemed a veiled rebuttal of the claims made in Daniel’s recent book, including an unflattering description of Trump’s private parts.
If Trump — or anyone — was hoping that might be the end of it, Daniel’s riposte to the President made clear the anatomical feud would continue.
“Game on, Tiny,” she wrote.
Aggravated at Saudi coverage
Without any scheduled meetings, the President was free Tuesday morning to marinate in insult and injury, fueled by the constant presence of Fox News on the flat-screen televisions installed in his third-floor residence.
The President told people in conversations Tuesday morning that he was aggravated at the coverage of Saudi Arabia crisis, which has dominated cable news, one official said. Senior White House aides have tried to impress upon him how serious the matter is.
Asked directly whether he was trying to change the subject of television coverage on Tuesday, the official said: “I don’t know, but he’s good at doing that.”
The President made a round of calls on Tuesday, some of which focused on the Saudi Arabia diplomatic crisis. He spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, currently dispatched in Riyadh to glean a response from senior Saudi officials. Trump and Pompeo were slated to have lunch together Tuesday, but Pompeo’s hastily arranged trip to the Saudi capital meant Trump was without any official engagements.
“THE PRESIDENT has no public events scheduled,” read a Tuesday schedule sent to reporters on Monday evening.
In past administrations, such a blank slate would cause speculation among the press corps: Will the President convene a news conference? Is he flying secretly to a war zone? Those questions don’t seem as pertinent under Trump, who regularly spends much of the morning in “executive time,” devoted to watching television, phoning advisers and leaders, and tweeting.
Back to Russia
After his jabs at Warren and Daniels, Trump moved on to a more familiar affront, the Russia investigation and its various tangled threads that have caused him heartburn.
“Where is Jeff Sessions?” he asked at 11:18 a.m. after quoting a report from Fox News about Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official with ties to Christopher Steele, the British spy behind the dossier that included salacious and unverified intelligence on Trump and Russia.
(In fact, Sessions — who nearly everyone in Washington believes will be fired after November’s midterm elections — was busy delivering attacks on “judicial activism” and condemning attempts to depose or question senior executive branch officials, including the President.)
In an indignant, question-mark laden follow-up tweet 10 minutes later, Trump revived his favored term for the Russia probe: “Is it really possible that Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie was paid by Simpson and GPS Fusion for work done on the Fake Dossier, and who was used as a Pawn in this whole SCAM (WITCH HUNT), is still working for the Department of Justice????? Can this really be so?????”