Just two days after a Republican senator was reportedly "planting seeds" to remove Donald Trump from office using the 25th Amendment, a bombshell new report appearing online Wednesday afternoon on the Vanity Fair magazine site says that even Steve Bannon, Trump's close friend, former campaign boss, and White House chief strategist, believes that Trump will likely be removed from the White House under the 25th Amendment provisions.
In fact, according to a source who spoke to Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman, "Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term."
The Vanity Fair report, which may be read in its entirety at this link, paints an alarming picture of a Trump who is mentally "unraveling" and increasingly "unstable" in the eyes of his closest aides and advisers.
In fact, in an earlier interview to discuss his article, Sherman said that one conversation he had with a "prominent Republican" revealed that even those close to Trump are deeply worried that Trump might impulsively "lunge" for the "nuclear football" — the briefcase that contains top-secret instructions for launching a nuclear attack — and would need to be "tackled" by those around him such as Chief of Staff John Kelly or Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis.
The article, based on sources inside the White House, describes Trump as "losing a step" and "increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods." That mental instability, experts say, could result in Congress declaring Trump unfit for the Oval Office, and voting to remove him from office using the 25th Amendment, which says that a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate must vote to declare a president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" to remove him and replace him with the vice president.
Since Bannon was fired from his White House "strategist" position in August, he has returned to his previous post running the "alt-right" political site Breitbart News, which generally runs "news" articles supporting Bannon's political positions.
On Tuesday, Breitbart ran a piece quoting MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, formerly a conservative Republican member of Congress, headlined, "Scarborough Floats Removing Trump From Office — 'There's Something Called The 25th Amendment.'"
Vanity Fair reported that "Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn't impeachment, but the 25th Amendment."
But Trump had no idea what Bannon was talking about, replying, "What's that?"
The article also described an embittered Trump lashing out at the people around him. A source told Sherman that Trump had raged to his top security aide, "I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!"
Retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker earlier this week became the first prominent Republican to raise questions about Trump's mental capacity to fulfill his duties as chief executive, telling the New York Times that Trump's instability and ill-considered, inflammatory public statements could set the country "on the path to World War III."
Trump's mental stability has been questioned at least since the start of his term when, as Sherman notes in his article, Trump complained about media coverage of the small crowd turnout at his inauguration, insisting against all photographic evidence that "a million and a half people" had attended the event.
But according to the Vanity Fair story, Trump's current mental state has been slipping in recent days due to a series of high-profile setbacks — such as reports that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has referred to him as a "f****** moron" after Trump reportedly demanded that the U.S. increase its nuclear arsenal by a factor of 10, and the defeat of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange whom Trump had vocally endorsed.
"Alabama was a huge blow to his psyche," a source told Vanity Fair. "He saw the cult of personality was broken."
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