Monday, May 22, 2017, 8:00am

Donald Trump is a cult leader.

Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore

Photo credit: Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C., by Gage Skidmore. [Source & Licenses.]

I subscribe to Axios AM, which is a great little daily newsletter from Axios.com’s Mike Allen. Saturday morning’s top item was “1 big thing: Supernatural coat of paint?,” which included the bit below. I generally wouldn’t excerpt this much of someone else’s work, but I think it’s important and I want you to read it. You can go read the whole article (there’s a bit more than this) here on Axios.

Axios’ Jonathan Swan is in 24/7 communication with White House sources, and tapped out this gripping postcard on his iPhone:

“[M]ost WH officials I’ve spoken to privately this week are closer to being numb than panicked. Those who went through the campaign with Trump are numb to the crises and thought so many times before that *this* would be the one to break Trump. They’ve been wrong so many times before — the vast majority of Trump campaign staff, no matter their public posturing, thought Clinton would crush him.

“They view their boss as completely undisciplined and self-destructive. They’re exasperated by him … They’re sick and tired of the media feeding frenzy. But even in their most frustrated moments, they’ll admit that Trump has got some special resilience that they can’t begin to understand. A coat of protection that almost seems supernatural to them.

“White House sources have texted me this week asking how bad I think the story of the day is. One asked me whether I thought Trump’s private comments to Comey were a better story or worse for Trump than the release of the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape. Those who were there for ‘Access Hollywood’ have no idea what it would take to sink Trump.”

After we talked, Swan sent this P.S.: “The core Trumpers from the campaign — who view themselves as loyal to Trump above all else — are completely unfazed by the Russia and Comey revelations. They’re just swinging for Trump and have no qualms working to defend him.”

The Trump White House seems demoralized and panicked, mostly, in this report, but I want to point out how bullet-proof the Trump loyalists think Trump is. This seems to apply to Trump’s voting base, too. They’re weirdly invested in Trump and think he can’t be taken down. It’s… well, “cultish” is the only way I can think to describe it.

Trump is possessed of this weird, toxic charisma, and it infects the people around him, but don’t fall for it. His “supernatural” resistance to scandal won’t see him through this mess.

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