Executive Functioning

Was Trump’s Horde of Secret Documents a Product of Executive Dysfunction?


Since writing The Mysterious Case of the Narcissist and the Horde of Secret US Documents new reporting has surfaced — I KNOW, it’s been ONE day! — suggesting that Trump may not have known about the plethora of secret documents hidden away in his pool-side storage closet. Hunh. How is that possible?

If this reporting is to be believed, Trump’s horde of state secrets is all a product of his executive dysfunction, the inability to organize your life and regulate your emotions and other bodily functions. The opposite is executive functioning. We’ll summarize the reporting and then discuss.

Executive functions consist of several mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. These skills enable people to plan, organize, remember things, prioritize, pay attention and get started on tasks. They also help people use information and experiences from the past to solve current problems.

UNDERSTANDING EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING ISSUES
Can Trump Pass the Marshmallow Test?

Trump’s Behavior with Paper

According to John Kelly, Trump’s longest serving and most competent chief-of-staff — Really, Reince Priebus and Mark Meadows? Really? Only the bE bEsT aNd BrIgHtEsT — John Bolton, his former National Security Advisor and belligerent warhawk, and other aides Trump never had much respect for protocol, rules, or regulations, especially concerning records and documents:

  • He would famously rip up paper and throw it to the floor to signal that he was done with it. Mind you, it would be torn in half, but still sounds a bit arrogant to me. Anyway, staffers would dutifully collect the pieces, tape them back together, and squirrel them away for posterity.
  • He had a habit of disappearing intelligence documents. Quoting John Bolton, “He had a habit of taking stuff,” and “God knows what he did with them.” Passed them onto Putin? MBS?
  • He was a “pack rat,” an innocuous and even cute descriptor for someone mishandling state secrets, and aides would pack the droppings and leavings from his desk into a box at the end of the day. These included newspaper clippings, printed email, golf resort stuff, notes, doodles. They might also include “briefing papers he’d ripped from binders, random papers that someone might have handed him, press clippings, defense memoranda, daily intelligence briefings or other classified material.” It didn’t matter, they all went into a box that was left on the floor, presumably of the Oval Office or the workroom right off of it.
  • The boxes of impo’tent papers went with him when he travelled, and valets would tote the boxes as they trundled along in his wake.
  • He would get documents that didn’t go through the national security process.
  • He saved things that he liked to show off, you know, like classified surveillance photos or correspondance with world leaders.
  • By the end, he believed he could instantly declassify material by utterance, wave of hand, or intestinal gas, one presumes. He was apocalyptic when he found records still classified, like all the material on the Russia investigation.

The Move

It is well known that Trump made the transition as difficult as possible even going so far as sponsoring a violent insurrection on 6 January, so it should come as no surprise that he hadn’t started packing up the White House until AFTER 6 January. Accordingly, like everything else Trump does, it was a hot mess.

Apparently, there was a mad scramble to box everything up, get it onto the moving vans, and transport it to Merde-a-Lago (Thanks, Tengrain!). The article has a mysterious line, as they so often do (emphasis added):

West Wing aides and government movers frantically tossed documents and other items into banker boxes that were shipped to a storage room at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida along with other, previously packed records set aside by Trump, sometimes erratically so, according to two sources with knowledge of Trump’s move and records issues.

‘It worried people all the time’: How Trump’s handling of secret documents led to the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search

What exactly do they mean, previously packed records set aside by Trump? How long ago did he start packing records? Is it possible that some of the secrets that he had spirited away from under the nose of Bolton, Kelly, and other aides ended up in these previously packed boxes of records?

Whatever the story of those papers was, aides, the movers, Boris and Natasha, everyone was just throwing whatever wasn’t tacked down into boxes, piling them by the door, and eventually loading them into the moving vans. It was a chaotic mess.

Once at the his Florida residence, it all got dumped into storage closets… and forgotten. According to aides, Trump didn’t bother to unpack any of his WH things. Staff unpacked him. Can you imagine? I don’t even want to think about the gross pee-hooker accessories that the staff had to go through… Duh! Now, we all are thinking about it. I’m such an asshole.

Other reporting reveals that the FBI found boxes in two areas: one in his office — the ex-bridal suite over a ballroom — and in a storage closet off of the pool that was open to anyone and everyone on the staff. The FBI found boxes strewn everywhere. Almost as if there were no organizing principle to how they were packed, stored, or unpacked. Hunh. Go figure.

Executive Dysfunction Like a Fox?

This NBC News report suggests that the top secret SCI papers ended up there by accident. That Trump wasn’t even aware that they were there. When they sat down with the DoJ and FBI officials in June, they, and by they I mean his aides and lawyers, THOUGHT they had given them EVERYTHING! They signed a legal affidavit stating that there were no more records pertaining to the subpoena.

Aside from the narcissistic belief that he’s always right, can do no wrong, and the rules will be bent for him, this is part and parcel for someone with such extreme executive dysfunction. Once learning that they may have — however, innocently — mistakenly taken some top secret SCI documents, they didn’t immediately instigate an inventory of what they had. At that point, don’t you think you’d want to know exactly what you had with you? Wouldn’t you get the intern that you would pinky swear not to reveal any of the country’s secrets to go through each and every box and make a list and accurate count of and assign an individual locating number to each and every document so that it would all be neatly and tidily organized and locatable if for no other reason than for your library?

Now the feds are coming knocking saying can we please have our documents back, and you don’t know what you have or where it is? That is peak executive dysfunction.

Unless it isn’t. SCI documents don’t get removed from their SCIFs and in the rare event they are removed because the president MUST see them, they come in a lacked box, chained to an armed guard, get taken out, read, and returned to the box, and returned to the SCIF. Those documents and records should not be able to squirrel away into a box on the floor.

Someone had to get those documents and records out of secure storage. That person is locatable. There should be a record of that person somewhere.

Even if he weren’t selling them to Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia — You KNOW he is, and by he I mean Jared. Remember, Jared wanted the supersecret untapped hotline to Moscow in 2017 — every secret service in the world has been crawling all over Mar-a-Lago for the past six years. God only knows whose been in that pool-side closet going through those boxes. Seriously, we’re going to let him grab us by the pussy again?

Could it be that this entire affair is due solely to his executive dysfunction? Is that possible? Don’t you believe it. It isn’t possible. His executive dysfunction has contributed to the debacle, but many parts of this could not be down to a failure to manage his emotions or impulses or his inability to plan.

FOLLOW THE BLOG OR JOIN THE EMAIL LIST!

Come on, it’s easy and fun! Just put your email address in the blank below, and before you know it, you’ll be getting a personal snarky, sarcasticky, profaney email from me every time I post!

Or, you can share this article with your favorite drunk rage uncle, friends, other family, or acquaintances.

Or, you can like and rate this post!

Or, you can leave a comment on Trump’s executive dysfunction and the likelihood this is all one big kerfuffle by our favoritest bumbling goodball like the whole country is one giant sitcom and he’s there providing comic relief.

Image Attribution

pack rat times ten” by b.frahm is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

42 replies »

  1. Serial killers keep mementoes, or at they do in the movies. Trump is a scofflaw, takes pride in his brazenness. I am the president and I can do what I want, he keeps saying. Showing off his mementoes like conversation pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Garth!

      I like the analogy to serial killer mementoes. That’s a good one. Like a serial killer, Trump, the narcissist, uses those mementoes to relive his glory days and fuel the raging fire of his narcissistic wound. He may even be feeding his narcissistic delusion that he is the “real” president with them. Showing them off helps him keep his already bloated ego inflated.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  2. Prudence dictates that we treat the entire national security apparatus as compromised and assume that somewhere an enemy of the United States is reading American state secrets; that the entire premises of both Mar a Lago and Bedminster campus’ / golf courses should be wrapped in a six-foot wall of yellow crime scene tape with no one allowed in or out; and that drumpf uck and his entire crew shouldn’t be anywhere outside of a cage at Gitmo until all this gets straightened out.

    If we weren’t rubes drunk on doctor dope and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten Bears!

      Our collective delusion that the country is basically safe and the ship is being righted prevents us from doing the prudent thing. Even our national security professionals operate under a delusional cloud that they can somehow work out a threat assessment and root out any of their compromised members.

      Our climb out of the deep hole dug by conservatives since Reagan and that Trump continues to dig deeper is steep and long.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

    • And, it looks like he maybe fixing to reap what he had sown. God, I hope so.

      On a personal note, just after he won, I published my thought that he will rue the day he decided to run because of the intensity of the scrutiny it put him under.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reaching back into Random Access ~ I was pretty vocal pretty much from when he slithered down the sliding steps that it was a publicity stunt. He didn’t want to “win” … he was building publicity for his fledgling media startup, where he was to spend the following four or eight years complaining about how he had been “robbed,” how the elections were “rigged.”

        His camp was pretty clear about it, fore and aft …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten Bears!

          I thought that the reporting that he hadn’t even bothered to write a victory speech was pretty funny. It reminded me of the movie, “The Mouse That Roared.” But, now that he’s there, he just can’t quit, can he? The grift is too sweet, isn’t it?

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

  3. And then, I saw this: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mary-trump-jared-kushner-trump-mar-a-lago-documents-snitch_n_62f98100e4b045e6f6ae8d5e

    She makes a good case for Jared being the snitch. Now I’m thinking of classic New York Mob Godfather politics and how some Mob Bosses have been brought down (some by none other than a guy named Garland). In this view, Jared looks like a guy who have to make a deal, likely about his Saudi dealings, but not involving the secret documents directly. If he was the Executive Functionary self-appointed to keep track of the documents (but not involved with handling them), he was in position to lead the FBI to them.

    Then, I consider the mounting evidence of executive dysfunction and the jeopardy Donald and his assets may be in. The Trump kids, Jared, and maybe Melania could soon have what they would need to get a declaration of incompetence and guardianship that would allow them, or some of them, to take control of the assets and protect their inheritance from fines and law suits on Donald. It might also be the grounds for the only defense that would keep him out of jail, even if one that he could never accept and could well lead to a final breakdown.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Bob!

      Wheels turning within wheels as everyone is running to cover their own asses. It makes perfect sense that Jared would be the one to have turned on the Donald with full agreement and help from Iwanka. Self-preservation is their middle name, and they were biding their time for when it made more sense to turn him in than it did to continue grifting off of him. That game was always going to have diminishing returns.

      It won’t take much more to get Don Don and Ewick to turn on him, too, but for them, it will likely be too late. Melania already has her money protected through the pre-nup and I bet she has her own separate investments as a hedge against this day. Jared and Iwanka also have their separate operations and income streams. It is the boys that are probably the most reliant Donald financially and emotionally and are the most likely to be blindsided by negative court cases and the most gaslit by Trump into believing that they can still win.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

        • I published a post of all of the gross pictures of Trump and her from the time she was a small child through the 2016 election when he was groping her on stage suggesting the same thing.

          The “problem” with Iwanka, if there is one, is that she married another abusive psychopathic narcissist who is just continuing what Trump started. Will she ever have the mettle to get out from under all of the gaslighting? Will she ever want to? Is she giving Jared as good as she’s getting? Is ready to shank Trump?

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

      • And, there is the high probability that Trump is narcissistic enough to believe for too long that the sociopaths with whom he has surrounded himself are actually loyal out of either love or fear.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Trump will never see the knife that stabs him in the back coming. Probably coming from Iwanka through Jared, too.

          I heard someone on one of the wagging tongue shows, David Jolly, I think, saying that he thought Trump should declare his 2024 candidacy now just to force people to choose and get in line to support him while passions are still high over the stolen state secrets warrant. As soon as Republicans realize that they don’t need him to bring the base, he’s toast.

          You know Putin has dropped him. I bet they haven’t spoken since the election. In fact, I bet no world leader has sought him out since then.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • The RNC did ask Trump not to announce his candidacy until after the mid-term election so that it wouldn’t be all about him. He, of course, wants it to be all about him, as everything should be.

            Then you have Mitch McConnell complaining about the “low quality” of many of the Republican senate candidates. He knows that if they get the majority, he will still need the caucus members to march and vote as ordered. He does not want to find himself trying to manage a bunch of MAGA Mavericks.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I think McConnell is so done with Trump and he’s smelling blood in the water. The tide is shifting away from him. A big loss in 2022 will almost cynch it. Under Trump they lost in 2018, 2020, and if they lose again in 2022, then he’s not delivering anything but primary wins.

              Trump senses, though, that running and cries of foul persecution are the only thing that might keep him from being prosecuted. He might think he can avoid it, but nobody around him thinks he will.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • If anybody in DC can smell blood in the water, it is Mitch, and he’s almost always right.

                Trump has gotten a lot of people and companies to whom he owed money to give up on taking him to court by filing lots of BS motions that forced them to spend too much on lawyers fees for showing up to knock them down, and delaying interminably any prospect of resolution. Unfortunately for him, Garland doesn’t worry about attorney fees. He has hundreds of lawyers and they are all on salary. Garland is also a type of creature that Trump cannot really imagine, a man who understands himself, not as a user of The Law, but as it’s servant. If anybody in Washington has “WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR” tattooed on the inside of his eyelids, it is Garland. I think he clearly sees that several truly major crimes have been committed which must be prosecuted at all cost, and examples made of their perpetrators. Anybody who is able to understand him must have a hard time seeing Trump having much chance of getting off.

                Liked by 1 person

                • The special master is just another delaying tactic that Trump is using. He’s hoping to delay any action against him until after the ’24 election when a Republican, if not him, is elected. The special master and their team have to be given security clearances commensurate with the documents they are checking. That takes time. And, since there are a thousand documents, it will take time for them to check them all. Then, the FBI and special master have to wrangle over which ones get included and excluded.

                  It is the shortest route to prosecute Trump since the obstruction of justice charge will be the easiest to demonstrate and doesn’t require the use of secret documents to prove.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • The most qualified type of person I can imagine as Special Master in this case would be a recently retired judge who had served on the FISA Court. They would have had the needed security clearance and expertise. Of course, Trump would object to such a choice as too much of a Deep State person.

                    Liked by 1 person

  4. The image that came to mind today was of picking up behind a toddler who leaves a trail of Lego blocks everywhere and you know you’ll be walking around barefoot in the dark later. As for the items leaving the SCIF, if the President, especially this one, demands to go in the SCIF and takes something out, who will tell him “No!”, who can when the DOJ is operating under a legal opinion that a sitting President cannot be indited, the opposing party does not have a super majority in the Senate to convict on an impeachment, and the Cabinet won’t implement a 25th Amendment action? Nobody can stop him from doing as he pleases. All they were able to do was to try to cover his ass and theirs, and pick up the Lego blocks (except the ones that got kicked under the sofa).

    The fact remains that even if the chaos is the product of executive dysfunction and narcissism, it creates opportunities for it to be exploited to nefarious effect by others.

    As for all those reports of statements by people around Trump, those people need to turn their observations into sworn testimony before a Grand Jury and ultimately publicly in open court. Until then, it is all just gossip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      We’ve said all along that the biggest threat Trump poses is the ease with which he can be manipulated. There were definitely people around him manipulating him for their own ends. It will be interesting to see who was on a foreign or a billionaire’s payroll. Kushner was to the tune of $2 billion petrodollars. I reckon that bought a state secret or two, especially around the building of nuclear weapons. Rudy? Sidney Powell? Gini Thomas? Various cabinet members?

      Another person to watch in all of this is Mike “God told me I’d be president” Pence. He, too, is timing his turn on Trump for maximum benefit for his presidential run. If he does it right, he can knock Trump out of the running and appear to be the “sane” evangelical alternative to Trumpism. Of course that’s like walking a camel through the eye of a needle.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those same people and entities who have been manipulating Trump have to be pondering which of his possible replacements (Pence, DeSantis, etc.) they could most easily and profitably manipulate.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          That’s an interesting question: what makes someone manipulable. The Soviets and their KGB, and by extension the Russians and FSB, had it down to a science. They looked for people with loose morals because they would get themselves in trouble with money or be susceptible to honeypots or bribery. Those people with loose morals were those with the dark tetrad of personality characteristics.

          The other category were people with secrets to hide, like say, being homosexual in a time and place where it is disapproved of like evangelical Christian circles.

          It might could be all of them, Katie! Trump has put out the clarion call for narcissists and psychopaths. and they’ve answered in droves. The GOP is populated by them now. The list of potential presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, psychopath, Marco Rubio, narcissist, Lindsey Graham, psychopath, Rand Paul, psychopath, Desantis, psychopath, Tim Scott, narcissist, Kristi Noem, psychopath, Greg Abbott, psychopath. I can’t think of one prominent Republican eying a run who isn’t one or the other. Can you?

          And, you know, they all got something to hide.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

Howdy Y'all! Come on in, pardner! Join this here conversation! I would love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.